Computer Science


Computer programs improve lives, the function of organizations, and the management of resources. Why step back when you can move the world forward, especially in the field of IT?

At SAU, you'll gain the skills to keep business, government and and society running smooth, secure, and always advancing. Whether you want to design mobile apps or enterprise software solutions, we can prepare you for a successful career.

If you're planning to transfer or complete your computer science degree at SAU, we have a planning guide that maps out your remaining courses.

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


Ambrose Advantages

  • Diverse Faculty
  • Ethics-Based Computer Science
  • 4+1 MSITM program

student and professor

student at computer

students in class

Our faculty focus on current technology and innovations in computer science, so you'll learn to build technical proficiency, translate theory, and have ample opportunities to apply your skills. We've had students successfully compete and complete highly-selective internships with global IT firms.

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. One of our more popular courses is on iPhone app development. Read descriptions of other Computer Science courses

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. In fact, you will have your pick at regional internships since they often have more available positions than students.

Many students choose to continue their education at SAU with our Master of Science in Information Technology Management. Become proficient in analyzing, creating, and managing information systems for your organization. And with this 4+1 program, you can earn both degrees in five years. It saves you time and tuition!

All SAU computer science programs are strengthened by our CIS Alumni Advisory Council. These 15 alumni are well-established, successful IT professionals and industry leaders from across the country, and they are invested in the university and care about our students. They provide input and feedback on our curriculum and advise us on industry trends, which helps ensure your education is relevant and strong.

What Are My Unique Learning Opportunities?

Ambrose was recently approved by Facebook to be one of eight schools in the country to offer its Info Security Program. This special topics course focuses on creating new types of anti-hacking code.

Read more about this partnership and then read descriptions of other Computer Science courses.

Earn your master's degree in one year! As a sophomore at SAU, you can apply to the Master of Science in Information Technology Management program that allows you to earn your undergraduate and advanced degree in only five years, saving your time and money. You can earn graduate credits toward the MSITM beginning your junior year; up to 18 graduate credits may be applied to both the undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.

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, energy, and more!

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."
Faculty

Kevin Lillis, PhD, Chair and Professor

Gary Monnard, PhD, Professor
Ning Zhang, PhD, Assistant Professor

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

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

Required:
CSCI 140 Foundations of Computer Science
CSCI 195 Programming I
CSCI 270 Networks and Data Communications
CSCI 281 Discrete Structures
CSCI 294 Contemporary Programming Topics
CSCI 295 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

Electives:
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.

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

One programming course from:
CSCI 294 Contemporary Programming Topics
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

FallCreditSpringCredit
†CSCI 140 Foundations of Comp. Sci. 3 † CSCI 195 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

FallCreditSpringCredit
CSCI 281 Discrete Structures 3 *‡CSCI 294 Contemporary Programming Topics 3
*CSCI 295 Programming II 3 *CSCI 310 Data Structures 3
THEO 100-200 Level 3 *CSCI 393 (even years) or Elective, non-CIS (odd years) 3
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

FallCreditSpringCredit
*CSCI 300 System Analysis and Design 3 *‡CSCI 294 Contemporary Programming Topics 3
Theo, Phil, Catholic, 300+ level 3 *CSCI 393 (if even year) or CSCI 320 (if odd year) 3
# Humanities 3 *CSCI 410 (if even year) or CSCI 400 (if odd year) 3
WI Course from another dept. 3 Electives, non-CIS 6
Elective, non-CIS 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

FallCreditSpringCredit
*CSCI 330 3 CSCI 360 Database Management Systems 3
*WI-CSCI 435 3 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
*Needs prerequisite

MSITM 4+1

The MSITM 4+1 is an accelerated program that allows you to earn your undergraduate and advanced degree in only five years, saving your time and money. You can start earning credits toward the MSITM your junior year and up to 18 graduate credits may be applied to both the undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.

Admission Requirements

You can apply to the MSITM program in the spring of your sophomore year. Accepted students will be allowed to register for MSITM graduate classes the following semester. Current St. Ambrose students, as well as new transfer students, are eligible to apply provided they have met the following:

  • Currently enrolled at St. Ambrose University as a CS, Cybersecurity, or CNA major
  • Have a faculty advisor from the Department of Computer and Information Sciences
  • Will have completed 60 credit hours by the end of the term in which the application is submitted
  • Have a GPA of 3.2 or greater

Academic Performance

If you earn a "C" in any graduate course, or your cumulative GPA drops below a 3.0, you'll be required to meet with your academic advisor and the MSITM program director to evaluate your standing in the program and plan of study.

Course Restrictions

The following pairs of graduate/undergraduate courses include content that overlaps significantly and cannot both be taken for undergraduate credit:

  • CSCI 300 Systems Analysis and Design
  • CSCI 600 Systems Analysis in the Enterprise
  • CSCI 415 Computer and Network Security
  • CSCI 515 Computer and Network Security
  • CSCI 435 Legal and Ethical Issues in Computing
  • CSCI 640 Legal and Ethical Issues in Information Technology Management
  • CSCI 470 Advanced Computer Networks and Data Communications
  • CSCI 570 Advanced Computer Networks and Data Communications

4+1 Course Sequence for Computer Science majors:

Required:

  • CSCI 140 Foundations of Computer Science
  • CSCI 195 Programming I
  • CSCI 270 Networks and Data Communications
  • CSCI 281 Discrete Structures
  • CSCI 294 Contemporary Programming Topics
  • CSCI 295 Programming II
  • CSCI 310 Data Structures
  • WI-CSCI 435 Legal and Ethical Issues in Computing (MSITM 4+1 students take WI-CSCI 640 Legal and Ethical Issues in IT Management)

Select five courses from:

  • CSCI 300 Systems Analysis and Design (MSITM 4+1 students take CSCI 600 Systems Analysis in the Enterprise)
  • 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

-- MSITM 4+1 students can substitute any CSCI graduate course for any course in this section.

Electives:

  • Select 9 credits of CSCI electives at the 200 level or above.

-- MSITM 4+1 students can take any 3 CSCI graduate courses to satisfy this section.

Ready to apply? Click here for the MSITM application.

Scholarships and Grants

First-Year

St. Ambrose offers excellent scholarships and grants, work-study and other financial aid options! Full-time students may be eligible based upon your strong academic performance in college, your talent in fine arts or athletics or your demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code for the FAFSA is 001889.

First-Year Scholarships and Institutional Aid 2022-2023

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Please note, while St. Ambrose University has a test-optional admissions policy, standardized test scores are required for both admission to specific programs and/or eligibility for top academic scholarships. Scholarships and grants are renewable for four years of undergraduate study. 

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies - up to four years - as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, achieve certain GPA requirements (see below), and remain a full-time student. 

Download helpful PDFs of this information here: First-Year Iowa Resident or First-Year Out of State Resident


IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Iowa Resident On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $15,000-$21,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Iowa Resident On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Iowa Resident Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000-$16,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Iowa Resident Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Out of State On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $17,000-$23,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Out of State On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Athletic Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Out of State Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $14,000-$17,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Out of State Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

State and Federal Grants, Work Study

Grants are money that you don't repay, and they can come from government or private sources. SAU receives all financial aid funds directly - including loans and grants - then applies them to your account: once in the fall term and once in the spring term. Grants can be used to cover your tuition, books, and housing costs. You must apply for grants each academic year. If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. For all of these grants, you must complete the Free Application Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1.


Iowa Tuition Grant
To be eligible for the Iowa Tuition Grant, you must be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents and currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible Iowa college or university (SAU is eligible). Iowa College Aid administers need-based college financial aid for Iowans, such as the Iowa Tuition Grant. FAFSA deadline is July 1.
Award: $6,800

Federal Pell Grant
Awarded to students of the highest need based on how much your family can contribute to your education. The U.S. Department of Education sets a Expected Family Contribution (EFC) threshold. Then, when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it computes where you land within that threshold and determines if you qualify for the grant and for how much.
Award: $6,345 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
To qualify, you must file a FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 15 and you must qualify for a Pell Grant. This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have submitted all required documents for review and in time for the review to be complete. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG, the awards will appear on your financial aid award letter. Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $1,850

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 
Provides aid to students intending to teach in a high-need field at a school that serves low-income families (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education or a state education agency). Review criteria and all details here.
Award: up to $4,000

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.


Tim Yara '18


Tim is living his dream, but it wasn't always easy. At SAU, he never journeyed alone. He was challenged by faculty to examine every aspect of the computer science field and build new skills, and they supported Tim when he struggled. His holistic education, drive, and academic success led to a highly-exclusive internship in Chicago and a full-time position after he graduated.

Read Tim's story
Nathan Tappen Headshot Mobile Version Nathan Tappen Headshot

Nathan Tappen

Computer Science,Software Engineer, Information Technology Development Program at Deere & Company. ,Class of 2020


Nathan came to SAU in 2017 as an Ambrose Scholar, a distinction that included a scholarship for his academic achievements, community involvement, and leadership. Here, he built on all three. Nathan graduated in three years, with honors, and launched his career as a software engineer in the prestigious Information Technology Development Program at Deere & Company.

See My Story

Apply Visit Info

Contact


Kevin Lillis, PhD, Chairperson

Computer and Information Sciences
Ambrose Hall 423
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6429
LillisKevinM@sau.edu

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