American University of Beirut – Mediterraneo: BS in Computer Science

​​Qualified computer science professionals are in high demand. In fact, says Professor Haidar Safa, there are more computer science-related jobs than there are qualified people to fill them. Most of these opportunities require competencies and knowledge gained through a university degree in computer science. 

The bachelor of science (BS) program that the Americ​an University of Beirut – Mediterraneo will be offering at its new campus in Pafos, Cyprus, is based on the very successful BS program that the university has offered in Beirut for many years. The program equips graduates with a solid foundation in computing at both the theoretical and practical levels and provides them with the ability to design, build, and deploy sophisticated systems using state-of-the-art technologies in a broad array of areas. Students are trained in quantitative reasoning, the use of fundamental principles and ideas (abstraction, modularity, data structures, algorithmic, computability, calculus, and logic) for analysis and problem solving, and disciplined development of modern software systems. The program adheres to ACM’s (Association of Computing Machinery) standards for knowledge areas learning outcomes. 

“Students graduate with all the skills they need to work in many related domains such as machine learning and data science, game development, mobile applications and web development, software architecture and design, software engineering, database, network, and system administrators,” says Safa, who has been teaching at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Beirut, Lebanon since 2003. Some computer science graduates open their own startups. Others go on to do graduate studies. 

Students enrolled in the BS program in computer science will also take general education courses outside their major – a key feature of the “AUB experience” that generations of AUB students have enjoyed. “We will be offering students at AUB Mediterraneo a fuller educational experience that better prepares them for today’s challenging and uncertain world and the rapid transformation of professional roles and opportunities,” explains Bana Bashour, director of the General Education Program. This means that BS computer science students will take courses focused on “understanding our cultures and histories, the scientific investigation of the world around us, and analyzing our changing societies in addition to courses focused on ethics and civic engagement, which supports our goal to develop responsible citizens, committed to serving their communities and the world,” explains David Currell, chair of the Department of English. 

Students relish this opportunity – and find it especially invaluable after they graduate. Tala Jaafari, who is a third-year student at AUB majoring in computer science, says that the political philosophy course that she took was “enlightening, to say the least. Learning how to think critically about concepts like authority, liberty, nationalism, and social justice is invaluable and very relevant in a world where politics permeates all aspects of life.”

Another attraction of all undergraduate degree programs at AUB Mediterraneo is the chance to participate in a three-week orientation and induction program at the start of the first year, which will provide students with “the tools they need so they can take full advantage of all the opportunities that they will enjoy.” Dr. Wassim El-Hajj, the executive director of the American University of Beirut – Mediterraneo project, goes on to note that the three-week program will introduce students to the goals and approaches of a liberal arts education and also serve as a practical orientation to AUB Mediterraneo.