Southern Polytechnic State University

Graduate Academic Catalog 2011-2012

Computer Science

Offering the Master of Science Degree

What field of study has seen more technological developments that have become part of our daily lives in just a matter of the past few decades than any other? Developments such as the Internet and email, search engines, Wi-Fi, etc., virtually unknown a few decades ago, make computer science one of the strong contenders for this distinction!

Whether you have a degree in computer science, no background in computer science, some academic experience in the field to your credit, or years of work as a computer professional under your belt, a Master of Science in Computer Science from Southern Polytechnic will enhance your career options. We provide the background necessary to analyze problems from multiple angles, and the resources to conduct research and complete projects while you are learning. Classes are available in the evenings to accommodate the needs of the working professional.

Students complete 36 hours of course work in classes that cover core areas, such as programming languages, database systems, computer architecture, algorithms, and software engineering, as well as electives in several cutting edge developments, such as game development, image processing, search engines, wireless networks, enterprise applications development, etc. The Masters courses are all taught by full-time faculty holding doctorates or occasionally by carefully elected experts from the industry. A master's thesis option is available. Graduate assistantships and research assistantships funded by sponsored research are available.

In addition to welcoming full-time students with degrees in Computer Science, we also cater to two major non-traditional groups of students: those whose schedules allow only for part-time studies and those without a degree in Computer Science. For the first group, we offer almost all of our classes during the evenings (and a few on Saturdays). For the second group of students, courses are offered that allow them to "transition" into the Masters courses. The six transition courses are packaged into the credit-based Graduate Transition Certificate in Computer Science (GTCCS). This Transition Certificate will also prepare you for graduate study or an entry-level position in the industry, and is available both face-to-face and online. (Our online courses use a variety of current technologies, including live classroom, online chat, virtual labs, etc.) For those that have completed the Graduate Transition Certificate in Computer Science or have a background comparable to a degree in Computer Science, a credit-based Graduate Certificate in Computer Science (GCCS) is available, and all courses taken for this certificate apply to the Master's degree program in Computer Science. Although no specific undergraduate major is required, applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited school.

Admission Procedure

  • Applicants for admission to the Master of Science program with a major in Computer Science should submit the following to the Graduate Admissions Office:
  • An application for admission to the program
  • A transcript from each college the applicant has attended
  • A certificate of immunization
  • A statement of purpose in seeking this degree,
  • Three recommendation forms completed by former or current supervisors, professors, or professional colleagues, and
  • Optionally: An official copy of scores from the "General Test" of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Submission of the GRE score is strongly recommended to international applicants and should be considered by all applicants to strengthen the application packet. The applicant may be required to submit the GRE score after an initial review, which could delay the decision process.

International students should refer to the International Students sub-section for additional admission requirements.

In addition to having a baccalaureate degree from a recognized college/university, one of the following must be met for a student to be considered for this MS program at Southern Polytechnic State University:

Basic

  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or better (out of a possible 4.0) or the equivalent
  • Optionally: Official GRE scores meeting the current admission profile

Note: Higher scores may compensate for a lower GPA. In some cases, the GMAT may be considered.

Advanced

The candidate for admission has already earned a recognized Masters or doctor's degree in a closely related, quantitative field of study (e.g., engineering, physics, chemistry, mathematics); the GRE is not required for consideration. The GRE is strongly recommended if the degree is not from the United States.

Alternative

A student holding a baccalaureate degree from an accredited school who does not meet the criteria for Basic or Advanced categories may be admitted upon convincing the faculty of the School of CSE of extraordinary alternative qualifications (e.g., lengthy and distinguished employment in the computer field) that would predict the likelihood of success in completing the MS program.

Provisional Acceptance

Students applying to the program who do not have a degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or a computing-related field may be required to take necessary prerequisite courses to prepare for graduate study in Computer Science. Upon acceptance, the admissions committee will evaluate the student's transcripts and determine any necessary prerequisite courses the student must take. These required prerequisite courses are listed on the student's acceptance letter as a condition for being fully admitted into the Masters Program. If four or more prerequisite courses are required, the student will be eligible for the Graduate Transition Certificate in Computer Science.