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TSYS School of Computer Science

TSYS School of Computer Science

Master of Science in Applied Computer Science

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. For information on preparing your Master's thesis, view the Styles and Policy Manual for Master's Thesis (PDF), and the Rules for Master's Thesis Submission and Defense.

Use these links to access admission information, find out about course requirements and our online program, how to apply for graduate assistantships or for graduation.

Expected Outcomes


All graduates in the MS in Applied CS program will be able to apply techniques and technologies from at least four of the following areas:

  • Algorithm Analysis and Design
  • Programming Languages
  • Database
  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Networks
  • Operating Systems

In addition, graduates in the Information Assurance concentration will:

  • understand the major issues of information assurance
  • be able to identify threats and vulnerabilities to information systems
  • be able to identify data, computers and networks exploits
  • be able to identify ways to secure information, computers and networks

In addition, graduates in the Software Development concentration will:

  • be able to produce a software solution using an object-oriented programming architecture
  • be able to produce a web-based software solution using high-level development tools
  • be able to produce solutions in a distributed and/or enterprise environment

Admission


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,
    AND
  2. A minimum 2.75 undergraduate cumulative GPA,
    OR
    A minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA in the student's undergraduate major,
    OR
    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
    AND
  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
      OR
    • a score of 50th percentile or higher on the GRE computer science test,
      OR
    • passing a test of programming competency in data structures
      AND
  3. A minimum combined score of 900 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.

Online Students


The TSYS School of Computer Science offers the Master of Science in Applied Computer Science, with courses available both on campus and on-line. Although there is only a single degree track, it is the intent of the school that a student be able to attain the degree either by taking only on-campus courses, or by taking only on-line courses, or by taking a combination of the two types of courses, as best fits the student's schedule and travel requirements. Each graduate course in Computer Science will be scheduled for on-campus or on-line offering as the student demand requires.

Students who wish to take the graduate courses on-line must meet all of the requirements stated above and, in addition, be aware of the following requirements specific to the process of taking courses via distance education.

  1. Students must have a personal Internet connection
  2. Each student must have a personal computer which is capable of running the required software
  3. Students must have the ability to administer their systems, install and configure their own software. No support is provided to help manage personal systems or software. Students must provide personally licensed copies of required software
  4. Exams may be computerized. Each student is responsible for locating and arranging an approved proctor to administer all examinations. Approved proctors include supervisors at work and various public officials such as librarians. During a computerized exam, the computer must maintain a continuous Internet connection. Professors of individual courses may have different requirements.

Visit the MS in Applied Computer Science Online Support site, accessible though http://cs.columbusstate.edu. This site has a lot of general information useful to online students. It includes a FAQ page addressing common questions like logging in, technical support, taking course exams, managing your account, contact links, software, hardware, etc.

Graduate Assistantships


All applicants must submit to the Chair of the School of Computer Science

  1. A letter of application including a statement of need and commitment and the applicant's reasons for undertaking graduate study.
  2. Two letters of recommendation, either from college-level instructors or employers.

Applicants with significant industrial experience are invited, but not required, to include a resume to demonstrate practical experience in software development.

Course Requirements


Area 1 Program Core Required Hours: 12
(Take courses from four of the six core areas)

Algorithm Analysis and Design
CPSC 5115 Algorithm Analysis and Design

Programming Languages
CPSC 5135 Programming Languages
CPSC 6129 Advanced Programming Languages

Database
CPSC 5138 Advanced Database Systems
CPSC 6127 Contemporary Issues in Database Management Systems

Computer Architecture
CPSC 5155 Introduction to Computer Architecture
CPSC 6155 Advanced Computer Architecture

Computer Networks
CPSC 5157 Computer Networks
CPSC 6157 Network Management

Operating Systems
CPSC 6125 Advanced Operating Systems

(All courses taken to satisfy the Core Requirement for the MS degree must be taken for graduate credit.)

Area 2 Program Concentration Required Hours: 24

A. Information Assurance

Program Core courses must include:
CPSC 6125 Advanced Operating Systems
CPSC 6157 Network Management

Five courses (15 semester hours) in the Information Assurance area, taken from the following list of graduate courses.
CPSC 6126 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

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

B. Modeling and Simulation

Program Core courses must include:
CPSC 6107 - Survey of Modeling and Simulation
CPSC 6141 – Foundation of Modeling and Simulation

Three courses (9 semester hours) in the modeling and Simulation area, taken from the following list of graduate courses.
CPSC 5125 – Computer Graphics
CPSC 6118 – Human-Computer Interface Development
CPSC 6143 – Simulation Project
CPSC 6147 – Computer Visualization
CPSC 6148 – Simulation and Gaming

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

Total Required Hours: 36

C. Software Development

Program Core courses must include:
one course from each of the Programming Languages and Database areas.

Five courses (15 semester hours) in the Software Development area, taken from the following list of graduate courses.
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

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

Total Required Hours: 36

D. No concentration

Select eight three-credit courses in CPSC graduate courses; CPSC 6899 and CPSC 6985 may each be repeated once.

Total Required Hours: 36

Rules for Master's Thesis Submission and Defense


  • There must be three members in a committee, including the thesis supervisor and a member from outside the school.
  • Student will select a supervisor for their thesis. The supervisor will select the other two members of the committee. Selection of these two committee members will be subject to approval by graduate committee.
  • Student must submit the final draft of their thesis to their supervisor only. The supervisor must submit this draft to the other committee members at least one week before the last day of class (according to the university's academic calendar). Within one week of this submission, these committee members should submit their comments to the supervisor.
  • Thesis must be defended at least two days before grades are due (according to the university's academic calendar).
  • Once the thesis is approved by the relevant thesis committee, four identical copies of it must be presented to the Columbus State University Library for binding. Two copies will become the property of the library, one will be retained by the School of Computer Science, and the fourth copy will be kept by the Turner College (see Style and Policy Manual for CS Master Thesis for further details).

Application for Graduation


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.