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Computer Science

Computer science is about more than hardware and software, programming and developing. It’s about the future—not just living in it, but shaping it. If you’re the kind of person who wants to combine your passion for computer science and your faith to make a lasting impact on the world, consider a computer science degree from Dordt University.

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Program Overview

Dordt’s computer science program helps you develop skills for how to configure, manage, and program computers to assist in human flourishing. Not only will you gain foundational computer knowledge, but you’ll select areas of specialization to help you develop in the ways you want to learn. And you’ll do all of that while learning from a faculty that challenges you to think about what it means to be a disciple of Christ within the realm of computer science.

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What can I do with a degree in computer science from Dordt University?

With a computer science degree from Dordt, it’s not an exaggeration to say that your future opportunities are truly endless. A computer science major is constantly inventing, building solutions, and dreaming of developments that can change the world. What you learn at Dordt will help you to succeed as a programmer, software administrator, systems analyst, or one of dozens of other jobs. From business programmers to data scientists, we’re equipping men and women to lead the future of digital technology.

Our graduates have worked in positions like programmer, network technician, systems administrator, consultant, systems analyst, and more. Graduates of Dordt’s computer science program have worked for businesses like Interstates, Epic Systems, West Monroe Partners, and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.

The career outcome rate for our computer science graduates in 2021 was 100 percent.

Computer Programmer

Computer Programmers design and manage scripts and code that allow computer software and applications to function properly.

Software Engineer

Software Engineers aid in solving world problems by creating and designing computer systems and applications.

Web Developer

A Web Developer creates websites and is responsible for maintaining them and evaluating their performance.

Program Options

Computer Science Major

Our major in computer science consists of a common set of foundation courses, which prepare students in the basics of understanding how computers work. The foundation provides skills for how to configure, manage, and program computers to assist in human flourishing.

Students work with their adviser to select a set of specialization courses to provide the expertise needed for work in a particular field or sub-area of computing. Examples of specializations include systems administrator, business programmer, system analyst, data science, graphics animator, and digital humanities.

To learn more, you can also view the program strengths and learning outcomes for this program.

Dordt’s computer science program will help you develop skills and understanding to excel the demanding field of computer technology. Our professors will teach you to be a responsible, well-trained professional who can learn new skills, work well with others, and understand the broader context of technological processes.

Students looking to get a degree in computer science will take a variety of computer science and mathematics courses. Additionally, students will need to produce an individual studies project and perform an internship or approved undergraduate research experience.

After completing two semesters of the computer science curriculum (with a minimum of one semester at Dordt University), students seeking the computer science major must apply to be officially accepted into the program. Typically, this takes place as part of participating in the Computer Science 109 careers seminar course. To be accepted into the computer science program, students must:

  • Review the program’s mission and curricular objectives and outcomes. Students will reaffirm their commitment to the program objectives and outcomes as they partner with faculty in the learning process.
  • In consultation with computer science faculty, create an approved specialization plan in the computer science program and provide an updated program of study plan.
  • Achieve a C- or better in each of Computer Science 115, 120, 204, 205, 215, 315, Mathematics 152, and a passing grade in Computer Science 109; along with an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Then students must select 18 elective credits from any department that will make up a specification that relates to the student's desired vocation. These courses must be approved by the department.

In this major, all students will take three semesters of programming along with coursework in networking, computer architecture, systems analysis and software design, and societal issues in computing. In addition, all emphases within the major require at least one semester of calculus and a course on discrete structures, to provide students with a solid foundation for abstract reasoning.

Technology changes constantly; focusing only on current computing knowledge and skills would lead to students having outdated information before they even graduate. A key to our curriculum is teaching current computing skills within the context of a deeper understanding of computing systems, allowing students to adapt to rapid changes in technology during their time at Dordt and for the remainder of their professional careers.

Core Classes
  • Callings and Careers in Computer-Related Fields: A survey of the various careers and fields of service that are possible in the field of computing. Topics include the breadth of opportunities available, insight into how to prepare, and guidance on selecting a unique set of concentration courses for the computer science major, and application to the computer science program.
  • Programming I: An introduction to computer programming. Basic notions of abstraction, elementary composition principles, the fundamental data structures, and object-oriented programming technique are introduced. Topics include variables, control structures, arrays, and input/output.
  • Selected Topics in Programming: An extension to the topics included in Computer Science 115 that will be beneficial to further study in computer science. Topics include a survey of other programming languages, an introduction to GUI and event-driven programming, and an introduction to the syntax of the C language.
  • Information Systems Design: An introduction to the nature of information systems, the conceptual foundations and use of such systems. Topics include information systems project management, requirements analysis and use cases, structural and behavioral modeling, prototyping, use of the Unified Modeling Language, and an introduction to SQL database access.
  • Introduction to Data Communications: A study of the concepts, issues, and technology involved in the transmission of data. Topics include network configurations, communications protocols, data coding schemes, and transmission hardware. Prerequisite: completion of Core Program mathematics requirement.
  • Computer Systems: An introduction to the organization and inner workings of a modern digital computer and its components. Topics include introductory digital logic and circuits, CPU components, memory systems, input/output, storage systems, and introductory operating systems concepts. Students gain experience in working on computers in the laboratory component of this course. Three lectures and one laboratory period of two hours per week. Strong algebra skills required.
  • Programming II: A continuation of Computer Science 115. The course includes advanced programming techniques, in-depth examination of object-oriented principles, good programming style including documentation, basic data structures including array lists and linked lists, and basic algorithm design, with attention to the sorting problem.
  • Data Structures: A study of the various types of information forms handled by a computer, including the format of data and the design and analysis of algorithms to manipulate data. Topics include the use of functional programming and multi-threaded algorithms.
  • Practicum: Students will be given the opportunity to apply principles and theories learned through course work. The assignment can be an on-campus or off-campus professional experience.
  • Technology and Society: An examination and critique of the relationship of technology to other areas of Western society. During the first half of the course students examine a Christian philosophy of technology and application is made to such problems as the role of the computer, technocracy, appropriate technology, and the historical two-cultures dualism. During its second half, the course focuses on the question of engineering ethics, with particular emphasis on such questions as safety and risk, professional responsibility and authority, whistle blowing, normative socioeconomic structures, and morality in career choice. This course requires the student to write and orally present a significant thesis paper.
  • Calculus I: A study of the basic concepts and techniques of calculus for students in all disciplines. Topics include limits, differentiation, integration, and applications. This course is intended for students without any previous calculus credit.
  • Discrete Structures: A study of topics in discrete mathematics that are relevant to computer science and mathematics, including logic and proof, induction and recursion, elementary set theory, combinatorics, relations and functions, Boolean algebra, and introductory graph theory.
  • Service-Learning
  • Individual Studies
  • Small Group Communication: A study of the theory and practice of group problem-solving in cooperative face-to-face discussion; the development of awareness and understanding of group dynamics, and the presentation of panel, symposium, and dialogue.
  • Interpersonal Communication: The study of concepts, problems, and responsibilities in communication between two or more persons, focusing on conversation with consideration of many variables and contexts.
  • Business and Technical Writing: Students will study the process, application, and characteristics of business and technical writing, and the way in which writing style, strategies, content, and clarity will relate practically to one’s profession. Concentrates on developing competence in a variety of writing tasks commonly performed in business, law, industry, social work, engineering, agriculture, and medicine. Satisfies Core Program writing-intensive requirement.
  • Students will select, in consultation with an ad hoc faculty committee, a set of at least 18 additional credits, from any department
    • These courses must constitute a cohesive preparation for the student’s vocation

See the course catalog for more information.

Noyce Scholars Program

Computer science students can also learn to teach STEM subjects at the secondary or post-secondary level. The Dordt Noyce Scholars Program has been established to encourage STEM students to consider a teaching profession.

Noyce Scholars receive $15,000 scholarships each year to support their progress toward teaching licensure in a STEM field.

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Ready to take the next step?


With experience in a variety of fields, our faculty members are equipped and ready to help you succeed.

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