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The VCU Department of Computer Science provides undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to perform real-world research as soon as they enroll. (VCU College of Engineering)

VCU College of Engineering to offer new B.A. degree in computer science in fall 2024

Amid growing demand for IT knowledge in many industries, the program’s multidisciplinary approach broadens the pathway for students outside the traditional areas of specialization.

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The Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering is introducing a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science, available to students in the upcoming 2024-25 school year. Distinct from the college’s Bachelor of Science degree, the new program fills a crucial gap by allowing students to combine computer science education with other specialized fields of study.

The proposal for the Bachelor of Arts degree cited recent statistics showing that the majority of information technology jobs are now concentrated in nontech industries, highlighting the importance of a pathway for students from all backgrounds to gain proficiency in computer science.

Through a blend of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience, the B.A. program will give students expertise in client computing needs assessment, computing system design, coding, testing and system documentation generation. Graduates 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 degree, 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.

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

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