Area of Study:

Software Development

Software Development, Bethel College Kansas

Coding the Future

Software development is the sub-specialty within computer science concerned with developing computer programs to solve problems posed by other people.

You begin with the fundamentals of computer programming – formulating a real-world problem as one a computer can solve, implementing the solution as a computer program, and then verifying that your program satisfies the original need.

But software development is more than “just programming.” Software developers need to know what types of problems can and can’t be solved by a computer. They need good communication skills and an understanding of how people perceive information and how they use that information to make decisions.

Bethel’s Software Development program will be housed in the math department and will include options for a major, with a suggested track for students considering a graduate degree and a minor.

Upon successful completion of the major, you will:

  • be able to analyze problems, implement solutions and present results using a high-level computer programming language;
  • understand the processes that result in “reliably repeatable” software development;
  • be familiar with programming in open- and closed-source environments;
  • recognize the importance of people (clients; managers; teammates) in the software development process;
  • understand professional and ethical responsibility.

There’s recent evidence that employers highly prize analysis, critical thinking, written and oral communication, and ethical judgment skills that are all part of the focus of liberal arts.

Bethel’s introductory programming courses support coursework in many other disciplines, particularly the physical and social sciences. More and more, a basic understanding of programming concepts is an advantage, even a necessity, for pursuing various career paths.

The “computational sciences” (computational physics, computational biology, computational chemistry, computational linguistics, and so forth) are growing in size and importance. For example, computational molecular chemistry techniques are being used now to search efficiently for effective treatments for COVID-19. Computational science and applied mathematics are used across various disciplines in science, engineering, industry and technology.


“This major will prepare students for a career in a computer-related field experiencing phenomenal growth in the region and throughout the nation. The Bethel degree will give students a competitive advantage [of] a liberal arts education. Graduates will [be able] to think critically, and will gain leadership skills to help them succeed and advance in their careers.”Robert Milliman, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty


A minimum of 41 hours (29–30 hours required for computer science/software development courses and 12–20 hours supporting courses) must be taken within the Bachelor of Science degree.

Graduate Track

The major includes an optional Graduate Track to prepare you for computer science or computer engineering graduate study. Courses recommended for the Graduate Track are marked below with an asterisk. If you choose the Graduate Track, you are responsible for all required prerequisites for these recommended courses.

Required computer science courses (29–30 hours):

4 hours – Introduction to Computer Programming

4 hours – Intermediate Programming: Data Structures

4 hours – Intermediate Programming: Graphical User Interfaces

3 hours – Advanced Data Structures

3 hours – Human-Computer Interaction

4 hours – Software Design & Development

Choose one:

1 hour – Seminar

2 hours – Internship

At least two upper-level courses totaling at least 6 hours:

3 hours – Programming Languages*

3 hours – Operating Systems*

3 hours – Database Management Systems*

3 hours – Web Application Development

Required supporting courses (6 hours):

3 hours – Discrete Mathematics

3 hours – Linear Algebra

Supplemental supporting courses (at least 6 hours):

3 hours – Christian Social Ethics

3 hours – General Psychology

4 hours – Calculus I*

4 hours – Applied Statistics*

Software Development minor requirements:

16 hours of software development courses

Area of Study Faculty:

Dwight Krehbiel Photo

Dwight Krehbiel

Emeritus professor of psychology / Adjunct instructor of psychology