Degree – Master of Science in Computer and Information Science
Concentration: N/A

Description of Program

The Master of Science in Computer and Information Science degree program is designed to meet the needs of two groups of students: those who have completed an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and those with degrees in related fields who want to develop their knowledge and skill in computer science.

Learning Outcomes

  • Programming skills in high level languages and ability to build software systems
  • Ability to conduct independent research and writing of technical reports and papers for publications
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work in teams as productive members and as leaders

Admission Requirements:

Students applying for entrance to the Master of Computer and Information Science are required to submit an application for admission, Apply Online (

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcript from an accredited school (if a student has attended more than one school, transcripts must be submitted from all schools attended). At least one transcript must document the student has a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Some departments have additional requirements students must meet for admission
  • Immunization Record

Decisions are made only after receipt of all credentials by the department’s admission committee. The department uses an admission formula to accept students. The entire application packet, including all supporting materials, must be submitted to the Graduate School. Official test scores must be submitted from Education Testing Service (ETS) and must not be older than five years, official transcripts from the sending school, and Credential Evaluations (International students) from an approved Credential Evaluation Service.

Standardized Test:

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is the official standardized test required for admission to the Master of Science in Computer and Information Science. WAIVED

Degree Requirements:

The curriculum for the Master of Science in Computer and Information Science requires 33 credit hours of coursework. Students have an option of the thesis, non-thesis, or internship track for degree completion. . An oral defense of the thesis is required for progression to degree completion. Students complete 15 hours of required core credits and 18 hours of required electives.

Graduation expectations require the following:

  • A minimum of 27 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed in residence at Alcorn State University
  • Earn no more than two Cs in coursework
  • Write an acceptable thesis and defend it orally or non-thesis paper or complete internship
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credits accepted by the University

Academic advisors are allowed to accept up to six semester credit hours earned at an accredited university with a grade of “B” or higher for graduate coursework completed. Substitutions of coursework are allowed with the approval of an advisor and department administrators up to nine hours if the substitution(s) meet curriculum requirements.

See Transfer of Credits Policy for additional information.
See the Substitution of Courses Policy for additional information.

Academic Track: Thesis, Non-Thesis, Internship

The thesis, non-thesis, or internship is an exit requirement for the Master of Science in Computer and Information Science program. The department has specific expectations for selection of topics and the type of thesis or non-thesis project. Students pursue independent research on a question or problem of their choice in the relevant disciplines under the guidance of a graduate faculty to produce a paper that reflects understanding of the topic and in the respective discipline.

Master Degree Audit:

Before candidacy for graduation can be confirmed, each student progression to degree completion will be evaluated to determine if student has met all academic requirements for course work and other aspects of the student’s course of study and Graduate School requirements. When these requirements are met, the student is cleared for graduation.

Time to Degree Completion

Alcorn’s time to degree completion policy allows 6 years to complete the computer and information science program. Degree completion depends on the pace a student completes the curriculum. If the time exceeds six years, the student must petition the Graduate School to consider an appeal for more time to degree completion.

See the Student Academic Appeals Policy for Expiration of Timeline for additional requirements

Degree Plan and Course Sequence
Required Courses (15 Hours)
Thesis Plan

CS 521 Theory of Computation
CS 523 Programming Languages
CS 525 Operating Systems
CS 527 Design and Analysis of Algorithms
CS 590 Thesis

Non-Thesis Plan

CS 521 Theory of Computation
CS 523 Programming Languages
CS 525 Operating Systems
CS 527 Design and Analysis of Algorithms
CS 580 Research Project

Internship Plan

CS 521 Theory of Computation
CS 523 Programming Languages
CS 525 Operating Systems
CS 527 Design and Analysis of Algorithms
CS 581 Internship

Elective Courses (18 Hours)
CS 529 Information Retrieval System I
CS 531 Artificial Intelligence
CS 533 Database Management Systems
CS 535 Computer Architecture
CS 537 Computer Graphics
CS 539 Compiler Construction
CS 540 Implementation of Advanced Algorithms
CS 541 Software Engineering
CS 543 Scientific Computation
CS 545 Network and Telecom I
CS 546 Network and Telecom II
CS 547 Algorithms for Parallel Computers
CS 553 Information Retrieval System II
CS 555 Object-Oriented Programming and Data Structure
CS 557 Indexing and Analysis
CS 559 Data Mining and Machine Learning in Cybersecurity
CS 560 Special Topics I in Computer Science
CS 561 Special Topics II in Computer Science
CS 565 Software Development Theory

For More Information Contact:
Dr. Ping Zhang ▪ 601.877.6431▪
[email protected] (Department of Mathematics and Computer Science)