Why Study Computer Science at SWAU?


The best reason to study computer science would be because you have a passion and talent for problem solving, as well as a love of seeing computers carrying out your commands! However, another reason, a compelling one, why you might choose to study computer science is that the art and science of problem solving that you learn as a computer science major can help you succeed in many different disciplines.  It may surprise you, but most people are either not well equipped to solve problems (or perhaps are just not interested tackling them).  As a result, people who can solve large and complex problems are in demand in all fields.  Given that most graduates are expected to change careers many times during their working lives, having a transferable skill is a great benefit.  


Yet another reason is that the tools and techniques of computer science are being adopted by many other disciplines.  Mastering them will help you to be more effective in areas well beyond the field of computer science.


Over a period of many years, we have noticed a few personality traits that seem to correlate well with success in our field.  These observations are somewhat subjective, and certainly not based on rigorous scientific investigations, but do seem to be good indicators.  One key attribute shared by CS majors is the love of solving problems. A common joke is that we only read manuals as a last resort because it takes the fun out of things!  Related to problem solving, many CS majors report that they liked to take things apart as kids. While most kids do this, CS majors did it to figure out how the things worked, then went on to put them back together.  CS majors also tend to be persistent: once they start on a problem, they persist until they succeed in solving it.  We don't give up easily. CS majors are also perceived by others as helpful: quite often, others seek out their help in solving problems (usually related to computers...) and they respond by giving generously of their time.  One more thing: CS majors don't do mornings...

Why Study Computer Science at SouthwesternAU?

There are many universities, both public and private, where one can pursue a degree in CS. Many are larger than Southwestern, have more resources, and have greater prestige. Some, particularly public institutions, are less expensive to attend than Southwestern. So why attend Southwestern? I believe that there are three key reasons: mission, atmosphere, and relationships.

Because of our affiliation with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, we have a strong sense of mission: to prepare our students not just for a career, but also for eternity.  We truly take the long view when it comes to education.

We believe that each of our students has a calling in life and that each is uniquely equipped with native talents to fulfill that calling. Our goal is to help our students to develop their talents to the full in order that they might be successful in meeting the challenges ahead of them.

The atmosphere at Southwestern is another reason that I believe Southwestern is a better choice.  At Southwestern, we place great emphasis on spiritual values.  For example, we strive to engender a sense of service in our students because want our graduates to use their talents in service to God by way of service to their fellow man. In particular, CS majors are required to develop and release an open source program to the community at large.  We also work hard to provide opportunities for our students to become involved in spiritual outreach.  For example, many of our students have participated in mission projects.

A final reason for choosing Southwestern is that the relationships you form here are uniquely valuable. Consider that you are likely to spend four years working on your Bachelor's degree.  During that time, you will interact with many people on campus: your fellow students, the faculty, and the university staff. As such, you want people surrounding you who will encourage and strengthen you as you pursue your degree. Southwestern is such an environment. The Faculty at Southwestern are here to help you. Class sizes are small, making meaningful relationships with your professors the order of the day. 

Faculty and staff work closely to make sure that student’s experiences here are positive ones.  Students work together in small groups to help each other, in both academic and non-academic contexts.  The result is that the experiences you have here are likely to be more positive and memorable than they might be at some other institutions.

In addition, you are likely to form lasting friendships here that you will be able to count on as you move forward in life.

In summary, Southwestern is a place that is dedicated to God, committed to service, and interested in you.