MS-CIS Frequently Asked Questions

Sections

Admissions:

  1. Can I apply to the CIS Master's Program if I do not have a background in computing?

    If admission requirements have been met, performance in these background courses will determine final admissibility to the program. For more information, you should contact the School of CIS to discuss this further.

  2. What if I have a background in computing, but it's been a while since I was in school?

    In that case, we would recommend that you take CIS 500  Fundamentals of Computer Science (background Course) as a refresher course. Please note, CIS 500 is not meant for those without a background in computing. If you don't have a computing background, then please contact the School of CIS to discuss options for taking undergraduate courses to provide a foundation for graduate study.

  3. Do I need to apply to the CIS Master's Program if I only want to take a course or two?

    As long as you have an undergraduate degree, you may take a course(s) as a Non-Degree Seeking status. However, you should contact the School of CIS beforehand to make sure you have the background to be able to handle the subject matter.

  4. What if I only want to take courses in a certain content area?

    As long as you have an undergraduate degree, you may complete one of six content areas and receive a certificate for that particular content area. However, you should contact the School of CIS before hand to make sure you have the background to be able to handle the subject matter.

  5. Do I need to take the GRE, and what are the minimum scores?

    U.S. students with a grade point average below 3.0 from all undergraduate coursework must contact the School of CIS for advising. All international students must have a satisfactory score on the GRE Test. In order to be considered for admission, you must have a minimum GRE verbal score of 400 (144 after 7 Nov 2011), or a combined verbal+quantitative score of 1100 (314 after 7 Nov 2011).

  6. Can I take the IELTS instead?

    No. GVSU currently does not accept IELTS in place of the TOEFL or the GRE.

  7. When can I start?

    You may enter the CIS program at the beginning of either the Fall or Winter semesters of the academic year (late August and early January). However, you should pay careful attention to the course offering schedule (see below) to ensure you take the courses you want in a timely manner.

  8. What is the deadline for admission?

    We have rolling admissions, so there are no firm deadlines. However, practically speaking, you should have your application materials into GVSU a month before you want to begin. If you're an international student, please talk with the Admissions office directly about possible federal deadlines.

  9. What do I need to do in order to apply?

    See the current catalog for the admission requirements.

Graduate Assistantships:

  1. What is a Graduate Assistantship (GA)?

    GAs can be used to aid an instructor (e.g., grading or assisting in a lab), or to help conduct research.

  2. What types of GAs are there?

    Full-time and part-time. Full-time GAs receive are expected to work 20 hours per week, receive a full tuition waiver along with a stipend. Half-time GAs are expected to work 10 hours per week, receive 6 credits of tuition waiver per semester, along with a stipend.

  3. How do I find a GA position?

    There are two avenues to finding a GA. First, ask a professor that you know if they could use you as a GA. If so, they will contact the School Director to see if a GA position is available. Second, faculty that are in need of a GA consult with the School Director about possible GA positions. If a position is available, then the School Director or the Graduate Program Director will ask current graduate students via email if they are interested.

  4. When is the deadline for getting a GA?

    April 1 is the deadline for Fall. This allows enough time to process the necessary paperwork. For the Winter, the deadline is November 1.



Program and Courses:

  1. How many classes do I need to take to get a master's degree in CIS?

    The CIS Master's Program consists of 11 classes, 3 credits each.

  2. What tracks/specialities/certificates can I take?

    We offer six "tracks" which, when completed, provide you with a certificate in that particular speciality. The tracks consist of three courses that develop a given topic. The tracks are: Database Management, Distributed Computing, Information Systems Management, Object-Oriented Technology, Software Engineering, and Biomedical Informatics.

    A special note about the Biomedical Informatics area. This track is for those with prior knowledge in the areas of biology, microbiology, and/or hospital/clinical systems. In other words, it is not a "general" track suitable for everyone.

  3. What courses are in each track?

    For a full description of the courses in each track, see the current catalog.

  4. When are classes offered in the CIS Program?

    Our CIS Graduate Program is strictly offered in the evening because it is geared to the working person.

  5. Where are the CIS Program classes held?

    All our graduate courses are offered at the downtown Pew Campus in Grand Rapids, not at the Allendale campus.

  6. What electives can I take?

    For electives, you may take any CIS course at the 600-level (disregarding the capstone, project, and thesis courses). Naturally, you should have taken the appropriate prerequisites first.

  7. What is CIS 699 Directed Readings in Computer Science?

    CIS 699 is meant as an avenue for students to explore topics outside of what is offered in class. Typically, a student will approach a professor and express interest in pursuing a given topic. The student and professor will then develop a plan of study for the semester. Students contemplating taking CIS 699 should approach a professor several weeks before the semester begins in order to allow time to start the discussion and paperwork process. CIS 699 is not meant for everyone, only those that have shown outstanding ability in a course will be allowed to undertake CIS 699.

  8. What is the minimum grade requirement for courses?

    According to the catalog (http://catalog.gvsu.edu)..."Graduate credit will be awarded for grades of C (2.0) or better. This includes all graduate coursework... Grades below C will figure in a student's GPA, but the credits will not count toward the degree."

  9. How do I get a "certificate" stating that I completed a content area?

    Upon completion of each of our content areas students qualify for a graduate certificate. A certificate is like a mini-diploma stating that a student has completed a specific set of coursework. The Registar is the person who handles certificates. Please visit http://www.gvsu.edu/registrar/index.cfm?id=26EA609A-F158-D819-51DC0CF8C1F56110 and complete the "Certification Application- Graduate Certificate" form.

  10. In what semesters are the Graduate courses taught?

    Fall

    Winter

    Summer

    CIS 500 Fundamentals of Computer Science (background Course)

    CIS 612 Requirements Specification

    CIS 621 Object-Oriented Programming

    CIS 623 Graphical User Interface Design

    CIS 641 Management of Software Development

    CIS 643 Information Systems Policy

    CIS 656 Distributed Systems

    CIS 673 Principles of Database Design

    CIS 679 Advances in Database Management Systems

    CIS 690 Master's Thesis Research

    CIS 692 Master's Capstone

    CIS 693  Master's Project

    CIS 695 Master's Thesis

    CIS 500 Fundamentals of Computer Science (background Course)

    CIS 611Introduction to Software Engineering

    CIS 613 Software Testing

    CIS 622 Software Design Methodologies

    CIS 642 Software Project Management

    CIS 654 Computer Networking

    CIS 658 Web Architectures

    CIS 676 Database Management Systems

    CIS 690 Master's Thesis Research

    CIS 692 Master's Capstone

    CIS 693 Master's Project

    CIS 695 Master's Thesis

    CIS 672 Computer Systems Architecture

    CIS 674 Modeling and Decision Systems

    CIS 675 Compiler Construction

    CIS 680 Seminar in Computer Information Systems

    CIS 699 Directed Readings in Computer Science

  11. On what nights are the courses offered?

    Below is a table that shows when courses are typically offered.  Please be aware that actual course offerings can differ without notice.

    CIS 500 FUNDAMENTALS OF CS R
    CIS 611 INTRO TO SOFTWARE EG R
    CIS 612 REQUIRMTS SPECIFICATION T
    CIS 613 SOFTWARE TESTING W
    CIS 621 OBJECT-ORIENTED PRGRMNG M
    CIS 622 SOFTWARE DESIGN METH M
    CIS 623 USER INTERFACE DESIGN T
    CIS 635 DATA MINING W
    CIS 641 MGT OF SOFTWARE DEV W
    CIS 642 SOFTWARE PROJECT MGMT M
    CIS 643 INFO SYSTEMS POLICY M
    CIS 654 COMPUTER NETWORKING T
    CIS 656 DISTRIBUTED SYSTEMS R
    CIS 658 DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING R
    CIS 661 MEDICAL AND BIOINFORMATICS T
    CIS 665 CLINICAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS W
    CIS 671 INFORMATION VISUALIZATION R
    CIS 673 DATABASE DESIGN T
    CIS 676 DATABASE MGT SYSTEMS W
    CIS 677 HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING W
    CIS 678 MACHINE LEARNING T
    CIS 679 ADV IN DB MGMNT SYSTEMS W
    CIS 691 MEDICAL AND BIOINFORMATICIS CAPSTONE M
    CIS 692 MASTERS CAPSTONE M

Projects and Theses:

  1. What's the difference between a project and a thesis?

    The differences are quite substantial and are described in a separate document.

  2. What are the expectations for a project?

    We have a separate document that describes the procedures, policies, and expectations for projects.

  3. How do I start a project or thesis?

    We have a couple of documents that describe both the project process and the thesis process. In order to actually enroll, we have two forms that you have to fill for either the project course (CIS693) or the first thesis course (CIS690).

  4. How do I write a project report or the thesis document?

    The GVSU Library has full information regarding the preparation of both theses and projects. We provide a Microsoft Word template for the project.

  5. What if I don't finish my research in CIS 695? What is CIS 696 Thesis Continuation?

    Please see our FAQ about CIS 696.

  6. How do I submit my project or thesis to the library?

    Fill out the ScholarWorks Submission Form. Submit this to your advisor, who will submit your materials to the library.

  7. Do I still need to submit a hardcopy to the library?

    Yes. The library needs a hardcopy of both projects and theses for archival purposes. Binding information can be found on the library's page (see the link above).

AttachmentSize
ProjectProcedure.doc21.5 KB
ThesisProcedure.doc24 KB
ProjectForm.doc28 KB
ThesisForm.doc30 KB
MSProjectTemplate.doc36.5 KB
ScholarWorksSubmissionForm.doc116.5 KB
CIS696FAQ.pdf53.26 KB