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, cybersecurity, digital forensics, enterprise and cloud computing, 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 five 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 six credit hours related to computer science research: three credit hours toward the beginning of their coursework to acquaint students with literature review and experimental design in Computer Science, and three credit hours toward the end of their coursework in which students complete a master's project or a master's thesis. 

Students without undergraduate coursework in Computer Science or a related field will take up to six 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 nine 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 nine 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 five years of course completion, only a maximum of nine 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 nine 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 seven 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. All students are required to take three credit hours of CPSC 69100 or CPSC 69700 to complete a Master's Project or a Master's Thesis.
 
Concentrations
While not required, a student may choose to declare a concentration in: Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Digital Forensics, Enterprise & Cloud Computing, or Software Engineering. A second (or dual) concentration is also possible between any two combinations. Some popular dual concentrations are Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics, and Cybersecurity and Enterprise & Cloud Computing, where either can be completed with a total of 39 credit hours. Other concentration combinations are available that can be completed with a total of 42 credit hours. The second concentration is most efficiently earned by using three of its required courses as the first concentration's three required electives and vice versa. Only one master’s project or thesis course is required for a dual concentration. For efficient planning contact your advisor to pick your dual concentration and the appropriate courses. Seeking a dual concentration requires the completion of a Change of Program Form which can be provided by your advisor. 

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. Note: foundation courses do not count toward the program requirements.
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. Research Core (6)

CPSC-59700Research in Computer Science

3

CPSC-69100Computer Science Master's Project

3

OR

CPSC-69700Master’s Thesis

3

III. Concentration Coursework (27)

Artificial Intelligence

Concentration: ARIN
Concentration Courses (18):
DATA-51100Statistical Programming

3

DATA-55000Supervised Machine Learning

3

CPSC-57100Artificial Intelligence 1

3

CPSC-57200Artificial Intelligence 2

3

CPSC-57400Natural Language Processing

3

CPSC-65000Robotics

3

Electives (9):
Students will select nine credit hours of electives from the CPSC and/or DATA 50000- or 60000-level courses other than the foundation courses. Students also have the option to complete a maximum of one micro-credential and use the credits toward electives (see section IV below for more details).

Cybersecurity

Concentration: CYBR
Concentration Courses (18):
CPSC-50600Cyber Security Essentials

3

CPSC-50700Advanced Cyber Security

3

CPSC-52000Network Security Essentials

3

CPSC-52500Encryption and Authentication

3

CPSC-66500Application Security

3

CPSC-68000Advanced Network Security

3

Electives (9):
Students will select nine credit hours of electives from the CPSC and/or DATA 50000- or 60000-level courses other than the foundation courses. Students also have the option to complete a maximum of one micro-credential and use the credits toward electives (see section IV below for more details).

Digital Forensics

Concentration: DGTL
Concentration Courses (18):
CPSC-50600Cyber Security Essentials

3

CPSC-62800Programming for Digital Forensics

3

CPSC-67300Digital Forensics

3

CPSC-67500Network Forensics

3

CPSC-67600Mobile Device Forensics

3

CSJS-56700Intelligence Gathering: Issues and Controversies

3

Electives (9):
Students will select nine credit hours of electives from the CPSC and/or DATA 50000- or 60000-level courses other than the foundation courses. Students also have the option to complete a maximum of one micro-credential and use the credits toward electives (see section IV below for more details).

Enterprise and Cloud Computing

Concentration: ENCC
Concentration Courses (18):
CPSC-50600Cyber Security Essentials

3

CPSC-55500Distributed Computing Systems

3

CPSC-65500Cloud Computing and Virtualization

3

CPSC-67000Cloud and Virtualization Security

3

CPSC-68500Enterprise Network Security

3

DATA-54000Large-Scale Data Storage Systems

3

Electives (9):
Students will select nine credit hours of electives from the CPSC and/or DATA 50000- or 60000-level courses other than the foundation courses. Students also have the option to complete a maximum of one micro-credential and use the credits toward electives (see section IV below for more details).

Software Engineering

Concentration: SFTW
Concentration Courses (18):
CPSC-50900Database Systems

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

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 nine credit hours of electives from the CPSC and/or DATA 50000- or 60000-level courses other than the foundation courses. Students also have the option to complete a maximum of one micro-credential and use the credits toward electives (see section IV below for more details).

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.
Concentration Courses (6):
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-60000Object Oriented Development

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 other than the foundation courses, to develop their desired skill set. Students also have the option to complete a maximum of one micro-credential and use the credits toward electives (see section IV below for more details).

IV. Optional Micro-credentials (6)

Students have the option to complete a maximum of one business micro-credential. A micro-credential consists of two courses (six credit hours) which will count toward the student’s electives. Micro-credential credits will NOT count toward foundation, research core, or concentration courses.

Micro-credentials are digital representations of students' learning, designed so that they can share inter-disciplinary skills in a relevant business area. Micro-credentials, while not a replacement for certificates, minors, or degree programs in business, are a supplemental designation to provide evidence that a student is working towards mastering critical 21st century business competencies, which certain students might find helpful in their future career. The following is a list of available micro-credentials:

 

Business Analytics (6)

Micro-Credential: BAMC
BSAN-54000Data Mining for Business Decisions

3

BSAN-67900Business Intelligence & Data Analysis

3

Digital Marketing (6)

Micro-Credential: DMMC
MKTG-60400Digital Marketing Strategies

3

MKTG-60500Digital Marketing Analytics

3

Finance (6)

Micro-Credential: FNMC
FINA-57900Investment Analysis

3

FINA-60300Financial Statement Analysis

3

Healthcare Informatics (6)

Micro-Credential: HIMC
BSAN-67500Introduction to Healthcare Informatics

3

BSAN-67700Healthcare Data Analysis and Design

3

Organizational Consulting (6)

Micro-Credential: OCMC
ORGL-58100Foundations of Organizational Consulting

3

ORGL-58150The Business of Consulting

3

Professional and Executive Coaching (6)

Micro-Credential: PEMC
ORGL-54600Introduction to Professional and Executive Coaching

3

ORGL-54700Coaching Methodologies

3

ORGL-54800Building A Coaching Practice

3

ORGL-54900Coaching Assessments and Research

3

Project-Management

Micro-Credential - PMMC
PROJ-51000Foundations of Project Management

3

PROJ-53000Project Leadership in Teams

3

Strategic Leadership

Micro-Credential: SLMC
ORGL-50900Leadership: Theories, Practices and Context

3

ORGL-51200Assessing Leadership Skills

3