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Computer Science

Preparing for high-paying careers in demand

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As a computer science major here, you’ll study more than algorithms and data structures, computer and network design, modeling data and information processes, and AI.

We're a liberal arts college. Here you can focus on computer science and whatever else interests you, whether it’s graphic design, psychology, environmental studies or one of our 90 other areas of study.

What you'll learn

Quantitative literacy

Quantitative literacy

Interpret, represent and summarize information. Use math and statistics to solve problems.

Disciplinary knowledge

Disciplinary knowledge

Gain a deep understanding of your subject and how it connects to other subjects.

Creative thinking

Creative thinking

Combine ideas to create something new. Use imaginative ways of solving problems.

Intellectual curiosity

Intellectual curiosity

Set yourself up for lifelong intellectual growth. Take responsibility for your own learning.

Communication competence

Communication competence

Read and listen carefully. Express ideas (writing or speaking) suited to the audience.

Distinctions

• Augustana offers a major and minor in computer science. You will work with faculty members with a Ph.D. in computer science — a rare opportunity for undergraduates at a college of Augustana’s size.

• The computer science curriculum focuses on the representation, manipulation and storage of information in computer systems. Its range includes the study of programming languages, computer architecture, networks and the global internet, operating systems, data structures, algorithms and database management.

• Most computer science students will take an introduction to computer science during their first year, in which they will learn the Python programming language, followed up with a course on data structures where they will learn Java. Our majors take part in a significant semester-long team project in the Software Development class during either their second or third year.

• Mathematics is a fundamentally useful tool for computer scientists, and most students will take pre-calculus and/or calculus in their first year, followed up with a course on discrete mathematics in their second year, in which students will hone their logical thinking skills

• Computer science majors often work part-time after their first year. Deere and Co., with its world headquarters less than 15 minutes from campus, recruits heavily at Augustana. Or you can stay on campus to work, analyzing data for the Institutional Research and Assessment Office or building websites for community clients with the EDGE Center’s Web Guild.

• All Augustana students complete a Senior Inquiry capstone project that draws from their comprehensive learning experiences. Computer science majors apply the software development process to specify, design, implement and test a major software project in teams. This capstone project also incorporates social and ethical issues.

Nelly Cheboi and Danya Tazyeen

Nelly Cheboi and Danya Tazyeen engaged in a summer research project about swarm robotics.

CS and the liberal arts

At Augustana, you can create, innovate and make connections among seemingly unrelated subjects.  For example, the class Artful Computing combined the creativity and passion of studio art with the logic and mathematics of computer code.

Plus, Augustana’s small class sizes and faculty mentorships provide opportunities to:

• Apply what you learn (students recently developed an Uber-like student transport app and an event-planning app for the Office of Student Life, and of course there’s our annual robotics challenge).

Be a team leader and a team member — equally important skills to future employers.

• Connect with local companies for internships and part-time jobs. Studying computer science leads to careers in high-paying fields, including software engineering, web development, information technology, and network systems administration.

With its strong liberal arts focus, Augustana supports your career goals and your personal goals as well.

Computer Science Honor Society Al-Khwarizmi members, front from left, Loc (Christopher) Le, Kirubel Mognehode and Viet Bui, and back from left, Tanner Klein, Dr. Labiba Jahan, Trang Hoang, Alex Fedor, Cameran Frank, Ryan Benac and Jordan Thompson. Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī was a Persian polymath often called the "father of algebra."

Computer Science Honor Society Al-Khwarizmi members, front from left, Loc (Christopher) Le, Kirubel Mognehode and Viet Bui, and back from left, Tanner Klein, Dr. Labiba Jahan, Trang Hoang, Alex Fedor, Cameran Frank, Ryan Benac and Jordan Thompson. Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī was a Persian polymath often called the "father of algebra."

Recent graduates

Bryson Adcock ’20 is in the business analytics graduate program at the University of Iowa.

Maegan Patterson ’20 is a software developer at Epic medical services.

Liem Gearen ’19 is a software engineer at John Deere.

Megan Janssen '18 is a software engineer for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution Games and Social Team.

Zineb Zirari '18 is a financial analyst for Prudential Financial in New York City.

Adam Stokes ’07 is a senior data science manager at McDonald's headquarters in Chicago.

Son
More Than I Imagined Son Nguyen
“Successfully running my first Java program was a feeling that I could never forget — a combination of pride, satisfaction and pure happiness.”
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Dylan Hart
More Than I Imagined Dylan Hart
“Early at Augie, I had a decision on whether to apply for a part-time student IT position at John Deere... Safe to say I made a good decision.”
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Business Plan Competition

Fashion app wins Business Plan Competition

Students won $9,000 in total prize money in Augustana's 2022 Business Plan Competition.

Nelly Cheboi

Teaching tech literacy to change children's lives

2016 grad Nelly Cheboi’s goal for her nonprofit TechLit Africa: expand the digital literacy initiative to 100 more schools and reach an additional 40,000 kids in Kenya in 2022.

Roberto Leone

Data analytics grads see the big picture behind big data

Augustana's fast-growing data analytics major and the liberal arts are an excellent combination for a future-focused career.