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2011-2012 Catalog

School of Arts and Sciences

Graduate Plan for Computer Information Systems (M.S.)



  1. General Admission Requirements. Admission to Graduate Studies (see graduate admission requirements).

  2. Program Admission. In addition to meeting university admissions requirements for a graduate degree, admission to the M.S. in Computer Information Systems (MS-CIS) program is based on an evaluation by the program's admission committee of the following information:
    1. A resume reflecting work experience and educational background.

    2. A one-page essay that states the student's reasons for applying to the program and HIST or her career goals and research and scholarly interests, if any.

    3. Submit official GRE or GMAT scores and have an Admissions index of 1,400 or higher, obtained by either of the following:
      1. GPA on at least the last 60 semester credit hours times 200
        Plus GRE score (Verbal + Quantitative)
        or
      2. GPA on at least the last 60 semester credit hours times 200
        Plus GMAT score times 2
    4. Evidence of having completed undergraduate or graduate coursework in the following areas:
      1. 3 s.h. of Calculus, Discrete Structures (MATH 3362), Discrete Mathematics, or Operations Research (MATH 3347)

      2. 3 s.h. of Statistics (MATH 3391)

      3. 3 s.h. of Information Systems in Organizations (COSC 3325)

      4. 3 s.h. of Principles of Management (MGMT 3311, or MGMT 6351)

      5. 3 s.h. of upper division Accounting, or 6 s.h. of
        lower division Principles of Accounting I and II, or ACCT 6351

      6. 6 s.h. of programming and data structures using an object-oriented
        programming language.  Students who do not have this preparation can
        take the following leveling courses to replace the programming
        requirement.
        1. COSC 3317 Object Oriented Programming and Design
        2. COSC 3315 Application Design using GUI and Database
    5. Documentation of prior learning which satisfies program prerequisite knowledge in part or full. The student may submit to the CIS Graduate Program Advisor a portfolio of work for evaluation for exempting one or more prerequisite/leveling courses.  Such work may include non-credit or non-academic course work, certifications held and other demonstrated experience or knowledge in the subject area. Such exemption will be solely at the discretion of the CIS Graduate Program Advisor, and may involve interviews, tests, or contact of references.  No such waiver for non-academic experience will be done for any part of the 36 semester hours beyond the prerequisite/leveling courses.

  3. Program Admission under the "Three-Year Bachelor Bridge Program" option.  Graduates of three- year Bachelors degree programs who otherwise satisfy all the international admission requirements for the MS program in Computer Information Systems (MS-CIS,) and have the equivalent of a minimum 90 undergraduate semester credit hours, will be admitted as graduate students with the additional requirement that they must complete the Bridge program that would bring their total credit hours to the 120 hours required for a UHV bachelor's degree.  Completion of the Bridge program is necessary before the student can enroll in more than 18 graduate hours as required in the MS-CIS, not counting prerequisite and leveling courses.

    Each student must satisfy the requirements of Sections 1 and 2 in the following, either by transfer credit or by UHV course work.  Students admitted into the Bridge program must complete courses chosen under advisement from Section 3 to meet the total requirement of 120 semester hours.

    The quality of a student’s work must be kept at a 3.0 grade point average or better throughout the Bridge program.  Courses in which the quality of work is lower than “C” must be repeated and no more than two C’s may be applied toward the Bridge program.  Courses may be repeated to achieve higher grades; in cases where courses have been repeated, both course grades remain on the transcript, but only the latest grade counts toward the grade point average for the degree.  If a student’s GPA falls below 3.0 during the Bridge program, the student will be placed on academic probation.  Students on academic probation will be informed by the Dean of the School of Arts and Science of any conditions for removing the probationary status.

Section 1.  Required, 7 semester hours

  • Professional Writing (ENGL 3430)
  • Advanced Public Speaking (COMM 3325)

Section 2.  Other Program Requirements, 21 semester hours

  • 3 s.h. of Calculus, Discrete Structures, Discrete Mathematics, Operations Research, or Management Science
  • 3 s.h. of Statistics
  • 3 s.h. of Information Systems in Organizations
  • 3 s.h. of Principles of Management
  • 3 s.h. of upper division or graduate Accounting, or 6 s.h. of lower division Principles of Accounting I and II
  • 6 s.h. of programming and data structures using an object-oriented programming language.

Section 3.  Selected Courses by Advisement

  • Any additional courses needed to total a minimum of 120, taken from upper division COSC or MATH courses.
  1. Degree Plan. The degree plan embodies the goals to be achieved by the student at the completion of the program, as indicated by the course work required to be completed. The degree plan is drawn up by the degree plan counselor, in consultation with the student, and the CIS Graduate Program Advisor. The plan is approved by the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

  2. Degree Requirements. The Computer Information Systems degree plan has a 36 semester hour requirement. Students can chose a thesis or non-thesis option.  Students in the non-thesis track complete 15 semester hours of core courses, 18 semester hours of specialization courses and 3 semester hours of integration course.  Under the thesis option, students complete 15 semester hours of core courses, 12 semester hours of specialization courses and 6 thesis semester hours.  An additional 21 semester hours of  prerequisite and leveling courses may be required in either option and are not included in the 36 semester hour program requirements.

    1. Prerequisite/Leveling Courses (21 semester hours)
      A large percentage of the entering students in the program are anticipated to have undergraduate degrees in areas not directly related to computing.  The foundation preparation courses required in three areas listed below are required of such students.
      1. Computer Science/Information Systems (9 semester hours)
        • Six (6) semester hours of courses in programming and data structures using an object-oriented programming language.  Students who do not have this preparation can take the following leveling courses to replace the programming requirement.
          1. COSC 3317 Object Oriented Programming and Design
          2. COSC 3315 Application Design using GUI and Database
        • Three (3) semester hours in basic knowledge of computer information systems, including some proficiency in the use of common PC software environments, or COSC 3325.
      2. Mathematics (6 semester hours)
        • Three (3) semester hours of Calculus, Discrete Structures (MATH 3362), Discrete     Mathematics, Operations Research, or Management Science.
        • Three (3) semester hours of Statistics (MATH 3391).
      3. Business (6 semester hours)
        • Three (3) semester hours of Management, or MGMT 3311 or MGMT 6351.
        • Three (3) semester hours of upper division Accounting, or ACCT 6351.  This requirement may also be satisfied by the lower division sequence: Principles of Accounting I and II.
    2. Core Courses (15 semester hours)
      COSC 6336 Database Systems Development
      COSC 6342 Software Engineering/Project Management
      COSC 6350 Systems Analysis and Design
      COSC 6339 Network Design and Management
      COSC 6325 Policy, Strategy, and Ethical Issues in Information Systems

    3. Specialization (18 semester hours; 12 semester hours under the thesis option)
      These courses are selected from the following list:

      COSC 6329 Data Warehousing and Data Mining
      COSC 6337 Web Mining and Information Retrieval
      COSC 6340 Software and System Architecture
      COSC 6343 Intelligent Agents and Applications
      COSC 6347 System Administration
      COSC 6351 Decision Support Systems
      COSC 6353 Information Systems Security
      COSC 6357 Web Engineering
      COSC 6359 Advanced Computer Communication
      COSC 6300 Special Topics in Computer Science/Information Systems
      COSC 6344 Advanced IT Project Management

    4. Integration Course (3 semester hours)
      COSC 6390 Integrating the Enterprise, IS Function and IS Technologies

    5. Thesis Option
      Students have the option of writing a research-oriented thesis.  This option is available for academically strong students wishing to advance their knowledge and, hopefully make a contribution, in a particular area of computer information systems.  Approval for the thesis option by a faculty member, under whom the student has taken at least one course and a minimum overall “B” average in the program, is required.  Students approved for a thesis will register for the following courses, typically during two consecutive semesters in their second year of studies:  COSC 6308-6309 – Computer Systems Thesis Research.