May 26, 2020  
Graduate Catalog 2014 - 2015 
Graduate Catalog 2014 - 2015 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer and Information Science, MCIS

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Department of Computer and Information Science

Ahuja Hall 344
(216) 687-4760

  Ben A. Blake, Interim Chair and Graduate Program Director

Programs of Study

Applied Distributed Systems
Artificial Intelligence
Multimedia and Graphics
Programming Languages
Software Engineering
Theory and Algorithms


Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.


The Master of Computer and Information Science (MCIS) program at Cleveland State University is a professional degree program specifically designed to combine a thorough education in computer and information science with applications in the areas of business, engineering, mathematics, or other relevant fields.  The program emphasizes study of computing using the latest technologies.  It focuses on the theoretical capabilities of computing including problem solving and algorithms.  Graduates of the program will be prepared for immediate employment in business, industry and government,or pursue higher studies in the discipline.

Faculty Research and Publications

Because of the broad range of research interests of the faculty, there are numerous opportunities for students to participate in special projects or research in all areas of computer and information science. The optional master's thesis allows a student to conduct a more formal research project. Faculty publications and research interests over the past few years have been in the areas of database analysis and design, numerical analysis, optimization, performance measurement and evaluation, operating system design, data communications and network design, artificial intelligence, new computing paradigms, simulation, object-oriented systems analysis and design, object-oriented programming, healthcare systems, mobile computing, distributed computing, and geographic information systems.

Computer Facilities

Several major computer facilities are used by the Department to support research and teaching. These include a number of networked laboratories of basic and advanced personal computers and clusters of workstations.  All laboratories are available to students for both course work and research. The networks are connected to the University fiber backbone, which, in turn, is linked to national networks.  A wireless network is available throughout the campus.

Financial Assistance

The Department of Computer and Information Science and the Monte Ahuja College of Business Administration has a limited number of graduate assistantships available each year. A student may apply for an assistantship by completing an application form from the Graduate Business Programs Office. Copies of the completed applications are circulated to department chairs and program directors within the College. Interviews with prospective graduate assistants are arranged directly by department chairs and others who hire and supervise graduate assistants. Assistantships are not awarded in the CIS Department until a student has been in a graduate program for at least one semester.

Career Information

Students in the MCIS program have a wide range of options, allowing them to focus their studies on topics such as information systems, systems programming, database development, networks, web development, and others. As a result, a graduate's career options will vary somewhat, depending on the chosen areas of study. For example, a student who specializes in information systems would be prepared for a career in the application of computers in business or the nonprofit sector, and typical starting positions would include programmer, systems analyst, and database designer. A student who specializes in systems programming, however, would be prepared for a career in technical-support functions and their management. Typical starting positions in this field would include systems programmer, technical-support engineer, and operations manager. A student who focuses on Internet-related topics could start as a web designer, HTML or Java programmer, or network designer or manager.

Admission Information

The applicant must meet the College of Graduate Studies  requirements for admission, as specified in the front section of this Catalog. In addition, the student must have: A cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of 2.75 or better;

  1. Completed either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT);
  2. A weighted score of 1,000, computed as the test score, plus 200 times the undergraduate grade-point average; if an applicant takes the GRE, the test score is computed as the average of the verbal and quantitative scores on the examination;
  3. For applicants whose native language is not English:
    1. A score on the TOEFL of at least 525 (197 for the computer-based test) and
    2. A score at the 5th percentile or better on the verbal portion of the GRE or GMAT.
  4. An official transcript from each college and university previously attended.

Although the CIS Department makes every effort to honor students' requested dates of admission, this is not always possible. In some cases, it may be necessary to delay the admission date because of the schedule of required courses. For international students, complete application materials, including a completed application form, transcripts for all college-level work, appropriate test scores (GMAT or GRE), and TOEFL scores, must be received by March 15 for the summer term and May 15 for fall admission consideration. Domestic applicants must submit complete application materials at least six weeks before the start of the summer, fall, and spring terms.

The Master's Programs Committee of the College of Business Administration meets periodically to review admission requirements. Please call the Graduate Business Advising Office at (216) 6873730 to obtain additional information.

Apply Now:

MCIS Bridge Program for International Students

Students who have completed a three-year science or engineering degree from institutions outside the U.S. may be eligible for the College of Business Administration “Bridge” program for the MCIS degree. The bridge program requires students who qualify to complete an additional twenty-four credits of graduate courses in the field. The bridge courses should be selected after consulting with the program advisor. These courses may be taken at the beginning or at the end of the program of study.

For more information about the bridge program, please call the Graduate Business Programs Advising Office at (216) 687-3730. The office is located in Ahuja Hall 219.

Non-Degree Students

Non-degree students and those awaiting admission to the master’s degree program in MCIS are allowed to take a maximum of twelve credit hours from the courses listed below. These preparatory courses provide students with a basic background in CIS. These courses do not count toward the requirements for the MCIS degree and generally are waived for students with an undergraduate degree in CIS or a closely related field.


To register for more than twelve graduate credit hours, non-degree students are required to meet regular admission standards for the MCIS program. Students who have not been admitted to a graduate degree program may not take 600-level or above CIS or IST courses.

The Preparatory Program

In order to prepare students for graduate courses in computer and information science, the program provides a basic background in three areas: analytical methods, programming languages and data structures, and systems programming. The grades for the courses taken in the preparatory sequence are computed into the student’s grade-point average, but the credit hours do not count toward the requirements for the Master of Computer and Information Science degree. Students should call the CIS Department at (216) 687-4760 to schedule an appointment with an MCIS advisor prior to registering for classes.

Systems Programming


The Department of Computer and Information Science may waive part or all of the preparatory program, based on the student’s prior background or experience.

The MCIS Program

The MCIS program consists of thirty-one semester hours of approved courses for students who complete a graduate thesis, or thirty-three hours for those who do not. Prior to satisfactory completion of the entire preparatory program, no course may be taken toward the fulfillment of the graduate degree requirements without prior written permission of the student's advisor.

Students whose native language is not English must take ESL 415 if their verbal score on the GMAT or GRE is between 5th and 20th percentile.

Group 1

 Each MCIS graduate is required to complete Group 1courses as shown.  Group 1 requires 11 credit hours.


If CIS 600, 606, 620 or 650 is waived based on prior graduate course work, an advanced course in the same area must be taken in its place.

Credit transferred from another university

May include up to six hours of credit transferred from another university, if such credit is beyond the level of the preparatory program and has the approval of the CIS department.

Courses taken outside the CIS department

May include up to nine credit hours of Computer Science-related courses outside of the CIS Department, with prior approval of the director of the MCIS program.  Students without an undergraduate degree in Computer and Information Science must take all courses in the CIS Department.

Use of 500 level courses towards degree requirement

A student may count a maximum of two 500-level courses towards the MCIS degree.  These courses must come from the following list.


Hours earned in any other 500 level courses will not be counted towards the MCIS degree.

Independent Study and Professional Internship

 No more than three credit hours of Independent Study can be counted towards the MCIS degree.  No more than two credit hours of

  (professional internship) can be counted towards the MCIS degree.

In addition, the program must include either:

  1. CIS 699  Master's Thesis Research in Computer and Information Science; and
  2. At least seventeen semester hours of electives beyond the preparatory sequence and core courses. or:
  3. At least twenty-two semester hours of electives beyond the preparatory sequence and core courses.


Any 600-level that is not in the Group 1 list and selected 500-level courses (CIS 524, CIS 554, CIS 580, CIS 590), including internship and independent study, can be used to satisfy elective requirements.

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