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Master of Science in Computer Science

Computer science is a fast-moving field that continues to attract professionals who want expertise in computers. This program accommodates students from other fields that have computer science minds and programming skills.

The Master of Science in Computer Science degree program is designed to accommodate students who want to have professional skills in computer security, data science, and software engineering. Students with a bachelor's degree or at least 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 recommended courses based on their background.

Admission Requirements

To gain admission to the MS 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) and must achieve a minimum score of 70 (IBT) or 6.0 (IELTS).

Degree Requirements

The degree requires 30 graduate credits. There are six core courses out of a total of 10 courses required. For electives, students need to complete four computer science (CSC) electives. At most two 400-level courses may be used as electives. Traditional students can be admitted in the spring, summer, or fall and complete the degree in three semesters plus one summer.

Core Courses

  • CSC501: Algorithm Design and Analysis
  • CSC504: Computer Programming for Information Systems
  • CSC520: Computer Architecture
  • CSC521: Operating Systems
  • CSC523: High Performance Computing
  • CSC571: Data Mining


  • CSC502: Automata Theory
  • CSC503: Computer Science and Engineering Fundamentals
  • CSC534: Computer Security
  • CSC550: Scientific Visualization
  • CSC561: Agile Development Techniques 1
  • CSC570: Database Management Systems
  • CSC590: Internship
  • CSC592: Advanced Topics in Computer Science
  • CSC599: Independent Study

Students with a STEM 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. To successfully complete the program, students should have knowledge in data structures, computer organization, discrete math, and at least C or Java programming before applying for the program.

Traditional students can be admitted in the spring, summer, or fall and complete the degree in three semesters plus one summer as shown below.

Fall/Spring - 3 Courses

Spring/Fall - 3 Courses

Summer - 500-level Elective

Fall/Spring - 3 Courses

Shippensburg bachelor's students can complete the MS degree in only one year beyond the BS degree by using the following course path:

  • Spring of Senior Year - Two 500-level courses
  • Summer - Two 500-level electives
  • Fall - Three graduate classes
  • Spring - Three graduate classes

For 4+1 students, the two 500-level courses taken 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 and these courses cannot replace core courses in the B.S.

Program Goals for Master’s Program

  1. Satisfying work in a field of their choice (corporate or academic)
  • a. Have obtained a satisfying position
  • b. Have confidence in their ability to move to their next position of choice

2. Continue to be an effective and productive member of his/her workplace by applying the fundamentals taught in our program

  • a. Effective problems solving skills
  • b. Effective communication
  • c. Critical thinking
  • d. Professional standards
  • e. Behaving in accordance with professional ethics

3. Remain a member of his/her larger community by

  • a. Participating actively in professional organizations
  • b. Using expertise through volunteering

4. Continue to learn and develop within his/her field of interest (corporate or academic) by participating in

  • a. Workshops/Training
  • b. Certifications
  • c. Graduate school
  • d. Self-study

5. Expand breadth of scope and leadership role and advance toward one or more of the following career paths: technical, managerial, or business.


Student Learning Outcomes

A) An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the program’s student outcomes and to the discipline.

B) An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements

appropriate to its solution.

C) An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security, and social issues and responsibilities.

D) Recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in continuing professional development.

E) An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practice.


Mapping of Program Objectives to Student Learning Outcomes

1a: C

1b: A, E

2a: A, B

2b: D

2c: B

2d: C

2e: C

3a-b: D

4a-d: D

The Department of Computer Science supports a number of platforms, operating systems, and computing components (e.g., PC, Mac, Windows, OSX, Linux, VMWare, Virtual Machines, Clusters). 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 are freely available on all department 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.

Our alumni have worked at the National Security Agency (NSA), Presidential Office, Google, Highmarks, and many local and state industries.

Contact the Computer Science Department 156 Mathematics and Computing Technologies Center 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1178