Computer Science Major
Ali Sekmen, Ph.D.2, Chair
Erdem Erdemir, Ph.D., Program Coordinator
The Department of Computer Science offers a Master of Science degree in Computer Science. The M.S. in Computer Science program provides recent college graduates, or college graduates who have had several years of professional life, an opportunity to enhance their careers and work on cutting-edge areas of computer science. The program also provides an accelerated path, Accelerated Master of Science in Computer Science program, to undergraduate students majoring in Computer Science at TSU to complete the masters degree program within two semesters based on (1) completion of their Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (B.S. in CS) degree program and (2) acceptance into the program of study by the department. The program offers three concentrations:
- Cyber-Security and Networking
- Data Science
- High-Performance Computing and Bioinformatics
The M.S. in Computer Science offers non-thesis and thesis options. All students are required to complete a total of 33 credit hours that include 9 credit hours of major core courses, 12 credit hours of concentration core courses, 6 credit hours of electives, and 6 credits hours of design-based courses (for non-thesis option) or 6 credit hours of thesis (for thesis option). Substitution within the core courses may be permitted with the consent of the advisor and approval of the department chair.
All students desiring to enroll for graduate study must apply through the Graduate School application portal and select the desired Area of Interest and Program. To be admitted to the program, students should demonstrate readiness to succeed in the graduate program. To do this, students should meet the following criteria:
- Applicants must have an academic background that covers certain prerequisite knowledge in mathematics, computer programming, data structures, and computer architectures. A student’s transcript should present evidence of the following courses with a grade of “C” or better:
- Mathematical background: calculus and discrete mathematics.
- Completion of undergraduate computer science prerequisites courses (or their equivalents):
COMP 2240, Computer Programming II
COMP 2400, Computer Organization
COMP 3010, Discrete Mathematics
COMP 3040, Data Structures
- The applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related area with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.
- The applicant must submit two letters of recommendation.
The application materials of each applicant will be evaluated by a committee, which may recommend some prerequisite undergraduate courses for the applicants under conditional admission. The applicant will have a conditional classification until the completion of the recommended course or courses. If admitted the applicant must correct the deficiency within the first two semesters.
An applicant whose Bachelor’s degree is not in Computer Science or a related area and who has exceptional experience in Computer Science may also be considered for conditional admission on an individual basis. Such applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 and provide a written technical summary for evaluation of their technical experience. This summary should emphasize the applicant’s experience with software systems and methodology, computer organization and architecture, and theory and mathematical background.
Conditional admission: Applicants admitted in this category will not be allowed to take more than 6 credits hours of graduate courses in the program until successful completion of the prerequisite courses with grade C or above.
Non-Thesis and Thesis Options
The proposed program requires completion of either a 6-credit hour thesis, for the thesis option, or 6 credit hours of design-based courses, for the non-thesis option. For the thesis option, a thesis manuscript and an oral presentation are required to document the student’s research activity. A thesis committee will supervise the student’s thesis work. The committee will consist of 3 faculty members, including the thesis chair. At least 2 of the committee members must be computer science graduate faculty. The chair must be a computer science faculty with graduate faculty credentials. For the non-thesis option, 6 credit hours of design-based courses are required. These courses will be selected from an approved list with the advisement of the student’s advisor. These courses have a strong project/design component.
The following is a list of the retention requirements:
- Students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00throughout the program. After completion of nine semester hours of graduate work, if the student’s cumulative GPA at the end of the given semester falls below 3.00, the student will be placed on probation. A student who fails to attain a cumulative GPA of 3.00during the next semester enrolled will be suspended.
- Students must have a grade of B or better in all core courses and may not have more than two C grades in other courses used to meet degree requirements.
- Students who have repeated a core course and failed to achieve a grade B or higher will be dismissed from the program.
- The maximum time allowed for completion of the master’s degree is six calendar years. All requirements for the M.S. in CS degree must be completed within the six-year period beginning with the student’s first term of enrollment in a graduate course.
- Students dismissed from the program will not be readmitted.
The M.S. in Computer Science program has two tracks: (a) a non-thesis program that requires 33 hours of coursework or (b) the thesis program that requires completion 27 hours of coursework and a thesis. The thesis option is strongly recommended for the students who intend to pursue a doctoral degree. The Master of Science degree in Computer Science will require the following:
- Admission of all degree-seeking students to candidacy for the degree after the completion of nine (9) graduate credit hours in residence at the University. The student must file an Admission to Candidacy form with the Graduate School prior to the semester in which graduation is desired.
- A minimum of 33 credit hours of graduate work, including 18 credit hours of required graduate core courses, with the following conditions for the Non-Thesis Option and Thesis Option:
The student must complete 33 credit hours of graduate computer science coursework.
The student must complete 27 credit hours of graduate computer science coursework and 6 credit hours of thesis work. A thesis is documented by a report and an oral presentation is required. A thesis committee will supervise the student’s thesis work. The committee will consist of 3 faculty members including the thesis chair. At least 2 of the committee members must be computer science graduate faculty. The chair must be computer science faculty.