A computer science degree develops competence in programming principles and methodologies, problem-solving techniques, mathematics, data manipulation, and computer systems and applications.

This program is excellent preparation for careers in a variety of areas, including health care, government, and entertainment. Computer science training is critical for many careers in science, engineering, and business.

Why Iowa?

Computer science is a popular major for first-year students at Iowa and the program provides a solid foundation for future careers in algorithms, software and hardware development, computing, and networking.

Iowa's Computer Science Department offers faculty who are internationally renowned for their research, as well as extensive and specialized resources for students, student groups, scholarship programs, and an excellent record of job and grad school placement for graduates.

The Computer Science Department also offers a degree in Informatics, which has a stronger focus on computing applications than the computer science degree.

In addition, the Department of Computer Science collaborates with the College of Engineering to offer a computer science and engineering degree (Bachelor of Science in Engineering) that is awarded by the College of Engineering. This  program encompasses the technical rigor of a computer science curriculum but also provides a full component of computer engineering course work. 

Admission Requirements

Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

 Information

Major(s)
Computer Science
BA
Computer Science
BS
Minor(s)
Computer Science
  Honors Courses
Admission Process

Careers and Outcomes

Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. 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 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, user-interface development and design, systems analysis, web development, and other areas.

Another sector consists 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.

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, Collins Aerospace, Cerner Corporation, State Farm Insurance, Pearson, Intel, Amazon, and Microsoft—all of which have strong, long-standing relationships with the department.

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.

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100 Study Abroad Programs and multiple Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

Computing-related student groups on campus include Women in Informatics and Computer Science and the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery. 

  Scholarships

The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

The Department of Computer Science has several corporate scholarships available each year to computer science and informatics majors in their second year and beyond. 

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Course Work

Iowa offers a BA and a BS degree program in computer science. Both 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 the 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
  • Algorithms
  • Programming language concepts
  • A systems course
  • Calculus

In addition to required course work for the major, students must complete the requirements of the GE CLAS Core. 

Computer science students also may pursue individual research projects and work one-on-one with a professor in a specialized field.

See Computer Science in the UI General Catalog to learn about required course work for the major or minor in computer science or informatics and graduating with honors.