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New IUPUI degree offers career flexibility for computer science students

School of Science
School of Science


October 8, 2012

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The Department of Computer and Information Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has launched a new Bachelor of Arts degree program geared toward students who want a strong computing degree and the flexibility to take that core knowledge to any industry growing through technology.

“Computer science today is about much more than just hardline coding or software design,” said Shiaofen Fang, professor and chair of the department in the School of Science.

“While there is a great need for those careers in the tech industry, many other industries need skilled people with diverse backgrounds to understand specific ways to apply this technology,” Fang added. “Graduates of this degree will be extremely valuable problem solvers for their chosen industry.”

 The CIS department will discuss all of its degree options at an open house planned for 9 a.m. on Oct. 12. Register here.

The Bachelor of Arts in applied computer science requires courses in software development, data analysis and Web development. The wide array of electives available will allow graduates to effectively leverage technology in any fields they are passionate about pursuing as a career.

The 120-credit-hour degree includes more courses in the humanities and liberal arts but fewer mathematics courses than a Bachelor of Science. The B.A. in applied computer science, for example, requires a foreign language but does not require calculus or physics courses.

“The broad applications of this B.A. degree allow students to not be locked on to one specific tool," Fang said. "Because they will have a good knowledge of the theories of computer science, they are prepared to implement the best processes using a variety of computing tools.”

The B.A. degree also will prepare students for jobs that are in high demand but lacking the necessary pool of skilled graduates to fill them. Some of these high-need positions include database developers, system and network administrators, and multimedia developers.

The computer and informational sciences industry is predicted to have the highest job growth of all the sciences. These jobs pay above average for baccalaureate graduates and prepare students well for continuing on to graduate or professional schools.

As part of the program launch, the School of Science has negotiated an articulation agreement with Ivy Tech Community College, which recently began an associate degree program in computer science. The agreement calls for a seamless transfer of two years of credit for Ivy Tech graduates in computer science and allows students to remain on track to graduate from IUPUI with a bachelor’s degree after four years.

The department also offers minors in theoretical and applied computer science as well as a certificate in applied computer science, a 19-hour program designed to provide a broad introduction to computer science and the tools for students to create technology solutions to apply in their field of interest.

 Specific information and course requirements on the B.A. in Applied Computer Science program can be found here.

The School of Science is committed to excellence in teaching, research and service in the biological, physical, behavioral and mathematical sciences. The School is dedicated to being a leading resource for interdisciplinary research and science education in support of Indiana's effort to expand and diversify its economy.