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General Requirements | Required Undergraduate Courses
Equivalent Employment-Related Experience | Provisional Admission
Applying to the Program

Admission to the Graduate Program

The Master of Computing and Information Systems does not require an undergraduate degree in a specific area such as Computer Science or Computer Information Systems -- one of the main goals of this program is to welcome students from other areas, particularly those who have an interdisciplinary interest in computing.

However, the degree does require background roughly equivalent to an undergraduate education in key areas of applied computing:

In some cases, equivalent employment-related experience may be accepted in place of these courses. In addition, students with some but not all of the required background may be admitted on a provisional basis, making up this background at their first opportunity.

General Requirements

The following is required by the School of Graduate Studies and Research for admission into graduate programs at Youngstown State University:

In addition, the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems requires:

Required Undergraduate Courses

The Department of Computer Science and Information Systems requires the following undergraduate courses (or their equivalent) for admission into the Masters program:

Equivalent courses from other institutions may also be considered, of course. A syllabus and/or final project from the course under consideration may be required. If there are questions about the course, the same criteria described below for "Equivalent Employment-Related Experience" may be applied. Please contact the department for further details about specific courses.

In addition, technical writing and communication skills equivalent to INFOT 3704: Business Communications is required. This is a vital skill for a professional in computing, who must not only develop computing systems, but successfully propose, report on, and document those systems in a corporate setting. This determiniation will be based on equivalent coursework or professional experience (a sample report or proposal may be required) and on the GRE verbal score.

Equivalent Employment-Related Experience

General Philosophy

Since one of the goals of this program is to bring in students from areas outside of computing, equivalent employment-related experience may be substituted for some of the above prerequisite courses. This experience must be well documented and be verifiable through an employer or supervisor.

In general, each of the prerequisite courses has a well-defined knowledge set, as well as an 'exit project' that exercises the student's ability to implement that knowledge. The key question that we ask in the evaluation process is "does the individual have employment experience which is at least the equivalent of that exit project"?

The CSIS Department has established a set of criteria for each of the prerequisite courses based on its knowledge set and/or final project:

These requirements may seem rather strong; however, they are ultimately meant to help the student by both improving the ability to successfully complete this program, and to benefit from the courses taken. The courses in this program -- both the core requirements and the graduate electives -- all assume familiarity with the underlying concepts of these areas, as well as experience implementing those concepts. It is far better to take an additional foundation or articulation course than to struggle in the core courses and electives due to lack of required background.

Materials for Submission and Verification

A student who wishes to claim equivalent employment experience for one or more of these courses must provide the following:

It is the responsibility of the student to provide this information. Information without the proper verification from an employer or supervisor cannot be considered.

Evaluation evidence for equivalent employment experience will be evaluated by the admissions committee. If necessary, additional faculty with recent experience teaching the course in question will be consulted. The admissions committee has the power to accept the experience, or to reject it and instead require an appropriate articulation or foundation course. If there are questions about the equivalence of the employment experience, the student may be required to meet with the committee (as well as with the additional faculty consulted) to further describe the experience, and to answer questions meant to evaluate the student's knowledge of that area.

Provisional Admission for Students without all Prerequisite Courses

In general, we do not expect all (or even most) applicants to have taken all of the prerequisite courses. As such, one of the goals of this program is to allow students to gain this missing prerequisite knowledge as quickly as possible, preferably within the first semester.

CSIS 3722, CSIS 3723, and INFOT 3704 are offered every semester, and we intend to offer CSIS 6901 during the fall semester. In addition, CSIS 3722 and CSIS 3723 are offered most summer semesters, allowing students to complete these courses before the fall semester if desired.

Students who are required to make up these deficiencies are generally admitted provisionally, until all required foundation/articulation courses are completed, at which time the department will change their status from Provisional to Regular. Note that such foundation/articulation courses do not count towards the graduate degree. For more information on Provisional and Regular status, see the types of admission defined by the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Finally, it should be noted that students lacking most of these prerequisites, or are lacking CSIS 1590 (or its equivalent), are not likely to be admitted to the program. However, we strongly encourage such students to instead apply to one of the post-baccalaureate certificates offered by the CS&IS Department. Educators are also encouraged to complete the Computer/Technology Endorsement Program. Not only do these programs provide thorough knowledge of applied areas of computing at the undergraduate level, but they also are excellent background for the graduate program. Please contact the CS&IS Department for more information about these programs.

Applying to the Program

Application to the Graduate Program is done through the School of Graduate Studies and Research. Their web site describes the specific procedure for both domestic and international admissions, required materials for admission (including an official transcript), and links to online admission forms.

In addition to the materials required by the School of Graduate Studies and Research, applicants to this program are required to submit the following: All application material should be submitted directly the School of Graduate Studies and Research. However, feel free to contact the Graduate Coordinator or the Department of Computing and Information Systems with any questions that you might have.