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Master of Science in Computer Science

Program Highlights

The online Master of Science in Computer Science (MCS) program is designed to appeal to a broad range of individuals. The program balances theory with practice and offers an extensive set of traditional and state-of-the-art courses. The program is designed to appeal to students from various backgrounds, and also provides the foundation necessary to continue the study of computer science at the doctoral level. Whether you are a computer professional seeking to expand your understanding of computer science, or an individual with an undergraduate degree outside of the field wishing to broaden your knowledge in computing, we are ready to help you reach your academic goals.

Because we encourage students to personalize their course of study, the online MCS degree provides the necessary flexibility to accommodate your academic and career objectives. You may specialize your MCS degree in the area of networking, data management, software engineering, cybersecurity, intelligent systems, computer animation and gaming, or software applications development. You may also choose a thesis option which requires two semesters of study under the direction of an instructor, in which the student gains a deeper understanding of an area of current research.

Degree at a Glance

The online Master of Science in Computer Science degree will be earned by completing the program course requirements of 36 credit hours, beyond the program prerequisite courses. To qualify for the online MCS degree, students must meet all credit requirements as described below.

The online MCS program consists of five (5) core courses (15 credits), five (5) specialization elective courses (15 credits), and two (2) other elective courses (6 credits). The specialization electives allow a student to concentrate on a specific area for which there is demand and to achieve knowledge depth in that area. The two other (exit) electives give a student the opportunity to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills studied so far to real-world situations / problems through a capstone project, internship, or a master’s thesis. The specialization elective courses provide an opportunity for students to develop and fine-tune specific computing skills according to their areas of interest.
Note: Students may choose to take no more than one (1) specialization elective from another specialization.

Area # of Courses Credit Hours
Core Courses 5 15
Specialization Elective Courses 5 15
General Electives 2 6
TOTAL 12 36
MS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE: Core Courses (5 Courses – 15 Credit Hours)
*Core courses provide students with the skills and knowledge that all professionals need to succeed. Each candidate must complete the following five core courses:
Course Code Course Name Credit Hours
CMP 511

Computer Architecture and Implementation


Prerequisite: CMP 250 

This course surveys architecture and organization of modern computing systems including: CPU design, instruction sets, memory hierarchy, pipelined machines, and multiprocessors. The emphasis is on the major component subsystems of high performance computers: pipelining, instruction level parallelism, thread-level parallelism, memory hierarchies, input /output, and network-oriented interconnections. This course introduces techniques and tools for quantitative analysis, evaluation, and implementation of modern computing systems and their components.
3
CMP 556

Database Management Systems I


Prerequisite: CMP 350

This course provides an introduction to hierarchical and relational models, normalization, query facilities, transactions, indexing, security issues, relational algebra, SQL database design stages, distributed databases, data warehousing, data and database administration, and internet database environments. Students will learn various DBMS software products and multi-user database environments and how they are controlled.
3
CMP 560

Software Engineering


Prerequisite: None

The objective of this course is to familiarize students with software application development processes and underlying concepts. Topics covered include: Object Oriented Analysis & Design, Unified Modeling Language, Software Development Life Cycle, Models and Methodologies, Quality Assurance & Improvement, and the basics of tools used for application development such as Requirement Management Tools, Version Control, Modeling, and Defect Tracking.
3
CMP 561

Design and Analysis of Algorithms


Prerequisite: CMP 220 or CMP 330

This course provides a survey of computer algorithms, examines fundamental techniques in algorithm design and analysis, and develops problem-solving skills required in all programs of study involving computer science. Topics include advanced data structures, recursion and mathematical induction, algorithm analysis and computational complexity, sorting and searching, design paradigms, and graph algorithms. Advanced topics include randomized algorithms, information retrieval, string and pattern matching, and computational geometry.
3
CMP 641

Operating Systems


Prerequisite: CMP 260

This course discusses the design and implementation of computer operating systems. Topics include operating system structures, functions of the kernel, process management, CPU scheduling, deadlocks, memory management, input/output, file system facilities, concurrent processes, security, and integrity.
3
Total Credit Hours Required 15
MS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE: Elective Courses (2 Courses – 6 Credit Hours)
* Students must select two (2) courses from the list of courses below or from any other specialization electives. Students can only enroll in the Capstone project course of their chosen specialization.
Course Code Course Name Credit Hours
CMP 551

Research Methods


Prerequisite: None

This course provides knowledge of research methodologies used in management information systems, information systems, information technology, computer science, and other disciplines. The course includes experimental design, surveys, case studies, and fieldwork. It introduces students to applied research methodologies. The use of analytical tools, literature searches, and the application of VIU documentation style will result in a formal written proposal that may serve as the basis for each student's special project.
3
CMP 591

Graduate Internship – Level I


Prerequisites: All core courses, Academic advisor’s approval (plus one specialization elective course for MCS & MIS Program students)

This course represents an opportunity for students receive academic credit through supervised practical training and earn industry experience in an actual work environment. The internship course guides the learning contract established in the beginning of the term, on which students have to report at the end of term. Students are expected to work at least 135 hours per semester. Students are required to attend two meetings/seminars with their faculty advisor to determine learning objectives and assess how well learning objectives are being accomplished.
3
CMP 691

Graduate Internship – Level II


Prerequisites: All core courses, Academic advisor’s approval (plus two specialization elective courses for MCS & MIS Program students)

This course offers hands-on experience to students enrolled in MIS or MCS degrees in a domain close to their main career path intentions. Students are encouraged to pursue projects that would allow them to apply engineering design concepts gained in the classroom; going through all stages of system development, from analysis and design to implementation and testing. This three (3) credit hour project internship is for students who are expected to work a minimum of 135 hours during the semester. Students are required to attend two meetings/seminars with their faculty advisor to determine learning objectives and assess how well learning objectives are being accomplished.
3
CMP 696

Independent Study I


Prerequisite: Academic advisor's approval

This course offers opportunity and challenge of self-directive, independent study; develops the individual's ability as an independent student; and enables the student to pursue needed study in a field in which appropriate courses are not being offered during a given term.
3
CMP 697

Independent Study II


Prerequisite: Academic advisor's approval

This course offers opportunity and challenge of self-directive, independent study; develops the individual's ability as an independent student; and enables the student to pursue needed study in a field in which appropriate courses are not being offered during a given term.
3
CMP 698

Master's Thesis I


Prerequisites: All core courses completed, one specialization course completed, and academic advisor's approval

The thesis work can comprise basic research or a practical project. Students are encouraged to start their thesis work as early as possible. Usually after completing two semesters of course work, the student will be asked to work with a faculty advisor to choose a suitable master's thesis topic and prepare a thesis proposal. Thereafter, the student completes the project and writes a thesis. The master's thesis will project will be conducted over a period of two semesters.
3
CMP 699

Master's Thesis II


Prerequisite: CMP 698

CMP 699 is a continuation of the course CMP 698: Master Thesis I. The thesis work can comprise basic research or a practical project.
3
CAR 600

Career Planning & Development


Prerequisite: None In-depth exploration and assessment of career values, occupational interests, skills, personality style, work environment preferences; concentration and career exploration; exposure to career and occupational information resources. Students learn and practice job search strategies and tools, including resumes and interviewing skills; decision-making, goal-setting and action planning; and self-marketing techniques for effective career management.
3
CMP XXX An elective course from any MCS specialization courses. 3
CMP 609

Networking Capstone Project


Prerequisite: All core courses and four specialization courses

This course consists of a capstone project that integrates and applies concepts previously studied. Best practices and appropriate technologies to design, implement, manage, evaluate, and further improve networks are explored; including emerging trends and their potential effect on networking.
3
CMP 629

Data Management Capstone Project


Prerequisite: All core courses and four specialization courses

This course consists of a capstone project that integrates and applies concepts previously studied. Best practices and appropriate technologies to design, implement, manage, evaluate, and further improve databases are explored; including emerging trends and their potential effect on data management.
3
CMP 639

Software Engineering Capstone Project


Prerequisite: All core courses and four specialization courses

This course consists of a capstone project that integrates and applies concepts previously studied. Best practices and emerging topics and technologies in software engineering.
3
CMP 649

Cybersecurity Capstone Project


Prerequisite: All core courses and four specialization courses

This course consists of a capstone project that integrates and applies concepts previously studied. Best practices and appropriate technologies to design, implement, manage, evaluate, and further improve network security are explored; including emerging trends and their potential effect on Cybersecurity.
3
CMP 659

Intelligent Systems Capstone Project


Prerequisite: All core courses and four specialization courses

This course consists of a capstone project that integrates and applies concepts previously studied. Best practices and appropriate technologies to design, implement, manage, evaluate, and deploy MAS are explored; including emerging trends.
3
CMP 589

Computer Graphics and Animation Capstone Project


Prerequisite: All core courses and four specialization courses

This course consists of a capstone project that integrates and applies concepts previously studied. Best practices and appropriate technologies to design, and implement graphics and animation programs are explored; including emerging trends.
3
CMP 619

Software Applications Development Capstone Project


Prerequisite: All core courses and four specialization courses

This course consists of a capstone project that integrates and applies concepts previously studied. These concepts include best practices and appropriate technologies to analyze, design, implement, test, evaluate, and further improve software applications development; including emerging trends.
3
Total Credit Hours Required 6