M.S. in Computer and Information Science

What is Computer and Information Science?

Computer and Information Science is a broad-based family of disciplines that includes computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, information systems and information technology.

Program Description

This program strives to meet the educational needs of present and future professionals interested in starting a career or updating their skills. Careers are in areas such as business and systems analysis, software engineering, project management, enterprise architecture, business process modeling and management, IT security, database design and administration, network design and administration, technology management and service management. Students may pursue the degree on a full-time or part-time basis with many courses offered in the evenings and online.

 Distance learning options for most courses offered in the department add flexibility to the program.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program we expect students to be able to:

  1. appraise relationships among a variety of practices and technologies to create integrated solutions to computer and information science problems
  2. communicate computer and information science problems and suggested solutions to other professionals and with business clients
  3. formulate and defend realistic and detailed designs for solutions of problems of enterprise scope
  4. evaluate and apply common standards for technology and technology management


The program has defined two specializations. Details on the required courses for these specializations are published in the Graduate School Bulletin.

Specialization in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense

The reliance on digital information in the enterprise has increased the criticality of the computing infrastructure. The news of successful attacks on the infrastructure has increased the awareness security. As a result, there is an growing need to provide the knowledge for careers in security and information assurance. Our specialization includes courses that focus on Cyber Security and it guides you through courses in databases, networks, and systems that have been designed to treat the security concerns in each of these fundamental areas of computing. The result is knowledge to understand and defend against attacks in each of the fundamental areas of the infrastructure. This option requires practical experience gained through a practicum.

The goal of our academic activities in Information Assurance(IA) and Cyber Defense (CD) is to promote knowledge, research and careers in securing the nation's critical infrastructure. Our research and community outreach promote understanding the needs, threats, and defensive actions that can be used to protect technical infrastructure. Our degree specialization responds to the regional and national need to prepare a growing number of IA/CD professionals to reduce vulnerabilities in the nation’s infrastructure. At the third annual State of Wisconsin Cyber security Summit on the Marquette campus, there was a focus on power grids, information databases, communications networks, and utilities, but the underlying theme was expanding knowledge. Our specialization in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense is designed to establish the knowledge about cyber security planning and management and cyber issues and defenses for networks, databases, and computing infrastructure. The required courses for this specialization reflect this broad technical perspective. While studying theory and performing classroom exercises serve to provide foundational knowledge, practical experience reinforces understanding. Our program requires students to demonstrate their understanding through a practical, professional experience. Here are the requirements for this specialization:

SPECIALIZATION: Information Assurance and Cyber Defense

  • COSC 6050: Introduction to Cybersecurity
  • COSC 6060: Principles of Service Management and System Administration
  • COSC 5300 Network Design and Security
  • An elective chosen from COSC 6355 Mobile Computing, COSC 5800 Principles of Database Systems, or COSC 6380 Advanced Database Systems (3 semester hours)
  • COSC 6964 Practicum for Research and Development in Computing or COSC 6998 Professional Project in Computer Science or COSC 6965 Curriculum Integrated Practicum

Research Interests

  • Network protocol design and analysis
  • Network topology modeling
  • Security of the Internet routing protocols
  • Security of physical-cyber systems
  • Security, privacy and trust for mobile and ubiquitous computing
  • Ethics and Privacy
  • Secure storage

Selected Publications

  • Debbie Perouli, Olaf Maennel, Iain Phillips, Sonia Fahmy, Randy Bush, Rob Austein. An Experimental Framework for BGP Security Evaluation. it - Information Technology 55.4 (2013): 147-154.
  • Debbie Perouli, Timothy G. Griffin, Olaf Maennel, Sonia Fahmy, Cristel Pelsser, Alexander Gurney, Iain Phillips. Detecting Unsafe BGP Policies in a Flexible World, International Conference on Network Protocols (ICNP), Austin, TX, USA, November 2012.
  • Matthew Roughan, Walter Willinger, Olaf Maennel, Debbie Perouli, Randy Bush. 10 Lessons from 10 Years of Measuring and Modeling the Internet's Autonomous Systems, IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (J-SAC) 29.9 (2011): 1810-1821.
  • Farzana Rahman, Sheikh Iqbal Ahamed. Efficient detection of counterfeit products in large-scale RFID systems using batch authentication protocols. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 18.1 (2014): 177-188.
  • Mohammad Tanviruzzaman, Sheikh Iqbal Ahamed. Your Phone Knows You: Almost Transparent Authentication for Smartphones. COMPSAC (2014): 374-383.
  • Praveen Madiraju, Srilaxmi Malladi, Janaka Balasooriya, Arthi Hariharan, Sushil K. Prasad, and Anu Bourgeois. A methodology for engineering collaborative and Ad-hoc mobile applications using SyD Middleware, Journal of Network and Computer Applications, Volume 33, Issue 5, September 2010, pp. 542-555 (Elsevier).
  • Thomas Schwarz, S.J.: Teaching Ethics and Computer Forensics: The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Approach. In Proceedings, 2005 Information Security Curriculum Development Conference, Kennesaw State University. Published in ACM Digital Library.
  • Thomas Schwarz, Peter Tsui, Witold Litwin: An encrypted, content searchable scalable distributed data structure. International Workshop on Security and Trust in Decentralized / Distributed Data Structures (STD3S), Atlanta, GA, April 8, 2006.
  • Jehan-Francois Paris, Thomas J. Schwarz, Darrell D. E. Long: Self-Adaptive Disk Arrays. Eighth International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems, Dallas, September 2006.
  • Kevin Greenan, Ethan Miller, Thomas Schwarz and Darrell Long: Disaster Recovery Codes: Increasing Reliability with Large-Stripe Error Correction Codes, 3rd International Workshop on Storage Security and Survivability (StorageSS 2007), Alexandria, Virginia, October 29, 2007.
  • Jehan-Francois Paris, Thomas Schwarz, S.J.: On the Possibility of Small, Service-Free Disk Based Storage Systems, Third International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES 2008 - The International Dependability Conference), Barcelona, March 2008.
  • Sushil Jajodia, Witold Litwin and Thomas Schwarz: Securing Password Recovery through Dispersion, Eighth International Conference on Information Assurance and Security (IAS 2012), Sao Carlos, Brazil, November 21-23, 2012.


Specialization in Computing Career Change Opportunity (COSMIC)

Our latest career change initiative is an option we call COSMIC (Career Change Start MS in Computer and Information Science). This is identified as a specialization for Career Change Opportunity in the application process and the Graduate Bulletin. COSMIC begins with a study of the Foundations of Computing to prepare you for our MS in Computer and Information Science program. In particular, this option provides the prerequisites for the MS in Computer and Information Science program with a 7-credit foundations course we intend to offer beginning Summer 2017. Students in this program must enroll in 35 additional credits after the Foundations course and meet all of the graduation requirements to complete the program.

Start a new career with a Master of Science in Computer and Information Science.
Learn the skills needed to make a career change into the thriving digital economy with Marquette University’s two-year graduate program in IT.

The number of computer and information technology jobs is projected to grow 12 percent, to 4.4 million jobs, by 2024. These are high-paying jobs with a median annual wage of more than $80,000 for computer and information technology occupations*.

In today’s technology-driven world, employers are placing a greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, the demand for mobile computing, and more everyday items being connected to the internet.

Computing professionals are the people behind the GPS in your car, the smartphone in your hand or the iPad in your office. The Master of Science in Computer and Information Science program provides students a smooth transition from a liberal arts or science background to a career in computing.
*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


  • Application Developer/Programmer
  • Software Engineer
  • Cyber Security Specialist
  • Systems Analyst
  • Enterprise/Solutions Architect
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Business Intelligence Engineer

Start with our new Fundamentals of Computing course, a boot camp experience that does not require any prior academic study in computing or programming experience.

Foundations of Computing Course Description

Many individuals considering a career change into computing have wondered exactly what they ought to study to enable the change. To address their needs, we have planned a Foundations of Computing course that includes study of the topics to be successful in the MS in Computing program.

However, this course can be an introduction to computing for anyone, not just those wishing to make a career change into computing. If you have thought about a programming boot camp or if you were looking for an opportunity to understand how computing is done without siting through all of the formal classes in computer science, this course can serve as your introduction. You will learn the basic technology that places computers and computing at the center of nearly all enterprises today.

The Foundations of Computing is an intense  course delivered in a boot camp style. Students will meet every day for a full workday throughout the academic year or the summer .

The course includes an introduction to, and experience with, all of the following:

  • using higher-level programming languages (Python and Java)
  • data structures, algorithms and alternatives
  • algorithm analysis and computational complexity
  • constructing graphical user interfaces
  • data base connections
  • parallel computing
  • interfaces to the World Wide Web (WWW)
  • software development methodology
  • testing code
  • basic system administration
  • computer networking
  • operating system capabilities and configuration
  • computing abstraction mechanisms
  • algorithmic thinking


Complete the boot camp experience and begin work on Marquette’s Master of Science in Computing degree. This career-changing degree has been offered for more than 15 years and can lead to promising opportunities. COSMIC is a 42-credit program where students have the opportunity to select a study focus (called a specialization): Big Data and Analytics, or Information Assurance and Cyber Defense. These optional specializations account for about 18 credits of the program’s 42 credits. Students do not need to select another specialization.


For qualified low-income students, scholarships are available through a National Science Foundation grant, to help defray boot camp and other educational expenses. In addition, students meet employers while studying computing concepts — a powerful combination that enhances learning.

Contact: Thomas Kaczmarek (414)-288-6734


apply to the On Campus Computer and Information Science program

apply to the Online Computer and Information Science program

Program Resources

Program Mission

The mission of the program is to prepare the IT leaders of tomorrow. We produce critical thinkers who have a solid understanding of fundamental concepts and theory enabling them to continually expand and apply their foundational knowledge to ever-changing technologies and practices. By offering a wide range of courses, flexible structure, personalized attention, and a choice of career focus, we provide opportunities to individuals with vastly differing backgrounds and goals.

Distance/Online Learning

The MS in Computer and Information Science program is ranked 6th among Best Online Computer Information Technology Masters' Programs by US News and World Report for 2021. The distance learning options we offer enable students outside the metropolitan area to earn their MS degree from Marquette. For students in the area, distance learning gives you the flexibility to continue working on your degree during out of town assignments or after a relocation.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Computer and Information Science program are expected to have:

  • An undergraduate bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
  • Two semesters of computer course work including programming and data structures, or equivalent experience.
  • For international applicants only, a TOEFL score (minimum 80 on the Internet-based version) or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.
  • Evidence of expected quality academic performance including undergraduate GPA and/or relevant work experience. (The GRE is optional, but not required for admission into the Computer and Information Science program. However, it is required if you are applying for financial aid in the application form.)

Students can be admitted to this program without the course prerequisites, but they may be required either to take undergraduate courses or perform self-study to acquire the necessary background skills. Applicants without coursework reported on their transcripts should take steps to explain alternative experiences when applying.

  • Admission deadlines
    Decisions by the department are made when applications are complete. The Graduate School processes recommendations made by the department according to deadlines that they maintain and publish. Their deadlines for international students are extended to allow time for visa processing. For specific deadlines, look for Application Deadline in the description of the Computer and Information Science program hosted by the Graduate School.
  • Application instructions
    You apply to the Master of Science in Computer and Information Science program by following the procedures for application to the Marquette University Graduate School. As part of the online application process you will be asked to upload a resume/CV and documents describing career goals, professional and community activities, and a statement of purpose. In preparing these documents be sure to include information about relevant academic and work history as well as your computer background, especially if other materials might not make that clear. You can use the Career Goals section to describe any particular interests. We use the documentation that you supply as an indication of your suitability for the program and your communication skills. If you are admitted, the information about your experience and goals will help us assign an appropriate advisor. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the Computer and Information Science program's director or the Graduate School office.
  • Transferring from EECE or Computational Sciences
    You can transfer from EECE or Computational Sciences to the Master of Science in Computer and Information Science program by completing the online application process of the Marquette University Graduate School. We expect that most current EECE or Computational Sciences students who apply to transfer to this program will be accepted. You should consider carefully with your advisor whether you might be better served by remaining in the current program. Students transferring from EECE or computational sciences will have the 12-credit maximum limit waived, and will be allowed to transfer any number of credits from their previous degree.

Integrated Practicum

In the fall of 2014, Marquette’s professional master’s degree program in Computer and Information Science began an exciting new Integrated Practicum curriculum path. Through this option, financial assistance is available in the form of part-time employment to students with employable IT skills. This program is available to all students, including international students on an F-1 visa.

This curriculum path allows students to build practical knowledge through significant job assignments while building fundamental knowledge through academics. In this unique dual-path option, students begin their professional careers while continuing to enrich their fundamental knowledge of IT and computer and information science.

We introduce students to potential participating employers. Working with their employers and academic advisers, students enroll in academic courses relevant to the skills and knowledge required to excel in their work assignments.

Why should you apply for this option?

  • Use your current skills to enable future opportunities faster: With employable skills, you could work full time and attend graduate school part time. 
  • Thinking beyond undergraduate course work: Companies seek employees that can be thought leaders. Leadership requires knowledge about cutting-edge technologies. Advanced technology and concepts are the “meat and potatoes” of graduate school programs. Graduate study stimulates the thought process. Through topics courses and seminars that examine innovative technologies, you will receive the inspiration, knowledge, and skills to invent. Personal interaction with our research faculty will enhance the lessons learned in class. Through courses addressing agile processes and the practical experience of this option, you will be able to turn invention into innovation by rapidly delivering benefits
  • Breaking barriers to technical excellence: We examined what was keeping students from pursuing knowledge of cutting-edge technology in graduate school. It was mostly financial. We have also seen how the pressures of full time work, a personal life, and part time study can strain the student and delay acquiring the knowledge needed today until tomorrow. This program accelerates gaining the knowledge of technology and its application. You will simultaneously start a career and attend graduate school with financial assistance.
  • Information Technology is a profession: Our curriculum addresses the business and technical needs of organizations seeking to use IT as a component of business strategy. Students learn best practices for business alignment, governance, change management, development, and operations while learning about the latest technology such as big data, predictive analytics, and mobile. Plus, we offer courses in core graduate school topics such as software project management, information security, and software quality assurance.
  • This is a novel approach to becoming a future leader:  This new option is a blend of concepts from graduate assistantships, internships, and co-op programs. Participating employers hire students to work part time while they are pursuing their MS degree full-time. We supply the course work to enable you to exceed expectations and become a future leader. That’s the bottom line—together, we can build the future leadership for IT.

Career Focus

The flexibility of the MS in Computer and Information Science program allows you to shape a course of study that matches your career interests and goals. You choose courses from any graduate program on campus that relates to our program and your career goals. This includes the departments found in Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Management, Health, and Nursing, to name a few.

Within the program we believe you ought to have a primary and secondary emphasis in mind that reflects your interests. Your primary career focus should include at least 12 semester hours of work and the secondary career interest should be at least 6 semester hours.

While the MS in Computer and Information Science program offers specializations, we do not require one. Unless you choose one of the specializations, we do not prescribe a set of courses that you must choose. We do offer some suggestions that align well with current career positions.

  • Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • Database Analysis/Administration/Architecture
  • Information Security
  • Mobile Computing
  • System/Enterprise Architecture
  • Software Development/Software Engineering
  • Healthcare Information Technology
  • Build Your Own


The following are frequent questions that pertain to the M.S. in Computer and Information Science Program

  • What is the Integrated Practicum and who is eligible?
    The Integrated Practicum is intended for students who want to continue their studies of computer science, computing, or software engineering on a full-time basis but wish to simultaneously start a career and receive financial support for graduate school study. Students who are awarded this opportunity will be introduced to employers seeking qualified workers. The employers will have the opportunity to hire students who are learning about the latest in technology. Because this option integrates graduate coursework with work assignments, the student experiences the practical aspects of implementing technology. Classroom projects and assignments are certainly beneficial, but practical application provides greater benefits. The students have the benefit of enhanced learning and completing their MS degree in less than two years. They will gain valuable work experience and receive wages to offset graduate school expenses. A more detailed explanation can be found in the Marquette Graduate School Bulletin. To be eligible, the student must declare the intention to follow this curriculum path from the first semester in the MS in Computer and Information Science program. The students must maintain part time employment with a participating employer throughout their studies. This option qualifies as Curricular Practical Training. International students with an F-1 visa are eligible for the integrated work assignments starting in their first semester.
  • What are specializations?
    Marquette University provides specializations in master's degree programs to designate an emphasis on a specific field within the scope of a discipline. The MS in Computer and Information Science program does not require a specialization but it offers them. The completion of the required courses in the specialization carries a designation on the diploma and transcript indicating pursuit of study in a specific area see the "Specializations" section on this page.
  • Why pursue the M.S. in Computer and Information Science?
    The M.S. in Computer and Information Science assists students in adding depth and breadth of computer and information science of computing technology and technology management to grow careers. The program is based on a strategy that includes:
    • A strong academic program with flexibility for students of varying backgrounds and interests
    • An integrated approach that combines the study of technology and technology management
    • Recognition that deep knowledge and soft skills are more important than "geek speak"
    • The development of skills for technology evaluation and application
    • A curriculum that is based upon the needs of the student and confirmed by the support of enterprise leaders
  • Who is it for?
    This degree program is aimed at two groups: the prospective career-changing student and the practicing professional who senses the need for more depth and breadth of knowledge to enhance career growth. The program can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. A non-degree option is available for professionals looking to strengthen their knowledge by taking selective classes offered by any of the cooperating departments.
  • What are your classes like?
    Students may select computer science, computer engineering, information technology, and technology management courses offered by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics (MSSC), the Department of Computer Science (COSC), the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (EECE), and the Graduate School of Management, Information Technology (INTE) courses. Courses in other schools and departments may be added to a program when they make sense for the student. For a complete listing of pre-approved classes go to the "Approved Courses" tab of this drop-down menu. Our classes not only teach you how to use the concepts of computer science to identify strategic information technology that delivers business success but they also teach you how to advocate, develop, and deliver the technology. "One of our measures of quality of instruction is what you are able to accomplish in your work perhaps several years after completing our program."  --George Corliss, faculty and founding Director
  • What are the online class options?
    With the addition of Distance Learning capabilities, the MS degree can be obtained through online participation. We are committed to the online format for several reasons:
    • As a practicing professional, you will be expected to be able to read, comprehend, analyze and apply information found online about technology, products and practices. The experience gained in online classes helps prepare you for the self-study that you will be required to do.
    • We use web conferencing technology that is widely used in professional settings to support remotely distributed work groups. Experience with this technology builds professional communication skills.
    • Online classes provide increased flexibility particularly for many of our students who are employed in full-time jobs while taking classes.

The Department of Computer Science offers a majority of the MS in Computer and Information Science classes through synchronous, distance learning. By inserting two-way audio and video capabilities into the classroom and using web-based conferencing technology we have extended the classroom across the internet. Whether studying from home, on vacation, or at a remote work site, students can attend classes at the prescribed times for the class. Any of the popular browsers allow students to look into, hear, and be virtually present in the class. In addition, classroom sessions are typically recorded and made available to students for review or offline viewing. Students typically use their Internet connected computer with audio capability to take advantage of this offering. However, most smart phones can provide access to the virtual classroom as well.

We offer some classes and an online seminar as asynchronous online offerings. In these classes students access materials and complete assignments at a pace defined by the instructor. Materials are made available and exchanged between the instructor and the student through our learning support platform, Desire 2 Learn. This facility allows students to submit assignments and participate in threaded discussions that are facilitated by the instructor. Class materials typically consist of textbooks, recorded video, and documents. Other techniques such as web conferences may be used in these classes to provide contact with other students and the instructor. Classes span the term in which they are offered. Should a class require access to computing resources on campus, remote access is always available.

  • What are the differences between the thesis and the coursework options?
    In the coursework option, students compile 36 semester hours through classes, seminars, independent study, and an optional practicum. (The 42 credit Career Change Opportunity is an exception to this.) Credits for a practicum are not available in the thesis option.

    The thesis option requires 24 semester hours and a thesis that adds another 6 semester hours for a total of 30 semester hours. The thesis process generally begins with student interest in a problem. This leads to collaboration with a thesis advisor and a more formal identification of a problem. Certain documents must be prepared and sent to the Graduate School for approval to enter the thesis option.

    There must be a compelling reason why the problem under study needs a solution or needs a better solution. The problem must be one faced by multiple organizations and the findings of the research must be widely applicable. Because this is a professional degree program, the thesis is not limited to theoretical issues. It may address a practical problem. Because of the breadth of the program, the problem may arise from any of the perspectives of computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, information technology or information systems. Research efforts vary from proposing and analyzing algorithms (the computer science perspective) to increasing the understanding of the role of information in business operations (the information systems perspective).

    The six thesis credits are awarded for the preparation and delivery of the thesis document and the oral defense of the research and findings.

    The practicum is not required in the coursework option; it is available to the student approaching graduation. It consists of applying knowledge gained in the course of study to a challenging assignment and reporting the results. The practicum focuses on the delivery of a practical solution to a problem faced by an organization engaged in applying computing. The problem addressed and the solution delivered can be specific to the organization sponsoring the practicum It is typically a work assignment resulting from either full-time employment or an internship. The practicum requires a faculty sponsor.
  • How do you asses the program?
    We assess our program based on the following program learning outcomes. Upon completion of the program students will be able to:
    • Appraise relationships among a variety of computing practices and technologies to create integrated solutions to computing problems.
    • Communicate computing problems and suggested solutions to other professionals and with business clients.
    • Formulate and defend realistic and detailed designs for solutions of problems of enterprise scope.
    • Evaluate and apply common standards for technology and technology management.
  • How does Computer and Information Science compare with the Computational Sciences degree program?
    The master's degree in Computer and Information Science is intended as a professional masters degree leading to careers typically in applications development, software engineering, service delivery, architecture and information technology management. The master's degree in computational sciences complements the master's in Computer and Information Science by offering a choice for students seeking more mathematical content or preparation for a doctoral program or a research career. There are significant differences in the degree requirements:
  1. Students in the computational sciences program must complete an essay or thesis.

  2. There are 18 credits of core courses required in the computational sciences master's program. The computational sciences core includes courses in probability, simulation, applied analysis, and applied linear algebra (MSCS 6010-6040). The computational sciences program therefore expects students have the background to complete four graduate school courses in mathematics and statistics, in addition to studying computer science.

    While the Computer and Information Science program integrates computer science, computer technology and technology management, computational sciences integrate computer science and mathematics.

  • Why not call this a Master of Science in Computer Science?
    The leading professional organizations in computer science, the ACM and the IEEE Computer Society, along with the Association for Information Systems, described the elements of the Computer and Information Science Curricula as consisting of the following subdisciplines: Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, Information Technology and Information Systems.

    This is a professional program with a decidedly practical orientation and broad scope. Our program includes opportunities for courses in all five disciplines. We encourage students to take classes from across campus. While engineering and business courses are obvious choices, other departments teach graduate courses in the application of computing to their specific discipline. The result is preparation for a career that is much broader, more applicable, and in touch with student interests.
  • What are the prerequisites?
    Many of our courses assume that you can write programs and are comfortable with common data structure concepts. While a professional position in computer and information science may not require you to write programs, programming is one of the experiences expected of computer and information science professionals. We require prior course work or the equivalent training or experience. We expect you to have experience programming in some modern language. Java, C++, C, Pascal, Python, Lisp, Scheme... are all reasonable alternatives. We expect you to be able to work with data structures such as stacks, queues, lists, graphs, trees, and hash tables. These are the fundamental building blocks of many computer algorithms. We are happy to consider appropriate experience in lieu of actual coursework. Some students are able to meet the requirements through self-study.If you do not have the prerequisite knowledge, we offer undergraduate classes to prepare you. However, these classes do not count in the total course requirement of semester hours because they are undergraduate classes. The classes are as follows:
  1. COSC 1010 Introduction to Computer Programming

  2. COSC 2010 Data Structures for Engineering or 2100 Data Structures and Algorithms

The MS in Computer and Information Science program has no mathematics requirements. We think that mathematics is an excellent background for computer and information science and some of our available classes in COSC and EECE draw heavily on math. However, many of your classes require no math.

  • How do you handle BOTH those with Computer Science exposure and those without?

There are several features that work together to achieve handling both groups.

  1. Computer science entrance requirements are minimal. The two areas typically covered in Computer Science undergraduate courses, programming and data structure are the prerequisites. Equivalent experience is acceptable. We have had many students without Computer Science exposure take the prerequisite courses in our undergraduate offerings to get ready for the program. Recently we have added the Specialization for Career Change Opportunity (COSMIC) which covers the prerequisites in COSC 6500 Foundations of Computing course.

  2. We offer many courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Under Marquette's system, graduate students are permitted to take up to half their graduate program from courses also available to undergraduates. Hence, the students in the Computer and Information Science program with less computer and information science background will probably take half their program in classes also offered to undergraduate Computer Science majors. Since there are many graduate classes offered, students with more prior academic or work experience will probably take nearly all graduate-level courses.

  3. There are no classes that are required. While we have breadth of study requirements, experience qualifies as an alternative and you have the flexibility to select the classes that meet your needs, your career plans, your experience, and your schedule.

One result of this duality is that not everyone graduates with the same skill set. We take students where they are and move them along. The person who started with the equivalent of an undergraduate Computer Science or Information Technology major graduates with a VERY strong skill set. Those students typically qualify for jobs requiring a few years' experience. The person who started with little background grows a lot but is not at the same place. Those students typically qualify for entry-level jobs, a bit ahead of undergraduate Computer Science or Information Technology students.

Approved Courses

The courses taken to complete the M.S. in Computer and Information Science are typically offered by the COSC Department, the College of Engineering, and the Graduate School of Management. The flexibility of the program comes from the following considerations:

  • As part of the total requirements for the degree, students are permitted to take six semester hours of graduate course work in any department at Marquette University.
  • The Program Director can approve the inclusion of additional courses from any department that meet an individual's needs.

Course selections must meet the requirements for breadth, primary, and secondary concentrations that are found in the description of the Computer and Information Science program in the Graduate Bulletin. Consult with your adviser for guidance on course selection.

Note: Credits may be transferred from outside Marquette University as governed by the rules of the Graduate School.

The following is the list of approved courses organized according to academic departments. COSC 5931 and COSC 6931 are topics classes that are proposed by faculty for offering to students. This allows the department to quickly update classes to meet changes in technology. The list of topics shown here represents topics that we offer frequently. Other courses can be approved for your program with the consent of your adviser.

Courses offered in the Department of Computer Science

(Note: there is a broad array of mathematics and statistics courses that pertain to a concentration in modeling and analytics that are not listed here):

Course Number: Course Name:
COSC 5110 Teaching Computer Science
COSC 5290 Real-Time and Embedded Systems
COSC 5300 Network Design and Security
COSC 5360 Software and System Security
COSC 5370 Internet of Things (IoT)
COSC 5400 Compiler Construction
COSC 5500 Visual Analytics
COSC 5600 Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence
COSC 5610 Data Mining
COSC 5800 Principles of Database Systems
COSC 5860 Component-Based Software Construction
COSC 5931 Topics in Computer Science
COSC 6050 Elements of Software Development
COSC 6051 Professional Software Engineering 1
COSC 6052 Professional Software Engineering 2
COSC 6053 Professional Software Engineering 3
COSC 6054 Professional Software Engineering 4
COSC 6055 Software Quality Assurance
COSC 6060 Parallel and Distributed Systems
COSC 6090 Research Methods/Professional Development
COSC 6260 Advanced Algorithms
COSC 6270  Advanced Operating Systems
COSC 6280 Advanced Computer Security
COSC 6330 Advanced Machine Learning
COSC 6340 Component Architecture
COSC 6345 Mobile Health (mHealth)
COSC 6350 Distributed Computing
COSC 6355 Mobile Computing
COSC 6360 Enterprise Architecture
COSC 6375 Web Technologies
COSC 6380 Big Data Systems
COSC 6390 Professional Seminar in Computer and Information Science
COSC 6500 Foundations of Computer and Information Science
COSC 6510 Data Intelligence
COSC 6520 Data Analytics
COSC 6530 Concepts of Data Warehousing
COSC 6550 Introduction to Cyber Security
COSC 6560 Principles of Service Management and System Administration
COSC 6570 Data at Scale
COSC 6580 Data Security and Privacy
COSC 6931 & COSC 5931 Computer Science:
with topics such as IOT, Project Management, Web Technologies, Responsive UI Design, Data at Scale, Advanced Data Science, Social and Ethical Implications of Data Science, and Health Care Information Technology and Text Mining
COSC 6964 Practicum for Research and Development in Computer and Information Science
COSC 6965 Curriculum Integrated Practicum in Computer and Information Science

The classes that are listed each semester under the title, "Topics in Computer Science" present current insight into topics of interest to the Computer and Information Science profession. Examples of topics addressed recently are Cloud Computing, Enterprise Services, and Programming Language Design Concepts.

NOTE: The Professional Seminar in Computer and Information Science is a one-semester-hour online course that is strongly recommended to be taken by all students in the program each term.

Courses offered in the College of Engineering:

NOTE: All graduate courses in the School of Engineering are generally acceptable in the MS in Computer and Information Science program) 

Course Number: Course Name:
EECE 5510 Digital Signal Processing
EECE 5610 Object-Oriented Software Engineering
EECE 5620 Modern Programming Practices
EECE 5630 Software Testing
EECE 5650 Introduction to Algorithms
EECE 5690 Developments in Computer Software
EECE 5710 Computer Hardware
EECE 5730 Computer Architecture
EECE 5790 Developments on Computer Hardware
EECE 5820 Operating Systems and Networking
EECE 5830 Introduction to Computer Graphics
EECE 5840 Computer Security
EECE 5850 Introduction to Intelligent Systems
EECE 5860 Introduction to Neural Networks and Fuzzy Systems
EECE 5870 Evolutionary Computation
EECE 6520 Digital Processing of Speech Signals
EECE 6530 Chaos and Nonlinear Signal Processing
EECE 6540 Advanced Digital Image Processing
EECE 6560 Information and Coding Theory
EECE 6710 Computer Architecture
EECE 6810 Algorithm Analysis and Applications
EECE 6820 Artificial Intelligence
EECE 6822 Machine Learning
EECE 6830 Pattern Recognition
EECE 6840 Neural Networks and Neural Computing
EECE 6932 Advanced Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sample of courses offered in the Graduate School of Management:

NOTE: Graduate School of Management courses focused on information systems and quantitative analysis are generally acceptable in the MS in Computer and Information Science program)

Course Number: Course Name:
INSY 5056 Information Systems Governance
INSY 6000 Information Systems Foundations
MBA 6010 Quantitative Analysis
MBA 6100 Business Analytics
INSY 6150 Information Technology Strategy
INSY 6153 Project Management
INSY 6156 Privacy and Security
INSY 6157 Global Information Systems Outsourcing
INSY 6158 System Analysis and Design

Note: Enrollment in the Business School graduate courses requires the consent of the MBA Director.


Additional Courses offered in the Graduate School of Management:

Business has come to increasingly rely on information systems and mathematical modeling and analysis. Marketing relies heavily on e-commerce and analytics of the marketplace. Economics has for many years explored econometrics and used modeling and simulation to do analysis and forecasting. Operations and supply chain management have built on operations research methods and databases to provide analytics and business intelligence. Human Resources uses computer databases and mathematical modeling for analysis and forecasting.

The following courses are appropriate to develop a better understanding of the business context and the applications of computer and information science to business in analysis and decision support. Before taking these courses the student and the advisor are responsible to assure that the program of study meets the requirements for breadth, primary, and secondary concentrations of study that are found in the description of the Computer and Information Science program in the Graduate Bulletin.

Course Number: Course Name:
MARK 6160 Marketing Research
MARK 6931 Topics in Marketing: Marketing Analytics
ECON 6560 Applied Econometrics
ECON 6561 Applied Time-series econometrics and forecasting
BUAD  6102-6118 SKILLS: The GSM offers a number of skills courses; those that deal with data are acceptable in the MS in Computer and Information Science program, for example, Balanced Scorecard, GIS, SAS, SPSS and Data Visualization

Note: Enrollment in the Graduate School of Management courses requires the consent of the MBA Director and the Computer and Information Science program academic advisor.

Additional Courses offered in other departments, colleges, and schools:

Several other departments have courses that are related to computer and information science. The following are of interest.

Course Number: Course Name:
HEAL 6846 Health Care Informatics
PSYC 5330 Human Factors Engineering

Additional Information

  • Founded to Enable Career Change
    Founded in 2001, the Master of Science in Computer and Information Science program quickly established and continues to maintain an outstanding track record of enabling students who were non-computer science undergraduates to enjoy strong computer and information science careers.
  • Broadened to Enable Career Advancement in Computer Science
    Computing technology has evolved and become pervasive. A need has arisen to provide depth and breadth of knowledge about computer science and the management of technology to practicing professionals. The Computer and Information Science program has answered the need. Practicing professionals use the program to broaden their scope of understanding, to establish their credentials, and to enable them to successfully handle the issues of emerging technology in their jobs. They have come to realize that technology does not stand still and if they rely only on their experiences, they could easily be left behind or pigeon-holed and limited in their options.
  • Choose a specialization or courses with a career focus
    Specializations have required courses that cover the specific elements of theory and practice related to a knowledge area. Upon graduation, the specializations are featured in your transcript. A career focus is more flexible. Students choose from a wide variety of courses related to a knowledge area. There is no designation of your career focus on the diploma; a career focus is a guide for the selection of courses leading to a career path or goal. 
  • Preparation for Leadership
    Leaders throughout the computer and information science industry are seeking professionals who not only understand the technology but who can act as innovators and advocates. If you are relying on knowledge of what you have been doing it is difficult to be innovative. Breadth and depth of knowledge foster leadership through the identification of creative opportunities and the confidence to pursue them. Our courses are designed to foster skills in the presentation of ideas. In many courses, open ended discussion topics are included in case studies to enhance advocacy skills.
  • Are you thinking about a career change or enhancing your knowledge?
    Have you through circumstances of assignment and aptitude become deeply involved in computer and information science technology? Have you discovered a passion to know more about computer and information science? Do you feel the need to bolster your understanding of your specialization or other areas of computer and information science? Are computer advances revolutionizing your field? Are you wondering how to adapt to the trends you see around you?
  • Building a Solid Foundation in Computer Science and Information Technology
    We provide a broad and sound foundation in computer science, exposure to the latest thinking on the management of the technology, and knowledge sharing and networking opportunities for current students and alumni. A substantial and broad exposure to the fundamentals of computer and information science technology can enhance personal and career growth. It can help you to keep your organization on track with technology advances. Knowledge of successful practices for managing computer technology can help you conduct current operations or prepare you to move into jobs with substantial responsibility in the computer and information science field. In our program you will be exposed to a forum to debate the latest topics in the technology. You will become part of a cohort of students and a network of alums who understand the importance of knowledge sharing and advancement. You will have access to faculty with strong business experience and leading-edge research interests.
  • Flexibility
    The curriculum has been designed to allow part-time graduate work for students engaged in full-time employment by continuing to schedule most graduate level courses in the evening. Recently, we have augmented the flexibility of the program with distance learning, online, and hybrid class formats. While intended to accommodate these part-time students, the program is entirely suitable for full-time graduate students. Rather than an advanced degree program studying only computer science, this is a high quality, professional degree program, with the primary aim of preparing students to be successful in pursuing long-term careers in the computer and information science field.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid for Graduate Students
The Office of Student Financial Aid is the primary source for financial aid services.

Employer Tuition Assistance
Many students in the MS in Computer and Information Science program seek financial aid in the form of assistance from their employers.

Integrated Practicum Curriculum Path
The integrated practicum combines aspects from assistantships, co-ops, and internships to help students offset the tuition costs for graduate school. In this curriculum option students with employable computing skills work part-time at participating employers while attending graduate school full-time. The students gain work experience related to the courses they are studying and earn credits for the work. Curriculum integrated work assignments are required starting in the first semester in the program. Because work assignments are integrated with coursework, international students with an F-1 visa are eligible under the guidelines for Curricular Practical Training. More information is in the Graduate School Bulletin.

Diversity Fellowship
As a Catholic, Jesuit University, Marquette recognizes and cherishes the dignity of each individual. As part of our commitment to the diversity of our faculty, student body, and staff, Marquette has an annual award of a diversity fellowship to a master's degree candidate. Information about the Diversity Fellowships is available here.

Marquette receives numerous inquiries for interns. The Career Services Center (CSC) maintains contacts with local, national, and international employers. Once admitted as a student, you can explore internship positions via Handshake. More specific suggestions about internships are available form CSC.

COSC Department Assistantships
The Department of Computer Science (COSC) has a limited number of assistantships. Students compete for Financial Aid with students in other programs within the department. Most assistantships are awarded to Ph.D. candidates in Computational Sciences

Graduate School Resources
The Graduate School publishes Financial Aid Resources information.

Graduate Bulletin

For a thorough program description, which includes program requirements and courses, please visit the Graduate School Bulletin.

Student Success Stories

Do you have a success to share with us? We'd love to hear from you. Please fill out this form and tell us about your new job, presentation, publication, or any other award or honor you've recently received. We will post your story here, on the Graduate School website and on the Marquette University Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the department.