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UCCS Academic Catalog 2012-2013

    University of Colorado Colorado Springs
  Feb 20, 2018
2017-2018 Catalog

Computer Science, MS

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The Department of Computer Science offers a program leading to the Master of Science in Computer Science. Courses at the graduate level and the undergraduate courses required for admission to the graduate program are regularly offered in the late afternoon or evening to enable students from local industry to continue their studies.

Learning Outcomes

The candidate must have a broad knowledge of computer science, covering a variety of fundamental areas (like operating systems, design and analysis of algorithms and theoretical aspects of computability). This broad background can be a result of a combination of undergraduate and graduate coursework.

  • The candidate must be able to read, understand, and evaluate professional literature in computer science.
  • The candidate must be able to write technical reports and software project documentation
  • The candidate must be able to make oral presentations of technical information.
  • The candidate is expected to have in-depth knowledge of at least one area of computer science, including the topic of the candidate’s thesis or project.

Admission Requirements

  1. An overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0. In special cases a student may be admitted with a lower grade point average as a provisional degree student. Students with an average below 3.0 who completed their undergraduate degree a significant number of years ago will also be considered on an individual basis. Students with grade point average deficiencies who take several undergraduate courses to meet entrance background requirements will have their performance in those courses considered in making the admission decision. Students who recently earned an undergraduate degree in computer science with a grade point average below 3.0 may be asked to take the general GRE before they can be considered for admission. The Graduate Studies Committee will make the admissions decision on an individual basis.
  2. Four semesters of mathematics courses: two semesters of university calculus, a course in discrete mathematics and one additional course of a mathematical nature.
  3. Courses in computer science equivalent to the following courses: Principles of Computer Science (Java or C++), Data Structures and Algorithms, Programming in UNIX, Programming in C, Computer Organization and Assembly Language Programming, Concepts of Programming Languages, and Software Engineering. A student who has completed the requirements for Principles in Computer Science and Data Structures and Algorithms but not the other computer science prerequisites could be admitted, but would still be required to take the unfulfilled prerequisites after admission. Students lacking four or more courses should register as an unclassified student until the courses are completed.
  4. Additional requirements may be specified by the Graduate School.

Applications can be completed online here.

Degree Requirements

 Total Program: 30 Credit Hours

  • Graduate coursework must include CS 5500 (Operating Systems), CS 5700 (Computability, Automata, and Formal Languages) and CS 5720 (Design and Analysis of Algorithms), if they have not been taken previously as upper division undergraduate courses.
  • Up to 6 semester hours of graduate courses can be taken from other departments if first approved by the student’s MS Advisory Committee.
  • At most four computer science courses may be taken that are cross-listed. Note that the three required courses are cross-listed; if taken, they are counted among the four.  A student has a maximum of six years to complete the program.

Thesis (Plan I)

Students who intend to write an MS thesis should develop a thesis proposal in conjunction with their major advisor that outlines the topics, scope, and objectives of the proposed thesis. The thesis topic will normally be in a common interest area to both the student and the thesis advisor. The thesis proposal should be discussed with and approved by the student’s MS Advisory Committee before the student begins the research and writing of the thesis. A signed copy of the proposal must be placed in the student’s permanent file.

The thesis should represent the best writing possible by the student and is not to be written or extensively edited by the student’s major advisor. Original research work is praised though not necessary. Implementation and survey type theses are acceptable as is quality work related to the student’s professional activities. However, the work must be accomplished while the student is enrolled in the master’s program. The thesis is intended to furnish objective evidence of the student’s ability to use independently and constructively the information, skills, and powers acquired in his/her graduate work. Students should begin writing their thesis early so there will be sufficient time for evaluation by the thesis advisor and rewriting by the student.

In mechanical features, all theses must comply with the specifications of the Graduate School. These specifications are contained in the document entitled “Thesis and Dissertation Manual” which is available on the Graduate School website. It is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with this document so that a thesis acceptable to the Graduate School can be produced. This document specifies thesis form and standards, not technical content. Technical content is subject to the approval of the MS Advisory Committee.  A copy of the thesis should be uploaded to the Computer Science Department GSC repository following the instructions given at the time of scheduling the defense.

Non-Thesis Option (Plan II)

Students who choose the non-thesis option must complete a project worth 3 credit hours.

The project option may involve a large programming or hardware development effort, which is usually done over two semesters, and includes the requirements and certification specifications and a user handbook. Alternatively, the project option may involve producing a research paper, which is to be submitted for publication with the student and advisor as co-authors.

The format and content of the project report or paper are not controlled by University regulations but should follow the format of a thesis as described above. Students choosing the project option should develop a project proposal in conjunction with their major advisor that outlines the topics, scope, and objectives of the proposed project. The project topic will normally be in a common interest area to both the student and major advisor. The project proposal should be discussed with and approved by the student’s MS Advisory Committee before the student begins the work associated with the project. A signed copy of the proposal must be placed in the student’s permanent file. 

See also the Graduate School requirements .

Transfer Credit

Up to 9 hours of graduate work may be transferred from an accredited graduate program, provided:

  • The coursework has not been used for any other degree.
  • Grade earned for the course(s) is B or better.
  • Institutions from which the courses are recommended for transfer are accredited.
  • The coursework has been taken within the past six years.
  • The course coverage is equal in level, content, and depth to the course for which it is being substituted.

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