Master of Science in Applied Computer Science

This is a 10-course Master’s in Applied Computer Science program (MS-ACS) that prepares its graduates for success in the world of computing: software development, IT, computer science, databases, networks, security, web development. Ideally, most beginners will come through the Gateway into this program. But if you have some courses in the Gateway already under your belt (from some other school), you can test out of those and accelerate into the MS-ACS.

The coursework covers core areas that employers seek: databases, networks, web development, system administration, security, and software engineering. Elective courses are available in current hot areas.


  • Required capstone course: CSCI-6116: Advanced Application Development.
  • Take 9 courses from an approved list of electives.
  • Proposed approved list (subject to future edits):
    • ​CSCI-6441: Database Management Systems
    • CSCI-6114: Introduction to Computer Systems and Systems Programming
    • CSCI 6004: Introduction to Web Development
    • CSCI-6431: Computer Networks
    • CSCI-6418: Unix Systems Administration
    • CSCI-6561: Design of Human Computer Interfaces
    • CSCI-6562: Design of Interactive Multimedia
    • CSCI-6532: Information Policy
    • CSCI-4237: Software for Handheld Devices
    • CSCI-6231: Software Engineering
    • CSCI 6451: Information Retrieval

Entrance requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree with GPA of 3.0 from an accredited institution, OR (if the GPA is less) significant work experience in a related field such as software or IT.
  • GPA of 3.0 in at least three Gateway program courses (6001, 6002, 6003) or equivalents (if taken elsewhere).
  • Two letters of recommendation that attest to your abilities, maturity, determination, work ethic, independence, and capacity for studying online. 
  • A current CV.
  • A statement of purpose that explains why you are interested in this program and why you think you will succeed in an online program.



What is the MCS-ACS program about?

The Master’s in Applied Computer Science is designed for people looking to enter the field of computing coming from non-mathematical or non-engineering disciplines and who want a strong foundation in computer science for their career goals. The program combines skill development in programming and software development, along with practice in key areas 

How is the MS-ACS different from the Master's in Computer Science?

The regular Master’s in Computer Science is an on-campus program that requires GRE scores and mathematical prerequisites for admission. This makes sense because that program has theoretical content. For example, modern artificial intelligence requires sophisticated mathematics as a background. The MS-ACS, on the other hand, is focused on hands-on, practical skills for the workplace, which is why we call it Applied Computer Science.

How is the MS-ACS different from other online computer science programs at other universities?

The MS-ACS is intended to be accessible to those without much background in computing or mathematics, and who are most interested in practical hands-on skills for careers in IT/software. Many online computer science programs require GRE scores, math prerequisites and are themselves constructed with courses that have strong theoretical content. The foundation of the MS-ACS, on the other hand, is aimed at the core technical areas for typical software/IT careers.

Is it possible to enter the MS-ACS without the Gateway?

Yes, but you’ll need to show that you have taken the equivalent of the first three courses (6001, 6002, 6003). In this case, you will need to take 10 courses to complete the MS-ACS.