Skip to main content

2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

Search Help

Computer Science

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing section in this catalog.


Degrees Offered

Undergraduate and graduate computing programs at Grand Valley are offered by the School of Computing. Computing programs prepare students for a rewarding career that is in high-demand.

One of the strengths of the computing programs at Grand Valley is flexibility. We offer B.S. degrees in computer science, cybersecurity, information systems, and information technology. All programs share faculty, courses, and laboratory resources. Also, by choosing electives and minors in related subject areas, students can further tailor their degrees to fit their individual needs and career goals. We offer minors in computer engineering, computer science, data science, health care information systems, information security systems, information systems, and information technology.

Two key elements in computer education are a theoretical foundation and practical experience. Computer science major prepares students to design and implement software, discover new uses of computing, and to solve computing problems.

Theoretical and practical aspects of computing are emphasized. Operating systems, software engineering, data communications, programming languages and their implementation, and the analysis of algorithms are among the topics covered. Cognate courses emphasize communication and analytical reasoning.


The mission of the School of Computing is to provide the GVSU student community with the intellectual foundations and experiences necessary to use information technology effectively in their chosen careers.

To enable students to attain this goal, the computing faculty have two primary responsibilities. First, we offer a solid conceptual foundation required for a career in computing. Second, we provide direct, experiential knowledge of technology necessary to be a productive user/producer of information technology.

To achieve these goals, we

  • work continuously to keep our curriculum relevant to our mission;
  • ensure that work-relevant experience is part of every class;
  • establish and nurture industrial contacts;
  • establish an integrated, supported co-op experience for computing majors; and
  • provide all students, regardless of their major interests, fundamental knowledge of computers and information processing.

Computer Science Program Goals

By the time of graduation, computer science students will demonstrate the ability to perform the following:

  • Analyze a complex computing problem and apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program's discipline.
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
  • Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.
  • Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program's discipline.
  • Apply computer science theory and software development fundamentals to produce computing-based solutions.

Three years after graduation, our typical computer science alumni are expected to be computing professionals who perform as follows:

  • Use technical communication and teamwork skills to solve problems and develop software systems.
  • Continue to develop their professional knowledge and skills.
  • Behave ethically while contributing to their profession and to society.


The computer science major is accredited under the General Criteria and Computer Science Criteria by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD, 21202-4012. Telephone: (410) 347-7700,

Advisory Board

The School of Computing Advisory Board (CISAB) is composed of the school's director and leading computing experts in West Michigan. The board meets twice each year and advises the school on curriculum development and continuing education. It serves as an important interface between the school and the computing community.


Admission to major standing in computer science (CS) is competitive and requires an application for admittance into the major. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Overall GPA of 2.5 or above in all Grand Valley State University coursework.
  2. Completion of each course in the CS foundation with a grade of C or above (C- is not sufficient).
  3. GPA of 2.5 or above in the CS foundation.

The CS foundation includes CIS 162 and CIS 163; MTH 225; STA 215 or STA 312; and COM 201. Completing the CS foundation courses require programming, analytical reasoning, and communication skills. These skills are important to excel in the computing field.

The CS foundation GPA is calculated on no more than one repeat per course. Achievement of the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the major. The School of Computing will also consider internship availability and the applicant's suitability for internships before granting admission. Transfer students must complete at least six hours of CIS coursework before applying, but should consult with a School of Computing advisor before scheduling their first semester.

While admission to major standing in computer science may be achieved with completion of the cybersecurity, information systems or information technology foundation instead of the CS foundation, it is still necessary to complete all the required courses in the computer science major.

Program Requirements

The following programs are available:

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.