Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Programming

Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming

Offered By: College of Science, Engineering, & Technology

Earn Your BS in Computer Programming Degree – Campus and Online

The GCU Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming helps students study business and tech together. In addition to learning Java, C#, SQL and software development, students study entrepreneurship, learn how to think critically and develop business fluency. All of these skills are in great demand as the world continues to be increasingly reliant on technology.

An emphasis on software and database application development prepare students to adapt to the constantly changing trends in technology. Some of the many benefits of attending the GCU BS in Computer Programming degree online or in-person include:

  • Develop coding skills early in the program, which may allow for entry-level work while attending classes
  • General education coursework within the computer programming context
  • Creation of a senior project and portfolio that can be used during the job search

This GCU computer programming degree is available both on campus, during evening classes and online. This ensures that the advanced computer programming skills taught are accessible to anyone in any situation. Full-time students to full-time employees will gain technical writing, advanced programming and information security skills.

What You Will Learn

Students who earn the bachelor’s in computer programming degree are able to work with web applications, mobile technologies and cloud computing platforms. They attain proficiency in several programming languages.

The science and technology classes that make up the computer programming degree coursework ensure graduates have a well-rounded understanding of topics such as:

  • Computer programming
  • IT case planning for global business
  • Operating systems concepts
  • Web and mobile business applications
  • Algorithms
  • Data structures
  • Cloud computing

In addition to the challenging technical curriculum, the BS in Computer Programming degree focuses on developing skills graduates take with them in any workplace environment. These include:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Initiative
  • Self-confidence
  • Strong work ethic

Computer Programming Curriculum & Skills

Students in the computer programming degree at GCU take coursework from four domains. These domains ensure that graduates of the program are well-rounded in both business and programming skills.

The BS in Computer Programming degree focuses on:

Computer Programming
Students learn to develop solutions to computational problems, use enterprise programming tools, develop client-server and cloud-based applications and learn to minimize systems risks, threats and vulnerabilities.

Information Systems
Graduates are able to demonstrate technological literacy skills and foundational database management and programming skills to build information systems.

Leadership and Management
Computer programming students learn leadership skills and are able to communicate a vision of leadership and execute strategy in IT-related projects and technology infrastructures.

Professionalism and Ethics
Students understand the social and professional context of information technology and research all aspects of computing, including social and legal. They learn to use teamwork in integrated IT and can communicate professional content in both written and oral formats.

Careers & Salary Information

Graduates who earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming are prepared for many technical and computer-related career options. They may find work with digital, network and enterprise companies, or with non-technical companies who need computing experts in house.

Computer programming degrees also have great earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average computer programmer earns $82,240 per year. *

What Can You Do With a Computer Programming Degree?

A Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming may help students find roles including:

  • Computer programmer
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Computer and information system manager
  • Geospatial information technologist
  • Software application developer
  • Systems programmer
  • Web application developer
  • Mobile game developer
  • Mobile business applications developer

If computing, IT and programming are where you see your future, you’re not alone. The need for computer programmers is high. Get started on your career path with the online and campus Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming degree at GCU.

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Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks [More Info]

Online: 7 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]
Online: $470 per credit [More Info]

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
60 credits
Open Elective Credits:
20-26 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

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.


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.

Course Options

  • UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4


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.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4


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.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4


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, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Required General Education Courses

Course Description

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.

Course Description

This course prepares students to conduct research across a range of IT disciplines. The course introduces students to research methods, research design, research ethics, and techniques of data collection and analysis appropriate to IT. While interpreting others' research, students acquire the skills and knowledge to conduct and communicate their own research. Prerequisite: MAT-134 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This course focuses on gathering User Stories and decomposing them into a requirements document, design spec, and technically managing activities associated with software development. Topics cover the managerial aspect of the software development life cycle, delivery, and integration. Hands-on activities focus on communication using professional Agile-based project management software to implement a system for planning, tracking, and auditing the use of resources within the context of a software project. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: CST-227 or CST-236.

Course Description

This course prepares students to plan and implement IT systems that take into account business realities, objectives, and constraints associated with domestic and international business activities. The course exposes the key computational, analytical, and decision-making tools used by businesses. Students also develop an understanding of the social, cultural drivers of successful IT investments, and their effect on business strategy and models. A special emphasis is placed on the symbiotic relationship between information technology and business and on international case studies, as manifested in information pricing, technological lock-in and network effects. Prerequisite: CST-326 or BIT-415 or CYB-220.

Course Description

This course builds upon prior foundations in computer programming by presenting advanced concepts and techniques for improving new code and refactor existing code for simplicity, manageability, and performance. Students expand their skills in object oriented analysis and design, and learn to apply classical design patterns to a variety of object oriented programming challenge. Prerequisite: CST-135.

Core Courses

Course Description

This course introduces the fundamental concepts and syntax of the Java programming language. The course focuses on object-oriented techniques in Java with an emphasis on problem solving and fundamental algorithms.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of C# programming and the .NET platform. The course covers program design and development, debugging techniques, structured and object-oriented programming and basic GUI elements. Prerequisite: MAT-154.

Course Description

This course introduces the relational database model using MySQL. Students learn to install, configure, and populate tables with data. The course also introduces the fundamentals of programming languages such as PHP and Python, with the focus on building user interfaces and web applications for interacting with and querying MySQL databases. Prerequisite: MAT-154.

Course Description

This course focuses on software development using the Java programming language. The course exposes the relationships between machine architecture and data organization through Java-based projects, including algorithmic machines. Prerequisite: CST-105.

Course Description

This course combines coverage of advanced features of the C# programming language with building complex enterprise applications. Students acquire advanced techniques in managing program flow, the application lifecycle, security, and data access. Prerequisite: CST-117.

Course Description

This course focuses on the development of dynamic web applications using frameworks such as PHP and Python to interact with MySQL and web servers. Students learn to design, prototype, and deploy dynamic, database-driven websites with basic security layers. Prerequisite: CST-126.

Course Description

This course covers user interfaces, event and exception handling, Java I/O, and the collection framework. Students build applications using software engineering methods including design models and implementation/testing strategies, while learning to assume professional responsibilities. Prerequisite: CST-135.

Course Description

This course focuses on the development of dynamic web applications using ASP.NET and C#. Students employ test-driven programming methodologies to develop secure, high-performance, database driven applications. Prerequisite: CST-227.

Course Description

This course covers classical algorithms and data structures, with an emphasis on implementation and application in solving real-world computational problems. The course focuses on algorithms for sorting, searching, string processing, and graphs. Students learn basic strategies to evaluate divide-and-conquer, recursive backtracking, and algorithm efficiency. Hands-on activities focus on writing code that implements concepts and algorithm implementation techniques. Prerequisite: CST-210 or CST-135.

Course Description

This course focuses on the design and implementation of complex, secure, optimized, and scalable MySQL databases. Students develop high performance database applications using frameworks such as PHP and Python. Prerequisite: CST-236.

Course Description

This course covers the concepts, tools, and frameworks of Open Source software development. Using open source operating systems like Linux, students develop an acquaintance with compilers, scripting languages, frameworks, build tools, APIs, version control software, and their licensing constraints. Students also learn how to participate in and contribute to open-source projects. Prerequisite: CST-135 or CST-235.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to UNIX-derived open-source operating systems. Students explore the history and development trends in open-source OS. The course covers the file system, user commands and utilities, graphical user interfaces, editors, manual pages, and shells. Prerequisite: CST-135 or CST-239.

Course Description

This course examines cloud computing and its transformative impact on the IT industry. Students develop applications using a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. The course examines the most important APIs used in leading industry cloud service providers. Students will learn how to use the cloud as the infrastructure for existing and new services. Prerequisite: CST-210 or CST-111 or CST-235, or CST-227.

Course Description

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 concepts of information security including data encryption, security awareness, legal and ethical issues, operational issues, security policies, and attack types; while expanding on the coverage to include security domains, forensics, security services, threat analysis, and vulnerabilities assessments. Prerequisite: ITT-120, or ITT-121 or CST-125 or CST-126 or CST-220 or CST-221 or acceptance into the bootcamp program.

Course Description

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-410 or CST-424.

Course Description

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 CST-451 with a grade of C or better.


GCU Campus Student

Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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