Applied Computer Science, Bachelor of Science
Picture yourself rolling out your own breakthrough software to be the next Google or YouTube, working on the next generation of computer gaming engines, or developing new applications at Microsoft, IBM, or Intel. Whether you start a career right away or pursue graduate study first, the Department of Computer Science will help build a platform for your high-tech dreams.
If you're seeking a career in smaller scale, hands-on applied programming, our program might just get you there. Prepare to hit the career-ground running with our innovative Design4Practice Program. This sequence of team-based design courses focuses on implementation of real-world projects, simulating the highly integrated and globally distributed software development environments emerging in the modern corporate world. Work on project design teams with students from other disciplines to create software, building the technical and professional skills necessary for success in the expanding universe of high-tech. Thinking of studying abroad to take advantage of global career trends? We strongly encourage international study and facilitate internships in other countries. Wherever your imagination takes you, a computer science education at Northern Arizona University will open new doors.
This program offers students the opportunity to explore such topics as: data mining (through the Center for Data Insight), parallel algorithms, distributed systems, artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic, neural networks, evolutionary programming, and modeling reactive systems as well as foundation work in programming languages, software engineering, virtual collaborative environments, and user interfaces.
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Career Accordion Open
Career opportunities that might be pursued:
- Software consulting
- Bio-informatics and data management
- Graphics and game development
- Defense software analysis
With further education, one of these paths is possible:
- University professor
Requirements Accordion Closed
To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.
- All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
- All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
- At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
- At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
- A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
Overview Accordion Closed
In addition to University Requirements:
- At least 19 units of preprofessional requirements (some of which also count towards liberal studies requirements)
- At least 65 units of major courses
- Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements
- Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units
Please note that students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.
|Minimum Units for Completion||120|
|Highest Mathematics Required||MAT 226|
|Additional Fees/Program Fees||Required|
|University Honors Program||Optional|
|Some online/blended coursework||Required|
|AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-S||Recommended|
|Progression Plan Link||View Progression Plan|
Computer science and software engineering are terms used to describe a diverse discipline of computing professionals who apply mathematics, computer science, and engineering principles to the design, analysis, implementation, and maintenance of software systems. Computer scientists and software engineers pursue careers designing and building software, developing effective ways to solve computing problems, and devising new and better methods of using computers to address problems in the arts, the sciences, industry, and society. Computer scientists and software engineers must be master problem solvers who understand how to analyze a problem, discern the fundamental requirements for implementing a solution, design and analyze potential solutions, implement solutions using appropriate technologies, manage and work in multidisciplinary teams, design appropriate software tests, and maintain software after it has been deployed.
In a world where communication, commerce, manufacturing, education, government, and entertainment depend on software systems it's easy to understand how computer scientists and software engineers make a difference.
While both the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) and the Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science (BSACS) share some of the same core curriculum and many final career outcomes they are differentiated by their focus.
BSCS students will have gained greater exposure to higher mathematics and the theory of computing. Exposure to rigorous algorithmic analysis, theories of computation, and the connection between language and computation give these students the skills and background to be successful developing high performance systems, complex algorithms, and developing software that pushes the boundaries of what is possible with computation.
BSACS students will have gained greater exposure to the practice and craft of software development and software engineering. BSACS students will be exposed to systematic approaches to software development, which give these students the skills and background to be successful developing large complex software systems, systems with evolving constraints, and systems which require predictability, precision, mitigated risk, or process compliance.
Student Learning Outcomes
By the time students graduate with an Applied Computer Science degree from Northern Arizona University, they will be able to:
- Analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
- Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program’s discipline.
- Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
- Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.
- Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program’s discipline.
- Apply computer science theory and software development fundamentals to produce computing-based solutions.
Details Accordion Closed
This major requires 84 units distributed as follows:
- Preprofessional Requirements: 19 units
- Applied Computer Science Common Courses: 65 units
Take the following 84 units:
Complete each ACS course and CS 486C with a Grade of "C" or better.
Preprofessional Requirements (19 units)
- MAT 136, MAT 226 (7 units)
- (CENE 225, STA 270 or STA 275) (3 units)
- Technical electives at the 200-level or above, from science and engineering disciplines: AST, BIO, CENE (excluding CENE 225), CHM, CS, EE, GLG, GSP, INF, MAT, ME, PHY and STA (excluding STA 270 or STA 275) (9 units).
Major Courses (65 units)
- Core Courses:
- EGR 333W which meets the junior-level writing requirement (3 units)
- CS 486C which meets the senior capstone requirement (4 units)
- CS electives at the 300-level or above. (15 units)
Required courses must be completed with a C or better. No more than one D is allowed in professional and technical electives. Up to six units of letter-graded individualized study (CS 485 or CS 497) may be used to meet degree requirements.
Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.
You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
- PROGRAM FEE INFORMATION
Program fees are established by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). A program fee of $425 per semester has been approved for this program.