Computer Science: Software Engineering, B.S.

Program Overview

Are you fascinated by the intricacies and abilities of software? Do you enjoy the challenge of identifying and solving technological problems? Would you like a future building the software tools that help others change the world? If so, you should consider a major in computer science with an emphasis in software engineering.

PLNU computer science majors learn how computers work, from the underlying hardware to the use of high-level application programs. In addition, they learn how to design software to perform tasks and provide services. Computer scientists are often the creative force behind computer games, robots, and interactive graphics. With an emphasis in software engineering, you will receive more extensive exposure to the quality assurance and project management competencies so often requested by software engineering companies.

PLNU offers a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science with an emphasis in software engineering. The B.S. offers a more robust academic experience, providing you with the foundation you need to excel in any number of careers that need experts in computer science or in graduate school.

The Department of Mathematical, Information, and Computer Sciences (MICS) is committed to working with you to help you discover who you are called to be. As a computer science major at PLNU, you will be immersed in a curriculum that not only allows you to gain the broad knowledge of your discipline, but also aims to help you develop the characteristics necessary to be an effective member of the communities where you work and live. As a graduate, you will be prepared to serve our complex world through your technical and professional abilities. All of this and more will be available to you in a collaborative and supportive environment of students and faculty alike.

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Maria Zack, Ph.D.

If positive influences on the strategic vision and day-to-day operation of PLNU were charted, one variable would stand out. Around campus, we call her Dr. Maria Zack.

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

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Career Opportunities

Over the course of the last half-century, computers have become an essential part of modern society. Because technology is constantly evolving, our world cannot function without the expertise of computer scientists. A degree in computer science secures a path toward a multitude of careers and industries, places where problem-solving abilities and analytical skills are valued assets. 

At PLNU, our software engineering program focuses on three goals:

  • Helping you learn how computers work, from the underlying hardware to the use of high-level application programs
  • Teaching you to design software to perform tasks and provide services
  • Giving you extensive exposure to the quality assurance and project management competencies often requested by software engineering companies

What do software engineering jobs look like post-graduation?

Employment in careers related to a degree in software engineering is projected to increase. For software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers, employment is projected to grow 22% from 2019 to 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What are PLNU alumni doing with their degrees in software engineering?

PLNU computer science alumni have found success in the workforce through system security at SPAWAR and software engineering at Microsoft and ViaSat, just to name a few. Many others have gone on to be systems analysts, interface designers, and network architects. All are equipped with thorough knowledge and tools for the roles within these industries. 

Some of the positions PLNU graduates currently hold:

Computer Hardware Engineer

2020 Median annual salary: $119,560

Computer hardware engineers research, design, innovate, and test computer systems and components like circuit boards, networks, and routers. They’re responsible for designing devices utilized in manufactured products that incorporate processors and other computer components (normally connected to the Internet). 

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Creativity to design new computer hardware
  • Knowledge of how to create prototypes of computer equipment to be built
  • Creation of experiments to test the computer hardware
  • Ability to analyze the test results and modify the design as needed
  • Ingenuity to update existing computer equipment
  • Teamwork with other developers and designers

Software Developer and Software Quality Assurance Analyst

2020 Median annual salary: $110,140

Software developers design and create computer applications or programs. Software developers also determine other requirements, such as security. They design the program and then work closely with programmers who write computer code. However, some developers write code themselves instead of giving instructions to programmers. Software quality assurance analysts and testers identify problems with applications or programs and report the defects. 

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Programming and coding knowledge
  • Understanding of how to create test plans, scenarios, and procedures for new software
  • Creativity and ingenuity for model and diagram making
  • An understanding of designing and developing software

Net Developer

2020 Median annual salary: $95,763

A net developer is responsible for producing code using .net languages. Net developers create applications from scratch, manage existing systems, and offer user support. A net developer's overall goal is to work with internal teams to design, develop, and maintain software. Net developers are employed by companies within differing industries. 

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Knowledge of at least one of the .NET languages (e.g. C#, Visual Basic .NET, etc.)
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Excellent troubleshooting and communication skills 
  • Ability to work well in a team setting
  • Creativity to design software prototypes

Web Developer and Digital Designer

2020 Median annual salary: $77,200

Web developers and designers create and manage websites. They monitor the site’s technical aspects, such as performance and capacity (the measures of a website’s speed and management of traffic). In addition, web developers often generate and design content for the site. In the same manner, digital designers specifically create and test website layout and ease of navigation. 

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Strong communication with clients to discuss the needs and designs of a website or interface
  • Creativity to test and update applications and navigation menus
  • An understanding of code for the website (programming languages such as HTML or XML)
  • Teamwork to collaborate with others on what information the site will contain
  • Open to experimentation with graphics and other designers to determine layout
  • Engaging ideas for graphics, audio, and video

Dive into the digital world and cutting-edge technology with a degree in computer science: software engineering

PLNU’s Computer Science B.S. will set you up for success in the wide-ranging opportunities available post-graduation. Whether you pursue computer technology, network architecture, or an intersection of these and more, you will be well prepared with the creativity and skills fostered on PLNU’s campus.

Apply to PLNU today or get connected with one of our counselors for additional support and to answer any questions you may have.