College of Arts & Sciences

Office of Dean - College of Arts & Sciences
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
(717) 477-1151

Department of Computer Science

MCT 156
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA
(717) 477-1178
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1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1371 

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Shippensburg University
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Shippensburg, PA 17257
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Computer Science - Master of Science

Degree Requirements  Admission Requirements  Resources  Faculty 

The Masters in Computer Science Program

Interested in a master's degree in computer science but earned a bachelor's degree in another field? The Master of Science in Computer Science degree program is designed to accommodate students from different backgrounds. Students with a degree or a minor in computer science will find a traditional M.S. in Computer Science. Students who wish to transition from math, science, or engineering into computer science may be fully enrolled in the program after taking three prerequisite undergraduate courses. Ship undergraduates may obtain an advanced degree through a 4+1 B.S./M.S. option.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Computer Science degree requires 30 graduate credits. Six out of the 10 courses are core required courses. At most two 400-level courses may be used as electives.

Traditional Student Schedule


Traditional students (students with a bachelor's degree or minor in computer science) can be admitted in either the spring or fall and complete the degree in three semesters plus one summer. The following two tables show the course schedules for traditional students entering in the fall and spring, respectively.

Fall  Spring  Summer  Fall 
Algorithms Operating Systems 500-level elective Automata Theory
Architecture High Performance Computing   Database Management Systems
Elective Elective   Elective

Spring  Summer  Fall  Spring 
Database Management Systems 500-level elective Architecture High Performance Computing
Elective   Automata Theory Operating Systems
Elective   Algorithms Elective

The two 500-level courses that they take in the spring of their senior year will count
as electives in their B.S. program and cannot be substituted for any course in
their concentration (these courses cannot replace core courses in the B.S.)

Transitional Students


For transitional students (students with a bachelor's degree other than computer science), the combination of a math or science undergraduate degree
with a computer science master's degree can create very marketable skills. People with that background are poised to apply computer science in areas for which traditional computer scientists are unprepared. Transitional students are required to have successfully completed at least one programming course. Then, in their first fall semester they must take three undergraduate courses: CSC111 Computer Science II; CSC220 Computer Organization; and MAT225 Discrete Math. Note that while taking these UG courses, students are not eligible for a graduate assistantship. In the spring, they can be fully enrolled in the M.S. program using the same schedule as traditional students.

Shippensburg bachelor's students can complete the
M.S. degree in only one year beyond the B.S. degree by using the following course

Spring of Senior Year  Summer  Fall  Spring 
Database Management Systems 500-level elective Architecture High Performance Computing
500- level elective 500-level independent study Automata Theory Operating Systems
    Algorithms elective

Admission Requirements

 To gain admission to the M.S. in computer science program, you must satisfy the general admission requirements of the graduate school. Students are admitted in the fall only. Applicants whose overall quality point average is below 2.75 will be required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) prior to admission. All international applicants who have not graduated from a four-year American university must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).


The Department of Computer Science at Shippensburg supports a number of platforms and operating systems (e.g., PC, Mac, Windows, OSX, Linux). Classrooms are populated with up to 32 computers per room (one per student), and have wireless network access. The department maintains its own servers, to which students have access; in addition, students have accounts on the university academic servers. Hardware is at most four years old; the university’s Computing Services insures that academic computing equipment is replaced on a four-year cycle.

Software includes a gamut of applications and developer tools, most of which is freely available. This software is available on all of the department’s computers and in some open university labs. The department also participates in the Microsoft Developers’ Network Academic Alliance (MSDNAA), which enables our students free access to all software supported by the MSDN.


The majority of computer science department faculty hold earned doctorates. Some faculty members also serve as consultants to government and to nearby firms.

Carol A. Wellington, Ph.D., chair, North Carolina State University, operating systems, real-time systems, artificial intelligence.

Jeonghwa Lee, Ph.D., Graduate Program Coordinator, University of Kentucky, scientific simulation, parallel algorithms, security.

Alice J. Armstrong, D.Sc., George Washington University, artificial intelligence.

Thomas H. Briggs, Ph.D., University of Maryland Baltimore County, operating systems, database management, and web programs.

C. Dudley Girard, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, artificial intelligence and biological modeling.

Dave Mooney, Ph.D., University of Delaware, artificial intelligence.