Master of Science in Computer Science and Information Technology
The graduate Computer Science and Information Technology (MCST) curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for careers involving the development and support of processes that utilize computer science and/or information technology. The MS in Computer Science and Information Technology curriculum provides students who seek a master’s degree in a technical field the benefit of completing a program designed with a unique pedagogic composition—the combination of a traditional computer science core with applied courses in information technology. This combination develops a skill set for the application of computer technology resources to solve a variety of information need problems. Additionally, this program develops communication and leadership skills required in the corporate/government sector.
Designed to satisfy the post baccalaureate development of working professionals, most courses are offered in the evening. The program is delivered on the campus of Winston-Salem State University in the Elva J. Jones Computer Science Building. This multi-million dollar computer science facility provides an ultramodern instructional infrastructure including: computing instruction laboratories, undergraduate and graduate specialized laboratories, cutting-edge research laboratories, departmental servers and control rooms, faculty and graduate assistant offices, and student study areas.
The mission of the Master of Science in Computer Science and Information Technology program is to prepare graduates for careers in computer science and information technology, including: systems development and support, consulting, network administration, database administration, and information resource management.
Upon successful completion of the MS in Computer Science and Information Technology program, students will exhibit the following student learning outcomes:
- Graduates will show evidence of a strong foundation of core computer science knowledge, including architecture, operating systems, and algorithms;
- Graduates will show evidence of mastery of graduate level concepts associated with a selected concentration in computer science or information technology;
- Graduates will exhibit the ability to conduct an independent capstone activity that will produce an original work in the field (thesis for the computer science concentration or project for the information technology concentration).
The deadline for receipt of all application materials is June 1st for Fall semester admission and October 1st for Spring semester admission. International students’ must submit application materials one month prior to the published deadline shown above.
Subject to the approval of the Department of Computer Science, up to six (6) semester hours of graduate transfer credit may be applied toward the MS in Computer Science and Information Technology degree. Graduate transfer credit will only be granted for courses completed with a grade of “B” or better. Transfer credit should be requested upon admission to the program.
The MS in Computer Science and Information Technology requires 30-33 hours. No minor is required. Students must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 (“B” average). No more than two grades of “C” may be earned in the program.
The MS in Computer Science and Information Technology students must select one of the following concentrations and the culminating activity (project, thesis, or exam) for that concentration:
Project Option: 33 credit hours
- 9 semester hours (SH) of core courses
- 9 SH of required information technology courses
- 12 SH of elective courses
- 3 SH of project work.
Thesis Option: 30 credit hours
- 9 semester hours (SH) of core courses
- 9 SH of required computer science courses
- 6 SH of elective courses
- 6 SH of thesis research
Exam Option: 33 credit hours
- 9 semester hours (SH) of core courses
- 9 SH of required courses in the concentration—computer science or information technology
- 15 SH of elective courses
- comprehensive exam
Time Limits for Completion
The MS in Computer Science and Information Technology program can be completed within two years of full-time study. A student may not take longer than six years to complete the curriculum.
Students in the MS in Computer Science and Information Technology program must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 (“B” average). No more than two grades of “C” may be earned in the program.
Required Courses for the Computer Science Concentration
Required Courses for the Information Technology Concentration
Foundation Elective Courses
These graduate level electives present content typically found in an undergraduate computer science program.
- An earned baccalaureate degree in a related field from an accredited college or university. In lieu of a baccalaureate degree in a related field, evidence of prerequisite course work or equivalent experience in high-level programming, architecture, operating systems, and data structures
- Official application and application fee (see graduate admissions for the current fee amount).
- Official transcript from each institution where undergraduate or graduate work was completed
- Official report of GRE scores—General exam.
- International applicants must submit a Sponsor’s Affidavit, Financial Certification and an Intent to Enroll Form
- Three sealed recommendation forms and/or letters (at least two from faculty and one from a practicing professional)
- A written personal statement (essay describing professional goals, experience, and research interests)
- Resume reflecting work relevant experience
- Documentation of prior learning which satisfies program prerequisite knowledge (in lieu of prerequisite courses—for applicants who do not hold the BS in computer science)
- International applicants whose native language is not English must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 550. Non-native speakers of English with international transcripts, regardless of U.S. citizenship, must validate proficiency in the English language. Applicants may submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL language proficiency test. The minimum required TOEFL score depends on the form of the exam taken (Internet based = 79, or paper based = 550). The language requirement also may be fulfilled by completion of INTERLINK, the intensive English language program, such as the one located on the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) (www.uncg.edu/ipg/interlink/) through Level 5. The English language proficiency requirement may be waived if the applicant is a graduate of a university in a country where English is the official language.
- Applicants who do not hold the BS in computer science must provide evidence of prerequisite course work or equivalent experience in high-level programming, and data structures (certificates, transcripts, etc.).
The Department of Computer Science offers a special program for high quality Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Computer Science and Information Technology undergraduate students who desire to pursue graduate study. By taking certain Computer Science & Information Technology (MCST) graduate courses in their senior year in lieu of the corresponding undergraduate courses the student can obtain the B.S. degree in Computer Science (CS) or the B.S. in Information Technology (IT) and then, with an additional year of graduate study, obtain the M.S. degree in Computer Science and Information Technology. Successful completion of this program cuts a year off of the standard two-year time required to obtain an M.S. degree in Computer Science and Information Technology from WSSU. By spending an extra year in school, you earn two degrees and may significantly increase your starting salary!
To be eligible for this program, the potential student should, by the end of the first semester of his/her junior year:
- Have earned credit for (including courses received through placement or transfer) at least 75 hours of coursework applicable to the undergraduate CS or IT degree;
- Have achieved a GPA of at least 3.2 overall Computer Science courses; and
- Have met with the M.S. Program Coordinator to receive advising and approval for applying to the early-entry program.
- First semester of junior year – meet with the M.S. Program Coordinator before mid-semester to receive advising about early-entry program; Identified and meet with a research mentor to make initial plans for the MCST capstone thesis research or project;
- Second semester of junior year – complete and submit early-entry application for graduate study in M.S. in Computer Science and Information Technology to Graduate Admissions;
- Recommendation for the second semester of junior year- apply for a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) grant and/or academic year undergraduate research grant for the senior year;
- Notification of acceptance will be made before the start of the senior year;
- Senior year – enroll in MCST substitute courses;
- End of senior year – successfully complete requirements for B.S. degree in CS or IT, at least 9 hours of undergraduate course work can be substituted with corresponding graduate courses (and these graduate courses can also be applied to the MCST degree program).
Approved Course Substitutions:
CSC U/G Courses
MCST Graduate Substitutions
CSC 4350 Software Engineering
CSC 4356 Web Programming
CSC 4355 Database Design
CST 5322 Advanced Software Engineering (Core)
CST 6305 Internet Systems (IT Required/CS Elective)
CST 6306 Advanced Database Systems (Core)
All application materials should be submitted to:
Office of Admissions - Graduate
Winston-Salem State University
Suite 137 Anderson Center
Winston-Salem, NC 27110
Graduate Admissions Phone: (336) 750-2250
FAX: (336) 750-3042