MS Computer and Information Science (CIS)

East Tennessee State University

Program Description

MS Computer and Information Science (CIS)

East Tennessee State University

ETSU's MS Degree Program in Computer and Information Science (CIS) is a two-year program that emphasizes a practical, hands-on approach to studying computation. While our program is designed for people with undergraduate training in computer science or information systems and technology, we routinely accept and have graduated students from other disciplines-- including math, engineering, history, and English-- with a basic background in math and programming.

We offer a common core of software engineering courses (requirements, project management, design), together with concentrations in two areas:

  • Applied Computer Science (ACS)
    (database design, distributed systems, verification and validation, and algorithms)
  • Information Technology (IT)
    (e-commerce, e-business, security, and advanced networking)

Electives-- students normally take two-- have included courses on database management, corporate IT management, computer graphics, computer gaming, forensics, XML, and other contemporary technologies (e.g., PHP, MySQL, Android, iOS, and ABAP).

Students in both concentrations choose one of two culminating experiences: a three-semester-long group project, or a thesis.

Theses since 2010 include

  • a comparison of algorithms for generating wasp-nest-like structures, as part of an exploration of insect intelligence
  • an analysis of the uses of social media in higher education
  • a categorization of design patterns for implementing security in software systems and strategies for teaching them
  • a study of techniques for improving the parallel performance of VASP, a tool for simulating molecular quantum dynamics
  • a comparative case study of techniques for improving web page usability
  • an implementation of connotational subtyping in the Ruby programming language
  • a model of faculty activities for K-12 instructors
  • a survey of software practitioners regarding the impact of requirements development on software project success
  • an instrument for assessing the physical security of wiring closets
  • an assessment of open-source database support for OLAP

Representative capstone projects include

  • a computer resource accounting database for Oak Ridge National Laboratory;
  • two systems for representing speech disorders and their treatment protocols;
  • an improved realization of a parallel framework for executing genetic algorithms, in support of research on modeling galactic collisions;
  • improvements to a software package for modeling glacial formation and change, in conjunction with U. Montana, Portland State University, and U. Texas (NSF grant);
  • a scheduling system for ETSU's "Little Bucs" daycare center; and
  • an ETSU production system for tracking faculty teaching credentials.

The department manages three primary computing laboratories: one with 27 PCs, and two others with 28 thin clients apiece. These labs are serviced by 11 server-class machines, of which 5 provide virtualized hosts, 1 provides terminal services, 1 provides backup storage, and 4 support specialized class projects.

A fourth, hands-on laboratory that is normally isolated from the greater campus network hosts about 60 more networked PCs, and an additional 60-computer cluster.

Graduate Admission Criteria

Each applicant is evaluated on the basis of the following factors:

  1. Evidence of competence to begin graduate study. Such evidence should include either an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), satisfactory GRE scores (a total of at least 1050 for verbal and quantitative, with at least 400 on each or 146 Verbal, 146 Quantitative, 292 (Verbal + Quantitative) on the Revised GRE after August 1, 2011), or a professional record that demonstrates readiness for graduate study in computer science.
  2. Coursework in computer science. The equivalent of a major in computer science is expected. Students lacking this background may be required to complete (with a B- or higher in each course) a sequence of undergraduate foundation courses in computer science and mathematics. Related professional experience, such as programming, systems analysis, and/or systems design may be substituted for some foundation courses.
  3. For international students, a TOEFL score of at least 79 (Internet-based), 213 (computer based), or 550 (paper) is required as well as a GRE verbal score of at least 400, a GRE quantitative score of at least 400, and a total of at least 1050 for verbal plus quantitative.
  4. Three letters of recommendation should be submitted that evaluate the applicant’s academic ability, professional maturity, and communication skills.
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 29, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
2 years
Full time
USA - Johnson City, Tennessee
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
USA - Johnson City, Tennessee
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info