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Computer Science

  • “Computers have changed academics and society. This is as major of a change for the 20th and 21st centuries as the Industrial Revolution was for the 18th and 19th centuries.”
    Dr. Catherine Bareiss, professor 

  • Computing is much more than word processing and spreadsheets. Technical degrees are valued in all fields. With an estimated 78 percent of the U.S. population alone using the Internet in 2011, the demand for top performers in the computer science field will only continue to grow.

    At Olivet, you will prepare for your professional career and a lifetime of learning. Studying computing and gaining a liberal arts education will benefit you for the rest of your life – no matter what path you take.

    You will gain valuable insight about the many ways technology is revolutionizing every facet of society. For example, one of our seminar classes focuses on the ministry of New Tribes Missions and Wycliffe, and their use of computer technology in proclaiming the Gospel and fulfilling the Great Commission.

    We will give you the opportunity to build your Christian character and professional values. Caring and knowledgeable professors will equip you to work through real world ethical dilemmas.

    Olivet continues to pursue new ways to meet the needs of today’s learners. For example, in 2010, the Department of Computer Sciences sought and received a grant of $200,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop a course curriculum and lab instruction in computational science. Through this grant, faculty and students are working side-by-side to develop a new course that will help scientists understand and work with computer technology; and help students see computing’s integrative connections with other disciplines.

    Putting knowledge to work

    We will challenge you daily to learn outside the classroom. You have several opportunities from which to choose.

    Senior capstone project and senior research problems: Gain valuable research and practical application experience under the guidance of a faculty member

    Internships: Gain valuable real-world experience in your field of interest. Recent internships include:

    • American Red Cross of Kankakee County, Ill., IT support and website development
    • Manteno (Ill.) School District CUSD5, IT support and server virtualization project
    • Proctor Hospital, Peoria, Ill., Health Informatics and Technology Department, eCare Portal Pocket Guide update and SolCom training
    • Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne Ill., Cyber Security Division, firewall configuration and logging
    • Morton Salt, Chicago, Ill., IT support

    Study abroad programs: Two ideal opportunities for computer studies are at Korean Nazarene University in Cheonan, Republic of Korea, and Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi, Kenya.

    Technology mission trips: Our department’s motto is “Minds for Computing and Hearts for Serving.” Serve on a mission trip with other computer science students. Use your valuable technology talents and skills to help others. Students recently served in Los Angeles, Costa Rica and Honduras, setting up computer labs, teaching people how to use computers, and fixing hardware and software problems.

    Computer Science Club: Enjoy social activities, parties, outdoor social events and guest speakers with other CS majors. Take part in presenting your own research during one of our professional seminars. Participate in a service project to help area residents. Recently, we worked with junior high and high school students in the greater Kankakee area with their project for robotics competition. On campus, we are available to help students, staff and faculty with their computer problems.


    Alumni careers include: educational software developer, consultant, data processing, information technology, professor, software sales, software engineer

    Companies and organizations that have employed our graduates: State of Illinois, State Farm Insurance, Bank of America, Olivet Nazarene University, Sogeti Consulting & Technology Solutions, Applied Systems, Lexmark, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, U.S. Navy, Sycamore/KEYW Corporation, NASA, Johnson & Johnson, Baker & Taylor, BAE Systems

    Participation in professional organizations

    Oracle Academy (OA)
    Microsoft Developers Network Academic Alliance (MSDNAA)
    Association for Computing (ACM)
    ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE)
    ABET, Inc.

    Areas of study:

    Management Information Systems, B.S.
    Computer Science, B.A. and B.S.
    Information Systems, B.A. and B.S.

  • Computer Science Right Image
  • Starting salaries for those with degrees in computer science are among the top for all majors.

  • Department Faculty

    Click on name
    for full bio.

    Catherine Bareiss

    Larry Vail

    Complete list of faculty