Chairperson: Dennis Brylow, Ph.D.
Program Director: Thomas Kaczmarek, Ph.D.
Computer and Information Science website
The master of science degree in computer and information science is affiliated with the Department of Computer Science in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences.
Master of Science
The master of science in computer and information science is a professional degree designed to be dual purpose. It can provide a pathway into the computer and information science profession or an enhancement to the knowledge and skills of current professionals.
The program offers an accelerated degree option for students that requires three undergraduate courses in computing, a career change opportunity for students with any undergraduate background, and two specializations that prepare students for successful careers in areas with high demand, namely cybersecurity and data analytics.
The program is designed with the flexibility and options that adult learners require. This includes offering both thesis and non-thesis options. Master of science students are admitted under Plan B (non-thesis option) but may request Plan A (thesis option) and may also designate a specialization. Students are not required to select a specialization. There are two primary specializations that focus study on cybersecurity and data/predictive analytics (moratorium on admissions for the big data and data analytics specialization). A third specialization is offered for students with no formal background in computer science wishing to do a career change into computer and information science.
The program has learning outcomes that reflect professional leadership competencies that are independent of any particular area of computer and information technology studied. At the conclusion of this program, students will be able to do the following:
- Appraise relationships among a variety of computer and information science practices and technologies to create integrated solutions to computer and information science problems.
- Communicate computer and information science problems and suggested solutions to other professionals and with business clients.
- Formulate and defend realistic and detailed designs for solutions of problems of enterprise scope.
- Evaluate and apply common standards for technology and technology management.
The computer and information science program covers topics from computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, information systems, information technology, cybersecurity and data science. By design, the computer and information science program allows the student to pursue studies in any combination of these disciplines. While most courses are offered in the Department of Computer Science, the program accepts courses from engineering and business and permits 6-credits of out-of-program electives.
This program strives to meet the educational needs of present and future computer and information science professionals interested in starting a career or updating their skills. Careers are in areas such as cybersecurity, data analytics, business and systems analysis, software engineering, project management, enterprise architecture, business process modeling and management, database design and administration, technology management and service management.
Students may select courses from a large number of approved courses offered by the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Graduate School of Management, the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and other units on campus. Students selecting a specialization have required course work that constitutes about one-half of the credit requirements for the degree.
Students may pursue the degree on a full-time or part-time basis. Courses are offered in the evenings and distance learning classes are available. Distance learning options that are provided for most courses offered in the department add flexibility to the program.
Computer and Information Science Master of Science
Students are admitted to the program under the non-thesis option (Plan B). Students may apply for the thesis option (Plan A) on approval of a thesis outline by their adviser and the computer and information science program's graduate committee.
The course of study is very flexible. Students complete a breadth requirement and additional courses suited to their backgrounds and career goals. The program director and faculty advisers work very closely with students to ensure that they achieve their educational goals through appropriate course selection.
Computer and information science students gain both breadth and an in-depth knowledge of their field.
Computer and information science students experience the breadth of the field by completing (or having completed before entering the program) study equivalent to at least three credits in four of the following five areas:
- Information Management
- Hardware and Software Architecture and Organization
- Operating Systems
- Programming Concepts and Skills
- Software Engineering.
Classes at the 5000 level and the 6000 level have been designated by the program to cover the topics in each area, but satisfaction of the breadth requirement does not rely on any specific course selection. An individual plan is developed by the student and approved by the computer and information science program's director of graduate studies.
Students choose a primary career focus and a secondary career focus. The career focus aids in selecting courses that provide in-depth knowledge aligned with career objectives. The courses chosen in the primary career focus area and the secondary career focus area are driven by students' interests working with an adviser. Each student must have at least 12 credit hours related to their primary career focus, and at least six credit hours in a different secondary career focus for a total of 18 credit hours.
Courses taken to satisfy the breadth requirement also count toward career focus requirements. No course may be counted toward satisfying both a primary and a secondary focus. The breadth requirements and the career focus requirements may be satisfied with any combination of approved 5000- and 6000-level classes.
Examples of a career focus include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Business Intelligence and Analytics
- Database Analysis/Administration/Architecture
- Information Security
- Mobile Computing
- System/Enterprise Architecture
- Software Development/Software Engineering.
Specific courses related to a career focus are designated by the computer and information science program. The final course selections are determined on an individual basis with approval by an adviser. Students may consult their adviser for a list of the currently approved courses from other departments.
Additional Course Work
Courses beyond the breadth and career focus requirements are taken from a list of computer science, information technology and computer engineering courses approved by the computer and information science program. Six out-of-program elective credits may be selected from other Marquette graduate courses germane to computer and information science or its applications.
Plan B Option (36 or 42 Credits)
Students admitted to the computing career change specialization must complete a total of 42 credit hours, which must include COSC 6500 Foundations of Computing and 35 additional credit hours. The program of study includes individualized combinations of 12 credit hours for a primary career focus and 6 credit hours for a secondary career focus. At least 25 credit hours must be taken at the 6000 level.
All other students in Plan B must complete a total of 36 credit hours of course work. The program of study includes individualized combinations of 12 credit hours for a primary career focus and 6 credit hours for a secondary career focus. The practicum, as outlined in the next section, can serve as the 6 credit secondary career focus. At least 18 credit hours must be taken at the 6000 level.
For all students, courses beyond the career focus and breadth requirements are taken from a list of courses primarily from computer science, information technology and computer engineering.
Plan A Option (30 credits)
Students must supply an approved thesis outline to enter Plan A, the thesis option, which requires a total of 30 credits.
In Plan A, students must complete 24 credit hours of course work, of which at least 12 hours must be earned in graduate-level courses (6000-level and above). Students must also complete a master's thesis (COSC 6999 Master's Thesis) for 6 credit hours and pass the oral examination concentrated on the thesis. The student must select a primary career focus, which is typically related to their thesis topic and meets the breadth requirement of the program. The six thesis credits are considered the secondary career focus.
Courses beyond the career focus, thesis and breadth requirements are taken from a list of computer science, information technology and computer engineering courses approved by the computer and information science program. Six out-of-program elective credits may be selected from other Marquette graduate courses germane to computer and information science or its applications.
The master of science program in computer and information science offers four specializations: information assurance and cyber defense, big data and data analytics (moratorium on admissions for new students), the computing career change opportunity, and the integrated practicum.
Information Assurance and Cyber Defense
This specialization requires practical experience. In this specialization, the professional project provides 0 credit hours for the leadership of a project in cybersecurity. Permission to undertake the specific project must come from the director of graduate studies for the program.
|COSC 5300||Network Design and Security||3|
|COSC 5360||Software and System Security||3|
|COSC 6280||Advanced Computer Security||3|
|COSC 6550||Introduction to Cybersecurity||3|
|COSC 6560||Principles of Service Management and System Administration||3|
|COSC 6998||Professional Project in Computer Science||0|
|Total Credit Hours:||15|
Big Data and Data Analytics
MORATORIUM ON ADMISSIONS FOR NEW STUDENTS
This specialization features course work related to trends in data management, parallelism and data analysis techniques used for business applications.
|COSC 5610||Data Mining (or 6000-level graduate statistics course)||3|
|COSC 6060||Parallel and Distributed Systems||3|
|COSC 6380||Big Data Systems (or 6000-level class with a focus on databases or data warehouses such as COSC 6530)||3|
|COSC 6510||Data Intelligence||3|
|COSC 6520||Data Analytics||3|
|Elective-Graduate course emphasizing the application of data collection and analysis in a discipline outside of computing (requires consent of adviser)||3|
|Total Credit Hours:||18|
Computing Career Change Opportunity
This specialization is a workforce development initiative designed to move students from an underemployed status into a STEM career in computer and information science. It supports a career change for students who do not have the prerequisite knowledge and skills in programming, data structures and algorithms. The specialization requires successful completion of foundations course COSC 6500 Foundations of Computing, supplying the computer and information science program prerequisites in a 7-credit graduate course. Students must then work with their adviser to select a primary and secondary career focus. Courses beyond the career focus, thesis and breadth requirements are taken from a list of computer science, information technology and computer engineering courses approved by the computer and information science program.
Within Plan B, this specialization provides a unique opportunity for professional development. Students must indicate a desire to participate in the integrated practicum on their application to the program. Students must satisfy the requirements for a primary career focus as well as the breadth requirement. There are three primary career focus areas available: cybersecurity, system development and analytics. The primary career focus must be related to the work assignment. The practicum credits can serve as the 6-credit secondary career focus.
In the integrated practicum specialization, practical assignments in a working enterprise enhance the “learn from doing” opportunity beyond the typical assigned exercises, case studies, and student projects. The student adviser works with a participating employer and the student to ensure a tight integration between course work, career focus and work assignments. Work assignments are paired with courses to provide the simultaneous acquisition of foundational knowledge, professional skills and professional experience. The integration of course work and experience begins in the first term of the program and must continue through graduation.
The integrated practicum specialization meets the 36-credit requirement of Plan B through a minimum of 30 credits of course work (of which at least 15 credits must be at the 6000 level) and 6 credits of the integrated practicum (COSC 6965 Curriculum Integrated Practicum in Computing); students choose a primary career focus and complete 9 credits required for that primary career focus area as indicated in the table that follows. Each 300-350 hours of integrated work experience earn one practicum credit. During the final practicum session, students may earn an additional practicum credit for a comprehensive paper demonstrating their competency in their primary career focus through accomplishments in their work assignments.
|COSC 6965||Curriculum Integrated Practicum in Computing||6|
|Choose one of the following primary career focus areas||9|
|Cybersecurity Oversight and Governance|
|Introduction to Cybersecurity|
|Principles of Service Management and System Administration|
|Data Security and Privacy|
|Elements of Software Development|
|Software Quality Assurance|
|Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence|
|Total Credit Hours:||15|
Additional considerations include:
- The student must maintain full-time graduate student status every term with the exception of the final term.
- Participation in this specialization is subject to the availability of work assignments and the qualifications of the student.
- The student must apply to the master of science program in computer and information science and inform the director of the program or their adviser of the intention to participate in the integrated practicum before their first term in the program.
- The student must apply to the participating employer and meet all of the requirements for an academically qualified position.
- If for any reason continuing work assignments are not available, the student can complete the degree program under Plan B's non-thesis course work option.
Accelerated Bachelor’s–Master’s Degree Program
The Department of Computer Science offers an accelerated degree program where eligible students may obtain both a bachelor's degree and the professional master of science degree in computer and information science in five years. Students are eligible to apply to this program as early as the final term of their sophomore year. Students wishing to participate in the five-year program must apply and be admitted to the program before their senior year.
Minimal criteria for application to the ADP include a GPA of at least 3.000 and the following course work: two terms of courses in programming; one course on data structures and algorithms.
Upon completion of the undergraduate degree, the ADP student must satisfy all of the requirements for the master of science degree in computer and information science and complete additional required graduate courses. The summer term may be taken immediately after the senior year or the following summer.
Within the undergraduate degree program, the student enrolls in the required programming and data structures courses and 12 graduate credits related to a computer and information science career. After completing the undergraduate program, there are three terms of graduate study. In these three terms, the student receives an additional 24 graduate credits, resulting in a total of 36 graduate credits.
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