The University of Colorado regents on Wednesday unanimously approved a bachelor's degree program in computer science geared for liberal arts students.

Unlike the bachelor of science already offered at CU -- through the College of Engineering and Applied Science -- the bachelor of arts program will be housed in the College of Arts and Sciences.

CU's Boulder campus will be the only public college in Colorado to offer a BA in computer science. Colorado College, which is private, is the only Colorado institution now offering the degree.

CU officials say Colorado employers have a strong need for more graduates with computer science backgrounds.

Adam Rubenstein, president and CEO of Collective IP in Boulder, underscored the need for graduates who have not only computer-science skills but also training in science, tech and math disciplines. There is an "unambiguous scarcity of a qualified work force" in computer science, he said.

"Make no mistake: There is a severe crisis felt by every industry, not simply technology-specific, regarding the insufficient availability of high-tech workers," Rubenstein said in a statement. "A fierce competition exists for today's finite talent pool, yielding a suppressed degree of productivity and innovation."

Campus officials say they want to begin offering the new degree program as early as next fall.


The newly approved bachelor's degree will be designed for students studying arts and sciences disciplines and will offer room for them to pursue double majors.

The dean's office expects that at least 30 students in the College of Arts and Sciences will enroll in the program in its first year and that enrollment could grow fivefold in six years.

Based on the experiences of universities in other states, CU officials do not anticipate that the new degree will diminish interest in the existing computer science degree program, which enrolls about 340 students.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or