College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences2021-2022

School of Informatics, Computing and Cyber Systems

Applied Computer Science, Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

Computer science and software engineering are terms used to describe a diverse discipline of computing professionals who apply mathematics, computer science, and engineering principles to the design, analysis, implementation, and maintenance of software systems. Computer scientists and software engineers pursue careers designing and building software, developing effective ways to solve computing problems, and devising new and better methods of using computers to address problems in the arts, the sciences, industry, and society. Computer scientists and software engineers must be master problem solvers who understand how to analyze a problem, discern the fundamental requirements for implementing a solution, design and analyze potential solutions, implement solutions using appropriate technologies, manage and work in multidisciplinary teams, design appropriate software tests, and maintain software after it has been deployed.
In a world where communication, commerce, manufacturing, education, government, and entertainment depend on software systems it's easy to understand how computer scientists and software engineers make a difference.
While both the Bachelors of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) and the Bachelors of Science in Applied Computer Science (BSACS) share some of the same core curriculum and many final career outcomes they are differentiated by their focus.
BSCS students will have gained greater exposure to higher mathematics and the theory of computing. Exposure to rigorous algorithmic analysis, theories of computation, and the connection between language and computation give these students the skills and background to be successful developing high performance systems, complex algorithms, and developing software that pushes the boundaries of what is possible with computation.
BSACS students will have gained greater exposure to the practice and craft of software development and software engineering. BSACS students will be exposed to systematic approaches to software development, which give these students the skills and background to be successful developing large complex software systems, systems with evolving constraints, and systems which require predictability, precision, mitigated risk, or process compliance.
Student Learning Outcomes

By the time students graduate with an Applied Computer Science degree from Northern Arizona University, they will be able to:
  1. Analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
  2. Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program’s discipline.
  3. Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
  4. Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles. 
  5.  Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program’s discipline.
  6. Apply computer science theory and software development fundamentals to produce computing-based solutions.

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