2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Applied Computer Science M.S.

CIP: 110501

The Master of Science in Applied Computer Science offers students with a strong undergraduate background in a technical computing discipline an opportunity to increase their technical expertise and to complement that expertise with fundamental business concepts related specifically to information technology. By increasing students’ knowledge in high-demand areas, such as web services and applications, application design using patterns and frameworks, software development and database systems, graduates of this program will be well-prepared to succeed in a very competitive job market. A two-term, six-credit hour Master’s Project will give students an opportunity to apply their knowledge. Graduates of this program will:

  1. Have a high degree of competence in areas of high-demand and emerging technologies.
  2. Have good project management skills and will understand fundamental business concepts, as related specifically to information technology.
  3. Have experience in the design and implementation of a large project.
  4. Know how to work in teams.
  5. Have good written, communication, and presentation skills.

Full-time students with no deficiencies can expect to complete this program in two academic years. Students who attend during the summer session may be able to reduce the amount of time required to 16 months.

Program Admission Requirements

Candidates for the M.S. in Applied Computer Science should meet the following requirements:

  1. Compliance with all of the eligibility requirements of the Graduate School.
  2. Acceptance to graduate study by the Dean of the Graduate School.
  3. Completion of a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants are expected to have a major or minor in a technical computing discipline, including coursework in:
  • data structures
  • database systems
  • discrete mathematics
  • statistics

With the exception of data structures, applicants who do not satisfy these requirements may take undergraduate-level courses to remove any deficiencies. A student who has not completed a course in data structures cannot be admitted to the program.

  4.   Minimum total GRE score of 290.

Applicants who do not meet these requirements may be admitted by considering the full academic profile and/or professional experience.

The Computer Science and Information Systems area reserves the right of final decision in accepting students to graduate degree candidacy in the department. Criteria for admittance to the program and acceptance to degree candidacy may include academic qualifications and performance, number of applicants and available resources.


A member of the graduate faculty of the Computer Science and Information Systems area will serve as the major advisor.  The major advisor will assist students in approving and submitting the Degree Audit to the Graduate Office.  When updates are complete, the student will be notified to review and agree to the Degree Audit.  The major advisor must approve any additional changes to the student's Degree Audit by notifying the Graduate Office.

Graduate Research or Professional Development Experience

All graduate students must complete a research or professional development component as part of their requirements for graduation. The professional development experience is met by successfully finishing the graduate directed project courses (44691 and 44692). This experience is administered and evaluated by members of the graduate faculty in the Computer Science and Information Systems area.

What is the Accelerated BS/MS program?

This program allows outstanding students to concurrently pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Computer Science and a Master of Science (M. S.) degree in Applied Computer Science, and to complete graduation requirements for both degrees within five years at Northwest Missouri State University (Northwest).

Overview of the Accelerated BS/MS program:

The M.S. program in Applied Computer Science (ACS) at Northwest requires 30 credit hours of graduate courses. Students complete the M.S. degree in four semesters i.e. sixteen months including two six-week summer sessions. The accelerated B.S./M.S. program will allow undergraduate students to complete a maximum of 15 credit hours of graduate coursework in their junior and senior years. These courses would count towards both their B.S. and M.S. degrees. Students can complete the remaining 18 hours of graduate coursework in the two semesters of the fifth year.

Admission Requirements:

The MS-ACS program coordinator will review the application to assess each applicant’s eligibility.

1)   Students who are currently pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science at Northwest.  

2)   A student must apply for admission to the program no sooner than the end of their sophomore year (graded courses up to a total of 60 hours) and no later than the beginning of their first semester of the senior year (graded courses up to a total of 60 hours) of the undergraduate program.

3)   Students must submit their transcripts and a letter of recommendation from their undergraduate academic advisor to the Graduate School.

4)   The student must also satisfy one of the following GPA criteria (both overall GPA and major GPA are on the 4.0 scale):

a)   Overall GPA >= 3.0 and major GPA >= 3.33


b)   Overall GPA is between 2.90 and 2.99 and major GPA is between 3.0 and 3.32 with any of the following test scores (before the program coordinator is allowed to review the application, the Graduate School must verify one of these scores):

i)     A minimum ACT score of 22

ii)   A minimum SAT score of 1100

iii)  A minimum GRE score of 290

5)   Applicants must satisfy these criteria at the beginning of the fifth year:

a)   Compliance with all the eligibility requirements of the Graduate School as outlined in the Graduate Catalog.

b)   Completion of  these courses with a minimum letter grade of ‘C’ or better:

i)     Statistics or Precalculus

ii)   Discrete Mathematics

iii)  Data Structures

iv)   Database Systems

6)   Students are not eligible to apply to the accelerated B.S./M.S. program after they are awarded their B.S. degree. However, they could still apply for the traditional M.S. program.

Advising for courses in the Junior and Senior years:

1)   A student can enroll in graduate courses only after their sophomore year (60 graded hours).

2)   The student’s undergraduate academic advisor, the MS-ACS program coordinator and the MS-ACS assistant program coordinator will assist the student in developing a plan for enrolling in classes to complete both degrees within a five-year timeframe.

3)   During their junior and senior years, a student can take graduate courses under the following conditions:

a)   Students can enroll in 500 level courses for undergraduate and graduate dual credit.

b)   Students can enroll in a maximum of 3 hours of graduate credit in 600 level courses.

c)   Students with junior status may take a maximum of 3 hours of graduate credit per semester and not enroll in more than 16 total credit hours during a given semester.

d)   Students with senior status may take a maximum of 6 hours of graduate credit per semester and not enroll in more than 16 hours total credit hours during the given semester. The School Director and the Associate Provost of Graduate Studies and Special Programs can approve exceptions only in the senior year.

e)   If a course has already been taken for undergraduate credit, it cannot be overridden for graduate credit.

4)   Students are expected to enroll in these courses in their junior or senior year for graduate credit:

a)   44560 – Advanced Topics in Database Systems

b)   44563 – Developing Web Applications and Services

c)   One of these courses count towards Elective-1 for graduate credit

i)     44550 – Operating Systems

ii)   44525– Theory and Implementation of Programming Languages

d)   44643 (or) 44644 – Mobile Computing iOS (or) Mobile Computing Android

Advising during the Fifth Year:

1)   The MS-ACS program coordinator and the assistant program coordinator will be the primary and secondary advisors for all fifth-year students.

2)   The student will complete the M.S. degree in the usual manner fulfilling the degree requirements.

3)   Students will enroll in these courses in the fifth year for graduate credit:

a)   44618 – Project Management in Bus & Tech

b)   44642 – Application Design: Patterns and Frameworks

c)   44691 – CS Graduate Directed Project-I

d)   44692 – CS Graduate Directed Project-II

e)    Advisor Approved Electives (This could be a 500 or 600 level course)

 Degree Status:

1)   The student is awarded a B. S. degree in Computer Science as soon as the B.S. requirements are completed. Then, the student will be admitted as a candidate for the M.S. degree.

2)   The student is awarded an M.S. degree in Applied Computer Science as soon as their M.S. requirements are completed.

Please review the policy section on Accelerated Programs for additional information.

Requirements–M.S. in Applied Computer Science

Thirty hours of graduate credit are required for completion of the M.S. in Applied Computer Science, with at least 15 hours at the 600-level.

Required Courses

CSIS 44542Object-Oriented Programming


CSIS 44560Advanced Topics in Database Systems


CSIS 44563Developing Web Applications and Services


CSIS 44618Project Management in Business and Technology


CSIS 44642Application Design: Patterns and Frameworks


CSIS 44691Computer Science Graduate Directed Project I


CSIS 44692Computer Science Graduate Directed Project II



CSIS 44643Mobile Computing-iOS



CSIS 44644Mobile Computing-Android



Advisor approved electives


Total Credit Hours: 30