Computer Science - Liberal Arts

Computer Science - Liberal Arts

Explore Computer Science

Computer Science is all about solving problems with the aid of computers. Making hardware and software work together to solve problems is more than a technical pursuit – it’s highly creative and often a lot of fun.

Programming is a basic skill, but also just the beginning. Skilled computer scientists (programmers, systems analysts, software engineers, etc.) are in high demand and this trend is expected to continue to grow. 

As a Liberal Arts student, you will take core humanities requirements while choosing interesting electives in computer science. With Kirkwood, transferring and earning a degree in computer science is attainable and affordable. 

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Kirkwood can help you better prepare for a variety of rewarding careers in computer science. We’ll help you explore all your options after graduation – and provide exciting experiences in and out of the classroom to find the best path for you. And, with the demand for jobs within the computer science field on the rise, the future looks very bright for Kirkwood graduates.

Each year, many students successfully transfer their Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degrees from Kirkwood to four-year institutions in Iowa and across the country. If you are planning to transfer to a four-year program, you will work very closely with advisors in our Advising and Transfer Center. They will make sure you have everything completed for a seamless transfer.   

Our advisors help take away any guesswork and confusion, ensuring you meet Kirkwood’s graduation requirements, as well as the admission requirements and transferability of courses to your transfer school. By meeting with our advisors early and often, you’ll be better prepared for the next steps in continuing your education after Kirkwood.

Use our STEM Advisor tool as an additional resource to help you plan and view transfer plans of study with universities and colleges in Iowa. 

Kirkwood is the affordable option! We have more than $3 million in scholarships available every year — and it's just one easy application.

The following tools can help set you up for a successful career in computer science:

  • Career Coach is an incredible resource for exploring your career options in computer science. Get access to the most current data on beginning, average and upper salaries for positions right here in Iowa. You’ll also be linked to current employment postings, as well as associated education and training information.
  • STEM Jobs connects today’s students with the in-demand careers of tomorrow in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Why should you join one of Kirkwood’s special-interest student clubs? Students actively involved and engaged with clubs and activities on campus perform better academically. Plus, involvement in clubs related to your interest area helps round out your education. Below are clubs specifically related to students interested in the sciences. 


The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Club is open to all students. Come join us for a range of activities at our meetings in Linn Hall. We also participate conferences and have an end of the year trip in May. 

LSAMP IInspire Program

The Iowa Illinois Nebraska STEM Partnership for Innovation in Research and Education (IINSPIRE) project is part of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program. LSAMP is a National Science Foundation (NSF) alliance among sixteen two- and four-year colleges and universities working together to broaden the participation of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in the Midwest. 

Sample Course Work

Introduces computer programming including data types, expressions, input/output, control structures, functional and object-oriented programming, and simple data structures. Emphasizes problem-solving skills through program refinement, documentation, and programming style. Credits: 4, Hours: (4/0/0/0), Prereq: MAT-102 or MAT-708; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

Continues the study of program design and construction begun in CSC-142. Emphasizes data structures and practice in their specification, design, implementation, and use. Includes container classes, arrays, lists, stacks, queues, trees, graphs, algorithm analysis, object-oriented programming, data abstraction, and searching and sorting techniques. Credits: 4, Hours: (4/0/0/0), Prereq: CSC-142 or CIS-175 or CIS-176; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

Builds on the foundation of basic programming skills acquired in CSC-142. Emphasizes the design and development of software systems. Includes user interface programming, graphics and multimedia, networking, and concurrency. Provides experience developing software over an extended time period through long-term projects. Credits: 4, Hours: (4/0/0/0), Prereq: CSC-142; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

Emphasizes the organization and operation of computer systems at the assembly-language level. Covers mapping of statements and constructs in a high-level language onto sequences of machine instructions, as well as the internal representation of simple data types and structures. Offers programming practice with an assembly language to provide practical application of concepts presented in class. Credits: 4, Hours: (4/0/0/0), Prereq: CSC-142; Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A

Allows qualified honors student to pursue a special concentration of study under the guidance of a faculty member. Requires completion of an honors project contract. May be taken more than once. Credits: 1, Hours: (1/0/0/0), Arts & Sciences Elective Code: A; Comments: Permission of instructor and dean.


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