VCU College of Engineering to launch Bachelor of Arts in computer science

The new degree will provide a multidisciplinary approach to computer science, broadening the scope of computing education across the university.

A group of students working around a computer at MegaHacks

The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) College of Engineering is launching a new Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in computer science, available to students in the 2024-25 school year. This program is designed to fill a crucial gap in computer science education by allowing students to combine computer science with other specialized fields of study.

The proposal for this new program cited recent statistics showing the majority of IT jobs are now concentrated in non-tech industries, emphasizing the importance of providing a way for students from all backgrounds to gain proficiency in computer science.

Through a blend of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience, students will gain expertise in client computing needs assessment, computing system design, coding, testing and system documentation generation. Graduates of this program will be prepared to work as entry-level computer programmers, computer support specialists, computer systems analysts, software developers, quality assurance analysts, software testers, web developers and digital designers.

VCU's current offering, an ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in computer science, provides a concentrated curriculum tailored to students seeking advanced study in highly specialized areas of computer science. Alternatively, the new B.A. intends to provide an interdisciplinary pathway to computer science that promotes collaboration between diverse industries, meeting the growing demand for IT experience.

“We created this degree program to enable students in any major to attain a degree in Computer Science,” Caroline Budwell, Ph.D., associate professor and undergraduate director of the Department of Computer Science, said. “We recognize the value of a multidisciplinary program of study and how important computing knowledge is in every industry.”

As the technological landscape shifts, VCU is committed to providing students with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in an ever-evolving industry.

The Department of Computer Science provides undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to perform real-world research as soon as they enroll. From designing algorithms to solving complex computing problems to working with cutting-edge AI technology, students gain understanding of many important computing topics. Browse videos and recent news from the Department of Computer Science to discover how the College of Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University prepares the next generation of scientists and engineers for the challenges of the future.