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Computer Science Major

  • Available as major (B.A. and B.S. degree) and minor
    “If we only taught computing knowledge and skills, they’d be outdated before our students graduate. We teach how to study and learn new technology. We give them what they need to easily adapt as the field changes. Many of our graduates are developing software, and working in a language and environment that didn’t exist when they were at Olivet.”
    Dr. Larry Vail, professor and chair
  • If your passion is to design, develop or maintain computer system software, or to develop computing solutions, a degree in computer science is a perfect match. At Olivet, you will also learn how to be a Christian professional.

    Focus on one or more of these career possibilities:

    • Design and build software, including the areas of web development, interface design, security issues and mobile computing
    • Develop ways to solve computing problems, which requires graduate work at the Ph.D. level, and work for a research university or in an industrial research and development laboratory
    • Devise new and better ways to use computers, including innovation in applying computer technology
    • Plan and manage technology infrastructure in the area of information technology (IT)
    At Olivet, you can:
    • Present your own research and learning during a professional seminar on campus.
    • Participate in interdisciplinary projects, like the recent National Science Foundation grant project.
    • Learn more about other cultures and languages to help you think globally.
    • Discover more opportunities to merge ministry and computing.
    • Choose a study abroad program and experience technology in another country.
    • Develop skills to help you learn quickly and adapt easily to changes in technology.
    • And so much more!

    Putting knowledge to work

    Senior capstone project and senior research problems: Gain valuable research and practical application experience under the guidance of a faculty member. Recent projects include: 

    • “Extending Valgrind to the IBM Blue Gene/P Supercomputer,” Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill., Summer Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI)
    • “XBee Car,” a remote control model car using XBee RF embedded microcontrollers on a Zig-bee wireless network
    • “StarChip8 - A Chip8 System Emulator,” Chip8 game console hardware emulator
    • “Android mobile application design and development: Weight Lifting Training Tracker” 

    Study abroad programs: Two ideal opportunities for computer studies are Korean Nazarene University in Cheonan Republic of Korea, and Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi, Kenya.

    Technology mission trips: Our department’s motto is “Minds for Computing and Hearts for Serving.” Serve on a mission trip with other computer science students. Use your valuable technology talents and skills to help others. Students recently served in Los Angeles, Costa Rica and Honduras, helping set up computer labs, teaching people how to use computers, and fixing hardware and software problems.

    Computer Science Club: Enjoy social activities, parties, outdoor social events and guest speakers with other CS majors. Take part in presenting your own research during one of our professional seminars. Participate in a service project to help area residents. Recently, we worked with junior high and high school students in the greater Kankakee area with their project for robotics competition. On campus, we are available to help students, staff and faculty with their computer problems.


    If you are a person who:

    • loves details
    • does well in math
    • likes the study of grammar
    • enjoys the rigors and challenges of accounting
    • can describe mathematical concepts linguistically

    then a degree in computer science may be for you!

    After graduation, begin working right away to get experience in your field. As you progress in your career, consider pursuing a master’s degree. An advanced degree is more valuable to you once you have on-the-job experience.

    Possible careers include: software engineer, Web developer, systems analyst, software architect, software designer, computer sales, software sales, researcher, entrepreneur

    Possible types of employers include: Government agencies, banks, consulting companies, software companies, hospitals, universities and colleges, computer services companies, industrial research and development laboratory

    The Computer Science program is part of the Martin D. Walker School of Engineering.

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  • Build your résumé by working for Olivet's industry recognized Department of Information Technology while still a student.