A-Z Index

Computer Science

Why Major in Computer Science?

Computer science powers modern society. Whether you make a purchase on Amazon, do a search on Google, send a tweet, or check your email on a smartphone, you are leveraging the power of computer science. There is literally no area of human endeavor in which computer science does not play a major role. Agriculture, banking, healthcare, social media, everywhere you look, computer science is there. It is transformative.

Our program teaches both the theory and practice of computer science, preparing students for a career in computing or a path to graduate school. Students learn the essential theory that underlies the discipline, knowledge that makes them well-rounded and informs them as they develop software. On the practical side, students learn how to discover and document what end-users need; develop algorithms to solve those problems; assess the efficiency of those algorithms; and finally how to implement those algorithms in various programming languages.

Students can get a general degree in computer science, or focus on one of three emphasis areas: Information Security and Assurance, Data Management or Mobile Computing.

Transfer Students

For transfer students completing a vocational or technical Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science degree from a regionally accredited community college, a Bachelor of Applied Science with an emphasis in Information Technology, Computer Business Applications or Applied Computing is available. Coursework for these degrees build on workplace skills and practical career training provided by an associate degree. For more information, contact Cari Cline at

Minor in Computer Science

A minor in computer science teaches students the foundations of computers and information technology, computer programming, data structures and computer organization. After taking the required courses, students can customize their minor from a list of approved electives. For a list of required courses, visit the academic catalog. This minor requires the completion of 21 credit hours.

Career Ready. Day One.

Northwest ensures students are career ready, day one through internships, field experiences and networking opportunities. Read David's story »

David is Career ready. Day One.

Career Opportunities

Recent Northwest graduates have found employment in the following careers:

  • IT application analyst
  • Database programmer
  • Software developer/engineer
  • System engineer
  • Web developer
  • Technology coordinator
  • Systems administration
  • Database Administrator
  • Network Engineer
  • Systems Administrator
  • Computer Programmer
  • Software Architect
  • Software Analyst
  • Technical Architect

Profession-Based Learning Experiences

Practical learning opportunities

Professors encourage practical learning opportunities to prepare students for employment. Students are encouraged to speak to K-12 teachers about the importance of technology in their curriculum and teach computer science fundamentals to students in grades K-12.

Professional Advisory Team

The School of Computer Science and Information Systems annually hosts a professional advisory team that includes more than 40 professionals from various industries to review Northwest’s computer science curriculum. Professionals are updated about new technology and ensure the curriculum at Northwest is current with trends.

Women in Computing

Founded in 2011, MINK WIC (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas Women in Computing) enables women to discuss their roles in computing and technology fields and share experiences and strategies for success. In recent years, more than 240 students, educators and professionals from the region gathered to share their passion for computer science and technology.

Student Organizations

The Association of Computing Machinery promotes interests in computers and applications as well as providing a means of communication for individuals sharing an interest in computers.

The Association of Computing Machinery – Women’s (ACM-W) celebrates, informs and supports women in computing and works with a community of computer scientists, educators, employers and policy makers to improve working and learning environments for women.

For a full list of student organizations with in the School of Computer Science and Information Systems »


Although internships are not required in the business technology major, they are highly encouraged to gain hands-on, real-world experience.

QuoteMasterCard International has a large internship program with a variety of roles. To promote networking, they host several intern events. The event above is at a St. Louis Cardinal game with a business analyst, finance analyst, software engineer and software developer intern in the picture.Quote

Grace Horvath

Study Abroad

Study Abroad

Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their academic development. Faculty members provide short-term study programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available: faculty-led and traditional study abroad.

The traditional program may be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions.

For more information about study abroad opportunities »

The Northwest Difference

The Northwest Difference

Founded in 1905, Northwest is a traditional campus with more than 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in the middle of everywhere, Maryville is two hours from Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri and 2 ½ hours from Des Moines, Iowa.

Textbooks and Laptops Included

Save more than $7,200 over four years through our textbooks and laptop program.

Laptop Program Information
$22 Million money for you

Nearly $22 Million in scholarships and grants awarded annually.

Scholarship Information
Career Ready. Day One.

Students organizations, internships and profession-based learning experiences ensure students are Career Ready, Day One.

Read student stories
Graduation Rate: 90th percentile

Graduation Rate: 90th percentile of Northwest's national peer group.