Jun 16, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2020 - 2021 
Graduate Catalog 2020 - 2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science, MCS


Fenn Hall 332
(216) 687-2589

Murad Hizlan, Interim Chair, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Haodong Wang, Graduate Program Director


The Computer Science program at Cleveland State University is a specialized degree program designed to prepare students for careers as computer science professionals. The MCS is housed within the Washkewicz College of Engineering. 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.


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

Faculty and Research

Faculty members are engaged in research in a wide variety of topics in the field of Computer Science and Engineering. There are a number of active, externally funded, projects in areas such as computer network security, software engineering, mobile computing, distributed computing, and computer science education.

Financial Assistance

The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Washkewicz College of Engineering have a limited number of graduate assistantships available each year. A student may apply for an assistantship by completing an application form available at the department web site.

Career Information

Students in the MCS program have a wide range of options, allowing them to focus their studies on topics such as systems programming, database development, networks, security, and others. As a result, a graduate’s career options will vary somewhat, depending on the chosen areas of study. Typical starting positions would include developer, systems analyst, network engineer, researcher, database administrator and security analyst.

Admission Requirements

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering are encouraged to apply.  Applicants in related fields will also be considered for admission, but they may be required to take additional prerequisite courses.  Credits earned for prerequisite courses cannot be used to meet graduate program requirements.  Admission to the program requires a minimum undergraduate cumulative grade-point average of 3.0.  The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all international students.

The GRE is also required if one or more of the following conditions is true:

  • The undergraduate degree was awarded by a college or university outside of the United States or Canada, or by a Canadian institution not accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers.
  • An unaccredited college or university awarded the undergraduate degree.
  • The undergraduate degree was in a discipline unrelated to software engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, or information management.
  • The year of the baccalaureate degree precedes the date of application to the College of Graduate Studies by more than six years.
  • International students should refer to the International Student Admission section of the Graduate Catalog for more information.

If the GRE is required, a minimum score of the 60th percentile in the Quantitative Reasoning portion is required, but this minimum score does not guarantee admission.

If an English language proficiency examination is required, then a TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper-based exam, 78 on the internet exam (including at least 20 in reading, 21 in listening, 17 in writing, and 20 in speaking), 6.0 on the IELTS exam, 3.8 on the iTEP exam, or 213 on the computer-based exam, is required.  Students who do not satisfy these requirements, but who do satisfy the University’s TOEFL requirements, will be tested upon arrival at CSU by the English as a Second Language Program. Depending on test results, students may be required to take a writing and/or speaking course.

Preparatory Program

Students who do not have a degree in a computing field, and who want to apply for the graduate degree in Computer Science, will be required to complete the following preparatory program and earn a grade of B or better in each course. Students who previously earned a grade of B or better in an equivalent course can have the corresponding requirements waived with prior authorization by the program. Also, students who have a degree in an engineering or science field can have an additional waiver for ESC 310 and CIS 260. Note that most of the preparatory courses are offered in Summer. Please contact the department at eecs@csuohio.edu for details.

Analytical Methods

  • ESC 310 Probability and Statistics for Engineers
  • MTH 220 Introduction to Discrete Mathematics

Application Programming

  • CIS 260 Introduction to Programming
  • CIS 265 Data Structures (Prerequisite: CIS 260)

Systems Programming

  • CIS 335 Language Processors (Prerequisite: CIS 265)
  • CIS 340 C/C++ for Systems Programming (Prerequisite: CIS 265)

Degree Requirements

The degree requires a minimum of 32 credit hours. Students in the MCS program may elect to complete a thesis option or a non-thesis option. Students are encouraged to select the thesis option.

Thesis Sub-track

Students in the thesis sub-track are required to complete a minimum of 12 credits of elective coursework in addition to 6 credits of MS thesis research.

Non-Thesis Sub-track

Students in the non-thesis sub-track are required to complete a minimum of 18 credits of elective coursework, including at least two 600 level elective courses.

Internship Option

Students who select the internship option are required to complete at least one credit of CIS 690 - Professional Internship  in addition to the minimum 32 credit hours required for the graduate program.

Courses from other departments

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

Courses 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 program director.