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Master of Science in Computer Science

Admission

An applicant must (1) hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university or foreign equivalent and (2) have a minimum grade point average of 207 (based on a 4.0 scale) on all undergraduate work taken prior to receiving the baccalaureate degree or a 3.0 in the senior year. Students who do not meet this admission requirement should contact the staff of the Graduate Office to discuss alternative requirements.

Application Procedures

To be accepted into master program in Computer Science with general computer science or with information security and assurance concentration, a student must complete all of the following:

  • An application form available on the Graduate School website.
  • Payment of non-refundable application fee of $30 for domestic, $35 for international should also be submitted to the Graduate School.
  • Have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. An official transcript is required from each previously attended college.
  • Have an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 or above (A score of 213 or above on the computer-based test, or a score of 79 or above on the Internet-based test, is considered equivalent to a score of 550 or above on the paper-based test.) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.0 or above is required for all applicants whose native language is not English.
  • Supplemental application materials as required by program.

This program is designed for students with the foundations provided by the baccalaureate degree in computer science. However, students with degrees in other disciplines may be admitted. Students whose academic training is considered inadequate in certain areas will be required to complete additional undergraduate and/or graduate foundation courses as determined by the department. These courses may, depending on the preparation of the students, include Computer Science 1100, 1110, 2100, 3200, 3700 (or CPSC 5000, 5010, 5020) and Mathematics 1910/1920, 2200, 3030, 3100.

International Students

The University wishes to encourage qualified graduate applicants from other countries. Accordingly, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will accept as equivalent in level, structure, scope, and intent the new European degrees, adopted under the Bologna Process. The University will also consider three-year bachelor’s degrees earned in Division I and II institutions in India and accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) as comparable to four-year U.S. bachelor’s degrees. UTC will consider other three-year degrees on a case by case basis. The foreign applicant must submit the following materials to The Graduate School office:

  1. An application for admission on the form provided by the University.
  2. A draft drawn on a U.S. bank or money order for the $35 U.S. nonrefundable application fee.
  3. Copies of authorized school or university records with certified translations if the records are in a language other than English. Translations must include descriptive titles of courses studied and grades gained in final examinations.
  4. Official scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). An official TOEFL score of 550 or above is required. (A score of 213 or above on the computer-based test, or a score of 79 or above on the Internet-based test, is considered equivalent to a score of 550 or above on the paper-based test.) IELTS scores must be 6.0 or higher. Individual programs may have additional English proficiency requirements and/or may require higher scores on the TOEFL/IELTS.
  5. Official scores on the admission test required by the major department. International students seeking admission to the M.B.A. program must submit minimum scores of 450 on the GMAT or alternatively a GRE score of 1,000 or above with a minimum 400 on the verbal section and a minimum 500 on the quantitative section.
  6. Evidence of financial resources sufficient to provide adequate support (as determined by the University) during the applicant’s period of residence as a student.
  7. International students may be required to take an English proficiency examination after arriving at the University and must successfully complete all English courses recommended as a result of his/her score on this test or the TOEFL/IELTS.
  8. All international students are required to purchase health insurance through UTC.

WARNING: Misrepresentation of academic credentials constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, under Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-7-133.

The M.S. degree with a major in Computer Science is offered with either a general (Computer Science) concentration or a concentration in Information Security and Assurance (ISA). Degree requirements are outlined in the tables below. Students in either concentration may choose to complete a graduate project (CPSC 5900, 3 credit hours, one semester) or a thesis (CPSC 5990r, at least 6 credit hours taken over two or more semesters).

A project typically has well-defined requirements; it is expected to be of graduate quality but is of such a nature that it can be completed within a single semester, given diligent effort on the student’s part. Requirements are established by the faculty member who is instructor of record for CPSC 5900 and generally include interim status reports, a final written report, and a presentation/demonstration of the finished project. Project topics may be suggested by the student, a faculty member, or an external client (e.g. a company or non-profit organization) and must be approved by the CPSC 5900 instructor.

A thesis generally involves the pursuit of a more open-ended research objective, and results in the writing, oral defense, and publication of a paper of substantial length and scholarly quality. The research and writing of the thesis always requires at least two semesters, and may take longer depending on a variety of factors. A total of at least 6 credit hours in CPSC 5990r must be successfully completed; no more than 4 may be earned in any one semester. The credits may be distributed over two or more semesters 3/3, 2/4, 4/2, 2/2/2, etc. with the proviso that the student must be enrolled for at least two semester hours of thesis during the semester that the thesis is completed and submitted to the Graduate School. Before registering for CPSC 599r thesis credits, the student must establish a thesis committee consisting of a chairperson and at least two other persons, all of whom must be members of the UTC graduate faculty. (See the Graduate School web site for the thesis committee appointment form and the list of graduate faculty members.) The committee must approve the student’s proposed thesis topic, the completed thesis, and the thesis defense in order for the student to receive his/her degree. Once a student enrolls in thesis credits, he/she must continuously enroll in CPSC 5990r each Fall and Spring semester until the thesis is completed. It is not necessary for the student to take CPSC 5990r during Summer terms unless the student plans to complete the thesis and graduate in August.

Course Requirements

Computer Science: Computer Science

The CPSC M.S. program requires that a student completes a minimum of 33 semester hours in graduate work including the thesis, or 36 semester hours in graduate work including a graduate project. Students admitted to the program who lack academic experience in certain areas will be assigned up to 18 hours of additional course work in the foundation courses listed below in order to gain needed competencies. All students admitted to the M.S. program must complete 15 semester hours of required course in the core courses listed below. The program also includes 6 hours of thesis, 9 hours of computer science elective courses and additional 3 hours of coursework related to the student’s objectives may be selected from an area within or outside of computer science, in consultation with the major adviser and the Graduate Coordinator. Students may elect to undertake a project in lieu of a thesis. In this case, 6 additional hours of elective coursework, for a minimum total of 36 hours of graduate credit, are required. The courses used for these additional six hours are subject to the approval of the major adviser and the Graduate Coordinator of Computer Science. With either the thesis or project option, a minimum of 21 hours of credit must be from UTC computer science courses at the 5000 level. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average and are subject to all general regulations of The Graduate School, such as those regulating admission to candidacy, transfer of credits, time limitations, thesis, and degree conferral. 

Computer Science: Information Security and Assurance

The CPSC-ISA M.S. program requires that a student completes a minimum of 33 semester hours in graduate work including the thesis, or 36 semester hours in graduate work including a graduate project. Students admitted to the program who lack academic experience in certain areas will be assigned up to 18 hours of additional course work in the foundation courses listed below in order to gain needed competencies. All students admitted to the M.S. program must complete 15 semester hours of required course in the computer science core courses and 6 semester hours of required course in ISA core courses listed below. The program also includes 6 hours of thesis, 3 hours of ISA elective courses and additional 3 hours of coursework related to the student’s objectives may be selected from an area within or outside of computer science, in consultation with the major adviser and the Graduate Coordinator. Students may elect to undertake a project in lieu of a thesis. In this case, 3 additional hours of ISA elective coursework and 3 additional hours of elective course, for a minimum total of 36 hours of graduate credit, are required. The courses used for these additional 3 elective hours are subject to the approval of the major adviser and the Graduate Coordinator. With either the thesis or project option, a minimum of 21 hours of credit must be from UTC computer science courses at the 5000 level. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average and are subject to all general regulations of The Graduate School, such as those regulating admission to candidacy, transfer of credits, time limitations, thesis, and degree conferral.

The following tables summarize the degree requirements for both the general Computer Science and ISA concentrations using both the project and thesis options. Every effort has been made to ensure correctness; however, the student should be aware that the Graduate Catalog (available on the Graduate School web site) in effect at the time of admission to candidacy is the controlling document.

Program of Study for M.S. in Computer Science (Project Option)


Course number

Course name

Credit hours

CPSC 5100 *

Computer Programming Languages

3

CPSC 5550 *

Client-Server Systems

3

CPSC 5800 *

Advanced Topics in Systems Software

3

CPSC 5700 *

Advanced Computer Architecture

3

CPSC 5210 *

Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms

3

Computer Science Electives

(see list below)

9

Unrestricted Electives

(may be taken outside of CPSC with advisor approval)

9

CPSC 5900

Project

3

Total

 

36

Program of Study for M.S. in Computer Science (Thesis Option)


Course number

Course name

Credit hours

CPSC 5100 *

Computer Programming Languages

3

CPSC 5550 *

Client-Server Systems

3

CPSC 5800 *

Advanced Topics in Systems Software

3

CPSC 5700 *

Advanced Computer Architecture

3

CPSC 5210 *

Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms

3

Computer Science Electives

(see list below)

9

Unrestricted Electives

(may be taken outside of CPSC with advisor approval)

3

CPSC 5990r

Thesis

6

Total

 

33

* denotes core courses in Computer Science master’s degree program

Computer Science Elective Courses may be chosen from:

CPSC 5600, 5500, 5400, 5610, 5200, 5660, 5670, 5640, 5220, 5120, 5850, 5710, 5560, 5570, 5720, 5140, 5150, 5160, 5620, 5170, 5680, 5510, 5410, 5440, 5450, 5910r, 5920r, 5997r

Program of Study in ISA Concentration for M.S. in Computer Science (Project Option)


Course number

Course name

Credit hours

CPSC 5100 *

Computer Programming Languages

3

CPSC 5550 * +

Client-Server Systems

3

CPSC 5800 *

Advanced Topics in Systems Software

3

CPSC 5700 *

Advanced Computer Architecture

3

CPSC 5620 +

Computer Network Security

3

CPSC 5680 +

Computer Forensics

3

CPSC 5210 *

Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms

3

Elective 5000 level ISA course +

(see list below)

3

Elective 5000 level ISA course +

(see list below)

3

Unrestricted electives (may be in ISA or another area)

(may be taken outside of CPSC with advisor approval)

6

CPSC 5900

Project

3

Total

 

36

Program of Study in ISA Concentration for M.S. in Computer Science (Thesis Option)


Course number

Course name

Credit hours

CPSC 5100 *

Computer Programming Languages

3

CPSC 5550 * +

Client-Server Systems

3

CPSC 5800 *

Advanced Topics in Systems Software

3

CPSC 5700 *

Advanced Computer Architecture

3

CPSC 5620 +

Computer Network Security

3

CPSC 5680 +

Computer Forensics

3

CPSC 5210 *

Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms

3

Elective 5000 level ISA course +

(see list below)

3

Unrestricted Elective (may be in ISA or another area)

(may be taken outside of CPSC with advisor approval)

3

CPSC 5990r

Thesis

6

Total

 

33

* denotes core courses in Computer Science master’s degree program
+ denotes Information Security and Assurance (ISA) courses

Elective 5000 ISA courses include CPSC 5600, 5610, 5660, 5670, 5640, and 5140.


Course number

Course name

Credit hours

CPSC 5600

Biometrics and Cryptography

3

CPSC 5610

Information Security Management

3

CPSC 5660

System Vulnerability Analysis and Auditing

3

CPSC 5670

Database Security and Auditing

3

CPSC 5640

Internet Security Protocols

3

CPSC 5140

Design of Distributed Systems

3

Instructions for completing and submitting the Program of Study (GS#101) and the Application for Candidacy & Graduation (GS #103)

PROGRAM OF STUDY (POS)

  1. Each degree seeking graduate student must complete and file a POS, i.e., form GS #101, by the end of the first semester of enrollment in graduate coursework. CPSC GS#101 template is here.
  2. All information requested must be provided before the POS will be accepted and approved by the Graduate School.
  3. The student must provide name, UTCID, the degree being sought, major, concentration (if applicable), the first semester enrolled in graduate courses, the hours required for the degree, the number of credit hours in core courses in the degree, and the number of credit hours in elective courses in the degree.
  4. In the space provided, the core courses in the degree program must be listed. Elective courses may be listed at this time if known but this is not required. Elective courses will be listed on the Application for Candidacy form (GS#103) when the student applies for graduation.
  5. When listing courses (core or elective), the course prefix, number, title and credit hours must be provided. For the courses the student is currently enrolled when filing the POS list the semester; however, graduate school staff will fill in the semester and grades on all other courses.
  6. In the space where courses are to be listed, list on one line (in the course title space) if a comprehensive exam will be required, i.e., Comprehensive exam required or Comprehensive exam not required.
  7. Transfer courses being requested to be included in the POS must be listed in the space provided.
  8. If additional space is needed to list core courses, electives (if listed), and transfer courses, use the POS and Candidacy Continuation form (GS#102).
  9. Secure all signatures and submit the form to the Graduate Office, 103 Race Hall.

Application for Candidacy, Certificate, and Graduation (GS#103)

  1. Each degree seeking graduate student must complete and file an Application for Candidacy and Graduation, i.e., form GS #103, the semester prior to the semester of his/her anticipated graduation. For example, if a student anticipates graduating in May 2012, the student must file form GS#103 in fall 2011 preceding the May 2012 graduation.
  2. All information requested must be provided before the Application for Candidacy and Graduation will be accepted and approved by the Graduate School.
  3. The student must provide name, date of filing and UTCID. In addition the student must indicate the degree, program (major) and concentration (if applicable).
  4. For students completing requirements for a graduate certificate but not a degree, this form must be completed. The student should provide all of the applicable inform requested above, the name of the certificate program and list the courses in the certificate program in the space provide.
  5. In the space provided, all courses not listed on the original POS and any changes in the POS must be listed. In most instances, the courses listed will be the elective courses required to complete the degree. Courses in a certificate program would also be listed here.
  6. When listing courses, the course prefix, number, title and credit hours must be provided. Graduate School staff will fill in the semester and grades on all courses listed. 

    All forms with directions for completing it, is available from the Graduate School on the web page for graduate forms at: http://www.graduate-school/student-resources/forms.php

  7. If additional space is needed to list courses, use the POS and Candidacy Continuation form (GS#102).
  8. Below the space for listing courses, the student must indicate he/she is filing for candidacy only (and not for graduation also).
  9. Below the space for listing courses, the student must indicate the semester of he/she will graduate. Complete the appropriate blank for a particular semester with the year.
  10. The specific due date for filing the Application for Candidacy and Graduation is the last date of early class registration for the semester preceding the anticipated graduation. The specific filing dates are listed in the Graduate Academic Calendar located on the Graduate School webpage: http://www.utc.edu/Administration/GraduateSchool/.
  11. Students pursuing a certificate must also indicate the semester and year they anticipate receiving the certificate in the space where the graduation date is indicated.
  12. Secure all signatures and submit the form to the Graduate School, 103 Race Hall.
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