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Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences

Admission Requirements | Degree Requirements

Impact of a Computer Science Graduate
Degree on your Career

The M.S. in Computer and Information Sciences is designed to offer professionals an opportunity to attain an advanced degree in the computer science field while upgrading their skills and knowledge. The computer science program is a joint program with the College of Charleston, and classes are held at The Lowcountry Graduate Center in North Charleston, SC. Students in this program can choose from the following specializations:

Computer Science: Providing a traditional master's degree program that offers a balance between theory and application, the Computer Science specialization prepares students to pursue further coursework that leads to a Ph.D. and preparation for work in software development roles that include elements of architecture and design.

Cybersecurity: Founded on the academic requirements set forth by the National Security Agency, the Cybersecurity specialization provides students the technical skills and knowledge needed to successfully protect organizational data, investigate data breaches, and develop strategies to prevent data from being compromised.

Information Systems: With an emphasis on analyzing business problems that lend themselves to software solutions, the Information Systems specialization prepares students for positions that involve analysis, design, and management of information processing systems.

Software Engineering: Using methodologies for designing and testing medium and large-scale software systems, the Software Engineering specialization prepares students for software engineering positions that require proficiency in specific areas of the software-development lifecycle: requirements gathering/definition, software quality assurance, and software testing and maintenance.


Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of the online graduate application along with the non-refundable application fee.
  2. Submission of an official transcript of the baccalaureate degree and all other undergraduate or graduate work directly from each regionally accredited college or university. Students admitted to the program are normally expected to have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0. With the approval of the joint program admissions committee, students whose grade point average is less than 3.0 may be permitted to take up to 6 credit hours of courses in a non-degree-seeking status and then re-apply for admission after successful completion of these courses.
  3. Submission of an official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test score. Test must be taken within five years of application.
    • Acceptable GRE minimum score is a verbal and quantitative combination of 300 and 4.0 on the writing assessment. If taken prior to August 1, 2011, the minimum acceptable GRE test score is a verbal and quantitative combination of 1000 and a 4.0 on the writing assessment.
  4. Prospective students must be able to demonstrate program competency through coursework, approved work experience, or a program-administered exam, in the areas of basic Computer Architecture, Object-oriented Programming, Discrete Mathematics, and Data Structures.

All admission materials should be submitted to The Citadel Graduate College.

TOEFL Requirement: Prospective students whose native language of citizenship is not English will be required to additionally submit TOEFL scores. The minimum acceptable scores are 550 paper-based, 79-80 internet-based, or 213 computer-based.

Registration Requirement

All admitted students must have approval from the Program Director or Department Head before registering for any courses in the Computer Science curriculum.

Quotation mark graphic for student testimonials

After attending The Citadel as a cadet, I wanted to continue my education and obtain a master's degree in a computer science discipline. I wanted a program that offered the flexibility for working professionals but was also recognized as a quality program. After searching through many different online programs, it became obvious that The Citadel's program was far superior to other comparable programs. The location of the classes, small class size, and thorough curriculum make The Citadel Graduate College an ideal program for working professionals who need flexibility without sacrificing quality.

After entering the program, I could see ways in which I could immediately apply what I was learning in the classroom to my job. The program isn't just abstract theories, it's real-world application for the real-world professionals who want to further themselves in their careers. This allowed me to progress in my career immediately based on my performance and not due to letters behind my name.

The leadership and curriculum taught at The Citadel through its Corps of Cadets are of the same quality in The Citadel Graduate College.

John Ravan
Corps of Cadets, Class of 2011
Citadel Graduate College, Class of 2014

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences degree is conferred upon those candidates who successfully complete an approved program of study consisting of a minimum of 33 semester hours of graduate credit (of which no more than nine may be transfer credit) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

All degree candidates must:

    1. Complete the following four core courses for a total of 12 hours. (Students starting before fall 2020 can take CSCI 603 instead of 605)
      CSCI 601 Data Modeling and Database Design
      CSCI 602 Foundations of Software Engineering
      CSCI 604 Distributed Computer Systems Architecture
      CSCI 605 Applied Algorithms (new course)

    2. Declare an area of specialization from among cybersecurity, software engineering, information systems, or computer science, and complete four courses

      • Degree candidates in the Computer Science specialization must complete four courses from the courses numbered 612, 614, 616, 618, 638, 674, or 690 when approved by the department head or program director. Three of the four courses must be from the courses numbered 612, 614, 616, or 618.
        CSCI 612
        Advanced Computer Organization
        CSCI 614
        Advanced Operating Systems
        CSCI 616
        CSCI 618
        Programming Languages
        CSCI 632 Data Communications and Networking
        CSCI 638 Advanced Topics in Database Systems
        CSCI 674 Introduction to Computer Graphics

      • Degree candidates in the Cybersecurity specialization must complete the following four courses: 614, 631, 632, and 641.
        CSCI 614 Advanced Operating Systems
        CSCI 631 Privacy and Security Issues
        CSCI 632 Data Communications and Networking
        CSCI 641 Advanced Cybersecurity

      • Degree candidates in the Information Systems specialization must complete four courses from the courses numbered 631, 632, 634, 636, 638, 659, 672, or 690 when approved by the department head or program director. Two of courses must be 631 and 632.
        CSCI 631 Privacy and Security Issues
        CSCI 632 Data Communications and Networking
        CSCI 634 Project Change and Management
        CSCI 636 Information Technology Policy, Strategy, and Governance
        CSCI 638 Advanced Topics in Database Systems
        CSCI 659 Service-Oriented Computing
        CSCI 672 Human-Computer Interaction

      • Degree candidates in the Software Engineering specialization must complete CSCI 602, two of: CSCI 654, 656, 658, two of: (either CSCI 634 or 635), 654, 656, 657, 658, 659 (service-oriented computing), 672 (human-computer interaction), 690 (special topics in computing)
        CSCI 634 Project Change and Management/Overivew of Technical Project Management
        CSCI 635 Foundations of Agile Project Management (new course)
        CSCI 654 Software Requirements Analysis and Specifications
        CSCI 656 Software Systems Design and Implementation
        CSCI 657 Embedded Systems Design
        CSCI 658 Software Testing and Maintenance
        CSCI 659 Service-Oriented Computing
        CSCI 672 Human-Computer Interaction

    3. Complete one of the following three options (9 hours).

      • CSCI 699 Research Thesis (6 hours) plus one elective.
      • CSCI 698 Project Thesis (3 hours) plus two electives.
      • Three electives (9 hours).

For more information about the program or admission requirements, contact Dr. Shankar Banik,  Department Head (phone:843-953-5048, e-mail:, or Dr. Michael P. Verdicchio, Graduate Program Director (phone: 843-953-5039, e-mail:

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