Ada as a Foundation Programming Language

Spring 2000

Michael B. Feldman
Chair, ACM-SIGAda Education Working Group

Proferssor, Department of Computer Science
The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052
(202) 994-5919 (voice) -- (202) 994-4875 (fax)

Multi-Year Trends in Adopting Ada as Foundation Language
Ada in First-Level Courses Around the World
Ada in Other Foundation Courses Around the World


This report lists the colleges and universities known -- or at least credibly believed -- to have adopted Ada as a "foundation language," which means in one of the first few computing courses taken by students majoring in programs such as computer science, engineering, or information systems.

Curricula in these fields are far from standardized, and there is much variation from institution to institution depending upon local needs and politics. The courses I have in mind are:

  1. A course that appears early in the curriculum (typically in the first year), teaches basic concepts of problem solving and software development, and has no (or only light, literacy-level) programming prerequisites.  This type of course has traditionally been called "CS1", but need not be part of a computer science curriculum per se. Students may or may not take a subsequent computing course, but this course prepares them to do so.

  3. A course devoted mostly to algorithms and data structures, which has a course in category (1) as its prerequisite. This course has traditionally been called "CS2", but this name is merely a shorthand. The prerequisite may or may not use Ada.

In this list I am not reporting advanced courses that introduce Ada in such topics as software engineering projects, programming languages, etc., or courses that introduce Ada primarily to experienced practitioners.

Unless otherwise indicated, each of these courses appears in an undergraduate program titled "computer science" or very similar.

This data is, for the most part, verifiable, based on first-hand reports from the teachers of those courses. In a few cases, publishers' textbook adoption data was used. I would like to keep this list as complete and up to date as possible, so please let me know of any additions or corrections.

Multi-Year Trends in Adopting Ada as a Foundation Language

First consider the trend information since 1991, shown in the bar chart above. I update the current year dynamically, as I learn of changes. Note that the decline in second-course institutions is largely due to these institutions moving to first-course status. A few of the programs listed are using Ada in an introductory course in a graduate curriculum; where this is not mentioned specifically, the program is an undergraduate one.
Now the list of colleges and universities.

Colleges and Universities Introducing Ada as the First Language Taught in a Computing Curriculum.

  1. Allan Hancock College, California
  2. Armstrong Atlantic State University, Georgia
  3. Auburn University
  4. Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra
  5. Birmingham Southern College, Alabama
  6. British Columbia Institute of Technology, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  7. California Polytechnic State University, Pomona
  8. California State University, Fullerton
  9. California State University, Long Beach
  10. Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
  11. Clemson University, South Carolina
  12. Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, Paris, France
  13. Covenant College, Georgia
  14. Cranfield University, United Kingdom
  15. Cypress College, California
  16. Daniel Webster College, New Hampshire
  17. East Stroudsburg University, Pennsylvania
  18. Ecole d'Ingenieurs de Geneve, Switzerland
  19. Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Ingenieurs des Constructions Aeronautiques
  20. Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications de Bretagne, France
  21. Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications de Paris, France
  22. Ecole Superieure en Sciences Informatiques, Nice, France
  23. Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia
  24. ENIEV, Switzerland
  25. Flinders University, Australia
  26. Florida Institute of Technology
  27. Formation d'Ingenieurs en Informatique de la Faculte d'Orsay, France
  28. Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany
  29. George Mason University, Virginia (Graduate SE Program)
  30. The George Washington University, Washington, DC
  31. Hampton University, Virginia
  32. Indiana-Purdue University, Ft. Wayne
  33. Institut National des Sciences Appliquees, Toulouse, France
  34. Jacksonville State University, Alabama
  35. Jerusalem College of Technology, Israel
  36. LeMoyne College, New York
  37. Lenoir-Rhyne College, North Carolina
  38. Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom
  39. Loyola Marymount University, California
  40. Marion County Technical Center, West Virginia
  41. Marshall University, West Virginia
  42. Mary Washington College, Virginia
  43. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  44. Montana State University
  45. Moravian College, Pennsylvania
  46. Murray State University, Kentucky
  47. Muskingum College, Ohio
  48. National Defense Management College at Taiwan, Republic of China
  49. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California (Graduate)
  50. New York University (honors section)
  51. North Carolina A&T University
  52. Norwich University, Vermont
  53. Otterbein College, Ohio
  54. Radford University, Virginia
  55. Royal Military Academy, Belgium
  56. Sacred Heart University, Connecticut
  57. Saint Mary College, Kansas
  58. Salem State College, Massachusetts
  59. Sam Houston State University, Texas
  60. San Diego Mesa College, California
  61. Santa Clara University
  62. Seattle University
  63. South Bank University, United Kingdom
  64. Southampton Institute of Higher Education, United Kingdom
  65. Southern Arkansas University
  66. St. Cloud State Univ., Minnesota
  67. State University of New York at Plattsburgh
  68. Stockton College of New Jersey
  69. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne
  70. Technical College of Albstadt-Sigmaringen (Germany)
  71. Technical College of Berlin, Germany
  72. Technical College of Heilbronn (Germany), School of Medical Informatics
  73. Technical University of Madrid, School of Informatics
  74. Technical University of Madrid, School of Telecommunication Engineering
  75. Truman State University, Missouri (formerly Northeast Mo. State)
  76. United States Air Force Academy, Colorado
  77. United States Military Academy at West Point
  78. Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Canada
  79. Universite des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, France
  80. University of Adelaide, Australia
  81. University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  82. University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain
  83. University of Aston, United Kingdom
  84. University of Bradford, United Kingdom
  85. University of Brighton, United Kingdom
  86. University of Canberra, Australia
  87. University of Cantabria, Spain
  88. University Carlos III, School of Industrial Engineering, Madrid (Spain)
  89. University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom
  90. University of Cincinnati (Raymond Walters College), Ohio
  91. University of the German Armed Forces at Munich
  92. University of Glamorgan, Wales, United Kingdom
  93. University of Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
  94. University of Hannover, Germany
  95. University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, United Kingdom
  96. University of Lancaster, United Kingdom
  97. University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
  98. University of Lodz, Poland (Faculty of Mathematics)
  99. University of Luton, United Kingdom
  100. University of Maryland (University College)
  101. University of Montana - Missoula
  102. University of Muenster, Germany
  103. University of New Orleans
  104. University of North Dakota
  105. University of Northern Iowa
  106. University of Paisley, United Kingdom
  107. University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom
  108. University of Rome at Tor Vergata, Italy
  109. University of Salzburg, Austria
  110. University of Sofia, Bulgaria
  111. University of South Dakota
  112. University of South Florida
  113. University of Stafford, United Kingdom
  114. University of Virginia's College at Wise
  115. University of Wales, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom
  116. Vaxjo University, Sweden
  117. West Virginia University

Colleges and Universities Introducing Ada Not as the First Language but Rather in a Second or Third Foundation Course

  1. Briar Cliff College, Iowa
  2. College of West Virginia, Beckley
  3. Davis and Elkins College, West Virginia
  4. Ecole d'Ingenieurs de l'Etat de Vaud, Switzerland
  5. Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile, Toulouse, France
  6. Florida International University
  7. Gallaudet University, Washington, DC
  8. Georgia State University
  9. Indiana University, New Albany
  10. Kennesaw State University, Georgia
  11. Mesa State College, Colorado
  12. Mount Mercy College, Iowa
  13. National University, California
  14. Nicholls State University, Louisiana
  15. Oglethorpe University, Georgia
  16. Ohio University, Athens
  17. Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg
  18. Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, Indiana
  19. Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania
  20. State University of New York at Fredonia
  21. Universidade Do Vale Do Rio Dos Sinos (Brazil)
  22. Universite de Valenciennes, France
  23. University of Geneva, Switzerland
  24. University of Missouri, Columbia
  25. University of Queensland, Australia
  26. University of Scranton, Pennsylvania
  27. University of Seville, Spain
  28. University of Texas, Austin (periodically)
  29. University of Texas, Permian Basin
  30. University of York, United Kingdom
  31. University of Zaragoza, Spain
  32. Weber State University, Utah
  33. Western New England College, Massachusetts