SBUBolivar, Missouri Est. 1878

Computer Science major at Southwest Baptist University

Computer science is one of the college degrees in highest demand with 24% growth expected between now and 2020.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2010 and 2020, 62% of the growth in jobs in science-related fields will be in computer science (

SBU’s Computer Science degree is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in software engineering, scientific information processing or graduate study in computer science. The program includes additional courses in mathematics and physics. Most computer science majors finish with a double major in mathematics in four years.

The SBU Advantage

  • SBU's CS degree is fully accredited by ABET, the most widely recognized accreditation standard for engineering and technology programs around the world. It is the only ABET-accredited program at an evangelical institution within a 500 mile radius and SBU is the only Christian college in the nation to have a computer science program accredited by both ABET and ACBSP. (Read more)
  • Students are given a sound educational foundation in the disciplines of information and computer science from a Christian perspective.
  • The CIS Department has established itself as a national leader among CIS departments at Evangelical Christian universities in the U.S.
  • SBU CIS graduates work at some of the best software and engineering companies in the world and have a greater than 98% job placement rate during the past 10 years.

Engaged Learning

Our students design and engineer software used by community businesses and organizations, as well as in educational settings. These practical software development experiences are pervasive in the curriculum, beginning even during the students’ freshman year.

Throughout the course of their senior year, teams of students in the CIS Department will develop a commercial-quality application faith-based companies, not-for-profit charities, and leading American companies. Recent clients include Silver Dollar City, Ozarks Food Harvest, Global Media Outreach, BNSF Railway, and Accenture.

Course Information

All Computer and Information Sciences degrees require completion of a 28-hour core curriculum in addition to general education requirements and graduation requirements. Computer Science students complete an additional 49-50 hours of math, physics, and related coursework. Class subjects include software engineering, mathematics, artificial intelligence, parallel and high performance computing, physics and economics.

Clubs and Organizations

SBU CIS has a student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery and participates in the Association for Information Technology Professionals.

Scholarships & Internships

Top computer science majors frequently receive scholarships related to their major sponsored by donors, alumni, and companies. Sixteen computer science majors have completed paid research internships at the National Labs located in Los Alamos, NM; Oak Ridge, TN; Brookhaven, NY; Chicago, IL; and Hanover, WA. Since 2009, computer science majors have completed paid software development internships at leading software development companies like Accenture (Bolivar, MO), Associated Electric Cooperative (Springfield, MO), ANPAC (Springfield, MO), Cerner Corporation (Kansas City, MO), Leggett & Platt (Joplin, MO), Ungerboek Systems (St. Louis, MO), BNSF (Topeka, KS), Perceptive Software (Kansas City, KS), FIS Global (Little Rock, AR), and Garmin (Kansas City, KS).

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program go on to graduate school or enter the software industry at companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Intel, Motorola, Microsoft, and Google.

According to Forbes Magazine, the highest in-demand degree for 2012 is computer science. Starting salaries for SBU CIS graduates currently fall into the $50,000-$65,000 range.

Special Features

  • Psalm 15: In an effort to encourage dialogue and in hopes of ingraining Christian perspectives in business and computer science students, the College has adopted Psalm 15 as a guiding principle for our students. The College is specifically dedicated to producing “Psalm 15 Professionals” for servant leadership roles in business and computer science. Using Psalm 15 as a basis, eight character traits that should be hallmarks of students and graduates of the College are Integrity, Service, Respect, Charity, Faithfulness, Truthfulness, Humility, and Perseverance.
  • Advisory board: The CIS Advisory Board consists of technology leaders who help set the future direction of the CIS Department. They provide foresight of what industry issues are on the horizon and give feedback on SBU’s program. Industry Advisory Board members come from O’Reilly Automotive, VML, Cerner Corporation, Jack Henry & Associates, ANPAC, and IBM.
  • CIS Research Lab: The CIS Research lab is a Windows 7 100 base TX ethernet networked lab. This lab houses three parallel processing platforms, including a multi-hundred core NVidia systems. The lab is used primarily for senior projects, work study, and research projects. Systems are equipped with dual monitors to allow software to be both viewed and edited at the same time. They have both the Windows 7 platform on them and network access to Linux-based operations.

Degree Requirements

Computer and Information Sciences Core Curriculum

CIS 1001 CIS Seminar
Seminar in Computer and Information Science provides a broad overview of foundational topics related to professional computing. Included in the course are career and internship preparation, the establishment of a digital portfolio, ethics in the technical academic environment, personal and legal issues in technical security, oral and written technical communication, and the role of faith in a computing professional’s life. Prerequisite: CIS1144 with a grade of C or better. One lecture and one lab of 50 minutes each.
CIS 1144 Computer Science I
This course introduces the concepts of computer programming and problem solving and the associated ideas of algorithms and data structures. It is designed to provide the serious computer science student with basic skills and a solid foundation for further study. Includes an introduction to the Java programming language. Three lectures, one lab per week.
CIS 1154 Computer Science II
This course is a continuation of CIS 1144 with emphasis upon good programming methodology (software engineering). The data structures of linked lists, stacks, queues and trees are developed along with an introduction to file structures. Recursion, searching and sorting algorithms are analyzed for order as well as time and space efficiency . Parallel sorting and searching algorithms are introduced. Java is utilized for programming. Three lectures and one lab per week.
CIS 2213 Systems Analysis and Design
Study of the phases a system project using current design tools and techniques. Includes an introduction and overview of several development methodologies with in depth study of one development methodology.
CIS 2233 Machine Organization
A survey of the electronic and mechanical components of a computer, including processing units, memory and I/O devices. Also includes an introduction to assembly language programming.
CIS 3323 Database Management
A study of the concepts and structures necessary to design and implement a database system.
CIS 3333 Algorithms and Data Structures
This course presents an advanced study of algorithms and data structures. Topics include precise iterative and recursive runtime and storage usage calculation and optimization, linear runtime sorting, graphs, Red-Black trees, AVL trees, B-trees, file structures and external sorting. Parallel sorting and searching algorithms are introduced. A non-object oriented language with manual memory management such as C is utilized for programming assignments.
CIS 4443 Networks
This course examines the physical and conceptual structures underlying local and wide area networks. Topics include network topologies and architectures, common protocols, and error and flow control mechanisms. Programming assignments will include multithreaded clients and servers.
CIS 4462 Applied Software Engineering I
A comprehensive software engineering project conducted by a team of students. Students are required to define, design and do the initial implementation of a practical, commercial quality software project.
CIS 4472 Applied Software Engineering II
A continuation of CIS 4462. Students are required to complete the project started in CIS 4462.

Support Classes

CIS 3353 Survey of Programming Languages and Artificial Intelligence
Survey of programming languages including their structure, syntax, semantics, uses and design. Methods used for representing knowledge will be studied including algorithms for learning.
CIS 4423 Operating Systems
Introduction to the design and architecture of operating systems.
CIS 4433 Advanced Discrete Math & Numerical Analysis
A study of mathematical concepts in a computing context. Topics include numerical integration, systems of equations, root-finding, curve-fitting, number systems, combinatorics, and discrete probability. Emphasis will be placed on computer-based solutions with implications for programming, algorithm complexity, data representation and approximation, and error measurement.
MAT 1173 Discrete Mathematics
This course is a study of mathematical concepts that are not dependent upon the continuum. Topics will include sets, logic, combinatorics, probability, functions, relations, matrix algebra, Boolean algebra and graph theory. The concept of proof and the nature of proof will also be explored.
MAT 1195 Analytics and Calculus I
This course studies graphs, functions, plane analytical geometry, limits, continuity, derivatives, velocity-acceleration, rates of change, maxima and minima, differentials, the Mean Value Theorems for integrals and derivatives, antiderivatives, definite integrals, area, and methods of finding volumes.
MAT 2255 Analytics and Calculus II
This course examines derivatives and integrals of functions and their inverses including exponential and logarithmic functions. It also investigates techniques of integration, further applications of integrals, sequences, series, polar coordinates, applications of parametric equations, and conic sections.
MAT 2263 Analytics and Calculus III
This course examines curves and surfaces in three dimensions, derivatives and integrals of functions of more than one variable, and vector calculus.
MAT 3323 Linear Algebra
A study of systems of linear equations, matrices, determinants, vector products, vector spaces, linear transformations and quadratic forms.
MAT 3343 Probability and Statistics
This course is a Calculus-based investigation of the concepts of probability and statistics including sample spaces, methods of enumeration, discrete and continuous functions or random variables and their distributions, conditional probability, Chebyshev inequalities, central limit theorem, regression and correlation, and sampling and hypothesis testing.
PHY 2215 University Physics I
A rigorous calculus-based physics course emphasizing mechanics, heat and wave motion. Designed for pre-engineers, computer science and physical science majors. Four lectures, one laboratory period each week.
LDR 4043 Ethics and Professional Development
A senior-level course that equips the graduating student with the life skills and information necessary for making the transition from college to the professional world. Emphases will be placed on career development, etiquette, and personal financial planning. Particular attention will be given to the role of personal and professional ethics from a Christian worldview.
ECO 2023 Microeconomics
A study of economic principles with emphasis upon microeconomics. Includes a study of economics of the firm, consumer demand theory and current problems.
Choose one of the following:
CIS 2002 Secure Software
A study of the most common security-related coding flaws in modern computer programs. Students will develop and refine secure programming techniques through correcting flaws in example programs and creation of their own secure programs. Uses the Unix operating system.
CIS 2253 Web Engineering and Development
A study of the development techniques, protocols, and approaches to engineering web-based software systems. Topics include HTML, CSS, XML, CGI, PHP, Javascript, Ajax, DOM, client/server computing and Ruby on Rails. Issues related to design, maintainability, metrics, security, and performance are addressed.
CIS 3113 Interface and Interaction Design
A study of interaction theory and interface design for computing devices. Applied approaches are used to address issues in the development of mobile, web and other screen-based interfaces. Includes an introduction to Microsoft Visual Studio.
CIS 3313 Advanced Systems Analysis and Design
This course presents an advanced study of analysis and design methodologies, techniques and tools. Topics include object-oriented methodologies, prototyping, client/server architectures, Joint Application Development, Rapid Application Development, human interface design and CASE. A project based approach is utilized.
Plus an additional five hours from physics, chemistry, biology or mathematics.