Computer Science

You believe computer programs improve lives, the function of organizations, and the management of resources. And, you want to have a hand in technological progress. Whether you want to design mobile apps or enterprise software solutions, SAU can prepare you for a successful IT career.

Our graduates work at Apple Inc., Carleton Life Support, Google, HNI Corporation, and Southern Imperial Inc.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Comprehensive Education
  • Hands-on Experience
  • Full Engagement

students walking

student at computer

students in class

Our faculty are up-to-date on technologies and innovations in computer science. They work side-by-side with you as you learn to translate theory, build technical proficiency, and apply your skills in the real-world.

Read our Computer Science Fact Sheet (pdf)

More Information on the Computer Science Program

What will I learn?

Your studies will concentrate on application development, computer architecture, software engineering, and operating systems. Courses include programming, data structures, legal and ethical issues, network and data communications, systems analysis and design, web programming, and database management systems.

Our internship program gives you quality, hands-on experience. SAU students have worked side-by-side with network and technology experts at a number of regional and national corporations, including the National Security Administration, Deere & Company, Arconic (formerly Alcoa), and Genesis Health Systems.

If you want to pursue an advanced degree, you'll be exceedingly prepared for graduate school, and many choose to continue their education at SAU. Our Master of Science in Information Technology Management prepares IT professionals to effectively analyze, create, and manage information systems that meet the needs of your organization.

What are some possible job outcomes?

Computer Science graduates usually work in software and technology industries, filling the roles of network or systems administrator, network engineer, or technician. You can work in a number of fields, including business, government, education, science, and energy.

What have alumni of this program done?
  • Rachel VanderHeiden '98, '00, '03 MBA, is an IT Leader for Deere & Company. "The coaching I received from professors helped me get multiple internships and part-time jobs throughout college."
  • Mitch Myers '86, a vice president of customer success at BMC Software in Plano, Texas, is confident the computer science and business classes at SAU helped him "learn how to learn. It was less about specific skills such as programming and more about learning how to think about business and strategies."
  • Randy Vogel '87, a Cloud Adoption Leader for IBM, knows the liberal arts background he gained at SAU helped in his success. "My first job was as a programmer, so the different programming classes were extremely valuable - not just for programming, but for problem-solving skills as well. My subsequent roles began to take on leadership responsibilities, so the liberal arts exposure and small class sizes with lots of interaction were key to help me transition from doer to manager."

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science (48-49 credits)

CIS Department majors/minors must pass CSCI 140, CSCI 195, and CSCI 270 with a C or better.

CSCI 140 Foundations of Computer Science
CSCI 195 Object-Oriented Programming I
CSCI 270 Networks and Data Communications
CSCI 281 Discrete Structures
CSCI 294 Contemporary Programming
CSCI 295 Object-Oriented Programming II
CSCI 310 Data Structures
CSCI 435 Legal and Ethical Issues in Computing

Select five courses from:
CSCI 300 Systems Analysis and Design
CSCI 320 Computer Architecture
CSCI 330 Web Programming
CSCI 360 Database Management Systems
CSCI 393 Algorithm Design and Analysis
CSCI 400 Programming Language Concepts
CSCI 410 Operating Systems
MATH 191 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I

Select 9 credits of CSCI at the 200 level or above

Minor in Computer Science (18 credits)

CIS Department majors/minors must pass CSCI 140, CSCI 195, and CSCI 270 with a C or better.

CSCI 140 Foundations of Computer Science
CSCI 195 Object-Oriented Programming I
CSCI 270 Networks and Data Communications
CSCI 295 Object-Oriented Programming II
CSCI 360 Database Management Systems

One programming course from:
CSCI 294 Contemporary Programming
CSCI 310 Data Structures
CSCI 330 Web Programming

Click here to read course descriptions for Computer Science

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a degree in Computer Science. This plan assumes the student has not satisfied the foreign language requirement (three years of foreign language in high school).

Year One

†CSCI 140 Foundations of Comp. Sci. 3 † CSCI 195 Object Oriented Programming I 3
†CSCI 270 Networks & Data Comm 3 CSCI 101 Computers in Society 3
†COMM 129 Intro to Public Speaking 3 IL 101 Information Literacy 1
†ENGL 101 English Composition 3 KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1
Creative Arts 3 PHIL 100-200 Level 3
Natural Science 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 14

Year Two

FallCredit             Pre-reqSpringCredit             Pre-req
CSCI 281 Discrete Structures              3 n/a ‡CSCI 294 Contemporary Programming 3 †CSCI 185 or †CSCI 195
CSCI 295 Object Oriented Programming II 3 †CSCI 195 CSCI 310 Data Structures 3 CSCI 281 and CSCI 295
THEO 100-200 Level 3 CSCI 393 (if even year) or Elective, non-CIS (if odd year) 3 †CSCI 195 and CSCI 281
Foreign Language 101 3 Foreign Language 102 3
KIN Activity 1-2 Theo, Phil, Catholic Studies, Justice 3
Elective, non-CIS 3
Total Credits 16-17 Total Credits 15

Year Three

FallCredit             Pre-reqSpringCredit             Pre-req
CSCI 300 System Analysis and Design 3 †CSCI 195 ‡CSCI 294 Contemporary Programming 3 †CSCI 185 or †CSCI 195
Theo, Phil, Catholic, 300+ level 3 CSCI 393 (if even year) or CSCI 320 (if odd year) 3 †CSCI 140 and CSCI 281
# Humanities 3 CSCI 410 (if even year) or CSCI 400 (if odd year) 3 †CSCI 185 or †CSCI 195
WI Course from another dept. 3 Electives, non-CIS 6
Elective, non-CIS 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

FallCredit             Pre-reqSpring Credit             
CSCI 330 3 †CSCI 185 or †CSCI 195 CSCI 360 Database Management Systems 3
WI CSCI 435 3 †ENGL 101 and
Jr. or Sr. Standing
CSCI 410 (if even year) or CSCI 400 (if odd year) 3
# Humanities 3 Elective, non-CIS (if even year) or CSCI 320 (if odd year) 3
Electives, non-CIS 6 Electives, non-CIS 6
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

WI=writing intensive
† CIS Department majors/minors must pass this course with a C or better
‡ This course may be repeated for credit provided the programming language is not repeated
# Must be taken from two different departments


Scholarships and Grants

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

To receive an institutional grant or scholarship students must meet specific criteria, and some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible. There is no need to apply for these; students automatically are eligible if they meet the criteria.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Awards

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Diocese of Davenport Catholic Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation to be completed by your pastor available here (pdf).

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student athletes. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2018-19 academic year. For questions about any of the awards below, give our friendly Financial Aid Office a call at 563-333-5775.

Guaranteed Minimum Scholarship Award 

based on GPA (Grade Point Average)
3.5-4.00 GPA: $12,000 per year scholarship award
3.0-3.49 GPA: $11,000 per year scholarship award
2.5-2.99 GPA: $10,000 per year scholarship award
2.0-2.49 GPA: $8,000 per year scholarship award


Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society

Based on Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society membership. Award is $12,500 per year for new transfer students.

Awards are renewable each year up to a maximum eight semesters, including transfer hours. Scholarships awarded for fall and spring semesters only. GPA is based on 4.0 scale.

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.

Apply Visit Info


Kevin Lillis, PhD, Chairperson

Computer and Information Sciences
Ambrose Hall 429
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 26 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!