A degree in computer science develops competence in programming principles and methodologies, problem-solving techniques, mathematics, computer systems, data manipulation, and computer applications.
It is excellent preparation for careers in a variety of areas, including health care, government, and entertainment, and computer science training is critical for many careers in science, engineering, and business.
Why Study at Iowa?
Computer science is a popular major for first-year students at Iowa. The degree in computer science provides a solid foundation for future careers in algorithms, software and hardware development, computing, and networking.
In addition, Iowa's Computer Science Department offers faculty who are internationally renowned for their research, extensive and specialized resources for students, student groups, scholarship programs, and an excellent record of graduates finding jobs and being accepted to graduate school.
Internships are strongly encouraged for computer science students, and often lead to full-time employment after graduation. Recent graduates have had internships with companies such as John Deere, Rockwell Collins, Cerner Corporation, State Farm Insurance, Pearson, Intel, Amazon, and Microsoft—all of which have strong, long-standing relationships with the department.
Computer science students also can pursue individual research projects and work one-on-one with a professor in a specialized field.
The department also offers a degree in Informatics, which has a stronger focus on computing applications than the computer science degree.
Iowa offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program in computer science. Both degree programs provide the knowledge required for long-term success in a rapidly changing field. They emphasize current techniques, tools, and programming languages as well as emerging conceptual frameworks that provide a view of the future.
The BA program offers a solid computer science foundation plus freedom to combine computer science with a second major (or minor) or to explore other interests.
The BS program provides more extensive education in computer science, with greater emphasis on natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science foundations.
All students take courses in these areas:
- Computer science
- Discrete structures
- Software development
- Computer organization
- Programming language concepts
- A systems course
See Computer Science in the UI General Catalog to learn more about course work and graduating with honors.
Minor in Computer Science
See Computer Science in the UI General Catalog to learn more about earning a minor in computer science or informatics.
Students interested in computer science need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Admission Requirements Tabs
Computing-related student groups on campus include Women in Informatics and Computer Science and the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery.
Faculty, Facilities, and Resources
Computer science faculty members conduct internationally recognized research in areas such as algorithms; automated reasoning and verification; computer graphics, virtual environments, and human-computer interaction; informatics, including machine learning, text mining, and interdisciplinary health-related research; and distributed systems, networks, and security.
The department has extensive computing facilities involving hundreds of workstations, servers, and specialized computing systems. Its two educational computing laboratories house approximately 50 workstations and are open to all computer science majors. Specialized research facilities include high-performance computing clusters; distributed sensor network systems; and large, immersive, multiscreen, multicomputer virtual reality systems.
Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.
Computer science and informatics graduates work primarily in two market sectors. One includes the software and computer industries, from small start-ups to giants such as Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Intel. These offer job opportunities in software development and design, systems analysis, user-interface development and design, web development, and many other areas.
Another sector is made up of organizations whose primary business is not computing, such as banks, insurance, and other financial groups; health care organizations; consulting, media, and legal firms; entertainment companies; and the military.
As many as one-third of the department’s graduates go into research or elect to pursue graduate studies in computer science, business, or other areas for which computer science provides a strong foundation.
The computer science department has several corporate scholarships available each year to computer science and informatics majors in their second year and beyond. Recent and current scholarship sponsors include John Deere, Rockwell Collins, Cerner Corporation, the Principal Financial Group, and the Gerard P. Weeg Scholarship Foundation. Other awards include the Goldwater Scholarship and the George S. Schaeffer Scholarships.
Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.