Computer Science / Master of Science

The Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) program provides graduate-level preparation for students in one of today’s most high-demand fields, Computer Science. The degree provides the necessary background and experience in the development of various computational and infrastructure systems, including large-scale databases, distributed systems, secured applications, intelligent systems, and secured networking and cloud infrastructure. It provides students with the ability to research and implement the latest technologies and apply them to problems in computer science. Additionally, students can choose a concentration to specialize in the areas of artificial intelligence, cyber security, digital forensics, enterprise and cloud computing, game and simulation programming, and software engineering. A graduate of the MSCS program will be prepared for a wide range of careers  in the areas of technology development, business, education, health care, engineering, and government, or for further graduate study.

Experts in Computer Science can find employment in virtually every organization and industry sector, as every organization uses the technologies created by computer scientists. This program aims to prepare specialists who can develop software and hardware systems that meet today’s needs and address tomorrow’s challenges. because Computer Science is a broad discipline, the program gives students an opportunity to specialize in one of the six extremely important fields mentioned above. In addition to the six required concentration courses, students will take an additional three courses of their choice. All students will also take 6 credit hours related to computer science research: 3 credit hours toward the beginning of their coursework to acquaint students with literature review and experimental design in Computer Science, and 3 credit hours toward the end of their coursework in which students write a master's thesis. 

Students without undergraduate coursework in Computer Science or a related field will take up to 6 courses (18 credit hours) to provide the required foundation for them to pursue advanced study. These courses will introduce students to the core concepts of computer science, including computer organization, data structures, algorithms, programming, networking and operating systems.


Full Admission
To be accepted for admission into the program, a student must present the following credentials:
  1. A baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education.
  2. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students with a GPA less than 3.0 may be conditionally admitted providing they earn a 3.0 or higher in their first 9 credit hours.
  3. An application for graduate admission, accompanied by an application fee.
  4. Professional resumé.
  5. Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended.
  6. A two-page statement of purpose.
  7. Two letters of recommendation.
  8. Undergraduate coursework in discrete mathematics, programming, algorithms, networking, and operating systems. Students without sufficient background can still be accepted, but may need to complete up to 18 credit hours of additional courses (see Foundation Coursework under Degree Requirements).

 

Please note: International students are required to have a TOEFL test score greater than 550 (computer-based 213; Internet-based 79).

 

Provisional Admission
Under certain circumstances, students who do not meet one or more of the requirements for full admission may be admitted to the program on a provisional basis. Provisional admission is most commonly offered to applicants who earned an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0. Students admitted with provisional status will be considered for full admission only after they have attempted 9 credit hours in the program and earned a GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0. Provisionally-admitted students who have not attained a minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 after attempting 9 credit hours of MSCS coursework will be dismissed from the MSCS program.

Student-At-Large
A student-at-large is not a degree candidate. In order to be admitted as a student-at-large, the applicant must submit official documentation of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education and complete a modified application form. The decision to admit an at-large student to graduate courses belongs to the Graduate Program Director, whose decision is based on an evaluation of the applicant’s undergraduate coursework and possibly an interview. However, should the student decide to apply for full admission status at a later time, but within 5 years of course completion, only a maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate coursework completed as a student-at-large can be applied toward an advanced degree, and only courses with grades of B or better will count toward the degree.

Transfer of Graduate Credit
A student entering the MSCS program with appropriate prior graduate coursework in computer science may have a maximum of 9 credit hours applied to the MSCS degree. Course credits eligible for transfer consideration must meet the following criteria:
  1. All transfer credit must have been earned prior to matriculation in the MSCS program.
  2. The coursework must have been completed at a regionally-accredited graduate school.
  3. A minimum grade of B must have been earned for the course.
  4. The coursework must have an equivalent in the MSCS curriculum.
  5. Courses from outside the United States will be considered if they are evaluated as graduate level by the Office of Admission or the Commission on Accreditation of the American Council on Education.
  6. Credit for prior learning is not awarded for graduate courses.

International Students
International students are required to meet all the admission requirements for full or provisional admission and also the admission requirements specified in the General Information section of this Catalog entitled "Entering International Students."

Good Academic Standing
See Good Academic Standing.

Academic Probation and Dismissal
See Academic Probation and Dismissal.

Time Limitation for Completing the Program
A student must complete all graduation requirements within 7 years from completion of the first graduate course taken at Lewis University. Students remain under the requirement of the catalog in effect at the time of matriculation unless they discontinue attendance for two consecutive years or more, in which case they will follow the catalog in effect upon their return.

Graduation Requirements
To complete the MSCS degree, a student must earn a minimum of 33 credit hours but may need to earn up to 51 credit hours, depending on whether the student must take foundation courses. The foundation coursework consists of 18 credit hours, but may be partially or totally waived for students with sufficient background. A student may declare a concentration in a specific area of computer science, or may select to get a degree without any specific concentration. All students are required to take 3 credit hours of CPSC 69700 to complete a Master's Thesis.
 
Concentrations
Current concentrations include Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Digital Forensics, Enterprise and Cloud Computing, Game and Simulation Programming, and Software Engineering. A student may choose not to declare a concentration.

Degree Offered: Master of Science
Total Credit Hours: 33-51

Degree Requirements

Program: MS-CPSC-1

I. Foundation Coursework (18)

Foundation courses are additional courses required by students without prior coursework in computer science. A given foundation course may be waived if the student has completed a similar course or shows a professional experience that satisfies the coursework.
CPSC-50000Computer Organization

3

CPSC-50100Programming Fundamentals

3

CPSC-50200Discrete Structures

3

CPSC-50300Algorithms and Data Structures

3

CPSC-50500Communications and Networking

3

CPSC-51500Operating Systems

3

II. Concentration Coursework (33)

Artificial Intelligence

Concentration: ARIN
Concentration Courses (24):
CPSC-57100Artificial Intelligence 1

3

CPSC-57200Artificial Intelligence 2

3

CPSC-57400Natural Language Processing

3

CPSC-59700Research in Computer Science

3

CPSC-65000Robotics

3

CPSC-69700Master’s Thesis

3

Electives (9):
Students will select 9 credit hours of electives from the CPSC and/or DATA 50000- or 60000-level courses.

Cybersecurity

Concentration: CYBR
Concentration Courses (24):
CPSC-50600Cyber Security Essentials

3

CPSC-50700Advanced Cyber Security

3

CPSC-52000Network Security Essentials

3

CPSC-52500Encryption and Authentication

3

CPSC-59700Research in Computer Science

3

CPSC-66500Application Security

3

CPSC-68000Advanced Network Security

3

CPSC-69700Master’s Thesis

3

Electives (9):
Students will select 9 credit hours of electives from the CPSC and/or DATA 50000- or 60000-level courses.

Enterprise and Cloud Computing

Concentration: ENCC
Concentration Courses (24):
CPSC-50600Cyber Security Essentials

3

CPSC-55500Distributed Computing Systems

3

CPSC-59700Research in Computer Science

3

CPSC-65500Cloud Computing and Virtualization

3

CPSC-67000Cloud and Virtualization Security

3

CPSC-68500Enterprise Network Security

3

CPSC-69700Master’s Thesis

3

Electives (9):
Students will select 9 credit hours of electives from the CPSC and/or DATA 50000- or 60000-level courses.

Game and Simulation Programming

Concentration: GAME
Concentration Courses (24):
CPSC-57100Artificial Intelligence 1

3

CPSC-59700Research in Computer Science

3

CPSC-60000Object Oriented Development

3

CPSC-61200Software Architecture and Design

3

CPSC-61500Computer Graphics

3

CPSC-62000Video Game Programming

3

CPSC-62100Advanced Video Game Programming

3

CPSC-69700Master’s Thesis

3

Electives (9):
Students will select 9 credit hours of electives from the CPSC and/or DATA 50000- or 60000-level courses.

Software Engineering

Concentration: SFTW
Concentration Courses (24):
CPSC-50900Database Systems

3

CPSC-59700Research in Computer Science

3

CPSC-60000Object Oriented Development

3

CPSC-60500Software Engineering

3

CPSC-61200Software Architecture and Design

3

CPSC-61300Software Testing and Quality Assurance

3

CPSC-61400Software Production Process

3

CPSC-69700Master’s Thesis

3

Students who already completed a course similar to, or show a professional experience that satisfies the coursework of, CPSC 50900 may select another 50000- or 60000-level CPSC course instead.
Electives (9):
Students will select 9 credit hours of electives from the CPSC and/or DATA 50000- or 60000-level courses.

MSCS Non-Declared Concentration

A Master of Science in Computer Science without declaring a specific concentration provides a student with the freedom to select any set of courses to develop a set of skills selected by the student or student's employer.
Core Courses (12):
Core courses are part of the degree requirements for students who did not complete similar courses in their previous coursework.
CPSC-50900Database Systems

3

CPSC-59700Research in Computer Science

3

CPSC-60000Object Oriented Development

3

CPSC-69700Master’s Thesis

3

Students who already completed a course similar to, or show a professional experience that satisfies the coursework of, CPSC 50900 may select another 50000- or 60000-level CPSC course instead.
Electives (21):
Students will select 21 credit hours of electives from the CPSC and/or DATA 50000- or 60000-level courses to develop their desired skill set.