Applied Computer Science (ACS)

Join the next generation of makers, thinkers, and leaders as you learn the cutting-edge computer skills essential to compete in an increasingly digital world. 

Students on computers

With a bachelor’s degree in Applied Computer Science (ACS) from Dominican University of California, students are wholly equipped to take on the tech world by storm. This three-year program with a focus on hands-on, practical learning empowers students to succeed professionally and financially in their chosen careers and deliver solutions to real-world problems in areas such as front- and backend web development, software engineering, and agile product development.

A fully online learning experience with all the Silicon Valley connections you would expect

All ACS classes are taught 100% online. ACS faculty teach live via Zoom. This means that you can earn your Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Computer Science at Dominican without relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area.

However, students can choose to live on our beautiful and safe 50-acre campus just 12 miles outside of San Francisco for a more traditional university experience and to take advantage of the Bay Area’s plentiful internship opportunities in tech. You can live, learn, and work alongside your peers who are passionate about computer science in a liberal arts environment.

Students who live on campus can also take non-ACS classes in-person. This includes courses in English, history, science, etc. In addition, most on-campus students choose to gather in real-time and participate in the online ACS classes from the same classroom.

Regardless of whether a student is on campus or online, all will enjoy the same dedicated and personalized support including coaching and mentoring as well as plenty of opportunities to connect with peers, faculty, TAs, and industry guests.

The three pillars of ACS

  • Two technical concentrations in which students choose one: Front End Web, Back End Web
  • Computer science theory and fundamentals
  • An integrated core curriculum called Software Product Development

ACS offers a well-rounded education

  1. Software Engineering: Implement innovative software designs using sound development practices and state-of-the-art software engineering techniques, methods, and tools.
  2. Computer Science: Demonstrate mastery over computer science concepts and the classical patterns in computer hardware, software, and networking.
  3. Agile Product Development: Apply the agile product development process to ideate, design, ship, and iterate on solutions to real-world problems.
  4. Teamwork and Leadership: Develop the skills of a leader and team member by understanding the theory and practice of effective decision making: consensus, compromise, negotiation, delegation, management, communication, and collaboration with people of different backgrounds, cultures, and skills.
  5. Problem Solving and Lean Startups: Develop original and critical thinking strategies to find solutions to real-world problems across for- and not-for-profit domains of the economy and society, e.g. Education, Health, Business, etc.
  6. Self-Advocacy and Career Development: Develop the knowledge and skills of advocating and promoting oneself in the context of developing a professional career in technology.

Minor

The Coding and Software Design minor provides innovative, project-based curricula that allow you to infuse computer engineering and programming skills into your educational experience — regardless of your major! View our course catalog to learn more about the minor, developed in collaboration with leading tech employers, including Etsy, Lyft, and LinkedIn. 

Admissions and Financial Aid

The program is designed for anyone with an interest in computer science. No prior coding experience or test scores such as SAT/ACT are required. ACS is open to first-year students, transfer students, and second-degree students, including Dreamers and international students.

Learn about tuition per unit, additional fees and total tuition.

We'll also show you how a Dominican education is more affordable than you might think with support from financial aid, scholarships and loans. 

Tuition and Aid

Program Format and Career Path

Students generally complete the program in three years by taking a full course load year-round. This includes two full summers of coursework. Students with prior degrees may complete the program in just two years.

  • Faculty are real engineers with industry experience.
  • You will work with real companies for your second-year project and internship.
  • Your personalized industry-driven career development is guided by feedback from our employer partners.
  • Dominican Career Services partners with you from day one until you receive a job offer after graduation.
  • 95% of our graduates are working as junior software engineers within 6 months of graduation and make an average of over $120,000. 
  • Over 25% of graduates received an offer from Amazon, Apple, Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, and Netflix.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students can fill out a FAFSA or CA Dream Act form to find out what federal student aid they qualify for. ACS students often qualify for federal grants and loans.

ACS instructors have worked in real Silicon Valley tech companies as software engineers. They are experts in theory and practice and they are excited to work with a new generation of engineers from diverse backgrounds.

Traditional computer science programs require advanced mathematics and focus very much on computer science theory. In practice, much of this theoretical work is not needed to have a successful career in technology! ACS replaces much of the theory with boots-on-the-ground experience. Most of our graduates start their careers with sophisticated output that makes their colleagues think they’ve been working for two years already.

The ACS program is built to make it possible for anyone, from any background or skill level, to succeed as a software engineer  as long as they are motivated and willing to learn. We have a multi-year track record of academic excellence. Students also benefit from the Dominican Experience, a cutting-edge approach to whole-person learning.

No. There is no experience necessary to join ACS. If you do start to learn a bit before day one, it will help you adjust to the pace of the program, but there is no required prior knowledge.

You can find all relevant information on our international admissions page. International students who will not be relocating to our campus (or anywhere in the US) for this online program do not need to apply for student visas.
 

Degrees Offered

BS, Minor

School/Department

Barowsky School of Business

Office Hours

Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Admissions and Aid

A degree from a private university like Dominican University of California is more accessible than you might think. For most students there is no application fee and we don't ask for test scores. We're also proud to say that more than 99 percent of our first-year incoming students receive financial aid, which makes paying for school within reach.

Learn More About Admissions and Aid

Computer Science in the News

Faculty and Staff

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Adam Braus

Chair, Applied Computer Science Program
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Dan Morse

Instructor, Applied Computer Science Program
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Casey Spurgeon, MA

Director of Career Outcomes and Talent Partnerships, Applied Computer Science Program
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Mondale Felix

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Matthew Harrilal

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Hironobu Kobayashi

Adjunct Instructor
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Aakash Sudhakar

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Maria Madelene Zamora

Adjunct Assistant Professor