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Computer Science, B.A.

Computer science is an exciting, rapidly developing field that has vast influence on modern society. Computer science encompasses a broad range of theory and applications. Due to the emphasis on problem-solving skills, computer science is an excellent major for students going into many fields, including technology, business, medicine and law.

The Department of Computer Science at Saint Louis University offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. The B.A. curriculum includes a broad liberal arts study and can be combined with a second major or minor in fields such as art, criminal science or psychology. 

SLU's accelerated master's program allows SLU undergraduate computer science majors to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years. Students combine a B.A. or B.S. in Computer Science with a master's degree in computer science, software engineering, artificial intelligence, or bioinformatics and computational biology.

Program Highlights
  • A choice of engaging introductory courses, allowing students to better connect the application of computer science to their own interests.
  • Courses that are taught in computer labs to allow for hands-on learning and with small class sizes that allow for rich student-faculty interactions.
  • A position within the College of Arts and Sciences that allows students to see the impact and application of computing throughout society.

Curriculum Overview

Students completing the Bachelor of Arts curriculum in computer science obtain a rigorous, comprehensive background in the discipline. With this curriculum, they are afforded time to delve into other academic interests, including pre-professional studies or a minor or major in another discipline. Students should consult with their advisor to tailor their computer science electives to their individual goals.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Because of our location in the Midtown area of St. Louis, our students have access to a strong technology community, with operations for many Fortune 500 companies and a vibrant startup community. This provides outstanding opportunities for summer internships, part-time work during the academic year, and future jobs after graduation.

Our campus is within walking distance of the Cortex Innovation Community, a vibrant 200-acre (and growing) innovation hub and technology district. Cortex is home to SLU's Research Innovation Group which works on technology transfer and commercial partnerships. Cortex is also home to the weekly Venture Cafe (every Thursday from 3-8 p.m.), which is a great place for students to connect with members of the tech community in a friendly and informal setting. Also in downtown St. Louis is the T-REX Technology Entrepreneur Center, a coworking space and technology incubator.

Our faculty have integrated students into their research programs in a variety of ways. Some of our undergraduate students have participated in REUs (research experience for undergraduates), capstone projects and independent research that has resulted in scholarly publications with their faculty mentors.  Many students have had opportunities to travel to conferences and present their work.

Careers

Careers related to computer science are routinely found on various "best jobs" lists because of their wonderful combination of excellent pay, satisfying work-life balance, and personal reward in seeing the great impact that computing can have throughout society. As a sample of such listings: 

  • U.S. News 100 Best Jobs list for 2021 named software developer as #2. The top 100 also included data scientist (#8), IT manager (#12), information security analyst (#15), computer systems analyst (#47), computer network architect (#51), database administrator (#55), web developer (#59),  computer systems administrator (#86).
  • Glassdoor's 50 Best Jobs in America list for 2021 named java developer as #1 and data scientist as #2, and many other technology positions appear within the top 25: enterprise architect (#4), devops engineer (#5), information security engineer (#6), mobile engineer (#8), software engineer (#9), front end engineer (#11), back end engineer (#16), machine learning engineer (#17), cloud engineer (#23), UX designer (#24).
  • Indeed.com's Best Jobs of 2020 named software architect as #1 and full stack developer as #2. Also included in the top 25 were java developer (#7), data scientist (#8), IT security specialist (#9), data engineer (#12) and cloud engineer (#20).

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to analyze a complex computing problem and apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
  2. Graduates will be able to design, implement, evaluate and test a software system that meets a given set of computing requirements.
  3. Graduates will be able to apply computer science theory, knowledge of computer systems and software development fundamentals to produce computing-based solutions.
  4. Graduates will be able to communicate effectively to both professional and general audiences in both oral and written forms.
  5. Graduates will be able to recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.
  6. Graduates will be able to function effectively as a member of a team in developing computing technology and solving technical problems.

Computer science students must complete a minimum total of 53 credits for the major.

Core Requirement
College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
Required Computer Science Courses
Select a CSCI 10xx: Introduction to Computer Science3
CSCI 1300Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming4
CSCI 2100Data Structures4
CSCI 2300Object-Oriented Software Design3
CSCI 2500Computer Organization and Systems3
CSCI 2510Principles of Computing Systems3
CSCI 4961Capstone Project I2
CSCI 4962Capstone Project II2
Select one Systems Elective course3
Select one Theory course3
Two additional 3000 or 4000 level CSCI elective courses6
Required Mathematics Courses
MATH 1510Calculus I 4
MATH 1520Calculus II4
MATH 1660Discrete Mathematics3
One additional MATH/STAT course at the 2000-level or higher3
Required Computer Ethics
PHIL 3410Computer Ethics 3
General Electives8
Total Credits120

In addition to the major, this course fulfills the core requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Introduction to Computer Science

CSCI 1010
Introduction to Computer Science: Principles
CSCI 1020
Introduction to Computer Science: Bioinformatics
CSCI 1030
Introduction to Computer Science: Game Design
CSCI 1040
Introduction to Computer Science: Mobile Computing
CSCI 1050
Introduction to Computer Science: Multimedia
CSCI 1060
Introduction to Computer Science: Scientific Programming
CSCI 1070
Introduction to Computer Science: Taming Big Data
CSCI 1080
Introduction to Computer Science: World Wide Web
CSCI 1090
Introduction to Computer Science: Special Topics
With permission, a computing-intensive course from another discipline may be substituted. Examples of such courses include:
BME 2000
Biomedical Engineering Computing
CVNG 1500
Civil Engineering Computing
STAT 3850
Foundation of Statistics

Systems Electives Courses

CSCI 4500
Advanced Operating Systems
CSCI 4530
Computer Security
CSCI 4550
Computer Networks
CSCI 4610
Concurrent and Parallel Programming
CSCI 4620
Distributed Computing

Theory Courses 

CSCI 3100
Algorithms
CSCI 3200
Programming Languages

Continuation Standards

After declaring a computer science major, students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.00 in computer science courses by the conclusion of their second year as a major, and maintain such a GPA at the conclusion of each semester thereafter. Furthermore, students should require at most two attempts to successfully complete any computer science courses required for the major (where an unsuccessful attempt is considered a "D" or "F" for courses numbered 2100 and lower, and an "F" in higher-level courses).

Students are also expected to make adequate progress in the major, typically by enrolling in at least one computer science course per semester until completing their coursework (with exceptions made for premed scholars during their first year, and all students if studying abroad or facing other such extenuating circumstances).

Program Notes

At most, three credit hours of internship with industry courses can be applied to the degree.

Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here: https://www.slu.edu/core/index.php
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-9
Fine Arts3
Literature6
Mathematics3
Natural Science6
Philosophy9
Social Science6
Theology9
World History6
Total Credits57-66

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Nation, Identity and Literature (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses.

    In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CSCI 10xx: Introduction to Computer Science 3
MATH 1660 Discrete Mathematics 3
CoreScience 3
ENGL 1900
or ENGL 1940
Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research
or Advanced Writing
3
THEO 1000 Theological Foundations 3
 Credits15
Spring
CSCI 1300 Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming 4
MATH 1510 Calculus I 4
CoreForeign Language 1020 3
PHIL 1050 Introduction to Philosophy: Self and Reality 3
 Credits14
Year Two
Fall
CSCI 2100 Data Structures 4
CSCI 2500 Computer Organization and Systems 3
MATH 1520 Calculus II 4
CoreForeign Language 2010 3
CoreScience 3-4
 Credits17-18
Spring
CSCI 2300 Object-Oriented Software Design 3
CSCI 2510 Principles of Computing Systems 3
Additional Mathematics/Statistics (2000+) 3
CoreScience 3-4
CoreLiterature 3
 Credits15-16
Year Three
Fall
Systems Elective Course 3
CSCI 3000+Elective 3
PHIL 2050 Ethics 3
HIST 1110 Origins of the Modern World to 1500 3
CoreSocial Science 3
 Credits15
Spring
CSCI 3000+Elective 3
CoreTheology Elective 2xxx 3
PHIL 3410 Computer Ethics 3
HIST 1120 Origins of the Modern World (1500 to Present) 3
CoreSocial Science 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
CSCI 4961 Capstone Project I 2
CSCI Theory Course 3
CoreTheology 3xxx 3
CoreCultural Diversity in the U.S. 3
General Elective 3
 Credits14
Spring
CSCI 4962 Capstone Project II 2
CoreLiterature 3
CoreFine and Performing Arts 3
CoreGlobal Citizenship 3
General Elective 4
 Credits15
 Total Credits120-122

Introduction to Computer Science

CSCI 1010
Introduction to Computer Science: Principles
CSCI 1020
Introduction to Computer Science: Bioinformatics
CSCI 1030
Introduction to Computer Science: Game Design
CSCI 1040
Introduction to Computer Science: Mobile Computing
CSCI 1050
Introduction to Computer Science: Multimedia
CSCI 1060
Introduction to Computer Science: Scientific Programming
CSCI 1070
Introduction to Computer Science: Taming Big Data
CSCI 1080
Introduction to Computer Science: World Wide Web
CSCI 1090
Introduction to Computer Science: Special Topics
With permission, a computing-intensive course from another discipline may be substituted. Examples of such courses include:
BME 2000
Biomedical Engineering Computing
CVNG 1500
Civil Engineering Computing
STAT 3850
Foundation of Statistics

Systems Elective Courses

CSCI 4500
Advanced Operating Systems
CSCI 4530
Computer Security
CSCI 4550
Computer Networks
CSCI 4610
Concurrent and Parallel Programming
CSCI 4620
Distributed Computing

Theory Courses 

CSCI 3100
Algorithms
CSCI 3200
Programming Languages

Students can complete a B.A. in computer science at SLU’s campus in Madrid; they may also transfer freely between the Madrid and St. Louis campuses.

Learn More

2+SLU programs are formal  transfer agreements for students seeking an associate degree at a partner institution.