Master of Science

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In addition to teaching fundamentals, the Master of Science degree program emphasizes research in network security, databases, bioinformatics, biometrics, and distributed computing. The program is designed to meet the research, educational, and industrial needs of the state of Indiana, the nation, and global community.

Incoming Student Placement Test

All incoming M.S. students are required to take the incoming student placement test before the start of their first semester.

Testing will be over the following four core areas of Computer Science. The test consists of 40 multiple-choice questions (10 from each area) and will be held before the start of courses in either August (for fall admits) or January (for spring admits).

  1. Programming
  2. Data Structures
  3. Discrete Math
  4. Operating Systems/Architecture

The exact date and time of the examination will be communicated to admitted students once such dates are confirmed. A make-up exam will be provided only for well-documented emergency reasons, thus it is critical that all students plan their travel schedules accordingly.  No retakes of the exam will be allowed.

Each section will be scored individually and if any student's score does not meet the minimum passing grade of 70% in any area, they will be required to enroll in and complete an undergraduate course in each such area by the end of the first semester with a grade of B or better.

Any such courses are in addition to the regular graduate program requirements, chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor, and will not count toward the M.S. degree. If a student is placed into such course(s) and they are not completed in the first semester with a grade of B or better, the student will be terminated from the program at the end of the first semester.

View a sample incoming student placement test and the incoming student placement test answer key.

Program Requirements

To receive the Master of Science Degree, the applicant must be admitted as a graduate student without provisions and complete 30 semester-credit hours of study in CSCI courses numbered 500 or above. In addition, there is a "core"/required course component which must be satisfied as part of the 30 credit hour program; these requirements are listed below, and differ according to semester of initial admission.

"Core" Course Requirement (for those admitted before the Fall 2013 semester) 

At least 6 of the 30 required hours must be from the following Core Courses: CSC1 503, Operating Systems; CSCI 504, Concepts in Computer Organization; CSCI 565, Programming Languages; CSCI 580, Algorithm Design, Analysis and Implementation.

New Required Course Guidelines (effective beginning with those admitted for the Fall 2013 semester)

Of the 30 required hours, students must select 1 course each from 4 different "foundational" categories for a total of 12 credit hours. There are 6 categories from which to select the 4, as listed below:

  1. Networking and Security -- CSCI 53600, CSCI 55500
  2. Databases and Intelligent Systems -- CSCI 54100, CSCI 54900, CSCI 57300
  3. Visualization and Graphics -- CSCI 55000, CSCI 55200, CSCI 59000 (Image Processing)
  4. Software Engineering -- CSCI 50600, CSCI 50700, CSCI 59000 (Software Quality Assurance)
  5. Theory -- CSCI 52000, CSCI 56500, CSCI 58000
  6. Systems -- CSCI 50300, CSCI 50400, CSCI 53700

Existing M.S. students may choose to continue in the current requirements, or may officially switch to the new requirements by submitted a petition to the department's Graduate Committee.

Program Options

The department offers two options for study in the Master of Science Program. Both options are administered according to the policies established by the department and Purdue University. For details on procedures, see Purdue University's Policies and Procedures Manual for Administering Graduate Student Programs.

Research Option  |  Applied Option

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