CS Major


Computer Science at CUW

CUW offers an undergraduate minor, an undergraduate major (BS degree) and a graduate degree (MS) in Computer Science. This page describes the BS degree in CS.

To see a complete schedule of CS and IT classes available next year at Concordia see this page.

The Discipline

The Discipline Computer science can be succinctly defined as problem solving. The computer scientist is an individual who is concerned with creating computer systems, with an emphasis on software, which will assist other people in solving problems. The computer scientist is proficient with current software applications and hardware technologies; however, more importantly, the computer scientist possesses a deep understanding of the concepts underlying current computer technology. The computer scientist is chiefly concerned with algorithms – general methods of solving problems. The computer scientist observes specific problems with their associated manual solutions and then attempts to create a general algorithm for the problem. Computer scientists must be creative; they must be able to discover creative ways to apply problem-solving techniques to new and diverse situations.

Student Preparation

The computer science student should begin the computer science program with a strong high school background in mathematics, science, and English. Students who enjoy music and language seem to do well in computer science.

Employment Opportunities

Employment A computer scientist may be employed by a software development firm and create application packages for commercial use. The computer scientist creates software applications as tools to solve other people’s problems. The software created could range from scientific ‘number-crunching’ to business ‘file processing’ to home ‘entertainment’ applications. A computer scientist could also create technical tools for other professionals, such as: programming languages, compilers, operating systems and the like.

Since problem-solvers will always be in demand, regardless of the field or specific job, a computer scientist is in a unique position to transfer problem solving skills to a great many different environments. A major in computer science does not mean that you are doomed to spend the rest of your life in a “windowless room” staring at a CRT and endlessly typing on a keyboard! Many computer scientists spend a great deal of time interacting with other people in such jobs as: systems analyst, technical marketing representative, technical sales representative, service/support engineer, quality assurance engineer or program manager. A few deranged souls even go on to graduate school and become college professors.  A quick check of the employment classifieds in any metropolitan newspaper will reveal the demand for computer science graduates.

The Framework

The computer science program at CUW is a “pure” computer science program; that is, it is not meant to be a “programming degree” or an “MIS” degree. The curriculum is modeled after recommendations made by computer science professional societies for 4 year BS degree programs. (The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) combined to specify a model BS degree program in Computing Curriculum 2015.)

The program requires a strong liberal arts core because a computer scientist must be creative (exposed to many, different disciplines) and able to communicate effectively. Most importantly, the Christian worldview of CUW is reflected within the computer science curriculum.

A unique aspect of the CUW computer science program is the first course, CSC 150. CSC 150 is a broad survey of computer science and is part of a new, national trend in computer science education. CSC 150 is the foundational course for the computer science program.

Advantages of CUW

  • CUW is a teaching, not a research, university. Our primary goal is to ensure educational success within a Christian framework. Unlike large, state universities, CUW does not employ graduate TAs to teach courses. All courses are taught by faculty professors who care about their work.
  • All computer science instructors have relevant work experience in the field. Thus, they are able to bring valuable “real world” experience into the classroom, ensuring that course material is relevant and worthwhile.
  • CUW students enjoy small class size which results in individual attention and enhanced learning opportunities.
  • CUW has fantastic computing facilities. Possessing the some of the finest computer laboratories for a school of its size, CUW is able to offer students exposure to a wide variety of computing hardware and software.
  • Most importantly, the Christian framework of CUW provides a natural environment for the integration of ethics into the curriculum. Today, employers demand that students be enlightened on moral and ethical issues in computing; CUW provides ethical and moral instruction integrated into the curriculum.

Computer Science Major – Program Requirements

For a description of all courses in the Computer Science program, see the Course Descriptions page.

 Core Curriculum 48 credits

  • Any Calculus course is required for mathematics 48 credits
  • Any 4 credit physical science course is required for lab science
  • SCI 275 is required for philosophical foundations

Professional Core 9 credits

  • MATH 205 Statistics I
  • MATH 220 Discrete Mathematics
  • PHIL 211 Elementary Logic

Major 42 credits

Required: 36 credits

  • CSC 150 Foundations of Computer Science
  • CSC 175 Informatics: Application of Technology
  • CSC 200 Foundations of Programming
  • CSC 250 Computer Science Theory and Practice I
  • CSC 300 Computer Science Theory and Practice II
  • CSC 325 Computer Organization and Architecture I
  • CSC 350 Computer Operating Systems
  • CSC 370 Software Engineering
  • CSC 450 Systems Software
  • CSC 470 Programming Languages
  • CSC 490 Senior Seminar I
  • CSC 491 Senior Seminar II

Electives: minimum of 6 credits

additional CSC courses approved by the department chair; consult with your advisor for approval

Minor 18 credits +

Free Electives 12 credits +

Program total (minimum) for BS degree — 129 credits

Common core – you must take these (unless you plan on minoring in Theology):

  • ENG 103
  • ENG 104
  • HIST 103
  • REL 100
  • REL 110

Narrative core – there are some choices; a recommendation is listed:

  • COMM 105
  • HIST 221 or language
  • POLS 101
  • SCI 275 (required for CS major)

Elective core – there are many choices; a recommendation is listed:

  • MATH 197 (CS) or MATH 201 (CS)
  • ART 141 or MUS 171
  • Language – Latin or Greek are good choices for CS
  • HHP 100
  • HHP 160
  • SCI 100 (or another physical science course)
  • PSY 101
  • REL elective

Additional required courses:

  • PHIL 211 (CS)
  • MATH 205 (CS)
  • MATH 220 (CS)

Minor: Every CS and IT major must select a minor. Some recommendations include: Christian Thought, English, History, Philosophy, Theology, General Business, Mathematics, Business Communication. NOTE: a CS major is able to minor in IT (ask the department chair for more information).

Free electives: Choose courses that interest you. Feel free to take additional CS courses also.


Computer Science Major – Sample Schedule

For a description of all courses in the Computer Science program, see the Course Descriptions page.

1st Year

Fall – 15 credits Spring – 15 credits
CSC 150 (3) CSC 175 (3)
MATH 197 (3) CSC 200 (3)
ENG 104 (3) ENG 103 (3)
HIST 103 (3) MATH 205 (3)
REL 100 (3) REL 110 (3)

2nd Year

Fall – 16 credits Spring – 16 credits
CSC 250 (3) CSC 300 (3)
MATH 220 (3) CSC 370 (3)
SCI 100 (4) PHIL 211 (3)
COMM 105 (3) POLS 101 (3)
LAT 105 (3) PSY 101 (3)
  HHP 100 (1)

3rd Year

Fall – 18 credits Spring – 18 credits
CSC 325 (3) CSC Elective (3)
CSC 350 (3) CSC Elective (3)
SCI 275 (3) HIST 221 (3)
Minor course (3) REL elective (3)
MINOR course (3) ART or MUS (3)
Free elective (3) Minor Course (3)

4th Year

Fall – 16 credits Spring – 15 credits
CSC 470 (3) CSC 450 (3)
CSC 490 (3) CSC 491 (3)
HHP 160 (1) Minor course (3)
Minor Course (3) Free elective (3)
Minor course (3) Free elective (3)
Free elective for CS and IT(3)