Computer Science

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 34.3 k / Year(s) Deadline: Feb 28, 2025
StudyQA ranking:4089 Duration:

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Designed to prepare students for employment in industry/ government or for further study in a doctoral program, this program emphasizes practical concerns and theoretical background, providing students with the skills and knowledge to perform a variety of tasks, including the development of:

  • Scientific and engineering applications
  • Safety and/or security critical systems
  • Systems software
  • Distributed applications
  • Solutions to computationally hard problems

While not intended as preparation for subsequent entrance to a Ph.D. program, this goal is not precluded. After specific course requirements are met, students may select appropriate electives to suit their individual interests within the program. Anticipated areas of interest include software engineering, systems programming, computer network and security, and artificial intelligence.

A total of 30 graduate credits (400 level or above) is required for the Master of Science in Computer Science. Students are required to take the following courses: COMP 505, 511, 512, and 519. Additionally, students are required to complete either a thesis or a paper as described below. Students who believe that they have completed a course substantially similar to one of the specific course requirements may apply to have their previous work evaluated for possible exemption from that requirement. If the exemption is granted, another approved course shall be taken in place of that required course. The remaining 18 credits must be completed according to one of the following options:

  1. Thesis Option: Research into a specific computer science problem, development of a scholarly written paper, and an oral defense. This option requires: 6 credits of COMP 600, 3 additional credits from approved 500-level electives in computer science, mathematics, engineering, and information systems courses, and 9 credits from approved 400-and 500-level electives in computer science, mathematics, engineering, and information systems courses.
  2. Paper Option: In-depth study of a specific computer science problem, development of a written paper or project, and an oral defense. This option requires: 3 credits of COMP 594, 9 credits from approved 500-level electives in computer science, mathematics, engineering, and information systems courses, and 6 credits from approved 400- and 500-level electives in computer science, mathematics, engineering, and information systems courses.

A maximum of 9 transfer credits will be allowed for course work completed as a graduate student at another institution.

Courses

Prescribed Courses

15-18 credits

  • COMP 505 Theory of Computation (3). Prerequisite: CMPSC 463
  • COMP 511 Design and Analysis of Algorithms (3). Prerequisites: CMPSC 463
  • COMP 512 Advanced Operating Systems (3). Prerequisite: CMPSC 472
  • COMP 519 Advanced Topics In Database Management Systems (3). Prerequisites: MATH 315, CMPSC 430
  • COMP 594 Master's Studies (3) or COMP 600 Thesis Research (1-6). Prerequisites: A minimum of two of the 500-Level Computer Science required courses or permission of the program

Additional Courses

After specific course requirements are met, appropriate selection of electives enables students to meet individual interests. Students in the Computer Science graduate program at Penn State Harrisburg must take at least 21 or 24 (depending on the option) of the required 30 graduate credits at the 500 level.

  • COMP 513 Formal Methods for Software Engineering (3) Prerequisite: CMPSC 487W, COMP 511, or permission of the program.
  • COMP 516 Advanced Programming Languages (3). Prerequisite: COMP 460
  • COMP 517 Computer Security (3). Prerequisite: MATH 315
  • COMP 520 Advanced Artificial Intelligence (3). Prerequisite: CMPSC 463 or permission of the program
  • COMP 524 Evolutionary Computation (3). Prerequisite: COMP 511 or permission of the program
  • COMP 545 Computer Architecture (3). Prerequisite: CMPSC 312
  • COMP 596 Individual Studies (1-9).
  • COMP 597 Special Topics (1-9).

Certain 400-level courses may be counted toward the remaining hours. These courses include the following Computer Science (CMPSC), Mathematical Science (MATH), and Information Systems (INFSY) courses:

Computer Science (CMPSC)

  • CMPSC 426 Object-Oriented Design (3) Prerequisite: CMPSC 425, CMPSC 462
  • CMPSC 438 Computer Network Architecture And Programming (3) Prerequisite: CMPSC 312, CMPSC 425
  • CMPSC 441 Artificial Intelligence (3) Prerequisite: CMPSC 122, MATH 315
  • CMPSC 452 Numerical Analysis I (3) Prerequisite: MATH 220
  • CMPSC 457 Computer Graphics Algorithms (3) Prerequisite: CMPSC 122, MATH 220
  • CMPSC 460 Principles of Programming Languages (3) Prerequisite: CMPSC 312, CMPSC 462, CMPSC 469
  • CMPSC 469 Formal Languages with Applications (3) Prerequisite: CMPSC 360, MATH 315
  • CMPSC 470 Compiler Construction (3) Prerequisite: CMPSC 312, CMPSC 425, CMPSC 462, CMPSC 469
  • CMPSC 475 Mobile Applications Programming (3) Prerequisite: CMPSC 312, CMPSC 462
  • CMPSC 487W Software Engineering and Design (3) Prerequisite: Engl 202C, CMPSC 425, CMPSC 462
  • CMPSC 497 Special Topics (1-9) (This course may or may not count toward graduate credit; it depends on the specific topic)

Mathematical Science (MATH)

  • MATH 412 Fourier Series and Partial Differtial Equations (3). Prerequisites: MATH 230 or MATH 231; MATH 250 or MATH 251
  • MATH 425 Introduction to Operations Research (3). Prerequisite: MATH 141 And MATH 220
  • MATH 431 Linear Algebra and Discrete Models Ii (3). Prerequisite: MATH 430
  • MATH 450 Mathematical Modeling (3). Prerequisite: MATH 315 And MATH 430 or MATH 405 or MATH 412
  • MATH 455 Introduction to Numerical Analysis I (3). Prerequisite: CMPSC 201, CMPSC 202 or CMPSC 121; MATH 220; MATH 230 or MATH 231
  • MATH 465 Number Theory (3). Prerequisite: MATH 311W
  • MATH 468 Mathematical Coding Theory (3). Prerequisite: MATH 311W; Advanced Calculus
  • MATH 497 Special Topics (1-9).

Information Systems (INFSY)

  • INFSY 570 Software Engineering in the Analysis and Design of Information Systems (3). Prerequisite: INFSY 535
  • A baccalaureate degree in Computer Science or a related field from an accredited institution.
  • While a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science is not required, admission without deficiency requires that an applicant has completed the following courses or approved equivalents. If these courses are not taken before admission to the program, they may be taken at Penn State Harrisburg, but the student will receive at most 3 credits toward the M.S. degree for these courses.
    • Analysis of Algorithms (CMPSC 463)
    • Operating Systems (CMPSC 472)
    • Database Design (CMPSC 430)
    • Linear or Matrix Algebra (MATH 430)
  • In addition, the following courses are required for admission without deficiency. If these courses or approved equivalents are not taken before admission to the program, they may be taken at Penn State Harrisburg, but no credit from these courses will be applied toward the M.S. degree.
    • Calculus, one year (MATH 140 and 141)
    • Discrete Mathematics (MATH 315)
  • A minimum GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Three letters of reference, at least one of which is from an academic source.
  • A letter outlining significant work experience and academic and career objectives.
  • At the discretion of the program, students may be required to provide scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and/or the GRE subject test in computer science.
  • GRE test scores are required for those indicating interest in an assistantship.

Scholarships

Assistantships

The most common form of graduate support, teaching and research assistantships, include a stipend, tuition remission, and a subsidy for medical insurance. Recipients are assigned to a faculty adviser who supervises the experience. Graduate assistants support undergraduate instruction or undertake research projects. A specified time commitment of 10-30 hours per week is required depending on the unit (a half-time/20 hour per week commitment is typical). Appointments are available only to graduate students who are registered for courses and enrolled in degree programs.

Fellowships

Fellowships are highly prestigious financial support packages that typically include a stipend, tuition remission, and a subsidy for medical insurance. They derive from University or outside awards. Unlike assistantships, they do not have a required work commitment; they are duty-free. Recipients must be enrolled in degree programs and be registered full time. Fellowship recipients are not permitted to accept employment without obtaining approval from the unit and/or agency supporting the fellowship.

Traineeships

Training grants are derived from agencies outside the University and are intended to support specific student learning experiences in core curricular areas and research methods. Institutional awards, typically under the direction of a faculty principal investigator, afford funding to support selected students with stipends, tuition grants-in-aid, and often include a subsidy for medical insurance.

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