School of Science & Engineering
The computer science major at Anderson University emphasizes hands-on application of knowledge by incorporating state-of-the-art programming techniques and tools throughout the curriculum, which meets the most recent guidelines of the Association of Computing Machinery for computer science programs.
In computer science courses, core concepts are taught in an applied environment, allowing students to immediately see the applications of the material that they are learning. Modern software development tools are woven throughout the program, so that students gain experience using cutting-edge techniques recommended by our industry partners. Additionally, cybersecurity principles are incorporated through several courses, including Computer Networks, Operating Systems, Software Engineering, and Applied Cryptography and Cybersecurity. The importance of incorporating the security viewpoint in software design is critical to nearly every application in today’s world.
Employers of our student interns and graduates describe the winning combination of core computing knowledge, programming ability, and excellent communication and teamwork skills that Anderson University students demonstrate. The liberal arts education that our students receive is an important contribution to their successful careers.
We offer two tracks to choose from based on your career goals:
- The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science provides the foundational scientific and math courses needed for graduate studies. The courses are also beneficial for understanding the complex problems that arise in advanced areas of computer science. This degree prepares students for graduate school in computer science and also for careers in industry involving mathematically-advanced computations using computer science techniques, including algorithm analysis, artificial intelligence, and advanced databases.
- The Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science is great for students interested in designing and developing software with the broadest emphasis on core computer science theory and programming. This track covers the same core computing concepts and applications as the Bachelor of Science track. Graduates from the B.A. track are highly sought after by industry, often receiving job offers well before graduation.
Teamwork, problem solving, and communication skills (written and oral) are emphasized throughout the program. Projects are oriented towards service to the surrounding community and to the university when possible. Students are encouraged to pursue internships early, through our extensive connections with area companies. Most students graduate with an excellent resume containing two to three internship experiences, which differentiates them from the field of other recent graduates entering the workforce.
Your AU Story Begins Now
The Anderson University computer science department has been able to consistently deliver high-quality job candidates over many years. A significant part of the success of my department depends on the solid character, critical thinking, creative initiative, and confidence that the AU program builds in the students. My employees from the AU computer science program not only come with job skills for our current business needs but also have the flexibility and adaptability to become much more.
Jim Ostrognai BA ’99, Computer Science and Business Administration
VP of Engineering at Salesforce
As a graduate of the AU Computer Science and Mathematics programs, I am often reminded of the preparation that AU’s programs have given me for my career. The background I received through the combination of these programs has proved very useful in my post-grad work. The professors who I encountered throughout my time at AU were quick to give individual attention and help me with problems in coursework or career preparation. I always felt that they cared about all of their students on a personal level. Anderson prepared me for internships at Indianapolis area companies by actively facilitating those connections and ensuring that I was ready to succeed in a business environment. As I have continued my working life with Genesys and the Indy Tech Fellowship I continue to see new ways in which I have been prepared through my time at AU.
Nathan Nieman BA ’16, Computer Science and Mathematics
Senior Software Engineer at Salesforce
The computer science department was an amazing community to be a part of at AU. Everyone, students and teachers alike, were helpful in solving problems and answering questions. I was a double major and they were willing to work with me on my schedule as I took 18 credit hour semesters and worked a part time job every week. Most of all, I would say that the computer science department cares about you as a person.
Jeshua Cooper BA ’17, Biblical Studies and Computer Science
Software Engineer in Test at PSI
As an employer and AU graduate, I’m excited about working with the students of the computer science department. The students come into our internship with a good grasp of coding principles and design, show a good work ethic, and are very enthusiastic. I really appreciate the well-roundedness of the Anderson University students. While I work with many different individuals on a daily basis, I truly enjoy working with the Anderson University students and grads. These individuals have proven themselves to be adaptable and dependable.
Brian Schultz BA ’06, Information Systems
Software Engineer at Genesys and Adjunct Professor at Anderson University
As computer science has become increasingly ubiquitous, my computer science education has been invaluable in my graduate school career and has enabled me to pursue my current research. I would encourage majors of all fields to have some knowledge of computer science to stay competitive.
Mitchell Fulton BS ’18
Studying machine learning, computer vision, and medical robotics at the University of Colorado Boulder
My experience and degree in Computer Science from Anderson University opened up a world of opportunity for me. Starting out as a freshman I knew nothing about programming—or really computer science—but my professors in my beginning classes took time to help me get a firm foundation in coding. Through that foundation and a desire to learn more I was able to have an on-campus internship with Genesys. Since Genesys is a leader in software development in the Indianapolis area, this was a huge boost for my resume. My experience in the internship, along with the deep knowledge I learned in my upper-level classes, really prepared me for the real world. Anderson also connected me with the TechX Fellowship, which is a 2 year post graduation career acceleration program in the technology field, and placed me in my first full time job. Through my experience at AU, and all the connections I made there, I was able to make an immediate impact as a Software Engineer in Test at my first job.
Kaleb Weddle BA ’17, Computer Science
Software Engineer in Test at Renaissance Electronic Services
Start your AU story
AU offers two degrees in computer science.
- BA in Computer Science (3- and 4-year tracks available)
- BS in Computer Science
The computer science department also offers a major in cybersecurity.
The BA in Computer Science can be completed by a well-motivated student in 3 years. It can also be paired with other majors as a double major over four years, including English, Writing, and Cybersecurity.
It is also possible to complete within 4 years a double major with a BS in Computer Science and a BS in Mathematics.
Students wanting to pair computer science with another major can complete the 32-hour complementary major with another Bachelors of Arts major, such as cybersecurity, chemistry, mathematics, English, physics, accounting, or finance.
The computer science minor is well-suited for math and science majors, as well as those students pursuing a career in medicine and life sciences. The information systems minor focuses on business applications of computing.
- Computer Science
- Information Systems
What courses will I take?
- database programming
- data structures and algorithms
- introduction to web applications
- computer networks
- operating systems
- software engineering
- senior design I and II
The 59-hour BA in Computer Science includes 6 credit hours of computer science electives, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor to best prepare the student for their desired career path. The 82-hour BS in Computer Science includes 10 credit hours of computer science electives, plus a rich selection of courses from mathematics, physics, and additional science electives.
What kind of jobs can I anticipate after graduation?
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 74% of new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs through 2022 will be in computing. Nearly a third of all of those new jobs will be created in the computer science subfield of software development. With a degree in Computer Science from Anderson University, students will be well prepared to apply their knowledge as a software engineer, computer programmer, software developer, database administrator, business intelligence analyst, website developer, or technical writer.
Our graduates have gone on to work for companies such as:
- Clinical Architecture
- DPS, Inc.
- Ernst & Young
- Genesys (formerly Interactive Intelligence)
- Ontario Systems
- Performance Assessment Network
- Renaissance Electronics Service
- State Farm
- Zinc, Inc. (formerly Hackd, a division of MS Companies)
Students have continued on to graduate school at:
- Ball State University
- George Washington University
- Georgia Tech
- University of Colorado Boulder
- University of Wisconsin – Madison
Tech talks provide a glimpse of industry and research to our undergraduate students. We bring in 5-6 guest speakers per semester in areas related to computer science and cybersecurity.
Fall semester tech talks included:
● Jim Ostrognai, VP of Engineering, Salesforce, "LifeHacks (Things I wish someone would have told me when I was at AU)"
● Bob Huba, Former System Security Architect and team lead for the Security Incident Response Team at Emerson Automation Solutions, "Critical Infrastructure CyberSecurity - Using the internet to make things go boom"
● James Weaver, Quantum Developer Advocate, IBM, "Quantum Party Tricks: An entertaining introduction to quantum computing"
● And presentations of their internship work by interns working at our on-campus internship centers: Genesys and the Ontario Systems CUBE, which are located on the 3rd floor of Decker Hall.
Computer Science Internships
At Anderson University, Computer Science students are encouraged to pursue hands-on experiential learning starting as freshmen. Most students graduate with at least two internships on their resume, allowing them to see what a “real-world” job is like in different areas of the computer science field. This rich experience guides the students as they start their career after graduation, and allows their resume to stand out from other applications for full-time positions.
Students have the opportunity to work for the computer science department, the University’s Information Technology Services department, and our on-campus internship centers with Genesys and Ontario Systems. Close partnerships with many area businesses also provide students with ample internship opportunities off campus, both during the school year and in the summer.
Computer Science Department
Paid work experiences are available within the computer science department as early as a student’s first semester. Opportunities include maintaining the computers in the computer science labs, supporting the departmental network, administering the servers in the Cybersecurity Engineering Lab, as well as serving as web designers and classroom lab assistants.
Information Technology Services (ITS)
Computer Science students also have the opportunity to work with the Anderson University ITS. Past on-campus positions have included university-wide classroom technical support, database programming, network administration, and instructional resources support.
Anderson University is the only location where Genesys (formerly Interactive Intelligence) maintains an on-campus internship center, staffed with full-time Genesys employees. Computer Science students have the opportunity to gain real-world industry experience — between classes! The Genesys interns receive close mentoring and professional development opportunities, competitive pay, flexible scheduling, and the chance to network with the leaders of the Indianapolis technology scene.
Ontario Systems Talent Incubator
The Cube, short for Talent Incubator, is a tech training center that provides students with real-life, hands-on software engineering projects. Students can obtain paid internship opportunities and/or part-time or full-time jobs with Ontario Systems while pursuing their degree. Staffed with full-time Ontario Systems software engineers, the Cube allows computer science students to enjoy experiential learning between classes, since it is on the same floor in Decker Hall as the computer science labs. As the only on-campus internship center location for Ontario Systems, Anderson University students have amazing opportunities for experiential learning during the full school year.
Each student is required to have a reliable laptop capable of running computer science software (provided by the university) such as Microsoft Visual Studio, JetBrains IDEs, Wireshark, and other software compilers and related programs.
The following minimum requirements for a laptop are strongly recommended:
Operating system options:
- Windows 10+ (64 bit)
- Mac OS X
Note that virtual machines using VirtualBox, Bootcamp, or other VM software can be used when necessary to access software designed for a different operating system. The department can assist students in setting up virtual machines.
- RAM: 8 GB (16 GB recommended)
- CPU: modern 64 bit processor such as i5 or i7 with at least two physical cores
- Storage capacity: 200 GB (400 GB for Mac or Linux operating systems because students will need to create a 200 GB partition for Windows)
- Connectivity: 2x USB2 or USB3 ports and 1000 Base-T ethernet (adaptors acceptable for both)
- WiFi (IEEE 802.11n with WPA2)
- Graphics card needs to support at least one external display via HDMI (preferred) or VGA (adaptor acceptable) to be able to use the classroom projectors for presentations.
Note that these requirements can change without notice (but within reason) due to changes in the system requirements from the vendors of the software used within the major. The minimum cost for a new Windows machine that meets the requirements is approximately $900 and for a Mac it is approximately $1500. About half the students use Mac and the other half use Windows, plus a few Linux users.
Facilities and Extracurricular Activities
Earn Your Master's In 4 Years
Accelerate your career
Want to earn both your bachelors and masters degrees in just 4 years? Anderson University and Ball State University have an agreement to facilitate your accelerated program of study. You can earn your BA in Computer Science here at AU, and then transition to BSU to earn your Master’s of Science in Information and Communication Sciences. Most of our AU students gain placement in the BSU graduate assistantship program, which makes grad school tuition very affordable.
The computer science department has recently begun publishing a quarterly newsletter for Alumni, containing updates about the department, stories highlighting top students, and illustrations of what recent alumni are doing.