Nov 29, 2020  
Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED 2015-16 
    
Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED 2015-16 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Applied Computer Science, MS


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Program Description

The Masters of Science in Applied Computer Science (MSACS) is fundamentally different from traditional computer science programs. Computer science focuses primarily on the theoretical aspects of computer systems and computability. Applied computer science builds upon these same foundations, but emphasizes the practical application of computer science methods to resolve real-world problems through the design and development of software applications. The curriculum is based on a traditional, graduate-level core curriculum in computer science plus elective courses that provide the student with a depth of knowledge in an applied areas such as cyber operations or software development.

Goals and Objectives

The MSACS student learning outcomes were developed to ensure that all graduates are prepared to enter employment in industry or to continue on in a doctoral degree program. Those goals include the ability to:

  • articulate a solid understanding of the fundamental principles in computer science, in the area of specialization and in supporting areas;
  • apply computer science principles to problems from other domains;
  • conduct research and/or design projects that demonstrate an ability to model, analyze and design computer science processes and systems;
  • communicate technical information, both orally and in writing, in an effective manner.

Program Delivery

Courses in the MSACS program may be offered using a variety of instructional delivery methods:

  1. Face-to-face on site in Madison, SD in a traditional classroom setting;
  2. Interactive video-conferencing via the Dakota Digital Network, may be offered at multiple sites in South Dakota depending on class availability (sites arranged to meet student need, must be requested by student);
  3. At a distance via Internet, using a combination of both live and/or encoded streaming videos of classes, interactive course web boards, course web sites, and e-mail. All courses are web-enhanced.

Program Completion

The program can be completed on a full or part-time basis, with classes offered in three academic terms, fall, spring, and summer. Time to complete really depends upon the number of credit hours taken per semester and the number of knowledge support courses needed. Full-time students (9 credit hours per semester) can complete the program in four semesters (assuming two knowledge support courses are required). Students must complete the program within 5 years of the semester of their admission.

Admission Requirements Specific to the MSACS

The Dakota State University Masters of Science in Applied Computer Science program seeks highly motivated individuals with education and professional credentials that will enable them to be successful graduate students. Admission to the program is based upon a combination of the following requirements:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in computer science (or closely related field) from an institution of higher education with full regional accreditation for that degree. International students must have an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree that is the equivalent to a four-year undergraduate degree in the U.S.
  2. Minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent on an alternative grading system).
  3. Transcript should show completion of courses in key areas: Basic knowledge can be demonstrated in several ways, including:
  • Programming (C, C++) and programming language foundations
  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Math foundations (discrete math)
  1. Students may be required to take undergraduate or foundation classes in order to make up for deficiencies.

Program Faculty

Steve Graham, Tom Halverson, Rob Honomichl, Stephen Krebsbach, Chris Olson, Josh Pauli, Wayne Pauli, Zixing Shen, Kevin Streff, Daniel Talley, Yong Wang

Program Requirements

Coursework

The program requires 30 hours beyond the baccalaureate. All students must take the following:

  • Five core courses (15 credit hours);
  • Five courses (15 credit hours) from the cyber operations specialization or five elective courses.

Students who do not meet specific admission requirements may have to take foundational classes as part of their coursework that gets added to their program of study.

Courses Supporting the MSACS program


Required Courses


Required courses are to be taken by everyone admitted to the program, they include five core courses (15 credit hours), five specialization or elective courses (15 credit hours). Core courses build upon the knowledge support courses or appropriate experience.

Specialization or Elective (15 credits)


Complete 15 credits of elective courses or the Cyber Operations Specialization. Electives must be graduate level Computer Science (CSC 500-level or above) or from other areas approved by advisor. 

Cyber Operations Specialization (15 credits)


Elective (15 credits)


Choose five elective courses (15 credits) from graduate level Computer Science (CSC 500-level or above) or from other areas approved by advisor.

Assessment/Evaluation Activities


All candidates for graduation must participate in an assessment activity. MSACS students complete the exam during their final semester. The MSACS students will complete a comprehensive exam.

The results of the exam are used as one means of evaluating the MSACS curriculum by providing information to the faculty who teach the courses.

Course Grades


Course Grades are used as an indirect measure of student attainment of specific program goals and objectives. DSU Policy requires students to maintain a 3.0 GPA in the program, receive no grades below a C, and have no more than 2 grades of a C. If you do not maintain the required “B” average you will be placed on academic probation and given the opportunity to raise your GPA to 3.0 within the next nine credit hours. If you do not raise your GPA to 3.0 you will be suspended from the program. If you receive more than 6 credits of “C” or any grade lower than a “C” you will be suspended from the program. You may appeal the suspension. If students have questions regarding grading, they should review the Satisfactory Progression Policy (DSU Policy 05-34-00) or speak with their advisor.

MSACS Course Rotation


Core Courses


Course #

Course Title

FA 15

SP 16

SU 16

FA 16

SP 17

SU 17

FA 17

SP 18

SU 18
CSC 705 Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms     X     X     X
CSC 710 Structure & Design of Programming Language     X     X     X
CSC 714 Database Systems X     X     X    
CSC 718 Operating Systems & Parallel Programming X     X     X    
CSC 720 Theory of Computation   X     X     X  

Cyber Operations Specialization


Course #

Course Title

FA 15

SP 16

SU 16

FA 16

SP 17

SU 17

FA 17

SP 18

SU 18
CSC 716

Secure Software Engineering

  X     X     X  
CSC 748

Software Exploitation

      X     X    
INFA 723

Cryptography

  X     X     X  
INFA 751

Wireless Security

X     X     X    
Choose a 3 credit hour graduate level Computer Science (CSC 500-level or above) course

Elective Courses


Course #

Course Title

FA 15

SP 16

SU 16

FA 16

SP 17

SU 17

FA 17

SP 18

SU 18
CSC 533 Computer Graphics                  
CSC 547 Artificial Intelligence X                
CSC 586 Data Mining                  
CSC 712 Data Structures                  
CSC 716 Secure Software Engineering   X     X     X  
CSC 744 Software Development Leadership X     X     X    
CSC 748 Software Exploitation       X     X    

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