Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree in Software Development
As computers only continue to become more necessary in our society, those equipped with skills to spur this growth onward will be prepared for a variety of careers. As a graduate of the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Software Development degree from Grand Canyon University (GCU), you will be able to work with a variety of programming languages, mobile and web technologies, web application frameworks and today's cloud platform. With project-driven courses and industry expert faculty, you have the opportunity to develop the skills needed to enter this field after graduation.
Learn to Develop Software for the Evolving World With a BS in Software Development
Software developers create the technologies we interact with every single day. As a developer, you could have a hand in shaping how our society will use these technologies in the future. Courses in this software development bachelor’s degree cover career-necessary topics, including:
- Development using a variety of different programming languages, web frameworks and cloud computing platforms
- Skills in web application security and vulnerability defense to protect important information and maintain information security
- Database design and development
- Technological literacy skills which are necessary to design components of information systems solutions
- Teamwork, organizational communication and project management which can position you for leadership positions
- Current trends in software design and software development in the overarching field of technology
GCU’s Bachelor of Science in Software Development degree program integrates a Christian worldview in your study of the technology industry. Learn to practice software development ethically and morally, from a biblical perspective. Classes offer the opportunity to explore technology and software development through a Christian lens, leading to the development of a well-rounded skillset.
Bachelor's Degree in Software Development Program FAQs
Pursuing a degree in software development can be an exciting and challenging journey, but it can also bring up many questions along the way. We’ve provided you with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the software development bachelor’s degree from GCU.
Aspiring software developers typically need at least a bachelor's degree in software development, computer science or a related discipline to show potential employers that they have acquired the skills and knowledge needed for the position. In addition to an undergraduate degree, software developers may choose to take their careers to the next level by completing a graduate degree, such as a master's in software development program.
If you are highly fascinated with computers, technology and various programming platforms, a degree in software development may be a great choice for you. While the curriculum is designed to challenge you, applying yourself in your coursework and in your projects will help you immensely when while completing your degree and working toward becoming a software developer.
The software development bachelor’s degree requires a total of 120 credits for completion. Most of the software development degree classes on campus are 15 weeks in length and seven weeks in length for online courses. During this time, you will complete core coursework, explore theoretical and applied aspects of software development and perform hands-on projects and lessons to equip you with the skills needed to excel in this career. Fill out the form on this page to speak to a university counselor to better understand how long it takes to earn your degree in software development.
You typically need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to qualify for positions as a software developer or similar jobs. You must be knowledgeable in all areas of software development, interpersonal communications, math and programming, as well as successful in your application of that knowledge in your work. All of this is offered through GCU’s BS in Software Development program to ensure that you can qualify for your desired position after graduation.
1 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers as of May 2021, retrieved on March 24, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.
2 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Software Developers, Quality Analysts and Testers retrieved on March 24, 2023.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
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.
This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of C# programming language. The course covers program design and development, debugging techniques, structured and object-oriented programming and basic GUI elements.
This course focuses on software development using the Java programming language. The course focuses on advanced object-oriented techniques in Java along with advanced topics including file I/O, generics, collections, multi-threading, networking, and unit testing. Prerequisite: CST-105.
This course combines coverage of advanced features of the C# programming language with building complex desktop applications. Students acquire advanced techniques in managing program flow, the application lifecycle, security, and data access. Prerequisite: CST-150 or CST-117.
This course provides students with the technical skills required to design and implement a database solution using both relational and non-relational databases. 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. Prerequisite: CST-105 or CST-150.
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-239 or CST-135 or CST-250 or CST-227.
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-239 or CST-135 or CST-250 or CST-227.
This course focuses on the development of dynamic web applications using the Spring framework and the Java programming language. Students employ design and programming methodologies to develop secure, high-performance, database driven applications. Prerequisite: CST-239 or CST-135.
This course focuses on the development of dynamic web applications using the ASP.NET framework and the C# programming language. Students employ design and programming methodologies to develop secure, high-performance, database driven applications. Prerequisite: CST-250 or CST-227.
Using current development trends, students examine several front-end and back-end frameworks used to build web applications. Students learn how to program these modern frameworks, as well as how to integrate them using traditional enterprise technologies. Prerequisites: CST-120 and (CST-239 or CST-135) and (CST-345 or CST-236).
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-339.
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-239 or CST-135 or CST-250 or CST-227.
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-339 or CST-341 or CST-235 or CST-350 or CST-247 or CST-391.
This course examines security principles for application developers. The course also examines common security vulnerabilities found in modern dynamic web applications, secure programming practices, and how to avoid and illuminate the common security vulnerabilities. Prerequisite: CST-350 or CST-247 or CST-339 or CST-341 or CST-235 or CST-391.
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.
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.
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.
* 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.