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Computer Science

Preparing for high-paying careers in demand

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Augustana offers a major and minor in computer science. As a computer science student 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 100 other areas of study.

What you'll learn

Quantitative literacy

Quantitative literacy

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

Collaborative leadership

Collaborative leadership

Make decisions and act for the good of the community as a group.

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.


• Augustana computer science students build things! Our majors have channeled their creative energies into making real software, like a free ride-hailing app for Augustana students, and organizing the "Vibrant Augie Techest," an immersive interactive experience that blends art, music, sensors, virtual reality and other technologies.

• 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

While attending Augustana, Nelly Cheboi and Danya Tazyeen engaged in a summer research project about swarm robotics. More recently, Cheboi was voted CNN Hero of the Year in 2023 (see story below), and Tazyeen is a Drupal developer at HNI Corporation.

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, and is the namesake for the word "algorithm."

Recent graduates

Sofia Briggs '23 is an integration engineer at Epic in Verona, Wis.

Elizabeth Sloan '23 is a human computer interaction research assistant at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

Trang Hoang '22 is a software engineer at Microsoft in Seattle, Wash.

Jordan Thompson '22 is working on his Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Utah.

Omidullah Barikzay '21 is a software engineer at John Deere in the Quad Cities.

Bryson Adcock ’20 is a software developer at Integrated DNA Technologies. 

Maegan Patterson ’20 is a software developer at Epic in Naperville, Ill.

Liem Gearen ’19 is a senior software engineer at John Deere in the Quad Cities.

Ivy Vecna '18 is studying computer science at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. 

Megan Janssen '18 is a software engineer II for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution in Bristol, Conn.

Zineb Zirari '18 is a funding and liquidity management analyst for Barclays Corporate & Investment Bank in New York City.

More Than I Imagined Maegan Patterson
“When I took the Intro to Computer Science class, Dr. Stonedahl's enthusiasm for the subject matter really influenced me to become more interested in it, and that interest has never subsided.”
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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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Max Sellers

Max Sellers first Viking men’s volleyball All-American

All-American Max Sellers helped lead the Augustana Viking men's volleyball team to an 18-7 record, the best in program history.

Atanasoff-Berry Computer

‘Birth of the Computer’ explores Q-C ties to inventor Atanasoff

The “Birth of the Computer: The John Atanasoff Story” event will include a viewing of the documentary “Atanasoff, Father of the Computer” and a panel discussion on John Atanasoff, inventor of the electronic digital computer, and his ties to the Quad-Cities.

Nelly Cheboi

Cheboi '16 is CNN Hero of the Year!

Nelly Cheboi '16 was named CNN Hero of the Year Sunday for her work with TechLit Africa, a nonprofit that redistributes recycled computers in schools in rural Kenya.