application-response2011-2012.docx - USA School of Computing

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application-response2011-2012.docx - USA School of Computing Powered By Docstoc
					              University of South Alabama
      School of Computer and Information Sciences
                                  Master of Science in
                                Computer and Information

Thank you for your interest in our masters program.

I am Dr. Roy J. Daigle, Director of Graduate Studies for the School of Computer
and Information Sciences. Additional information can be obtained from the
university’s online bulletin at

We are excited about our new facilities. We will be moving into our new facility,
Shelby Hall, sometime late in the Spring. This is an important event in our
history, one that has been planned for more than 4 years.

A photo of Shelby Hall is found at

If you have additional questions, please contact me at

      This document covers the following topics.

            o Computer Science
            o Information Systems
We have one degree, a Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences
(MSCIS), for two specializations, Computer Science and Information Systems. Students
must choose one of the specializations. Each specialization involves advanced knowledge
of computing but the specific focus is where they differ.

Additional information about each of the two majors can be obtained at the Association of
Computing Machinery website:
Computer Science is a theoretical approach based on a set of core courses in
Performance Evaluation of Algorithms, Software Engineering, Complexity Theory, and
Computer Architecture. Computer Science students build on this core by choosing
electives in Cyber-Security, Real Time Systems, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Data
Mining, etc.
   “Computer science (CS) spans the range from theory through programming to
   cutting-edge development of computing solutions. Computer science offers a
   foundation that permits graduates to adapt to new technologies and new ideas.
   The work of computer scientists falls into three categories: a) designing and
   building software; b) developing effective ways to solve computing problems,
   such as storing information in databases, sending data over networks or
   providing new approaches to security problems; and c) devising new and better
   ways of using computers and addressing particular challenges in areas such as
   robotics, computer vision, or digital forensics (although these specializations are
   not available in all computer science programs). Most computer science
   programs require some mathematical background.” [Association of Computing
   Machinery, Computer Science].

Dr. David Langan is the Computer Science Coordinator. If you have any questions
about the Computer Science curriculum, feel free to contact him at For more information about the Computer Science
specialization, visit

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Information Systems is an applied approach based on a set of core courses in
Analysis and Design, Database Management, Project and Change Management, and
Human Computer Interface Design, and Information Assurance. Information Systems
students build on this core through courses designed to support the understanding of
information needs and the building of information systems for people in organizations.
These courses include Applications Design and Implementation, Function Integration,
Data Warehousing, Data Mining, etc.

   “Information systems (IS) is concerned with the information that computer
   systems can provide to aid a company, non-profit or governmental organization
   in defining and achieving its goals. It is also concerned with the processes that
   an enterprise can implement and improve using information technology. IS
   professionals must understand both technical and organizational factors, and
   must be able to help an organization determine how information and technology-
   enabled business processes can provide a foundation for superior organizational
   performance. They serve as a bridge between the technical and management
   communities within an organization.” [Association of Computing Machinery,
   Information Systems].

Dr. Harold Pardue is the Information Systems Coordinator. If you have any
questions about the Information Systems curriculum, feel free to contact him at For more information about the Information Systems
specialization, visit

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     A placement exam will be given for basic programming and database concepts
      and skills during our portion of the graduate student orientation session--you
      should prepare for these exams.
     Depending on your placement scores and your prior academic experience in
      computing, you may be required to take some or all of a set of six foundation
      courses (see 4 below). Five of these courses are:
       Object-Oriented Programming Concepts,
       Data and File Structures,
       Database Programming,
       Operating Systems Concepts, and
       Networks and Data Communication Concepts
       Programming Languages Theory (Computer Science Specialization only).

    Some supporting courses are required for each.
     Computer Science:
          o Calculus I & II,
          o Discrete Math, and
          o Theoretical Statistics.
     Information Systems:
          o Survey of Calculus and Business Statistics

    Credit may be given for any of these which you have already completed in your
    previous academic work with a C or better grade.

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Applicants must first satisfy the minimum requirements for acceptance to the University's
Graduate School. Please see for

List for Applying for Admission
   Application for Admission: General information and links to application information
    can be found at
   Scores:
    o GRE: With one exception, GRE scores must be reported for the verbal,
        quantitative, and analytical writing. Based upon their previous performance at the
        graduate level, an exception to GRE requirement may be requested for applicants
        whose highest degree is a graduate degree from an accredited institution of higher
    o TOEFL/IELTS: A minimum TOEFL score of 525 (or 195 computer-based or 71
        internet based) or a minimum score of 5.5 on the IELTS is also required of
        international students.
   Transcripts: You should request official copies of all academic transcripts from all
    institutions attended be sent to the Admissions (International Admissions for
    international students).
   Letters of Recommendation: three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals
    who can comment on your ability to successfully complete your program choice.
   Statement of Purpose: the statement of purpose should explain why you wish to
    pursue the MSCIS in your program choice and should identify your research interests.
   International Students: contact the counselors in International Admissions for special
    requirements for international students:
    o Ms. Donna Pigg, Director, International Admissions, or
    o Ms. Abby Rowell,International Admissions Officer,

Final Decision: Final admission decisions are made based upon an evaluation of the
applicant's complete file which consists of all official academic transcripts; undergraduate
grade-point average; GRE scores, the applicant's statement of purpose, TOEFL scores
(for international applicants); and program enrollment and availability. Admission status is
determined by the School of CIS admissions committee.

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Admission to this program requires that you have a laptop computer that must be
registered with the School of Computer and Information Sciences during your orientation
session. You will not be allowed to register for your courses until you complete this step.
See the url for our laptop policy at
The link is also given in item 4 of ADDITIONAL SITES WITH INFORMATION below.

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 The School of CIS has a limited number of assistantships and scholarships. These are
  very competitive and are typically awarded to students who are prepared to enter
  graduate courses immediately or to students who have skills that can support faculty
  needs. Since there are so many applicants, we have only chosen applicants who
  exhibit an interest in research. Your statement of purpose should include your research
  interests and objectives and you should attach your resume.
      o The application form for Graduate Research Assistantships may be found at
      o The application for Two-year Scholarships may be found at
 There are internship opportunities with some local organizations in Mobile. In addition
  to providing a source of financial support, an internship provides a student with the
  opportunity to see the relationship of knowledge acquired in the classroom to its use in
  an organization. Internship assignments vary according to organization and needs.
  Past interns have participated in software testing, help desk activities, hardware and
  software installation, software development, web page development, and web site
 There are a limited number of work study opportunities with the School of CIS and with
  other units on campus. Work study students in the School of CIS serve as assistants
  during open laboratory hours, classroom assistants to faculty, and as assistants to the
  network administrator.

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The list below is a partial listing of faculty research interests:

   •   Cyber-Security, Information Security, Information Assurance, Risk Assessment
   •   Health Informatics
   •   Data Forensics, Network Security
   •   Artificial Intelligence, Expert Systems, Robotics, Real-Time Systems
   •   Algorithms, Software Engineering, Programming Languages
   •   Graphics, Computational Geometry
   •   Software Tools, Software Architecture
   •   Trust in Computing, Human Computer Interface (HCI), Interface Development
   •   Data Mining, Data Warehousing, Data Anonymity, Knowledge Hiding in Databases
   •   Managerial & behavioral aspects of information technology deployment and use
   •   Multimedia Development & Technology Assimilation
   •   Curriculum development

For interests of individual faculty, please browse the faculty web pages at

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The sites listed below should provide you with some of the information you requested. If
you need anything else, please let us know.
1. For general information about graduate study at USA, please go to
       for international graduate students, please go to
2. For application for admission to USA go to
      Online applications for international students are at
      The deadlines for graduate applications are listed at
3. School of CIS: Information regarding
    The CIS graduate program is found at:
    The Computer Science specialization is found at:
    Information for the Information Systems specialization
    Scholarship and Graduate Assistantships is found at:
4. Other School of CIS sites
      Foundation (numbered 1xx-4xx) and Graduate (numbered 5xx) course
      School of CIS laptop policy:
6. Information
        about costs, fees, and services go to
        about financial aid for a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen1 go to
        for international students, go to
7. Contact for International Students:
      Ms. Donna Pigg: Director E-Mail:

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1If you are in the U.S. on an F1 or F2 student visa or only a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, or a G series visa, you are
NOT an eligible non-citizen.

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