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Computer Science Major

Bethany’s  Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science delivers the knowledge and skills needed to launch a career in the financially rewarding and high-demand field of computing. In addition, our solid liberal arts education develops communication, critical thinking, and creativity, skills valued by employers in this competitive field.

The major has been designed to fit the culture of the liberal arts while providing the rigor necessary in the computer science field. Students are encouraged to take a variety of courses from other disciplines such as Math, Media Arts, Music, Communication, and Business.  This grounding in the liberal arts helps our students to be innovative problem solvers, communicators, leaders and lifelong learners in the ever changing world of technology.

You will learn the principles of computation and algorithms, and develop the essential programming and computing skills needed to step into any computing environment.  You will work with your professors and other students to analyze problems and collaborate on solutions.

 

Computer Science Faculty

Most courses for this major are taught by the  following faculty members. See the Computer Science Department for more information. If you’re looking for technical support on campus or with your Bethany account, visit our IT Services pages.

Career Outlooks

Computing professionals are integral to virtually any enterprise’s ability to compete and succeed, the demand for well-trained graduates is very high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of computer and information technology occupations to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. These occupations are projected to add about 557,100 new jobs. Demand for these workers will stem from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security.

The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $84,580 in May 2017, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $37,690.

After graduation, you’ll be well-qualified to begin a career in industry or pursue advanced study in competitive graduate programs. The following is a sample of those careers:

  • System administrator
  • Web developer
  • Independent consultant
  • Programmer
  • Cryptographer
  • Statistician
  • Network manager
  • Database manager
  • Project manager

Computer Science Major Requirements

Note Bethany’s Program Requirements Disclaimer when planning your coursework.

Mission Statement

The computer science program at Bethany Lutheran College is designed to give students a broad understanding of computer systems and the software that runs on those systems. An initial introduction to practical computer programming and programming theory forms the foundation needed for later concepts that include computer hardware design, data structure and communication, and advanced programming topics. Students have the option to place an emphasis on the cooperative relationship between computer science and mathematics. Students are equipped with the knowledge and hands-on experience to work in industry or to continue their studies in advanced computer science.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who complete a course of study in computer science are expected to:
  1. Demonstrate real-world problem-solving skills through the use of programming languages, database design, and computer system architecture.
  2. Participate successfully in post-baccalaureate professional activities such as graduate studies, computer science practice or other fields such as science, law, medicine, politics, business, or clergy.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of how computing components (software design, system design, and system administration) fit into systems as a whole, including human-computer interaction and ethical considerations.
  4. Create at least one major project that involves group development and implementation.

Entry into the Major

A student may be admitted to the major upon completion of COMS103 Intro to Programming I and COMS104 Intro to Programming II. Students will be granted entry into the major when they have met the following requirements:
  • Achieved an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Completed COMS104 with a grade of “C” or better
  • Secured an advisor within the computer science department

Core Requirements

Students must achieve an average GPA of 2.0 or better in the following core computer science courses (25 credits):

Collateral Requirements

In addition to the core courses, the following collateral courses are required (10 or 11 credits):

Major Electives

Choose four of the following electives (12 credits). At least two must be COMS courses:

Electives from Other Areas

Choose two of the following electives: *Completion of required courses, MATH151, MATH152, MATH330 and its prerequisite of MATH295, is one course (MATH 243) short of a minor in mathematics. View the full COMS course listing here.

Computer Science Minor

The minor in computer science requires 21 credits distributed as follows: Required courses (15 credits): Electives (at least 6 credits):

Top 10 Reasons to become a Computer Science Major

Association for Computing Machinery Logo

as published by the Association of Computing Machinery

1. Computing is part of everything we do!

Computing and computer technology are part of just about everything that touches our lives from the cars we drive, to the movies we watch, to the ways businesses and governments deal with us. Understanding different dimensions of computing is part of the necessary skill set for an educated person in the 21st century. Whether you want to be a scientist, develop the latest killer application, or just know what it really means when someone says “the computer made a mistake”, studying computing will provide you with valuable knowledge.

2. Expertise in computing enables you to solve complex, challenging problems.

Computing is a discipline that offers rewarding and challenging possibilities for a wide range of people regardless of their range of interests. Computing requires and develops capabilities in solving deep, multidimensional problems requiring imagination and sensitivity to a variety of concerns.

3. Computing enables you to make a positive difference in the world.

Computing drives innovation in the sciences (human genome project, AIDS vaccine research, environmental monitoring and protection just to mention a few), and also in engineering, business, entertainment and education. If you want to make a positive difference in the world, study computing.

4. Computing offers many types of lucrative careers.

Computing jobs are among the highest paid and have the highest job satisfaction. Computing is very often associated with innovation, and developments in computing tend to drive it. This, in turn, is the key to national competitiveness. The possibilities for future developments are expected to be even greater than they have been in the past.

5. Computing jobs are here to stay, regardless of where you are located.

There actually are more computing jobs than qualified people to fill them in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth rates between 12% and 37% in computing and information technology occupations from 2012 through 2022. If you consider the expected growth in computing, it’s easy to see that companies simply need more talent. Don’t miss out on pursuing the large number of open positions available right now.

6. Expertise in computing helps you even if your primary career choice is something else.

Having a computing major will provide you with a foundation of knowledge, problem solving and logical thinking that will serve as a competitive advantage to you in your career, in whatever field you choose.

7. Computing offers great opportunities for true creativity and innovativeness.

Creating high-quality computing solutions is a highly creative activity, and computing supports creative work in many other fields. The best solutions in computing exhibit high levels of elegance and beauty.

8. Computing has space for both collaborative work and individual effort.

Computing is often about being part of a team that requires people with many different kinds of skills. Yet there is also plenty of space for individual flair and imagination.

9. Computing is an essential part of well-rounded academic preparation.

An increasing number of universities and employers see successful completion of a computer science course as a sign of academic well-roundedness.

10. Future opportunities in computing are without boundaries.

Computing is one of those fields where it is almost impossible to predict what will happen next. This is why we cannot even begin to imagine all the ways that you can make a contribution to it and it can make your life’s work exciting and real.

Next Steps

We’d love to welcome you to our campus to learn more about our Computer Science program! Schedule your personal visit today, or learn more about becoming a student.