Computer Science and Information Systems

Graduate Programs

Jiang B. Liu,
Graduate Program Coordinator

Jiang B. Liu, Young Park,
Graduate Advisors

The Department offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of master of science in computer science and master of science in computer information systems. These courses of study are designed to prepare students for professional careers in the field of computing and information processing or for further study and research.

Computer science is the study of theoretical and algorithmic foundations used in computer systems. Students are taught how to gather and analyze requirements, design, develop and test software systems, and devise new innovations and applications in computing. Computer information systems is a discipline that focuses on information technology and a wide variety of scientific, engineering, and business applications; the mathematical requirements for computer information systems are not as rigorous as they are for computer science because there is less focus on theoretical foundations.

Students can concentrate their study in various areas of computing including 1) software engineering, 2) intelligent systems, 3) database management systems, 4) computer systems and architecture, 5) net-centric computing, 6) web technology, 7) computer game technology, 8) software, web and computer security, 9) theoretical computer science, and 10) emerging topics in computer science or computer information systems.

Computer science and computer information systems graduates are employed by a variety of industries and non-profit organizations as software engineers and/or developers, system administrators and/or developers, system analysts, network administrators, web developers and/or technologists, software test engineers, and database administrators and/or developers.

In addition to satisfying all the Graduate School requirements for the degree, all candidates for the master’s degree must satisfy the following departmental requirements:

  1. At least 33 hours of graduate-level coursework. The course CS 502 does not count as part of the total hours needed.
  2. No “D” grades can be counted in the completion of requirements for the degree.
  3. Every student must pass a written comprehensive examination that will be based on the core requirements for the program pursued.

Interested and qualified students are offered the option of writing a master’s thesis. Students selecting this option are encouraged to choose an advisor and topic as early as possible in order to plan the thesis development and any needed supporting coursework. The following policies apply to theses:

  1. A minimum grade point average of 3.5 in computer science and computer information systems graduate courses is required for students enrolling in CS 699 (Thesis).
  2. No student may register for CS 699 until 9 hours of graduate courses have been completed in the department.
  3. Six credit hours of CS 699 are required and, upon completion, the thesis must be defended in an oral examination. No grade will be given for CS 699 until after the oral defense.
  4. A written outline of the thesis project and a tentative schedule must be submitted to and approved by the graduate coordinator and the chair prior to the registration for CS 699.

Students in the CS and CIS programs may register for only three courses and be on the wait list for up to seven additional semester hours, not going over 16 semester hours. Any exceptions must be approved by the department head.

Admission requirements and graduation requirements specific to computer science and computer information systems are given below. In addition, applicants must submit GRE General Test scores taken within the last five years. The applicant may request a GRE waiver under certain circumstances. Note that prospective students who do not meet the conditions for admission may be admitted conditionally, in which case the department will prescribe a program for the removal of such admission conditions. Conditional status must be removed prior to graduation.

Computer Science

In addition to meeting all the general requirements of the Graduate School and of the department as stated above, candidates for the master’s degree in computer science must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. At least 21 of the 33 required hours must be earned in courses labeled CS. At most, six hours may be earned in approved courses other than those labeled CS or CIS.
  2. To satisfy the core (breadth) requirement, four courses must be taken, one from each pair given below (either by taking the course or showing evidence of the completion of an equivalent course elsewhere):
    • CS 520 or CS 625
    • CS 590 or CS 591
    • CS 514 or CS 612
    • CS 561 or CS 571
  3. To satisfy the depth requirements, the student must take three courses from one of the concentrations offered by the department. No course taken to satisfy the core requirement (see item 2) may be counted as one of the three courses in this requirement.

For admission into the computer science program, a student must have the approval of the department and have completed:

  1. discrete mathematics
  2. at least two semesters of calculus, matrix or linear algebra
  3. at least one semester of calculus-based statistics
  4. at least 15 hours of computer science coursework including knowledge of one structured or object-oriented programming language, elementary data structures, assembly language, advanced data structures, and introductory computer architecture

Computer Information Systems

In addition to meeting all the general requirements of the Graduate School and of the department as stated above, candidates for the master’s degree in computer information systems must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. At least 21 of the 33 semester hours required must be earned in courses labeled as CIS. At most, six hours may be earned in approved courses other than those labeled CS or CIS.
  2. To satisfy the core (breadth) requirements, a student must either take the following courses or show the evidence of having completed equivalent courses elsewhere: CIS 530, CIS 575, CIS 580, CS 591. (CS 531 and CS 590 are recommended).
  3. Take one of the following courses: CIS 697, CIS 698, or CS 690.
  4. To satisfy the depth requirements, the student must take three courses from one of the concentrations offered by the department. No course taken to satisfy the core requirements (see items 2 and 3) may be counted as one of the three courses in this requirement.

The admission requirements for the computer information systems program are:

  1. one semester of calculus
  2. one semester of statistics, and
  3. two semesters of computer programming

Concentrations

Computer Game Technology Concentration - 9 hrs.

The computer game technology concentration provides students with essential background, understanding, knowledge, and skills in the practice of computer game technology and software design and development. The concentration is comprised of 9 semester hours of study including 6 semester hours of required courses and 3 semester hours of elective courses as outlined below.

Required courses:

  • CIS 551 Computer Game Design - 3 hrs.
  • CIS 552 Computer Game Modification - 3 hrs.

Elective courses (choose one from the following):

  • CIS 553 Concepting and Storytelling - 3 hrs.
  • CIS 555 Computer Graphics - 3 hrs.
  • CIS 556 Game Engine Programming - 3 hrs.
  • CIS 557 Digital Animation - 3 hrs.
  • CIS 558 Sound Design - 3 hrs.
  • CIS 559 Computer Game Capstone Project - 3 hrs.

Emerging Topics in Computer Information Systems - 9 hrs.

This concentration provides students with essential background, understanding, in-depth knowledge, and unique skills in the practice of selected emerging topics in Computer Information Systems area. The Concentration is comprised of 6 required and 3 elective semester hours of study as outlined below.

Required courses:

  • CIS 699 “Thesis in Computer Information Systems” (6 hrs.)

Elective courses (choose one from the following):

  • CIS 697 “Advanced Topics in Computer Information Systems” (3 hrs.)
  • CIS 698 “Directed Individual Studies in Computer Information Systems” (3 hrs.)

Emerging Topics in Computer Science - 9 hrs.

This concentration provides students with essential background, understanding, in-depth knowledge, and unique skills in the practice of selected emerging topics in computer science area. The concentration is comprised of 6 required and 3 elective semester hours of study as outlined below.

Required courses:

CS 699 Thesis in Computer Science - 6 hrs.

Elective courses (choose one from the following):

  • CS 697 Advanced Topics in Computer Science - 3 hrs.
  • CS 698 Directed Individual Studies in Computer Science - 3 hrs.

Intelligent Systems, Databases and Data Mining - 9 hrs.

The intelligent systems, databases and data mining concentration provides students with essential background, understanding, knowledge, and skills in the practice of analysis, design and development of intelligent systems and applications, database management systems, knowledge discovery and data mining technologies. The concentration is comprised of 9 semester hours of study including 3 semester hours of required courses and 6 semester hours of elective courses as outlined below.

Required courses (choose one from the following):

  • CS 561 Artificial Intelligence - 3 hrs.
  • CS 571 Database Management Systems - 3 hrs.

Elective courses (choose two from the following):

  • CS 562 Intelligent Systems and Applications - 3 hrs.
  • CS 563 Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining - 3 hrs.
  • CS 572 Advanced Topics in Databases - 3 hrs.

Software Engineering - 9 hrs.

The software engineering concentration provides students with essential background, understanding, knowledge, and skills in the practice of software engineering concepts, models, methods, technology, tools and techniques. The concentration is comprised of 9 semester hours of study including 3 semester hours of required courses and 6 semester hours of elective courses as outlined below.

Required courses (choose one from the following):

  • CS 590 Fundamentals of Software Engineering - 3 hrs.
  • CS 591 Software Project Management - 3 hrs.

Elective courses (choose two from the following):

  • CS 592 Requirements Engineering - 3 hrs.
  • CS 593 Software Engineering of Web-Based Applications - 3 hrs.
  • CS 690 Advanced Topics on Software Engineering - 3 hrs.

Software, Web, and Computer Security Concentration - 9 hrs.

The software, Web, and computer security concentration provides students with essential background, understanding, knowledge, and skills in the practice of software, Web, computer networks and computer systems security technology, and secure software and Web applications design and development. The concentration is comprised of 9 required semester hours of study as outlined below.

Required courses:

  • CIS 515 Applied Cryptography - 3 hrs.
  • CIS 535 Computer Networks and System Security - 3 hrs.
  • CIS 595 Software and Web Applications Security - 3 hrs.

Theoretical Computer Science - 9 hrs.

The theoretical computer science concentration provides students with essential theoretical background and deep understanding of theory of computer science. The concentration is comprised of 9 semester hours of study, including 3 semester hours of required courses and 6 semester hours of elective courses as outlined below.

Required courses (choose one from the following):

  • CS 514 Algorithms - 3 hrs.
  • CS 612 Automata, Computation, and Complexity - 3 hrs.

Elective courses (choose two from the following):

  • CS 503 Programming Methodology - 3 hrs.
  • CS 516 Programming Languages - 3 hrs.
  • CS 614 Parallel Algorithms - 3 hrs.

Web Technologies and Systems - 9 hrs.

The Web technologies and systems concentration provides students with essential background, understanding, knowledge, and skills in the practice of design and development of Web technologies and integrated Web-based systems and applications. The concentration is comprised of 9 semester hours of study including 3 semester hours of required courses and 6 semester hours of elective courses as outlined below.

Required course:

CS 531 Web Development Technologies - 3 hrs.

Elective courses (choose two from the following):

  • CS 520 Advanced Computer Architecture - 3 hrs.
  • CS 532 Advanced Java Computing - 3 hrs.
  • CIS 545 Integrative Programming and Technology - 3 hrs.
  • CS 593 Software Engineering of Web-Based Applications - 3 hrs.
  • CS 625 Operating Systems Design - 3 hrs.
  • CS 635 Data Communications and Networks - 3 hrs.


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