us-news-best-online-programs Top Ranked as a Best Online Graduate Computer and Information Technology program by U.S. News and World Report!

Our online Master of Science in Applied Computer Science degree is an exceptionally affordable and high quality professional computer science degree program that provides individuals holding a bachelor degree in any discipline the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career in the exciting and dynamic field of computer science and information technology. Students taking two courses per semester, 6 credit hours per semester to include summer semesters, may complete the masters degree in two years.

Applied Knowledge and Skills for a Career in IT

Our online computer science masters degree program focuses on applied knowledge and skills in computer science and information technology that are integrated and delivered in a comprehensive and practical pedagogy to prepare graduates to enter the information technology job market upon graduation.  All classes are taught by exceptionally qualified faculty whose backgrounds include both academic and industry experience.  This professional computer science degree includes course work in web technologies, program construction, software development, database systems, system and network administration, and two project experiences designed to integrate knowledge and skills across courses with teamwork and professional practices.  

  • Learning Outcomes

    Upon completing the Master of Science in Applied Computer Science program, students will be able to:

    1. Effectively function as a member of a team engaged in the process of modeling, designing, and implementing computer-based systems of varied complexity utilizing multiple technologies.
    2. Recognize and analyze social, professional, and ethical issues and responsibilities they may face as computing professionals.
    3. Prepare and give effective technical presentations using appropriate technologies.
    4. Write clear and accurate technical documents.
  • Required Courses

    With the exception of CS 6920, all courses are 3 credit hours.

    • CS 6231 - Database Systems I
    • CS 6232 - Database Systems II
    • CS 6241 - Software Development I
    • CS 6242 - Software Development II
    • CS 6251 - Web Technologies I
    • CS 6252 - Web Technologies II
    • CS 6311 - Program Construction I
    • CS 6312 - Program Construction II
    • CS 6910 - Project I
    • CS 6920 - Project II (6 credit hours)
    • CS 6261 - System and Network Administration

    Download Program Sheet (pdf)

    Course Pre-Requisite Flowchart and Cohort Rotation

    The course flowchart and cohort rotation details the pre-requisite structure of the courses in the program and the specific courses a student is expected to take each semester of her/his enrollment in the program.  The chart is based on the assumption that a student begins during the Fall semester, enrolls in 6 credit hours each semester, and satisfactorily completes all courses each semester.  The Department will offer courses each semester to honor the cohort rotation.  Students wishing to take less than 6 credit hours each semester may not be able to complete the program. Furthermore, it is not possible to take more than 6 credit hours each semester.

  • Additional Requirements
    • Students are allowed only one grade of C in all courses applying toward the degree.
    • Students must satisfactorily complete CS 6910 (Project I) by earning a grade of “S” in order to remain in the program.
    • Students must satisfactorily complete CS 6920 (Project II) by earning a grade of “S” and participate in an exit interview with computer science graduate faculty.

    Please see the current Graduate Catalog for additional information and policies including academic policies which impact students in the program.

Excellent Job Prospects for Graduates

Our graduates, for whom we have virtually 100% job placement , go on to pursue successful and rewarding careers in computing and information technology.  According to the  Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition :

"Employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. These occupations are expected to add about 488,500 new jobs, from about 3.9 million jobs to about 4.4 million jobs from 2014 to 2024, in part due to a greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, more everyday items becoming connected to the Internet in what is commonly referred to as the “Internet of things,” and the continued demand for mobile computing.

The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $81,430 in May 2015, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $36,200."

Possible career paths for graduates include software developerscomputer programmers,  system analystsweb developerscomputer support specialists, and database administrators.

100% Online CS Degree that Fits Your Schedule

All instruction and course work for the applied computer science masters degree is delivered completely online via the Internet using a variety of asynchronous and synchronous distance learning technologies.  Although much of the course work will be done individually, students will be expected to participate in online group meetings from time to time.  Students are expected to have reliable broadband Internet access and their own personal computer capable of running a variety of software tools used in the program.

Students enrolling in the program are also expected to be proficient in basic computer use.  This would include, but is not necessarily limited to: accessing and general use of the Internet (web browsers, email, ability to use common web-based applications and search engines); use of productivity applications such as Microsoft Office; and installing software packages.

Technology Requirements

  • Minimum Requirements
    • Reliable broadband (e.g., DSL, cable, LTE) Internet connection.  In terms of speed, you should get the highest you can afford, although 3 Mbps should probably be considered a minimum.  Dial-up connections will not be effective.  You should also be mindful of plans that have data usage limits; from time to time you will need to download large files (software, videos, etc.) as part of your course work.
    • Reasonably new computer with at least a quad-core processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 250 GB hard drive.  If you are looking at purchasing a new machine, you should opt for the most memory and highest processor speed you can afford.
    • A microphone and webcam.  Many laptops and all-in-one desktop computers now include these built-in, but USB add-on versions are fine as well.  You will use these for synchronous chat with fellow students and/or faculty, as well as for online group meetings.
  • Software and Choice of Platform

    Although the program is not platform-centric, you will likely be required to utilize certain Microsoft Windows-based software.  All of our on-campus labs and most of our faculty use Windows 7 (64-bit).  The Windows operating system and any Microsoft software that may be required for course work will be available to download for free (academic, non-commercial use only) through our membership in the Microsoft DreamSpark program.  Many other software tools will be available to download for free as well.

    If you have a preference for a Mac and have a relatively new Intel-based Mac computer you can easily install a virtualization platform such as VMware Fusion(available for free to students in the program), Parallels Desktop, or Oracle VirtualBox (a free download) and run Windows on top of Mac OS X.  Similarly, if you have a preference for a GNU/Linux operating system can install VMware Workstation or VirtualBox in order to run a Windows operating system on top of the GNU/Linux OS. 

    You will be provided with information on how to download Microsoft and VMware software once you are admitted to the program and enroll in classes.

  • Technical Support

    Students are completely responsible for their own Internet connection and personal computer(s).  The Department will provide information for students to acquire needed software, but does not provide technical support for students' Internet connections or personal computer(s).

  • On-Campus Labs

    Although the assumption is that students will be using their own computers, any graduate student who wishes to come to the Carrollton campus is welcome to utilize the Department's on-campus lab facilities.  Additional information on how to get lab access will be available once you are admitted to the program and enroll in classes.


Costs and Financial Support

Our online computer science masters degree program is high quality and affordable!  The estimated cost of tuition and fees is just over $17,000 over the two-year duration of the program. We have prepared a summary of estimated costs for tuition and fees, based on current rates.  Additional information about tuition and fees is available on the Bursar's Office website. Please note, all online CS graduate classes are considered "NET" courses for tuition purposes and carry the same tuition rate regardless of residency status.

Financial support may be available for qualified students.  Please visit the Office of Financial Aid web site for more information.  

Application and Admission Process

  • Application Materials

    Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit complete application material as soon as possible. To be considered for admission to the program, applicants must submit: 

    • Official transcripts from each institution attended.
      • If you request transcripts to be sent electronically, please ensure they are sent to the Office of Graduate and International Admissions email address,  If they will be sent via surface mail, please use the Office of Graduate and International Admissions mailing address given on the Graduate Studies application page.
      • International applicants need to have a Foreign Credential Evaluation, provided by an independent credential evaluation service accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluators (NACES), for all course work completed outside the United States. If you request the evaluation to be sent electronically, please ensure they are sent to the Office of Graduate and International Admissions email address,  If they will be sent via surface mail, please use the Office of Graduate and International Admissions mailing address given on the Graduate Studies website.
    • A letter of application (500 words or less) that explains the applicant's intent for pursuing the degree
    • Three letters of professional references (suggested template)
    • A comprehensive resumé or curriculum vitae that describes in detail the applicant's educational background and professional experience. 
    • Additional requirements may also apply to international applicants, as listed on the Graduate Studies website. 

    After initial review of application material, some applicants may be asked to submit additional material in support of their applications.

    Applicants are encouraged to submit their application letter, references, and CV or resume in PDF format, if possible.

  • Application Process

    Please see the Graduate Studies website for basic steps to initiate the application process. Please note, when submitting your application online, make sure that you select Fall semester since the program only accepts students for the Fall semester.

    As soon as you have submitted an online application for graduate admission, we strongly recommend that you send an email to us at indicating that you have submitted your application.  At a minimum, please include the following in your email:

    • Full Name
    • Phone number
    • Date you submitted the online application

    Sending us an email will help us to better track your application and assist you with any questions that you may have about your application. Should you have questions in regard to the admission process or wish to check on your application status, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Jane Wood.

  • Review Process

    All applicants with a strong desire to join the program are encouraged to apply.  The review process will consider the application holistically in order to determine the applicant's suitability for the program; a single application requirement will not necessarily determine whether or not a student is accepted for admission.  Applicants are admitted in a cohort which starts in the Fall semester. The admission process is selective and all applicants will be considered for admission to the program until the cohort is complete.  We recommend applicants should have an undergraduate GPA of around 3.0 and a dedication to complete the program successfully.  Applicants who are accepted to the cohort will be notified of their admission status no later than  July 15th.

    As part of this review, some applicants may be asked to participate in an interview.  This interview may include a written component.  The department shall then determine whether or not to recommend applicants for admission to the program.  

    Please note that provisional admission is not granted for entry to the program, and only students who are admitted to the program may enroll in graduate computer science courses.