Computer Science

Computer programs improve lives, the function of organizations, and the management of resources. Why step back when you can move the world forward, especially in the field of IT?

At SAU, you'll gain the skills to keep business, government and and society running smooth, secure, and always advancing. Whether you want to design algorithms or enterprise software solutions, we can prepare you for a successful career.

If you're planning to transfer or complete your computer science degree at SAU, we have a planning guide that maps out your remaining courses.

You can also earn degrees in Cybersecurity and Computer Network Administration.

Our graduates work at Apple Inc., Carleton Life Support, Google, HNI Corporation, Southern Imperial Inc., and many others.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Diverse Faculty
  • Ethics-Based Computer Science

student and professor

student at computer

students in class

Our faculty focus on current technology and innovations in computer science, so you'll learn to build technical proficiency, translate theory, and have ample opportunities to apply your skills. We've had students successfully compete and complete highly-selective internships with global IT firms.

Read our Computer Science Fact Sheet (pdf)

More Information on the Computer Science Program

What will I learn?

Your studies will concentrate on application development, computer architecture, software engineering, and operating systems.

Courses include programming, data structures, legal and ethical issues, network and data communications, systems analysis and design, web programming, and database management systems. Read descriptions of other Computer Science courses

Our internship program gives you quality, hands-on experience. SAU students have worked side-by-side with network and technology experts at a number of regional and national corporations, including the National Security Administration, Deere & Company, Arconic (formerly Alcoa), and Genesis Health Systems. In fact, you will have your pick at regional internships since they often have more available positions than students.

Many students choose to continue their education at SAU with our Master of Science in Information Technology Management. Become proficient in analyzing, creating, and managing information systems for your organization.

All SAU computer science programs are strengthened by our CIS Alumni Advisory Council. These alumni are well-established, successful IT professionals and industry leaders from across the country, and they are invested in the university and care about our students. They provide input and feedback on our curriculum and advise us on industry trends, which helps ensure your education is relevant and strong.

What Are My Unique Learning Opportunities?

Earn your master's degree in one year! As a sophomore at SAU, you can apply to the Master of Science in Information Technology Management program that allows you to earn your undergraduate and advanced degree in only five years, saving your time and money.

What are some possible job outcomes?

Computer Science graduates usually work in software and technology industries, filling the roles of network or systems administrator, network engineer, or technician.

You can work in a number of fields, including business, government, education, science, energy, and more!

What have alumni of this program done?
  • Rachel VanderHeiden '98, '00, '03 MBA, is an IT Leader for Deere & Company. "The coaching I received from professors helped me get multiple internships and part-time jobs throughout college."
  • Mitch Myers '86, a vice president of customer success at BMC Software in Plano, Texas, is confident the computer science and business classes at SAU helped him "learn how to learn. It was less about specific skills such as programming and more about learning how to think about business and strategies."
  • Randy Vogel '87, a Cloud Adoption Leader for IBM, knows the liberal arts background he gained at SAU helped in his success. "My first job was as a programmer, so the different programming classes were extremely valuable – not just for programming, but for problem-solving skills as well. My subsequent roles began to take on leadership responsibilities, so the liberal arts exposure and small class sizes with lots of interaction were key to help me transition from doer to manager."

Kevin Lillis, PhD, Chair and Professor

Gary Monnard, PhD, Professor

Travis Eygabroad, Assistant Professor

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

CIS Department majors/minors must pass CSCI 140, CSCI 195, and CSCI 270 with a C or better.

View Computer Science courses and descriptions in the online course catalog

CSCI 140 Foundations of Computer Science
CSCI 195 Programming I
CSCI 270 Networks and Data Communications
CSCI 281 Discrete Structures
CSCI 294 Contemporary Programming Topics
CSCI 295 Programming II
CSCI 310 Data Structures
CSCI 435 Legal and Ethical Issues in Computing

Select five courses from:
CSCI 300 Systems Analysis and Design
CSCI 320 Computer Architecture
CSCI 330 Web Programming
CSCI 360 Database Management Systems
CSCI 393 Algorithm Design and Analysis
CSCI 400 Programming Language Concepts
CSCI 410 Operating Systems
MATH 191 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I

Select 9 credits of CSCI at the 200 level or above

Minor in Computer Science (18 credits)

CIS Department majors/minors must pass CSCI 140, CSCI 195, and CSCI 270 with a C or better.

CSCI 140 Foundations of Computer Science
CSCI 195 Programming I
CSCI 270 Networks and Data Communications
CSCI 295 Programming II
CSCI 360 Database Management Systems

One programming course from:
CSCI 294 Contemporary Programming Topics
CSCI 310 Data Structures
CSCI 330 Web Programming

Click here to read course descriptions for Computer Science

Scholarships and Grants


St. Ambrose offers excellent scholarships and grants, work-study and other financial aid options! Full-time students may be eligible based on your strong academic performance in college, your talent in fine arts or athletics or your demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code for the FAFSA is 001889.

First-Year Scholarships and Institutional Aid 2024-2025

Merit-Based Scholarships

4.0 GPA: $24,000
3.75-3.99 GPA: $22,000
3.0-3.749 GPA: $20,000
2.5-2.99 GPA: $18,000
2.0-2.49 GPA: $14,000
If GPA is 2.0-2.49, additional documents and review required for admission.

Merit-Based Scholarships

4.o GPA: $17,000
3.75-3.99 GPA: $16,000
3.0-3.749 GPA: $15,000
2.5-2.99 GPA: $14,000
2.0-2.49 GPA: $13,000
If GPA is 2.0-2.49, additional documents and review required for admission.


Ambrose Advantage Full-Tuition Scholarship
Pell-eligible Iowa residents, learn more here

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarship: $500 per year
Parent is a St. Ambrose graduate

Catholic Traditions Scholarship: $1,000 per year
Students with Catholic religious denomination or plans to graduate from Catholic high school 

Minority Scholarship: $500 per year
Ethnically diverse student

Athletic Scholarships: varies
Performance and ability

Fine Arts Scholarships: varies
Performance and ability in music, art and theatre

Faith Learning Justice Campus Ministry Scholarships: $2,000 per year
Recognition of involvement in church and community service and interest in strengthening faith and growing as a leader in campus ministry

Scholarships are determined by unweighted GPA, and are renewable for four years of undergraduate student. Increases in scholarship awards due to change in GPA will be reviewed until March 1.

State and Federal Grants, Work Study

Grants are money that you don't repay, and they can come from government or private sources. SAU receives all financial aid funds directly - including loans and grants - then applies them to your account: once in the fall term and once in the spring term. Grants can be used to cover your tuition, books, and housing costs. You must apply for grants each academic year. If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. For all of these grants, you must complete the Free Application Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as it is available.

Iowa Tuition Grant
To be eligible for the Iowa Tuition Grant, you must be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents and currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible Iowa college or university (SAU is eligible). Iowa College Aid administers need-based college financial aid for Iowans, such as the Iowa Tuition Grant.
Award: $7,500 maximum

Federal Pell Grant
Awarded to students of the highest need based on how much your family can contribute to your education. The U.S. Department of Education sets a threshold. Then, when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it computes where you land within that threshold and determines if you qualify for the grant and for how much.
Award: $6,895 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
You must file a FAFSA to qualify for a Pell Grant. This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have submitted all required documents for review and in time for the review to be complete. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG, the awards will appear on your financial aid award letter.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Must secure campus employment.
Award: $2,560

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 
Provides aid to students intending to teach in a high-need field at a school that serves low-income families (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education or a state education agency). Review criteria and all details here.
Award: up to $4,000

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Student Financial Services where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.

Tim Yara '18

Tim is living his dream, but it wasn't always easy. At SAU, he never journeyed alone. He was challenged by faculty to examine every aspect of the computer science field and build new skills, and they supported Tim when he struggled. His holistic education, drive, and academic success led to a highly-exclusive internship in Chicago and a full-time position after he graduated.

Read Tim's story

David Pearson

Master of Science in Information Technology Management,Legal Operations Manager, John Deere,Class of 2010

Our unique MSITM program gives working professionals such as David the skills to successfully manage and lead within IT. We are the only university in the Midwest offering this degree, taught by IT and business professors who are experts in their field.

See My Story

Apply Visit Info


Kevin Lillis, PhD, Chairperson

Computer and Information Sciences
Ambrose Hall 423
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

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