2013-14 Undergraduate Catalog
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computing science

BA in Computer Science
BS in Computer Science
Computing Sciences Minor

BS in Information Systems


Otto Miller Hall

FACULTY:  Aaron Dingler, Mike Tindall, Elaine Weltz

The Mission of the Department of Computing Sciences is to prepare students to

  • Employ critical thinking skills and efficient computer-based methods to analyze and solve challenging problems.
  • Utilize computing technologies in a socially responsible manner.
  • Apply their expertise wherever they serve in the world.

We seek to provide a well-focused program of studies in the theoretical and applied aspects of modern computing-related disciplines, informed by a Christian worldview, and graduating students who are equipped for continued professional development and service.


Degree Paths: Options and Opportunities

The computing sciences encompass a broad and evolving group of related disciplines. SPU offers majors in Computer Science and Information Systems, plus a minor in the Computing Sciences. The department also maintains strong collaborations with programs in Computer Engineering and Computational Mathematics. 

Which is the right program for you? The answer lies in what YOU want to do with computers!

Computer Science is the discipline that studies the representation, storage, and transformation of information utilizing computers. Do you like to solve puzzles? Do you enjoy learning to use new technologies?

The computer scientist uses analytical, critical thinking, and programming skills to develop software and hardware solutions to difficult problems. They also devise new ways of using digital systems and work to develop effective ways to apply technology to everyday life. Additional information on career paths in computer science can be found at ACM Computing Degrees and Careers.


BS in Computer Science

(106 credits; 48 upper-division)

SPU’s BS in Computer Science is the traditional degree in computer science. It provides preparation for professional careers or graduate studies in the discipline, emphasizing scientific, quantitative, and engineering foundations. 

The BS in Computer Science includes an 11-course core that provides a broad background in the topics of computer science. A project or research course plus three additional senior-level electives allow the student to explore these or other areas in greater depth, and apply their core knowledge to more advanced problems. This computing curriculum is supported by related coursework in mathematics, electrical engineering, and the natural sciences.

Requirements for the BS in Computer Science Major

BA in Computer Science

(71 credits; 41 upper-division)

SPU’s BA in Computer Science emphasizes problem-solving, organizing and synthesizing ideas, and applications of computing theory. This is a particularly good major for students wishing to double-major or minor in another field, and graduates are well-suited for projects that apply computing to other disciplines.


BA students complete 15 courses total in Computer Science, encompassing the major topics of the discipline.

A Senior Project provides the opportunity to apply computer-based problem-solving techniques in an area of interest to the student. Mathematics courses in applied calculus, computer math, and statistics complete the major requirements.

Requirements for the BA in Computer Science Major

Information Systems specialists focus on integrating technology solutions and organizational processes to meet the information needs of both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. By focusing on how technology can help individuals and groups be more productive, they play a key role in helping organizations define and achieve their goals.

IS professionals are involved in all aspects of organizational technology, from helping to determine information requirements to the specification, design, and implementation of new systems and the support of existing ones. Visit ACM Computing Degrees and Careers for additional information on this discipline.


BS in Information Systems

(81 Credits; 51 upper-division)

SPU’s bachelor of science in Information Systems is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in both the technical and organizational aspects of information systems. 

The curriculum emphasizes problem-solving skills and computing technologies through 12 required computer science courses. Quantitative background is provided by studies in applied calculus, computer math and statistics; and coursework in organizational/ management topics help students make the connection between the information needs of people-in-organizations and the technologies that can help meet these needs.  

Requirements for the BS in Information Systems Major



Minor in Computing Sciences

(33-35 Credits; 15 upper-division)

A Computing Sciences minor allows a student to apply computing technologies and problem-solving strategies to his or her chosen major or to explore computing as a second discipline. A typical minor curriculum includes courses in programming, software and system design, and electives tailored to the computing interests of the individual student.

Requirements for the Minor in Computing Sciences


Preliminary Prerequisites

High school pre-calculus or math analysis is required.

Admission to the Major

Admission to a major in Computer Science or Information Systems requires:

  • A minimum SPU cumulative GPA of 2.0 (C).
  • A GPA of 2.5 or above in 10 credits of CSC-labeled courses taken at SPU that apply to the chosen major.

Students are encouraged to apply for their major as soon as they are eligible, using this application form (PDF). The application form is also available with other helpful forms at spu.edu/depts/csc

A student must complete the major requirements in effect when the student is admitted to the major.

Admission to the Minor

Admission to a minor in Computer Science requires:

  • A minimum SPU cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • A GPA of 2.0 or above in 10 credits of CSC-labeled courses taken at SPU that apply to the minor.

Students are encouraged to apply for their minor as soon as they are eligible, using this application form (PDF). The application form is available with other helpful forms at spu.edu/depts/csc

Recommended for All Degree Options

Because writing and communication skills are important for computer scientists, ENG 3205 Writing in the Professions and COM 1101 Introduction to Interpersonal Communications are recommended for all students majoring or minoring in the computing sciences.

Policy on Multiple Computing Sciences Majors

A student cannot double-major in any combination of Department of Computing Sciences degrees. However, a student who has graduated with either Computer Science degree may pursue an Information Systems degree as a second baccalaureate degree.

Similarly, a student who has graduated with a degree in Information Systems may pursue either Computer Science option as a second baccalaureate degree.

All SPU rules governing additional baccalaureate degrees apply.

Related Degree Program

BS in Computer Engineering combines strong bases in computer science, digital electronics, and engineering. For more information, refer to the information in engineering.


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