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Core Requirements | Electives | Capstone Project/Thesis

Program Curriculum


The curriculum consists of the following requirements:

  1. Required Core Courses (13 s.h.)
    • CSCI 6901: Principles of Computer Programming (3 s.h.)
    • CSCI 6920: Theory and Practice of Information Systems (3 s.h.)
    • CSCI 6950: Advanced Database Design and Administration (3 s.h.)
    • CSCI 6997: Seminar in Computing and Information Systems (1 s.h.)
    • At least one of the following courses:
      • CSCI 6921: Strategic Project and Change Planning (3 s.h.)
      • CSCI 6940: Advanced Network Design and Administration (3 s.h.)
      • CSCI 6951: Data Warehousing and Data Mining (3 s.h.)

  2. Elective Courses
    Students may choose from a variety of courses in applied computing based on their background, interests, and goals, as part of an individualized plan approved by their advisor.

  3. Capstone Project/Thesis (3 s.h. for project, 6 s.h. for thesis)

In addition, the courses taken by a student must meet the following requirements:

More detail about each component of this curriculum is given below.

Core Requirements

The core requirements focus on those areas key to all information systems -- software development (CSCI 6901: Principles of Computer Programming), overall system design and analysis (CSCI 6920: Theory and Practice of Information Systems), and the databases that store and provide access to the information within that system (CSCI 6950: Advanced Database Design and Administration).

The core requirements also include the seminar course (6997: Seminar in Computing and Information Systems). This course is meant to introduce basic principles of graduate level research, and includes presentations by faculty members introducing their research areas. This course should be taken as soon as possible, as it is vital to the choice of an advisor for project or thesis.

The program also requires an additional core course in either project management (CSCI 6921: Strategic Project and Change Planning), networking (CSCI 6940: Advanced Network Design and Administration), or data mining (CSCI 6951: Data Warehousing and Data Mining), based on a student's interests and goals.



Elective Courses

Unlike many programs there are no specified 'tracks' in this program. Instead, an individualized course plan will be developed by the student and their advisor as soon as possible. This plan will consist of a cohesive set of elective courses best suited to the background, interests, and goals of an individual student.

The CS&IS Department has developed a number of graduate courses in applied computing for this program. These courses fall into two categories:
  • Graduate courses (at the 6900 level), which are only offered to graduate students.
  • Swing courses (at the 5800 level), which may also be taken by advanced undergraduate students.
Be aware that the School of Graduate Studies and Research requires that at least half of the courses towards a graduate degree be at least at the 6900 level.

The individualized course plan may also include up to 9 s.h. of graduate electives from departments other than CS&IS, in order to provide additional learning opportunities for students with interdisciplinary goals and backgrounds. The CSIS Department has close ties to a number of other departments at Youngstown State with graduate courses, including Art, Criminal Justice, Engineering, Geography, and Mathematics and Statistics. These courses should be related to the individualized course plan, and must be approved by your advisor.

In recent years the CSIS department has offered the following courses for the graduate program:

  • CSCI 6921: Strategic Project and Change Planning
  • CSCI 6940: Advanced Network Design and Administration
  • CSCI 6951: Data Warehousing and Data Mining
  • CSCI 6961: Client-Side Web Development and Programming
  • CSCI 6962: Server-Side Web Development and Programming
  • CSCI 5801: Software Engineering
  • CSCI 5835: Artificial Intelligence
  • CSCI 5837: Artificial Intelligence in Game Design
  • CSCI 5838: Graphics and Animation for Gaming
  • CSCI 5857: Encoding and Encryption
  • INFO 5875: Advanced Multimedia Scripting
  • CSIS 5883: Remote Access and Multilayer Switched Networks
  • CSIS 5884: Building Scalable Networks and Advanced Internetwork Troubleshooting
  • CSCI 5895A: Computer Forensics
  • CSCI 5895F: Biometrics
  • CSCI 5895K: Mobile Device Software Development
  • CSCI 5895P: Cloud Computing
  • CSCI 5895Q: Robotics
  • CSCI 5895R: Software Tools



Capstone Project/Thesis

Students may complete either a thesis (CSCI 6999) or an individual capstone project (CSCI 6990).

  • A capstone project must be taken for 3 s.h. (and generally no more than 3 s.h.).

    A capstone project usually involves the analysis, design, and implementation of some major component of an information system. Alternatively, a capstone project may be related to the research of a faculty member, but not rising to the level of original work required for a thesis.

    The project is supervised by a student's advisor, who must approve the project before the student may register for the project. The advisor may require a project proposal in advance, describing the scope, requirements, and outline of the project. This also means that a student must choose the advisor whose area best matches the discipline in which they wish to do a project.

    When completed, the project will be presented to the graduate faculty for approval. If the project is interdisciplinary in nature, faculty from those other areas may also be invited to evaluate the project. In addition, if the project is related to the student's current employment, their employer or supervisor may be invited as well.

    A written report describing the project and its solution may be required. Additional written resources (such as a user manual for software created for the project) may also be required.


  • A thesis must be taken for a total of at least 6 s.h. Due to the work involved in researching and writing a thesis, this is often done over two consecutive semesters of 3 s.h. each.

    A thesis is different from a capstone project in the following ways:
    • It usually involves the creation of an original idea.
    • Research into past work related to that idea is required.
    • The idea is implemented and tested in some way.
    • The results are written up in a formal document (generally 30 - 60 pages in length). The form of these documents is given at http://cms.ysu.edu/college-graduate-studies/guidelines-submission-ysu-electronic-thesis-and-dissertations-etds, and these documents are then published on OhioLINK.


    Most theses are related to the research being done by individual faculty, and are devised in conjunction with that faculty member (which makes it vital that a student become familiar with the research being done by each faculty member as soon as possible). A thesis provides the best opportunity to work with a faculty member, to get work published in refereed journals and conferences, and is very strongly encouraged for any student considering continuing on to a Ph.D. program.