Computer Science – Applied Computing

[1] Objectives

The Master of Science in Applied Computing is designed to provide intensive preparation in both concepts and techniques related to applications of computing systems. The program requires the student to take a wide range of courses to meet the breadth requirement, while simultaneously allowing for emphasis in desired application areas of specialization. Upon completing this degree program, a student should have the ability and skills for immediate employment in positions related to applied computing and also be well prepared for advanced studies in doctoral degrees at leading institutions. Detailed program objectives and educational outcomes can be found at the Department of Computer Science homepage.

[2] Program Admission Requirements

The candidate must meet the Graduate School general requirements for admission to graduate study. Requirements and applications can be found at the Graduate School website.

In addition, applicants are evaluated by the Department of Computer Science based on the following requirements:

  • An undergraduate degree in Computer Science or a closely related field with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) or a GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 credit hours.
    A degree is considered closely related if its curriculum includes equivalent coursework for a CS minor at UCA. For other applications, leveling courses will be suggested / required before the student can be enrolled into Graduate Courses. An applicant has the option of demonstrating proficiency in a given course through an exam proctored by the department in lieu of taking a leveling course.
  • The GRE verbal and quantitative scores
  • An admission packet which includes:
    • A complete form of Application for Admission to Graduate Study,
    • Official transcript of all undergraduate and graduate work,
    • General Test of the GRE
    • A résumé and three names of references

The application package, with application fee, should be submitted directly to the Graduate School. Online application for U.S. students is available at this page: U.S. Admissions. International students seeking admission may complete the form at International Admissions.

For international applicants whose primary language is not English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required.

[3] Degree Requirements

This degree requires a minimum of 34 credit hours with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0. A maximum of six hours may be transferred, with approval of the Graduate Coordinator, from another university toward the degree. Transferred credits will not count towards the UCA grade-point average.

The degree has both thesis and non-thesis options. For both, at least four courses from the three areas (1) algorithms and theory, (2) systems and hardware, and (3) software engineering are required to meet the breadth requirement.

Algorithms and Theory

CSCI 5310 Intro Scientific Computing
CSCI 5325 Concurrent Programming
CSCI 5330 Theory of Computation
CSCI 5385 Artificial Intelligence
CSCI 6330 Topics in Algorithms
CSCI 6360 Advanced Theory of Computation
CSCI 6385 Topics in Artificial Intelligence

Systems and Hardware

CSCI 5300 Operating Systems
CSCI 5305 Unix/Linux Systems
CSCI 5325 Concurrent Programming
CSCI 5385 Artificial Intelligence
CSCI 6380 Advanced Computer Architecture
CSCI 6385 Topics in Artificial Intelligence

Software Engineering

CSCI 5325 Concurrent Programming
CSCI 6381 Topics in O-O Software Development
CSCI 6390 Topics in Software Engineering

A graduate student should file the Petition for Candidacy that includes a Program of Study at the end of the enrollment period in which the total number of graduate hours accumulated toward the current degree reaches 9 or more. The Petition for Candidacy must be made no later than the end of the enrollment period in which the accumulated total of graduate hours reaches 18 hours. Failure to petition for candidacy at the proper time may result in a delay in conferral of the degree.

To complete the master’s degree, a student must complete a thesis or a project under the supervision of her/his thesis or project committee. A majority of the committee members must approve the thesis or project. The thesis option usually consists of original work or a detailed survey of a research topic. The non-thesis option usually consists of the production and documentation of code to perform a particular application task. The student must also complete a written report describing the objectives of the work, the previous state of the art, and the results of the project. A public presentation and defense will be required of every student in either option. Successful completion of a thesis will result in up to six credit hours toward the degree. Successful completion of a project will result in three credit hours toward the degree.

Graduate students are expected to participate in the professional activities of the department. This includes attending seminars and colloquia, and suggesting improvements in curriculum, and teaching. The requirements for the degree must be completed within six calendar years of the date of enrollment.

[4] Advisement

When a student is admitted to the program, the Graduate Coordinator or the department chairperson will review the student’s records, recommend an initial program of study, and serve as the initial advisor. Before the student completes 18 credit hours or the second semester of graduate work, a student should select a member of the graduate faculty to become principal advisor with the approval of the department chairperson. The advisor and the student will work together to establish a formal Petition for Candidacy with a Program of Study. Any change in the program of study should be agreed upon by both the student and the advisors, and must be approved by the Graduate Dean.

The principal advisor helps the student formulate a thesis or project committee. The committee consists of the principal advisor and at least two other graduate faculty members of this department; the committee may include up to two additional members from outside the department with the approval of the department chairperson. The task of the committee is to oversee the topic selected for the project, assess progress on a regular basis, and conduct the oral examination over the project. An approval by the majority of the thesis/project committee is necessary for a student to pass her/his thesis or project.

[5] Graduate Assistantship

Graduate assistantships are available to students with full admission status. The application for graduate assistantship is available online at Considerations when awarding graduate assistantships are based not only on an applicant’s credentials but also on available resource and the number of applicants. Normally, graduate assistantship support for students in this program is limited to two years.

[6] Graduate Courses in Computer Science

Follow this link to CSCI course descriptions: course link.