A computer science degree at GCU fuels the hunger for innovation in technology. It appeals to learners who embrace their desire to use the language of complex computing to develop precise solutions in information systems. Graduates of a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program are offered a foundational skill set that drives the creative application of software development.
The emphasis in big data and analytics explores the problems and trends that impact heavy volume data management. Scholars are provided with fundamental knowledge in the design of highly scalable systems. These programing systems collect, process, store and analyze large volumes of unstructured data.
This allows learners to perform a variety of functions in information systems, which include:
Scholars explore the foundations of business leaders and innovators of technology. The BS in Computer Science with an Emphasis in Big Data Analytics program instills critical thinking, real-world application and practical project experience. Learners are taught to embody professional and ethical practices that matter across the landscape of computing through the lens of the Christian worldview.
This program is offered in the following formats or locations:
Enjoy Grand Canyon University\'s traditional campus experience. As of fall 2014, our 179-acre campus serves a growing student population of approximately 11,000. New modern classrooms, suite-style residence halls, popular dining options, resort-style swimming pools and a focus on creating a rich student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates and transfer students.
The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. In order to view the specific course content and credit length available for your state, please contact a counselor at 877-860-3951 or click here to request more information.
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
|Competency||Requirements||GCU Course Options||Total Credits|
|University Foundations||Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community. Students with fewer than 24 credits will fulfill the University Foundations requirement with a specified lower-division course. An upper-division selection will be made available to students that enter the university with more than 24 credits.||UNV-103/303, University Success: 4 credits
UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4 credits
UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4 creditsC
|Effective Communication||Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.||UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4 credits
ENG-105, English Composition I: 4 credits
ENG-106, English Composition II: 4 credits
|Christian Worldview||Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/301.||CWV-101/301, Christian Worldview: 4 credits||4 credits|
|Critical Thinking||Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.||PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4 credits
MAT-134, Applications of Algebra: 4 credits
MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4 credits
BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4 credits
|Global Awareness, Perspective and Ethics||Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.).||HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4 credits
PSY-100, Psychology in Everyday Life: 4 credits
SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4 credits
If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
|BIO-181||General Biology I||This course is a study of biological concepts emphasizing the interplay of structure and function, particularly at the molecular and cellular levels of organization. Cell components and their duties are investigated, as well as the locations of cellular functions within the cell. The importance of the membrane is studied, particularly its roles in controlling movement of ions and molecules and in energy production. The effect of genetic information on the cell is followed through the pathway from DNA to RNA to protein. Co-requisite: BIO 181L.||3 credits|
|BIO-181L||General Biology I - Lab||This lab course is designed to reinforce principles learned in BIO-181 through experiments and activities which complement and enhance understanding of macromolecules, cell membrane properties, cellular components, and their contribution to cell structure and function. Assignments are designed to relate cellular processes such as metabolism, cell division, and the flow of genetic information to cell structure. Co-requisite: BIO-181.||1 credits|
|CHM-113||General Chemistry I-Lecture||This is the first course of a two-semester introduction to chemistry intended for undergraduates pursuing careers in the health professions and others desiring a firm foundation in chemistry. The course assumes no prior knowledge of chemistry and begins with basic concepts. Topics include an introduction to the scientific method, dimensional analysis, atomic structure, nomenclature, stoichiometry and chemical reactions, the gas laws, thermodynamics, chemical bonding, and properties of solutions. Prerequisites: MAT-134. Co-requisite: CHM 113L.||3 credits|
|CHM-113L||General Chemistry I - Lab||The laboratory section of CHM 113 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Experiments include determination of density, classification of chemical reactions, the gas laws, determination of enthalpy change using calorimetry, and determination of empirical formula. Prerequisite: MAT-134. Co-requisite: CHM 113.||1 credits|
|CST-320||Human-Computer Interaction and Communication Lecture & Lab||This course reviews the basic principles, tools, and techniques used in computer applications that enable communication, visualization, access to information, learning and entertainment. Students learn the methods of designing, implementing and evaluating techniques for effective communication in a technical, business, education or entertainment context. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on experiencing and implementing concepts discussed in the lecture. Students create applications that communicate ideas efficiently and are easy to use. Prerequisite: MAT-262.||4 credits|
|Course #||Course Title||Course Description||Credits|
|MAT-261||Pre-Calculus||This course presents the fundamentals of algebra and trigonometry with an applied emphasis; it provides the background and introduction for the study of calculus. Topics include review of linear equations and inequalities in one and multiple variables; functions and their graphs; polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions; vectors and complex numbers. Slope and rate of change are introduced to set up the concepts of limits and derivatives. There is an emphasis on both an understanding of the mathematical concepts involved as well as their application to the principles and real-world problems encountered in science and engineering. Software is utilized to facilitate problem analysis and graphing. Prerequisites: MAT-134.||4|
|CST-110||Introduction to Computer Science and Information Technology Lecture & Lab||This course provides a foundation for programming and problem solving using computer programming, as well as an introduction to the academic discipline of IT. Topics include variables, expressions, functions, control structures, and pervasive IT themes: IT history, organizational issues, and relationship of IT to other computing disciplines. The course prepares students for advanced concepts and techniques in programming and information technology, including object-oriented design, data structures, computer systems, and networks. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on writing code that implements concepts discussed in lecture and on gaining initial exposure to common operating systems, enterprise architectures, and tools commonly used by IT professionals. Prerequisite: MAT-134.||4|
|MAT-262||Calculus for Science and Engineering I||This course provides a rigorous treatment of the concepts and methods of elementary calculus and its application to real-world problems. Topics include differentiation, optimization, and integration. Software is utilized to facilitate problem analysis and graphing. Prerequisite: MAT-261.||4|
|CST-215||Digital Logic and Design Lecture & Lab||This in an introductory course in discrete mathematics with extensive coverage of digital logic. Topics covered include logic, Boolean algebra, circuits, number theory, sequences, recursion, sets, functions, counting, finite state machines, automata, and regular expressions. An emphasis will be placed on writing computer programs that address key concepts discussed in lecture. Prerequisite: MAT-261||4|
|CST-210||Object-Oriented Programming Lecture & Lab||This course provides an introduction to object-oriented programming using most current business application programming languages and tools. Students will design, create, run, and debug applications. The course emphasizes the development of correct, well-documented programs using object-oriented programing concepts. Students also learn to create GUI-based programs. Prerequisite: CST-110.||4|
|CST-217||Principles of Database Design and Programming Lecture & Lab||This course provides students with the technical skills required to design and implement a database solution using a SQL server. Students use data definition language (DDL) to create and delete database objects, and data manipulation language (DML) to access and manipulate those objects. Students gain hands-on experience with database design, data normalization, SQL sub-queries, creating and using views, understanding and working with data dictionaries, and loading and unloading databases. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on writing code that implements concepts discussed in the lecture course, specifically creating databases and SQL queries. Prerequisites: CST-210.||4|
|PHY-121||University Physics I||This course is a calculus-based study of basic concepts of physics, including motion; forces; energy; the properties of solids, liquids, and gases; and heat and thermodynamics. The mathematics used includes algebra, trigonometry, and vector analysis. A primary course goal is to build a functional knowledge that allows students to more fully understand the physical world and to apply that understanding to other areas of the natural and mathematical sciences. Conceptual, visual, graphical, and mathematical models of physical phenomena are stressed. Students build critical thinking skills by engaging in individual and group problem-solving sessions. Co-requisites: PHY-121L and MAT-264.||3|
|PHY-121L||University Physics I Lab||This calculus-based course utilizes lab experimentation to practice concepts of physical principles introduced in the PHY-121 lecture course. Students are able to perform the proper analysis and calculations to arrive at the correct quantifiable result when confronted with equations involving gravity, sound, energy, and motion. Co-requisites: PHY-121 and MAT-264.||1|
|CST-200||Algorithms and Data Structures Lecture & Lab||This course covers classical algorithms and data structures, with an emphasis on implementation and use to solve real-world problems. The course focuses on algorithms for sorting, searching, string processing, and graphs. Students learn basic strategies to characterize and evaluate greedy algorithms, divide-and-conquer, recursive backtracking, and dynamic programming. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on writing code that implements concepts discussed in lecture, focusing on algorithm implementation techniques. Prerequisites: CST-210 or CST-115||4|
|MAT-264||Calculus for Science and Engineering II||This course provides a rigorous treatment of the concepts and methods of integral, multivariable, and vector calculus and its application to real-world problems. Prerequisite: MAT-262||4|
|CST-307||Introduction to Computer Architecture Lecture & Lab||This course introduces current trends in computer architecture with a focus on performance measurement, instruction sets, computer arithmetic, design and control of a data path, pipelining, memory hierarchies, input and output, and a brief introduction to multiprocessors. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Hands-on activities focus on writing assembly language code that implements concepts discussed in the lecture course, focusing on registers, processes, threads, and I/O management. Prerequisites: MAT-262 and CST-110.||4|
|CST-305||Principles of Modeling and Simulation Lecture & Lab||This course covers modeling and simulation principles with applications to science, engineering, and business. Students use mathematical models for continuous and discrete simulation, and develop applications for complex systems across a variety of science, business, and engineering domains. Students integrate information from various mathematical and scientific sources; then they loop through a feedback and revision cycle to create simulation, report, and presentation of a scientific phenomenon. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on writing code that implements mathematical modeling algorithms and visual simulations of business and scientific phenomena. Prerequisites: CST-210.||4|
|MAT-345||Applied Linear Algebra I||This course is intended primarily for mathematics, science, and engineering students. The goal of the course is to impart the concepts and techniques of modern linear algebra (over the real scalar field) with a significant level of rigor. Students write clearly about the concepts of linear algebra (definitions, counterexamples, simple proofs), and apply theory to examples. The course emphasizes the practical nature of solutions to linear algebra problems. Students implement some of these solutions, where appropriate, as computer programs. Prerequisite: MAT-264.||4|
|MAT-374||Probability and Statistics - Calculus Based||This course covers the role of statistics in engineering, probability, discrete random variables and probability distributions, continuous random variables and probability distributions, joint probability distributions, random sampling and data description, point estimation of parameters, statistical intervals for a single sample, and tests of hypotheses for a single sample. Prerequisites: MAT-253 or MAT-264.||4|
|CST-315||Operating Systems Lecture & Lab||This course explains the concepts, structure, and mechanisms of modern operating systems. The course covers computational resources, such as memory, processors, networks, security, and how the programming languages, architectures, and operating systems interact. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on writing a shell that implements process management, file management, and I/O management. Prerequisites: CST-210 and MAT-262.||4|
|STG-390||Professionalism in Science & Technology-Communications, Conduct and Ethics||This course provides an insight into professional communications and conduct associated with careers in science, engineering and technology. Students learn about the changing modes of communication in these disciplines recognizing the advances in digital communications. They gain practical experience in developing and supporting a thesis or position in written, oral and visual presentations. Students will explore concepts and issues in professional ethics and conduct such as privacy, discrimination, workplace etiquette, cyber-ethics, network and data security, identity theft, ownership rights and intellectual property. This is a writing intensive course.||4|
|CST-310||Computer Graphics Lecture & Lab||This course covers 2D and 3D concepts, algorithms, and implementation methods using shader-based programming. Main topics covered include coordinate systems, transformations, material simulation, and animation. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on writing vertex shaders and fragment shaders to implement light equations for coloring effects, textures, materials, and animation. Prerequisites: PHY-121, PHY-121L, CST-210, MAT-262, and MAT-345.||4|
|ITT-305||Information Security I||This course builds upon knowledge already acquired in the areas of system architecture and operating systems and focuses on the core issues of information security. Students learn fundamental aspects, security mechanisms, operational issues, security policies, and attack types. Prerequisites: CST-307, CST-307L, CST-315, and CST-315L.||2|
|CST-425||Very Large Information Systems Lecture & Lab||This course introduces modern theories, design, and implementation models for large scale text-based information systems. The information retrieval methodologies include Boolean, vector space, probabilistic, inference net, and language modeling. Students will acquire hands-on experience by implementing models such as clustering algorithms, automatic text categorization, and experimental evaluation. Students will experiment with cross-context retrieval algorithms, intelligent text summarization, topic detection, tagging, and tracking. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on implementing techniques for efficiently managing and manipulating very large data sets residing in a distributed SQL database. Prerequisites: CST-217, CST-305, CST-307, CST-310 and MAT-374.||4|
|CST-435||Search Engines and Data Mining Lecture & Lab||This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the location, retrieval, and conversion of raw data into usable information. Students implement algorithms for organizing and searching very large data collections, typically found in enterprise databases and on websites. Students used clustering and categorization to generate various information taxonomies based on document ranking, evaluation, and classification. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on performing data mining on a large business database and extracting trends and actionable information. Prerequisites: CST-217, CST-305, CST-307, CST-310, and MAT-374.||4|
|STG-451||Capstone Project I||The first capstone course provides students the opportunity to work in teams to tackle real world applied research and design projects in their chosen area of interest. Students develop a project proposal, conduct a feasibility study, learn to protect intellectual property, develop teamwork skills, budgets, and a schedule for completing the project. Students conduct extensive research, integrate information from multiple sources, and work with a mentor through multiple cycles of feedback and revisions. Students use this course to further develop technical writing and business presentation skills. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: CST-307, CST-315, CST-320, and department approval.||2|
|ITT-306||Information Security II||This course is a direct continuation of ITT-305. It expands the coverage of information security topics to include security domains, forensics, information states, security services, threat analysis, and vulnerabilities. Prerequisite: ITT-305.||2|
|CST-405||Principles of Compiler Design Lecture & Lab||This course reviews the concepts and tools used in the development of compilers. Students synthesize topics covered in previous courses: formal languages, data structures, and computer architecture. The course reinforces the principles of software engineering and development through a complete cycle of building a working compiler. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on writing a compiler including a lexer, parser, semantic analyzer, code generator, and optimizer. Prerequisites: CST-210, CST-215, and MAT-374.||4|
|CST-440||Analytics for Dynamic Social Networks Lecture & Lab||This course focuses on very large web-based sources of information such as social networks and semantic networks. Students analyze dynamic data and trends, connections (links), and patterns of self-organization. Students then utilize intelligent inferential techniques to interpret patterns in the collected information and translate them into actionable items. Hands-on experiences include marketing, organizational structure, security, and human analytics. Prerequisites: CST-217, CST-305, CST-307, CST-310 and MAT-374.||4|
|STG-452||Capstone Project II||The second capstone course provides students the opportunity to implement and present the applied research project designed, planned, and started in the first capstone course. The capstone project is a culmination of the learning experiences while a student in the Computer Science program. Students conduct extensive research, integrate information from multiple sources, and work with a mentor through multiple cycles of feedback and revision. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: Successful completion of STG-451 with a grade of C or better.||2|
|General Education Requirements:||34 - 40 credits|
|Elective Requirements:||0 - 6 credits|
|Total Degree Requirements:||128 credits|
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.