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Data Science Major

Study data science at SBU

As a student at SBU with a major in data science, you will take a combination of computer science and statistics preparing you for careers in data science, data analytics, or data mining. This degree features a significant focus on science and engineering and will harness your mathematics skills and passion for problem-solving.

During the data science program, students will complete courses such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Programming Analytics, Data Visualization, and Data Modeling. In addition, data science majors will be exposed to practical experiences in data science from internship programs offered through partnerships between SBU and leading technology companies in the region. 

SBU has been a leader in computing education since 1983 and is one of only a few evangelical Christian institutions in the nation to have a computer science degree with ABET accreditation. Studying computer information science at SBU will equip you for a lifetime of success.


Degree Plan


(SBU CIS graduates have achieved 100% job placement within six months of graduation 5 out of the last 6 years.)

ABET Computer Accredition Commission logo

SBU students

The SBU Advantage

  • SBU CIS graduates have achieved 100% job placement within six months of graduation 5 out of the last 6 years.
  • SBU is home to a dedicated cybersecurity lab.
  • All division faculty have or are pursuing a Ph.D.; together they have more than 100 combined years of teaching and industry experience.
  • Technology leaders and SBU CIS alumni help shape the future direction of the program by serving on the CIS Advisory Board.
  • Graduates from the SBU CIS programs typically earn starting salaries ranging from $50,000-$75,000.

Faith Integration

SBU's computer science program is dedicated to the intentional integration of Christian faith and academic discipline. For example, each year at least one senior project is chosen that has an intentional spiritual focus. In the past, these senior projects have benefited companies and organizations such as Global Media Outreach, New Tribes Mission and IMB missionaries in Thailand.

Psalm 15 — SBU's College of Professional Programs and the Robert W. Plaster College of Business have a Psalm 15 initiative, which provides intentional integration of faith and academic discipline. Using Psalm 15 as a basis, the Colleges have identified eight character traits that should be the hallmark of the students and graduates. These character traits are emphasized in coursework and in a special lecture series. The highlighted character traits are: Integrity, Service, Respect, Charity, Faithfulness, Truthfulness, Humility and Perseverance.

Ethics and Professional Development — As part of an intentionally Christian education, students in the Robert W. Plaster College of Business take a senior-level course in Ethics and Professional Development. The course teaches Christian personal and professional ethics and equips students with life skills such as career development, etiquette, and servant leadership, with the goal of producing ethical business leaders who will be servant leaders in the workplace.


SBU CIS program graduates are currently employed by eight Fortune 100 companies, including:

  • Wal-Mart Information Systems Division
  • Conoco-Phillips
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Boeing
  • Lockheed-Martin
  • Google

Other organizations that have employed our computer science graduates include:

  • Bass Pro Corporate Headquarters
  • Cerner Corporation
  • ExxonMobil
  • Intel
  • Lexmark Systems
  • Motorola
  • O'Reilly Automotive Corporate Headquarters
  • State of Missouri Information Technology Services Division


Nearly all computer science students complete at least one paid internship in software development before graduating SBU! In the summer of 2016, the CIS program had 36 undergraduate students employed in paid summer internships.

Example of organizations that have provided internships for our students:

  • Research internships at National Labs (Los Alamos, N.M.; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Brookhaven, N.Y.; Chicago, Ill.; Hanover, Wash.)
  • Accenture
  • Associated Electric Cooperative
  • BNSF
  • Cerner Corporation
  • Garmin
  • Leggett & Platt
  • O'Reilly Automotive Corporate Headquarters

Nick Gibson
"SBU equipped me with the problem solving and analytical skills needed to continue learning and to stay relevant through an entire career in a field that is constantly changing."
Nick Gibson '12
Software Engineer for IBM in Raleigh, N.C.

Clubs and Organizations

Competitive Programming Teams

SBU is home to one of Missouri's top competitive programming teams, with more than 20 top-10 national awards in the last five years. Additionally, SBU is the 2017 CCSC Mid-South Regional Champion Competitive Programming Team! Use what you're learning in the classroom to compete in various regional and national competitions throughout the year.

Collegiate Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)

SBU’s FBLA team competes nationally in various categories. The team has produced five national champions and 15 top-10 finishes at FBLA nationals in the past 10 years.

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

Join SBU's chapter of Association for Computing Machinery, the world's largest scientific and educational computing society.


Select programs within the College of Professional Programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The Computer Science and Cybersecurity programs are accredited by ABET's Computer Accrediting Commission.

SBU's computer science program is the only ABET-accredited program at an evangelical Christian college within a 500-mile radius of Bolivar, and is one of just six evangelical Christian institutions nationwide to receive this accreditation. SBU's cybersecurity program is the only ABET-accredited program at an evangelical Christian college within a 800-mile radius of Bolivar, and is one of only two evangelical Christian institutions nationwide to receive this accreditation. SBU's Division of Computing & Mathematics is the only department at any evangelical Christian institution in the U.S. to house programs accredited by both ABET and ACBSP.

Competitive programming

SBU is home to one of Missouri's top competitive programming teams with more than 20 top-10 national awards in the past five years.

  • CCSC Central Plains Regional Champion seven times in past 10 years
  • AITP National Collegiate Conference national top three or higher 13 times in past 10 years
  • Top-20 team in the Mid-Central United States region at the International Collegiate Programming Contest each year since 2005

Research Lab

SBU CIS students benefit from the CIS Research Lab, a Windows 7 100 base TX Ethernet networked lab housing three parallel processing platforms, including a multi-hundred NVidia system. Lab is primarily used for senior projects, work study and research projects.


You will have the opportunity to apply for several privately funded scholarships. Select incoming freshmen receive a CIS award for their first year.

Taylor Center

The College of Professional Programs is housed in the Gene Taylor National Free Enterprise Center. The Taylor Center was expanded and renovated to provide the following benefits for our students:

  • Increased number of dedicated study areas and presentation rooms that can be reserved in advance
  • Keycard access for certain majors increases building security while allowing you to access space and equipment after hours to effectively study and work on group projects
  • Student lounge and open spaces to study, relax and hang out