Prerequisites for Admission
Students with undergraduate degrees in Computer Science from non-ABET accredited programs and students with an undergraduate degree in an area outside of Computer Science may be required to take specific prerequisite undergraduate courses in computer science or embedded systems prior to admission.
Admission to the Program
An applicant for the Master of Science in Computer Science will comply with the following requirements:
- A BS in Computer Science degree from an ABET-accredited program, or a four-year undergraduate degree in Computer Science or related program with permission.
- Cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 or higher.
- International students must have a TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper-based)/250 (computer-based)/100 (Internet-based) having taken the test within the past year or demonstrated proficiency in the use of the English language.
- Students may be admitted to the program at the beginning of both fall and winter semesters
A student accepted on provisional basis may be admitted to regular status upon the completion of 12 graduate credit hours taken through Southern with a minimum grade of B- in each course. Students are not permitted to repeat courses in order to satisfy this requirement. Students who do not satisfy this requirement will not be permitted to continue in the program.
Permission to Take Classes
Before the end of their junior year students wishing to complete the BS/MS dual-enrollment program should request and be granted permission to take graduate classes. Undergraduate students need to receive at least a B- in each graduate course to continue.
Graduate students will normally take two courses per semester (6 hours) for four semesters (24 hours). During the second year of the program students will add the project/thesis course to the normal course load giving a total of nine hours per semester (an additional 6 hours). Normal progress of part-time students will be one or more courses per semester. The time allowed from graduate program enrollment to the conferring of the Master of Science in Computer Science degree may not exceed five years. Application for an extension will be considered on an individual basis.
The last 27 hours must be taken through Southern Adventist University School of Computing. Project/Thesis credit hours must be taken in residence.
Transfer Credit and Progression
- A maximum of six semester hours with a minimum grade of B may be transferred into the program to satisfy graduation requirements provided they are equivalent to courses required for the degree.
- A maximum of two courses may be repeated one time for the purpose of improving the GPA.
A candidate for graduation must:
- Complete an application to graduate, which must be filed with Records and Advisement at least two months prior to the anticipated graduation date.
- Complete all required coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.00, including no more than two courses with a grade below B-. Courses with a grade below a C will not be counted for credit toward the MS in Computer Science degree.
- Successfully complete and defend a project or thesis.
- A project consists of significant individual development work. In the process the student will successfully complete an approved Project Proposal and publicly defend a final Project Report that meets the standards defined on the School of Computing web site.
- The Thesis consists of a body of original scholarly work completed by an individual student. In the process the student will successfully complete an approved Thesis Proposal and publicly defend a thesis that meets the standards defined on the School of Computing web site.
- After all coursework has been completed and the student has taken the required 6 hours of project/thesis credit, the student must take at least one project/thesis credit per semester until the project/thesis is completed and accepted.
Options for Completing the MS in Computer Science
The Master of Science in Computer Science program can be completed in two ways. First, the coursework can be completed in a traditional two-year program following the student’s completed undergraduate program. Second, the coursework can be completed in conjunction with the School of Computing’s undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program. The coursework for both the BS and MS programs can be completed in approximately five years with some summer coursework required. The graduate courses are taken during the fourth and fifth years. Applicants should consult with a Southern Adventist University financial adviser to discuss the financial aid ramifications of these options.