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Columbus State University

Master of Science
Applied Computer Science

Turner College of Business

TSYS School of Computer Science

Program Description

The TSYS School of Computer Science offers the Master of Science in Applied Computer Science, with three concentrations: Information Assurance, Modeling and Simulation, and Software Development. To allow students with different backgrounds to benefit from and be successful in the program, students may also design a program of study without a concentration.

Career Opportunities

Our graduates typically take jobs as:

  • Software Engineers / Architects
  • Computer Programmers / Software Developers
  • Web Developers
  • Game & Simulation Programmers
  • Modeling and Simulation Developers
  • Computer and Network Security Specialists
  • Network Managers
  • Information Security Professionals
  • Information Security Officers

Admission Requirements

Requirements for all applicants for admission into the program for the Master of Science in Applied Computer Science include the following:

  1. An undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university,
  2. A minimum 2.75 undergraduate cumulative GPA,
    A minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA in the student's undergraduate major,
    Significant experience (as judged by the Computer Science School) in industrial software development as documented by a resume and other appropriate documents, including published papers or patents.

Students may be admitted to the program unconditionally or conditionally (provisionally).

Additional requirements for unconditional admission into the MS program include:

  1. An undergraduate major in Computer Science, Applied Computer Science, Computer Information Science / Systems, Computer Engineering or other closely related field from an accredited college or university
  2. Demonstrated experience in the fundamentals of computer programming and knowledge in the fundamental principles of computer science, as evidenced by either
    • a passing grade of B or better in courses substantially equivalent to
      CPSC 6105 - Fundamental Principles of Computer Science and Data Structures, and
      CPSC 6106 - Fundamentals of Computer Programming and Data Structures
    • a score of 50th percentile or higher on the GRE computer science test,
    • passing tests of programming competency in data structures and other areas of computer science
  3. A minimum combined score of 900 (pre Nov. 2011) or 290 (after Nov. 2011) on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE.

Students admitted conditionally to the program must show proficiency in Fundamental Principles of Computer Science (CPSC 6105) and Fundamentals of Computer Programming and Data Structures (CPSC 6106) before being allowed to take any 6*** course for graduate credit in Computer Science.

Students admitted conditionally to the program are required to take and obtain the minimum combined score described above on the Graduate Record Examination within the first semester of initial enrollment at Columbus State University.

Learning Outcomes

All graduates in the MS in Applied CS program will be able to apply techniques and technologies from the computer science core.

In addition, graduates in the Modeling & Simulation concentration will:

be able to understand and evaluate different types of simulation paradigms and select an appropriate package for a given simulation problem,
be able to design and create simulations using simulation packages and/or writing code for a specific problem.
be able to use computer visualization to help highlight or enhance the analysis of results produced by a simulation.
be able to produce solutions in a distributed and/or enterprise environment

Additional Program Requirements

Approval of an application for the Master of Science degree in Applied Computer Science is contingent upon the successful completion of an approved program and recommendation for the degree by the College of Science. Applications for degree conferral must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than the semester prior to completion of degree requirements.

The following requirements must be met for the completion of the degree program:

  • Students must earn a 3.0 grade point average calculated on all graduate work attempted for which letter grades are awarded.
  • At least 27 of the hours required for the degree must be earned in the program. A maximum of nine semester hours with no grade lower than B may be accepted for transfer. Transfer credit will not be used in computing the student's grade point average.
  • All degree requirements must be completed within seven years of first enrollment.
  • Any program for the Master of Science in Applied Computer Science must include at least twelve courses (36 semester hours) taken for graduate credit.
  • Any program for the Master of Science in Applied Computer Science must include at least six courses (18 semester hours) at the graduate (6000 or above) level.
  • Any program for the Master's Degree in Applied Computer Science must include four courses (12 semester hours) in the Core Curriculum.
  • Any student who has taken a 5000-level core course for undergraduate credit at CSU will not be required to retake the course and may apply it as a prerequisite as appropriate. The student will not receive graduate credit for the course.
  • A student opting for a thesis in Applied Computer Science must take at least six hours of CPSC 6985 - Research and Thesis. Although only six hours of CPSC 6985 may be applied to the Master's Degree, the student is cautioned that successful completion of a thesis may require taking CPSC 6985 more than twice.
  • A student who elects the thesis option for the degree may not graduate until a thesis has been produced, approved by the student's thesis committee, and successfully defended in a public presentation.
  • A student who changes from the thesis option to the non-thesis option for a degree may not apply any hours taken in CPSC 6985 towards the 36-hour minimum for the degree.

Program Of Study

The Master of Science in Applied Computer Science program requires students to complete 36 hours of computer science coursework and an exit course, CPSC 6000. 15 hours of this coursework must be taken from Area 1 Program Core. For the remaining 24 hours, the student may elect to concentrate in one of the areas listed in Area 2 Program Concentration or select 24 semester hours in CPSC graduate courses. If the student chooses the latter, CPSC 6698 - Graduate Internship in Computer Science, CPSC 6899 - Independent Study, and CPSC 6985 - Research and Thesis may each be repeated once; CPSC 6555 - Selected Topics in Computer Science may be repeated multiple times. All students must complete Area 3 Graduate Exit Examination which includes an exit survey and comprehensive exam.

Area 1 Program Core Required Hours: 15
(Take five courses, at least one from each group.)

Group A:
CPSC 5115 Algorithm Analysis and Design
CPSC 6119 Object-Oriented Development
CPSC 6129 Advanced Programming Languages ***
CPSC 6138 Mobile Systems and Applications

Group B:
CPSC 6125 Advanced Operating Systems *
CPSC 6155 Advanced Computer Architecture
CPSC 6157 Computer Network Management *

Group C:
CPSC 6107 Survey of Modeling and Simulation **
CPSC 6126 Information Systems Assurance
CPSC 6127 Contemporary Issues in Database Management Systems ***
CPSC 6185 Intelligent Systems **

* Required for Information Assurance Concentration
** Required for Modeling & Simulation Concentration
*** Required for Software Development Concentration

Area 2 Program Concentration Required Hours: 12

A. Information Assurance
Four courses (12 semester hours) taken from the following:
CPSC 6216 Information Systems Assurance
CPSC 6128 Network Security
CPSC 6136 Advanced System Security
CPSC 6159 Computer Forensics
CPSC 6167 Network Risk Assessment
CPSC 6178 Software Testing and Quality Assurance

B. Software Development
Four courses (12 semester hours) taken from the following:
CPSC 6118 Human-Computer Interface Development
CPSC 6119 Object-Oriented Development
CPSC 6137 Distributed Software Architecture and Design
CPSC 6166 Distributed Enterprise Software Development
CPSC 6175 Web Site Development and Technologies
CPSC 6176 Enterprise Web Application Development
CPSC 6177 Advanced Software Design
CPSC 6178 Software Testing and Quality Assurance
CPSC 6179 Software Project Planning and Management

C. Modeling and Simulation
Four courses (12 semester hours) taken from the following (must include CPSC 6142):

CPSC 5125 – Computer Graphics
CPSC 6118 – Human-Computer Interface Development
CPSC 6142 – System Simulation
CPSC 6143 – Simulation Project
CPSC 6147 – Computer Visualization
CPSC 6148 – Simulation and Gaming

Area 3: Program Electives Required Hours: 9

Three additional courses (9 semester hours) at 6000-level for graduate credit.
Students taking the thesis option must take one elective and take CPSC 6985 at least twice.

Thesis Option
Students can also choose to do research culminating in a thesis.  This requires the student to:

  • Complete Area 1,
  • Complete Area 2 according to chosen concentration (optional),
  • Take CPSC 6985 at least twice, and
  • Take an adequate number of courses as electives to meet the 36-hour program requirement.

Students receiving a graduate assistantship are required to take the Thesis Option.

Graduate Exit Examination
In addition to the above, students must successfully complete CPSC 6000 which requires the student to complete an exit survey and a comprehensive exam.

Total Required Hours: 36