Computer Information Systems Masters Program
The Master of Science in Computer Information Systems is a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree program that presents students with an applied education in advanced topics associated with computer science, computer engineering, and information systems. Our program is endorsed by the National Professional Science Masters Association (NPSMA). Students can enroll in this program on either a full-time or a part-time basis.
The program is designed for students with some experience in computer technology and programming, who wish to advance their technical skills and knowledge, and who also wish to improve their communication and business skills. The goal of the program is to produce graduates who are technically proficient in their field and capable of working successfully in government and business.
All students must take six required courses in areas that are central to computer information systems. These areas are data structures, computer architecture, database management systems, data communications, user interface design, and software engineering. All students must also take two courses in a chosen area of specialization and complete a master’s project in this area, under the supervision of a department faculty member. The current areas of specialization include Embedded Real-Time Systems, Internet Programming, Bioinformatics, Database and Computer Game Design.
Surveys reveal that employers want their technical employees to be able to communicate well, work well in teams, and be able to work and communicate successfully with people from many cultures in an increasingly global workplace. Therefore, all students are required to take a course in technical communication in order to foster these skills. In addition, the department seeks to build communication and team skills throughout all courses throughout our master’s program.
Requirements for Admission
A student seeking admission to the program must fulfill all general requirements for admission to graduate study. In addition to meeting these criteria, all students must have either a grade point average of 3.0 or better in their undergraduate work or present a portfolio of professional work to be evaluated by the faculty of the Computer Science department.
All students must have at least nine credits in undergraduate mathematics courses, as well as the following undergraduate courses or their equivalents:
• CSC 202 Introduction to Programming
• CSC 302 Data Structures
• CSC 321 Database Management Systems
Students are required to have received a B or better in each of these prerequisite courses. A pre-test may be required to verify proper placement in courses.
Requirements for Degree
All students must complete a total of 33 credits, which includes a three-credit master’s project. All students must also take six (6) credits within their area of specialization.
Core Requirements* (12 credits)
CSC 501 Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis (3)
CSC 503 Database Theory and Design (3)
CSC 505 User Interface Design (3)
CSC 507 Software Engineering (3)
* All students must receive a grade of at least a B in all core courses.
Course Requirements (9 credits)
CSC 502 Computer Organization (3)
CSC 504 Data Communications (3)
CSC 508 Technical Communication (3)
**A student with sufficient experience that is equivalent to a required/core course may substitute (with departmental approval) an additional elective course or independent study.
Area of Specialization Courses (6 Credits)
Students must choose a concentration sequence in either Game Design (CSC 511 and CSC 512), Bioinformatics (CSC 513 and CSC 514), Internet Programming (two of CSC 515,CSC 516, CSC 531 and CSC532), Embedded Systems (CSC 517 and CSC 518), or Database (CSC 530 and CSC 531) to satisfy this requirement.
CSC Elective (3 Credits)
Research Requirement (3 Credits)
All students must complete a master’s project of significant scope closely related to their area of specialization. The topic for the project will be decided by the student in consultation with the faculty primarily responsible for teaching courses in the chosen specialization area. At the end of the semester, all projects must be formally presented to department faculty and student colleagues.
Fall and spring presentation dates will typically be held on the last Friday before the final exam/alternate schedule period. The summer presentation date will typically be held the week just prior to the start of the fall semester.
The comprehensive assessment must be successfully completed at least four (4) weeks prior to the formal presentation of the project.
CSC 597 Masters Project (3)
Comprehensive Assessment (CSC 999) (0 Credits)
All students must show that their master’s project demonstrates mastery in each of the core courses (CSC 501, CSC503, CSC505 and CSC 507). Faculty responsible for teaching each core course will provide guidelines for meeting the satisfactory comprehensive assessment in their respective area. Students must meet these requirements four (4) weeks prior to the presentation date. Faculty must provide their approval or disapproval, along with other feedback, to the student two (2) weeks prior to the presentation date. If a faculty member does not approve, the student will be permitted to present their corrected documents to the faculty with the deadline of one (1) week before the presentation date. Without faculty approval from all core areas, the presentation cannot occur, and the student must receive an incomplete.
The computer science department chair reserves the right to modify the mastery demonstration requirements under special circumstances.