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Masters in Computer Science Requirements

Masters in Computer Science Requirements

Computer science graduate degrees and related master's programs are generally thirty to thirty six credit hour programs based on three-credit courses. These programs usually require one full year of full time study or eighteen to twenty four months of part time study. This is a generalization, but seems to be true at most schools although some of the more esoteric specializations may require additional class hours, as will a program that requires a thesis. If a university has structured its IT program around the computer science degree, there may be multiple areas of specialization. There are also schools that have chosen to offer computer science as a standalone degree and made separate degrees out of areas of specialization such as computer engineering, software engineering, and information systems. In all cases however a strong undergraduate background in computer science or mathematics or perhaps engineering is going to be necessary.

Masters in Computer Science Course Requirements

The core courses for a computer science degree are going to differ from university to university, but there are a few constants. Most programs will include classes in computer architecture, operating systems, computer communications and software engineering. The design and functionality of software has become so important to computer design and engineering that software is incorporated into the study of computer science whether or not it is a specialization. The electives are also going to vary from school to school. At USC you can select electives from classes in Foundations of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Geometric Modeling - all fairly esoteric. At Nova Southeastern University the elective options for the MS in Computer Science include Computer-Human Interaction, Information Security, and Object-Oriented Design - all courses that are essential to the basics in computer design and functionality.

Masters in Computer Information Systems Requirements

The core courses for information systems degrees differ somewhat from computer science and computer engineering degrees. At the University of Maryland those courses tend to focus on the theory and design of information systems and to a degree on the communications mechanisms that networks employ to make data accessible. Some of those courses include Database Management Systems, Network Design, and Structured Systems Analysis & Design. At Kaplan University those mandatory classes include Computer Networks and an interesting sidelight: Ethical & Legal Issues in Information Technology.

The electives in this field almost always include a course on information assurance and often on the engineering aspects of cybersecurity, focusing on the hardware issues that are tangential to IT security. Other options for shaping an MIS degree include classes such as computer forensics, IT project management (which can be a degree in and of its own) and programming languages for database systems. At Colorado Technical University advanced classes for this degree - and specialization options - include enterprise management, enterprise systems architecture, and relational database administration. The storage, management, and analysis of data can be an important aspect of these degrees, moving the MIS professional into business strategy as well as anchoring a position in business administration.

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            MS in Computer Science
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