Program Overview

The Professional Science Masters in Computer Science (PSM) is a 38-credit program that combines advanced coursework in computer science with courses in professional skill areas such as team and project management, as well as verbal and written communications. Students are also encouraged to complete an industry internship that culminates in a technical project to be evaluated by a faculty member and the industry partner offering the internship.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of this program will have acquired:

  • A solid foundation in the concepts of distributed systems, computer security, and data management/software engineering;
  • The ability to read peer-reviewed literature related to research problems in Computer Science, and to obtain the necessary background information to further explore the problems;
  • Experience in solving problems in a professional setting;
  • Professional skills such as critical thinking/decision making, team/project management, and written and oral communications.
Curriculum

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in Computer Science or a related field. Applicants are expected, at a minimum, to have intermediate programming skills with a good knowledge of data structures and concomitant mathematical background. Applicants who do not have such a background will need to take remedial courses before being admitted to the program.

Applicants lacking background in operating systems would be required, as a condition of admission, to take ICS 462 Operating Systems as part of their program. These four credits of coursework may count toward the 38 credits required to graduate.

Internship (4 credits, recommended)

  • Requires approval by a committee/advisor;
  • Should involve at least 300 hours of work of which at least 250 hours must be spent on highly technical activities involving design or implementation or both;
  • The level and quality of the work must be appropriate for a professional with a master's degree in computer science; and
  • Must culminate in a technical project to be evaluated by a faculty member and the industry partner offering the internship.

More information about this program

Admission Criteria

The ICS department bases admission decisions on the applicant's prior academic work (especially in Computer Science), professional or other non-academic background in Computer Science, and recommendation letters. The following three items are the minimum criteria for the ICS department to consider an applicant for potential admission. Meeting these requirements is not a guarantee of admission.

  • Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or a related discipline from a regionally accredited institution with either a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), or an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 in all Computer Science and Mathematics or related courses. Applicants without a formal degree in computer science should have completed coursework in the following topics:
    • Discrete mathematics
    • Problem solving using a modern programming language such as C, C++, or Java
    • Data structures (stacks, queues, trees, graphs, etc.), algorithms, and complexity
    • Object-oriented programming and design

Note: In rare circumstances, an applicant not meeting the GPA requirements might be considered if their other application materials are stellar (e.g., outstanding recommendations, excellent GRE scores, etc.)

  • Two positive recommendations from people qualified to judge the applicant's ability for graduate studies
  • English language proficiency or permanent resident status, documented/demonstrated in one of the following ways:
    • Is a US citizen or permanent resident
    • Has a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from an English-speaking institution in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand
    • Has a minimum TOEFL score of 80 (Internet-based), or 550 (paper-based) achieved within 24 months of intended matriculation.
    • Has an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher achieved within 24 months of intended matriculation.
Application Requirements

This is a summary listing only. See Applying to the Program for full details on the application deadline, requirements and requirements specific to international applicants.

  • Graduate Application; required
  • $20 non-refundable application fee; required (waived only for graduates of Metropolitan State University)
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended; required
  • Two letters of recommendation; required
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores; recommended
  • Resume plus documentation of relevant work experience; recommended
  • Purpose essay describing why the applicant wishes to enroll in the program; recommended

Applicant files will be reviewed based on the admission criteria in effect as of the date that all of their application materials are received in the Graduate Studies Office. Applicants should allow one month for review once all application materials have been received.

Applicants are invited to contact the department and schedule time to discuss their academic plans (via email, phone, or in person) with the director of the program or other graduate faculty. To initiate a discussion please send an email request to mscs@metrostate.edu.

Diagnostic Exams

All incoming students must take a diagnostic assessment of their writing skills. Those who do not satisfactorily complete this assessment must do remedial coursework after consultation with their advisor.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of eight (8) graduate credits from other universities or departments may be used for graduate credit with advisor approval. Courses used for the award of another degree at Metropolitan State or any other university may not be used again for graduate credit in the PSM in Computer Science program. Prior learning credits do not count toward program requirements. Independent studies are strongly discouraged. Regardless of other coursework, the student must complete at least 16 credits of ICS coursework at the 600-level at Metropolitan State University.

Additional Information

Academic Standing

To remain in good academic standing, the student must:

  • Earn a grade of B- or better in all courses;
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0;
  • Successfully complete at least one approved course within three semesters (including summer) of admission; and
  • Finish the program within 18 semesters (summers included) of first registration as a graduate student fully admitted to the program.

Students who earn a grade less than B- in more than two classes (in prerequisite undergraduate coursework taken here at the university or in graduate level coursework) will be dismissed from the program. Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 may be given multiple semesters to bring their GPA back to 3.0 or higher. Failure to remain in good academic standing will result in dismissal from the program. To continue in the program, a dismissed student must reapply for admission. A dismissed student must sit out at least 3 consecutive semesters (one calendar year) and reapply for admission to continue in the program. If readmitted, the student may be asked to repeat some or all of the courses taken previously.

Reactivating into the Program

A student in good academic standing who has not registered for courses for three or more consecutive semesters (including summers) must formally request to reactivate into the degree program. To reactivate, submit a letter to the director of the program expressing a desire to reactivate into the program. You will be required to satisfy degree requirements in force at the time of reactivation, even if those requirements differ from those in force at the time of original admission to the degree program.

Accreditation

Metropolitan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission:
Higher Learning Commission
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504
312-263-0456


Faculty

Brahma Dathan, Sue Fitzgerald, Thanaa Ghanem, Larry Gottschalk, KuoDi Jian, Faisal Kaleem, Jigang Liu (graduate program director), Milt Luoma, and Michael Stein (department chair).

Contact Information

Applicants may contact the graduate program director with questions by emailing (preferred) mscs@metrostate.edu or by contacting them directly.

Dr. Jigang Liu, ICS Graduate Director
Phone: 651-793-1472

Information Computer Systems Department
Metropolitan State University
700 East Seventh Street
New Main, Room L110
St. Paul, MN 55106

Office Location
700 East Seventh Street
New Main, Room L115
Saint Paul, MN 55106
651-793-1471

Additional Program Information 


How Admissions Works

We are looking forward to you joining us. Take the first step by filling out this application.
Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 38 total credits)

Distributed Systems (4 credits)

one course from the following:

  • ICS 611 Distributed Database Systems
    4 credits

    This course covers the fundamental issues of distributed databases with focus on data fragmentation and allocation, query optimization and transaction processing. Topics include: Distributed database management systems architecture and design; data fragmentation, replication, and allocation; database security, authorization and integrity control; query optimization; transaction management; distributed concurrency control and replica control; distributed object database management systems; multidatabase systems.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ICS 625 Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures
    4 credits

    This course introduces XML technologies, web services and service-oriented architectures. Current approaches to web service design and implementation will be discussed. Models for designing and implementing a service-oriented architecture will be discussed. Security considerations and emerging trends will be explored. Students will implement web services.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ICS 640 Distributed Algorithms
    4 credits

    Study of distributed algorithms that are designed to run on networked processors and useful in a variety of applications., such as telecommunications, information processing, and real-time process control. Specific algorithms studied include leader election, distributed consensus, mutual exclusion, resource allocation, and stable property detection. Both asynchronous and synchronous systems will be covered and fault tolerance will be the major theme. Algorithms will be analyzed for complexity and proofs of corrections will be studied.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ICS 661 Wireless Technologies
    4 credits

    This course is a Study of the theory and methodologies used in the construction of wireless networks. Topics include: Overview of computer networks and wireless systems; cellular concepts and design fundamentals; physical layer fundamentals; data link control protocols; security related concepts including authentication and privacy with message integrity; wireless medium access control (MAC) protocols; radio resource management (power control); resource allocation and call admission control; mobility management; wireless networking; wireless LAN; wireless mobile ad hoc networks and wireless sensor networks.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ICS 662 Distributed System Design
    4 credits

    This course covers fundamental principles and theories on distributed and network operating systems, communication models, Client/Server architecture, and Peer-to-Peer paradigms. Group communication, synchronization, threads, processor allocations, fault tolerance, distributed shared memory, and case studies are also introduced.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8

Computer Security (4 credits)

one course from the following:

  • ICS 682 Cryptography and Computer Security
    4 credits

    This course will discuss a broad range of computer security issues related to cryptography and networks. Students will study the design and use of cryptographic systems and analyze cryptanalytic attacks. A history of cryptographic systems and the mathematics behind them will be covered as well. Techniques of network security, including cryptographic techniques, will be covered.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ICS 684 Cyberspace Security Engineering
    4 credits

    This course is the first of a two-course series that introduces the interdisciplinary field of cyberspace security. The technical foundation for the cybersecurity defender is a particular combination of network, operating system, hardware (mobile/desktop/server) and software engineering skills, all of which are required to protect and defend modern systems, networks and information assets. Students will explore in-depth technical foundations which underpin cybersecurity threats and corresponding defenses. Through hands-on training students will gain necessary skills to begin supporting and implementing cyberspace security. This course will cover the following topics: Security and Risk Management (security governance principles, compliance, legal and regulatory issues, professional ethic, and security policies), Asset Security (information and asset classification and ownership, data security controls and handling requirements), Security Engineering (secure Engineering processes, security models, security evaluation model, security architectures and designs, cryptography, and physical security), and Communications and Network Security (secure network architecture design, secure network components, secure communication channels, and network attacks)

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ICS 686 Design of Information Assurance Systems
    4 credits

    This course is an integrated course emphasizing the design, analysis, and implementation of software information assurance system solutions by analyzing the current information infrastructures, software design, and applying software development, programming, testing, and engineering concepts.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8

Software/Engineering/Data Management (4 credits)

one course from the following:

  • ICS 611 Distributed Database Systems
    4 credits

    This course covers the fundamental issues of distributed databases with focus on data fragmentation and allocation, query optimization and transaction processing. Topics include: Distributed database management systems architecture and design; data fragmentation, replication, and allocation; database security, authorization and integrity control; query optimization; transaction management; distributed concurrency control and replica control; distributed object database management systems; multidatabase systems.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ICS 670 Contemporary Issues in Software Engineering
    4 credits

    This course presents Software Engineering topics of interest to students in the graduate Computer Science program. Topics vary with each offering of this course, but will be related to Software Engineering concepts such as verification, validation, secure systems, quality control, or formal methods. Check the class schedule for details about topics and course prerequisites.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ICS 672 Pattern-Oriented Software Construction
    4 credits

    Object-oriented design using design patterns. Topics include: Study of creational, structural, and behavioral patterns; Applications of these patterns in the design and implementation of object-oriented systems; complete analysis, design, implementation, and refactoring of online and batch systems.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8

Electives (12 or 16 credits)

Covering advanced subject matter in computer science. Electives may include additional work in distributed systems, computer security, software engineering /data management or may be taken from other advanced topics such as the three courses listed below. Students are encouraged to take 12 credits of elective coursework and do a 4-credit internship. However, students may alternatively take an additional 4 credits of elective coursework in lieu of an internship.

  • ICS 664 Real Time Operating Systems
    4 credits

    This course is the study of fundamentals of design and implementation of real-time operating systems. Most embedded computer systems have dedicated microprocessors as their computational and controlling elements and run real-time operating systems. This course covers concepts, programming languages, tools, hardware, and methodologies used in the construction of real-time operating systems and their peripheral components. Topics include: applications of real-time operating systems; communications between PC computers and embedded systems; fundamental concepts of scheduling (multitasking and interruptions); introduction of basic hardware components used in most real-time operating systems; Hardware description language[VHDL]; and the writing of a real-time operating system [RTOS] using industrial standard C language, debugging, and loading the code to the target hardware.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ICS 650 Simulation Modeling and Queuing Theory
    4 credits

    This course is the study of fundamentals of computer simulation modeling and queuing theory at graduate level. Computer simulation can be an extremely powerful tool, yet few in industry seem well trained in the design, implementation, and interpretation of a useful simulation experiment. The instructional materials in this course are designed to familiarize the students with the use of computer simulation and queuing theory. Students will be taught to focus simulation studies on tractable and intractable questions, to draw conclusions from simulations results, and to bring these conclusions into appropriate domain context. This is a hands-on course. Students are taught simulation theory through the practice of developing models and of writing software. Examples of application areas include: Computer Networks, Bioinformatics, Public Health Issues, Trends in Education, Trends in Industry and many, many more. Topics include: Introduction to Simulation; Introduction to the Arena software package; Simulation Examples; Statistical Models in Simulation; Queuing theory and Models; Analysis of Simulation Data; Verification and validation of Simulation Models.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ICS 690 Special Topics:
    4 credits

    This course is an in-depth study of some aspect of computer science that is not part of a regular course. Special topics courses of current interest will be offered on an occasional basis. Students may repeat ICS 690 for additional credit with advisor approval. Some topics may have prerequisites.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8

Graduate Coursework (6 credits)

Covering topics such as team and project management, decision making, and related topics. Suggested courses are (as approved by the advisor):

  • MGMT 610 Managerial Communications
    2 credits

    This course acquaints participants with the written assignments and oral presentations required in the master's program. It focuses on dyadic and small group communication models, various models and strategies for communication in different types of organizations, the nature of listening, negotiation and conflict resolution, task-oriented group communication processes, teambuilding and leadership, persuasion, and the nature of evidence. The course improves your ability to use appropriate communication devices and strategies in achieving organizational objectives, and sharpens your written and oral communication skills.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • DSCI 620 Project Management
    4 credits

    This course provides a systematic and comprehensive overview of project leadership and management. Topics covered include all aspects of project management from project initiation issues, RFP formulation, proposal decisions, preparation, and evaluation, project planning and implementation to organization, risk assessment, negotiation, and conflict resolution. Also included are project planning techniques such as PERT, CPM, Earned Value Analysis, and project monitoring and simulation using Microsoft Project software.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8

Writing Coursework (4 credits)

All students will be evaluated before placement into WRIT 571G. A student lacking the necessary writing skills will be required to complete additional writing classes, those credits will not be applied toward the program.

  • WRIT 571G Advanced Editing
    4 credits

    In this course, students hone and refine editing skills on a variety of levels. Topics include electronic editing, using electronic resources, dynamics of the editor-writer relationship, editing information graphics, advanced copyediting and developmental editing. Class exercises cover grammar, punctuation, and usage issues. Each student works with a writer to edit and develop an original text.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8