About Us

Welcome! We’re passionate about undergraduate education in computing that is both academically excellent and distinctively Christian. Since we began offering computing courses in 1968, we have worked hard to achieve both of these goals without compromise. See our department mission statement.

Our Programs

Our BCS program is accredited by the CAC Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org, a distinction we share with select programs around the country (e.g., MIT’s BS in CS and Engineering program and Michigan’s BSE program in Computer Science), and we’ve leveraged the BCS courses to build specialized programs in information systems and digital communication (see our academics page or our program goals).

In addition to taking courses, our students apply their skills in a number of venues, including paid internships, design projects and community outreach programs. In so doing, they learn how their education can become the basis of a life-long vocation of service (see our essays on Christian scholarship).

Our programs are regularly reviewed by our Strategic Partners Council, a group of individuals that represent the professional constituencies our department serves. These reviews help to ensure that our programs stay up to date with current technologies.

Our Students

Our graduates do well in both graduate schools and business. They’ve been accepted and/or employed at a variety of places, including the following.

Graduate programs: International Companies & Organizations: West Michigan Companies & Organizations:
  • MIT
  • Harvard
  • Berkeley
  • Stanford
  • Purdue
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • Ohio State
  • Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Wisconsin
  • Texas
  • USC
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo
  • Amazon
  • IBM
  • Boeing
  • FBI
  • Indeed
  • Crowe Chizek
  • Peace Corps
  • Wycliffe Bible Translators
  • Open Systems Technologies
  • Atomic Object
  • Spectrum Health
  • Mutually Human
  • GE Aviation
  • Lean Logistics
  • Steelcase
  • Herman Miller
  • Meijer
  • Gordon Food Service
  • Quixtar/Alticor

An NSF study showed that graduate programs awarded more PhDs in computer science to Calvin graduates than to any other comparably sized school.

All Calvin CS seniors take the ETS Major Field Test for Computer Science, to assess what they have learned during their time at Calvin.  Our students do well enough that we publish the results:

ETS Scores for Computer Science

2010
2015
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Percentile of Calvin’s top student
(compared to individual scores, nation-wide)
Percentile of Calvin’s average student score
(compared to institutional means, nation-wide)
Percentile of Calvin’s lowest student
(compared with individual scores, nation-wide)
Flot 0.8.3

As can be seen above, our median students routinely score at or above the 95th percentile nation-wide, and our top student usually scores above the 99th percentile. Note that the preceding table includes all senior CS majors, not just those from the BCS program, and that in the majority of years, our worst-scoring student scores above the 50th percentile, which means that all the seniors those years were above average! This is remarkable, since few of our students enter Calvin with any high school computer science experience.

The following charts show the total enrollment and graduates by major program.

Total Number of Students by Major Program

2005
2010
2015
0
50
100
150
total
cs
bcs
is
dc
Flot 0.8.3

The IS and DC programs were started in 2002.

Number of Graduates by Major Program

2005
2010
2015
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
total
cs
bcs
is
dc
Flot 0.8.3

As you can see, our numbers reflect the (nationwide) drop in CS enrollments between 2002 and 2008, followed by rapid growth as the market began responding to the demand for computing professionals.

Getting Started in Computing at Calvin