B.A. or B.S. in Computer Science

Computer science is the study of problem solving with computers. Computer scientists focus primarily on the science of programming and controlling computers to store, communicate, and retrieve information.

Our computer science curriculum is unique in its opportunities for hands-on learning with individualized guidance from professors. Nearly all required computer science courses include a lab component in which students gain software development skills through both individual and team projects.

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.): prepares you for work as a computing professional, providing breadth through a minor or a second major.
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.): offers greater depth and prepares you for graduate studies as well as computing careers.

Both programs meet national guidelines developed by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the premier computer science professional society. Both programs have at their core a software engineering sequence that explores every aspect of software development from communication with clients through design and implementation. Otterbein computer science professors have real-world experience as software developers in addition to advanced degrees in computer science and extensive teaching experience.

What do Computer Science graduates do?

Careers in computer science involve the development of computer software and the analysis of data. Most computer scientists write and test code, but many work in design and management, especially as their careers progress. Computer scientists develop software for desktop computers, the web, mobile devices, and embedded processors in industries ranging from banking to video games to medical technology to machine learning and beyond. Almost every business needs software developers.

What is the difference between the Computer Science B.S. and B.A. degrees?

The B.S. degree gives you an in-depth education in the theory and practice of computer science and prepares you for graduate studies as well as careers in computing. The B.A. program includes the same core of knowledge as the B.S. degree but is meant to prepare graduates for work as computing professionals. The B.A. has fewer requirements than the B.S., giving you the flexibility to pursue a minor or a second major.

What is a typical starting salary for Computer Science graduates?

The 2020 Salary Survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers projects an average starting salary of over $68,000 for Computer Science graduate. Although Computer Science is one of the best paying majors right out of college, there is significant variation based on the cost of living in a given area.

What kind of company can I work for after I graduate?

Companies of every size in nearly all industries develop software both for internal use and to sell. They may employ only a handful of developers or thousands. If you want to work in a particular field, there’s a good chance that they’re hiring computer scientists.

I’ve heard that computer jobs are being outsourced overseas. Why should I pursue a career in Computer Science?

Because demand remains very high! The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that demand for software developers will grow 22% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the national average of jobs.

Will an Otterbein Computer Science degree prepare me for graduate studies?

Yes. The Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science is designed specifically to prepare students for the rigors of advanced studies in computer science as well as immediate employment in the field.

Do you offer a Master’s degree in Computer Science?

Otterbein does not offer a master’s in Computer Science, but most of our graduates who choose to continue their studies are successfully admitted into graduate programs at leading universities.

How large are Computer Science classes?

Computer Science classes taken primarily by students majoring in computer science range in size from 10 to 30 with an average of about 15.

What computer laboratory facilities are available?

There are modern labs housed in Towers and the Point, with state-of-the-art computers and collaborative workspaces. The Point labs dual-boot as Windows and Linux machines. Other computer labs can be found around campus in both academic and residential buildings. For more information, see our Information & Technology Services page.

How do I contact someone for more information about Computer Science at Otterbein?

Complete our information request form or email David Stucki or Barry Wittman. We’ll be happy to answer your questions or arrange a time to meet. see our faculty page for more information about us.

Student Learning Outcomes University Learning Goals (KMERI*)
1. Students are proficient in logic and discrete mathematics. Knowledgeable
2. Students can methodically solve algorithmic problems in at least one programming language. Knowledgeable, Multi-literate
3. Students develop and understanding of the recurring themes of abstraction and computation. Engaged
4. Students are proficient in a software development paradigm. Knowledgeable
5. Students can apply development practices and processes to a variety of problems. Inquisitive
6. Students can independently learn and apply new methods and tools. Inquisitive
7. Students can effectively present a curricular topic to an audience. Multi-literate
8. Students can produce written documents describing project specifications and design. Multi-literate
9. Students can effectively collaborate in team projects. Engaged
10. Students recognize the unique ethical responsibilities of computer scientists and are familiar with the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Responsible

*NOTE: KMERI refers to Otterbein's learning goals. It stands for KnowledgeableMulti-literateEngagedResponsible, and Inquisitive. To learn more about KMERI, visit our University Learning Goals page.