Friday, January 22, 2010

New Degree in Software Development

The Harding University Computer Science Department is proud to announce a new degree: the B.S. in Software Development (or CS++ as I like to call it smile).

This new degree was suggested by fellow faculty member Gabriel Foust in response to many of our students who wanted to take our elective courses (game programming, security, search engines, compilers, and mobile computing) but couldn't justify the cost of taking additional courses that wouldn't contribute directly to their major. So we created a degree which allows students to take far more CS courses than our previous BS or BA degrees in CS.

The following summary is from Dr. Tim Baird:
In a nutshell, the BS in SD degree is different from the BS in CS in the following ways:
  • some of the courses which were previously elective are now in the CS core (349, 431, and 445)
  • it does not require 19 credits of math, starting with Calc I, although one may have anywhere from 3 to 13 credits of math in this degree if they so desire.
  • it allows for more credits of computer science (the BS in CS allows for 41, this allows for as much as 58 credits)
The BS in SD degree is different from the BA in CS in the following ways:
  • some of the courses which were previously elective are now in the CS core (349, 431, and 445)
  • no minor is required (rather than a minor in some area outside CS, the extra credits that would have been in a minor are all in CS)
  • it allows for more credits of math, if desired, or it may be completed with the same 3 credits of College Algebra as the BA in CS
We anticipate that the job market demand for this major will be essentially the same as for the BS in CS and the BA in CS. After all, those majors are more different from each other than this major is from either of them, and they have traditionally had essentially equal demand.

Tim Baird, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Computer Science


Aside from the job market, the only reason I would tell a person to do a BS in CS instead of SD would be if they were thinking about getting a Masters or PhD in CS. Most universities require a BS in CS which has the required number of math hours, and the SD degree doesn't have that.