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​About the Computer Science Program

You Can Keep Your Head in the Clouds with a Career in Computer Science


The fast paced field of computer science is dynamic and ever evolving as new technology emerges, becomes mainstream, then shifts yet again. We start with required core classes across computer programming, operating systems, databases and networking, and computer architecture. Depending on career interests and skill sets, students can specialize in software, gaming and mobile app development as well as cloud computing.


Santa Monica College is one of 19 Los Angeles Community Colleges that has received the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate grant, which provides high school and college students with education and training in cloud computing. Increasingly, companies are moving to data centers, hybrid environments and the cloud, creating competitive, yet attractive job prospects. Gain hands-on experience, proficiency and access to a vast library of learning materials, all designed to help you master essential cloud computing skills.


With on-campus and fully online program options, SMC offers a format that works for you.


Find the path that fits your personal needs and professional goals:

Degrees and Certificates

Associate of Science Degree Icon Associate in Science More information on the Associate in Science Degree

Get a foundation in general education, then gain the skills needed to excel in your desired field.

Completion of an Associate degree usually will not satisfy transfer major requirements. Meet with a counselor to develop an academic program best suited for you.

Estimated Timeline:
2+ years, 60 units

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Certificate of Achievement Icon Certificate of Achievement More information on the Certificate of Achievement

Gain the skills needed to excel in your desired field without completing general education requirements.

Estimated Timeline:
1+ years, 24+ units

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Certificate of Achievement Icon Department Certificate More information on the Department Certificate

Gain skills quickly with this short term program, then leverage them to get ahead in your career.

Estimated Timeline:
1 year or less, 18 units or less

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Associate of Science Degree - Computer Programming Associate in Science Degree Icon

27 units + General Education Requirements

Certificate of Achievement - Computer Programming Certificate of Achievement Icon

27 units

This program covers a broad spectrum of courses ranging from core computer science to a variety of branch fields of computer science. This major provides the student with the basic skills required of core computer science. Courses include programming in low-level and essential languages, Database Theory, Operating Systems Fundamentals, Computer Hardware and Data Structures. Students finishing this major are well equipped to work in the field of computer science as well as transfer to a four-year degree program in this area.

Associate of Science Degree - Computer Science “Associate in Science Degree Icon

34 units + General Education Requirements

Certificate of Achievement - Computer Science Certificate of Achievement Icon

34 units

This program covers a broad spectrum of courses ranging from core computer science to a variety of branch fields of computer science. This major provides the student with the basic skills required of core computer science. Courses include programming in low-level and essential languages, Database Theory, Operating Systems Fundamentals, Computer Hardware and Data Structures. Students finishing this major are well equipped to work in the field of computer science as well as transfer to a four-year degree program in this area.

Associate of Science Degree - Database Applications Developer Associate of Science Degree Icon

33 units + General Education Requirements

Certificate of Achievement - Database Applications Developer Certificate of Achievement Icon

33 units

This program develops user-friendly interfaces to database applications. A database application is made of data, a database engine to store the data, and an interface to extract and display the data. The skills needed to build a database application range from database theory and design, using a database engine such as SQL server, or Oracle, to programming in ADO technologies to extract the data, as well as programming in Windows and Web applications on a client and server-side basis to present the data. In addition, with increasing concerns over security, a database developer must also be able to write secure code that runs with minimum risk of attacks.

Associate of Science Degree - Web Programmer Associate of Science Degree Icon

30 units + General Education Requirements

Certificate of Achievement - Web Programmer Certificate of Achievement Icon

30 units

This program helps design and develop applications and scripts for the World Wide Web (WWW). Web programmers need to be knowledgeable on a variety of Internet technologies (HTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript, Perl/CGI, Java, JSP, PHP, and the Microsoft .Net platform), networking and database management. They are chiefly responsible for providing the programming which makes webpages interactive or allows users to interact with back-end applications and databases. Web programmers are instrumental in making electronic commerce on the Internet possible.

Department Certificate - Computer Programming Department Certificate Icon

12 units

This program provides the student with the basic skills needed to enter the world of programming. It covers a range of programming language courses that expose the student to the spectrum of different languages that are popular today.

Department Certificate - Cloud Computing Department Certificate Icon

15 units

This program provides the industry standard skills to understand and develop applications for the cloud. Students learn a range of topics that cover the technical principals of the hardware and software requirements to run systems in the cloud including storage, database management, and software systems, while maintaining secure access.

Department Certificate - Information Systems Management Department Certificate Icon

13 units

This program aims to provide Computer Science students with the knowledge needed to develop Information Systems in a real-world setting. Students learn how to develop medium to large scale applications while applying the skills needed to plan and budget resources in development projects from conceptual design to deployment.

Department Certificate - Mobile Apps Development - Android Department Certificate Icon

15 units

This program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in the emerging mobile career field. Students learn how to design and write apps for the Android platform. In addition to programming courses, the program includes courses that teach the fundamentals of mobile app and icon design.

Department Certificate - Mobile Apps Development - iPhone Department Certificate Icon

12 units

This program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in the emerging mobile career field. Students learn how to design and write apps for the iPhone/iPad/iPod platform. In addition to programming courses, the program includes courses that teach the fundamentals of mobile app and icon design.

Department Certificate - Networking Department Certificate Icon

17 units

The IT world is integrated by networks. Success in IT disciplines like database, website, or e-commerce development demands a supporting grasp of the network environment. Major technologies are the networks themselves, their fit within the operating platforms they connect to, specific network applications, and measures to achieve networks security.

SMC & Department Resources

Potential Career Options

Job Title Typical Education Median Wage
Computer and Information Systems Managers Bachelor's Degree $144,840
Computer and Information Research Scientists Master's or Professional Degree $115,670
Computer Systems Analysts Bachelor's Degree $89,801
Computer Programmers Bachelor's Degree $82,974
Software Developers, Applications Bachelor's Degree $105,329
Software Developers, Systems Software Bachelor's Degree $117,262
Web Developers Bachelor's Degree $62,189
Database Administrators Bachelor's Degree $98,072
Network and Computer Systems Administrators Bachelor's Degree $87,432
Computer Network Architects N/A $118,105
Computer User Support Specialists Bachelor's Degree $55,157
Computer Network Support Specialists Bachelor's Degree $69,824
Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers Bachelor's Degree $75,813
Computer Systems Engineers/Architects Bachelor's Degree $75,813
Web Administrators Bachelor's Degree $75,813
Database Architects Bachelor's Degree $75,813
Data Warehousing Specialists N/A $75,813
Business Intelligence Analysts Bachelor's Degree $75,813
Information Technology Project Managers Bachelor's Degree $75,813
Clinical Data Managers Bachelor's Degree $73,137
Computer Hardware Engineers Bachelor's Degree $135,975
Computer Science Teachers, Postsecondary Master's or Professional Degree $84,429
Computer Operators Associate Degree $52,458