CS+X pairs computer science, humanities in new program

Emily Krivograd, Campus-Life Editor

A brand new program pairing computer science with the social sciences and humanities, the CS+X, will be offered to incoming, as well as current students in the upcoming fall 2019 semester. The program, consisting of fewer credits than a typical double major, will allow for students to enroll in classes in computer science, along with courses in music, political science, theology and history. While maintaining core computer science classes, the degree will require students to complete six credits of a foreign language and three credits of an internship.

“The idea that you can take these very in demand technical skills and then go to an organization within your other field is super helpful to get hired,” said Computer Science Department Chairperson Dr. Ray Klump. “Instead of having to rely on an outside staff to provide certain IT services, they've [the company has] got you.”

Combined with music, computer science will allow those with skills in both areas to pursue jobs in which graduates can write software, implement various musical effects and analyze the structure and tonality of a song in a quantitative way of studying music. After taking classes such as Music Theory and Music Ensemble, possible career choices for graduates include electronic music and software design, music recording and production and video game sound design. 

“The curriculum for the CS+Music program is quite innovative,” said Music Department Chairperson Dr. Mike McFerron. “This degree will equip students to successfully enter careers that create, edit and distribute music and media.”

The program combining computer science and political science will enable students to analyze open access data, unpack large data trends, and evaluate problems in political and social movements. In the CS+Political Science program, students will take 18 credits in core courses in Political Science and 12 elective credits within the Political Science, International Relations or Public Policy concentrations.

“There are ongoing threats to government computer systems across all levels of government- local, state and national,” said Political Science Chairperson Dr. Laurette Liesen. “Many of these threats come from abroad, and even having an understanding of international relations would be helpful in discerning where the threats are coming from.”

With a knowledge in theology and computer science students can provide computer science skills to parishes that may not have an IT staff and use computing to advertise the ministry. Students in the CS+Theology program will be able to choose from a wide range of options including scripture, the history and literature of Judaism and Christianity, ethics and philosophical theology. 

“We believe that a demand exists for people to bring theological perspectives among other disciplines of the humanities to STEM careers and areas of study,” said Theology Professor Dr. Clare Rothschild. 

With the combination of computer science and history, students will be able to analyze recorded history through data analysis and investigating archives. In order to promote history, students will also learn how to present historical information in engaging ways, such as through video games. 

Plans to grow the CS+X program in the upcoming 2019 to 20 academic year are already underway. Possible disciplines to be paired with computer science in upcoming CS+X programs include broadcasting, English and criminal justice.