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Introduction 

  • The Job Market for CS Students will grow 16% between 2010 and 2020 [1] Average Salary: $89,000.
  • Many of our graduates have senior positions at Motorola, Intel, HP, Walgreens, Kraft Foods, etc. 
  • Taking into account the amount of debt, starting and mid career salary, NEIU was ranked #6 in the nation's most affordable universities, right below Harvard and above Georgia Tech.

The goal of the Master's Degree Program in Computer Science is to provide individuals who have a background in computer science a means of acquiring a higher level of computer sophistication. Individuals with job titles such as application programmer/analyst, systems programmer or software engineer who want to expand the breadth of their computing background, or for whom an advanced degree is required for advancement would derive long term benefits from the M.S. Program.

The Master's Degree in Computer Science has two concentrations: one for individuals who want to enter careers in industry and one for individuals who want to pursue a Ph.D.

In order to accommodate these individuals who may be employed full time, the courses in the Master's Degree Program are offered in the evening or on Saturday mornings.

Admission to the Program 

Usually, the deadlines to apply are:

Domestic Applicant deadlines:

International Applicant deadlines:

November 1 for Spring semester October 1 for Spring semester
April 1 for Summer semester March 1 for Summer semester
July 1 for Fall semester June 1 for Fall semester

We do not require the GRE in our program. However, you will need at least two letters of recommendation and a statemen of purpose.

Even if some applications follow the guidelines, they can still be rejected because of lack of preparation. Please follow these guidelines when preparing your applications :

  •     The letters of recommendation must be from someone who knows how you work (either academically or professionally). They cannot come from a relative, a neighbor, etc.
  •     Many universities have standard letters of recommendations where they just fill in your name. A good letter of recommendation is one in which the recommender speaks personally about you, so choose recommenders that know or remember you and won't use a stock letter of recommendation.
  •     The statement of purpose is another very important piece of the application. Please follow "How to write the Statement of Purpose" when preparing your statement.

 

For more information on how to apply, click the corresponding links:
International Students. Please click here; Domestic students, please click here.

If you are looking for financial aid, please click here

*All of this information and many other resources are specified in the Graduate College of Studies and Research

Degree Requirements 

The Master's Degree in Computer Science requires 36 credit hours of course work, 27 of which must be earned at Northeastern Illinois University. The remaining 9 credit hours may represent courses taken at accredited institutions with graduate programs in computer science and in conformance with the rules of the Graduate College. The 36 hours will be made up of 9 credit hours of core course work, 18 credit hours of required course work from one of concentrations, and 9 credit hours of elective course work (or 6 credit hours, if the student completes a Master's thesis).

The concentrations are Management Information Systems and Computer Science. The purpose of the Management Information Systems Concentration is to prepare students for the application of computer science and related technologies to solving business problems. The primary purpose of the Computer Science Concentration is to prepare students to enter a Ph.D. program in computer science.

Courses 

The following courses are required if the student does not have sufficient background in computer science.  They do not count toward the M.S. Degree. 

  • MATH-185 Precalculus Mathematics, or equivalent
  • CS-201 Discrete Structures
  • CS-200 Programming I
  • CS-207 Programming II
  • CS-304 Data Structures

It is possible to waive some of these requirements if you took them at some other university or if you pass a placement test with a score of 80% or above. To prepare for the placement tests follow the following link: Preparing for Placement Tests.

Required Core Courses:

CS-400

Discrete Modeling and Analysis

3 cr.

CS-404

Analysis of Algorithms

3 cr.

CS-490

Master’s Project.

3 cr.

 

OR

 

CS-495

Master’s Thesis*

6 cr.

 

Total

9-12 cr.

* Master's Theses have to follow specific guidelines from the graduate college.

The Master's Project (CS490) or Master's Thesis (CS495) Must be taken towards the end of your graduate studies. 

Management Information Systems Concentration:

This concentration prepares students for the application of computer science and related technologies to solving business problems.

CS-401

Software Engineering

3 cr.

CS-412

Web Application Development.

3 cr.

CS-413

IT Project Management

3 cr.

CS-415

Design of Database Systems.

3 cr.

CS-419

Informatics

3 cr.

CS-420

Object Oriented Design

3 cr.

 

Three course electives, approved by the CS Department. Check the available courses in the: Graduate Courses Plan

9 cr.

 

CS Core Courses

9 cr

 

Total

36 cr.

Recommended electives:    CS-331, CS-440, CS-460, ECON-401 (MIS concentration only).

To better plan your studies, explore our courses and when they are taught here.

Computer Science Concentration: 

The primary purpose of the Computer Science Concentration is to prepare students to enter a Ph.D. program in computer science.  However, students interested in obtaining in-depth knowledge of systems programming should also consider this concentration.

CS-325

Automata, Languages, and Theory of Computation

3 cr.

CS-331

Computer Networks

3 cr.

CS-401

Software Engineering

3 cr.

CS-402*

Advanced Systems Programming.

3 cr.

CS-408

Advanced Operating Systems

3 cr.

CS-409*

Compiler Theory and Design

3 cr.

 

Three course electives, approved by the CS Department. Check the available courses in the: Graduate Courses Plan

9 cr.

 

CS Core Courses

9 cr.

 

Total

36 cr.

Recommended electives:    CS-311, CS-415, CS-426, CS-460.

*NOTE:  CS 412 and/or CS 420 may be used in place of CS 402 and/or CS 409

 Other Academic Requirements

Students in the program are required to maintain a good standing throughout the duration of their studies and finish with:

  • A GPA (Grade) of 3.0 or better
  • A Maximum of 2 courses with a C or less in their 36 masters credits
  • Full completion of all the requirements, if any, at the moment of admission

We want to help our students succeed. Therefore, if a student is not meeting these requirements, or their standing is not good (e.g. already has 3 Cs or their GPA has been below 3 for more than 2 semesters) she/he should contact their graduate advisor immediately.

Careers & Employment 

  • The Job Market for CS Students will grow 16% between 2010 and 2020 [1] Average Salary: $89,000.
  • Many of our graduates have senior positions at Motorola, Intel, HP, Walgreens, Kraft Foods, etc.
  • Taking into account the amount of debt, starting and mid career salary, NEIU was ranked #6 in the nation's most affordable universities, right below Harvard and above Georgia Tech.The Ranking was compiled by Newsweek.

 

Program Contact Information 

Francisco Iacobelli
f-iacobelli@neiu.edu
By appointment only.
 

Other 

How to write the Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose (SOP) is a very important element in your application. It tells faculty who you are, why you want to study with a specific university and it gives an insight into your motivations and into the kind of student you may be.

Let's go to the details:

  • Your SOP will be the result of many edits and iterations. One draft is usually not enough.
  • Always start with a paragraph that tells faculty who you are. Paragraphs like

--Conceiving ideas and developing systems that deliver that promise-- is a personal goal that I have set for myself. When translated into actions this goal has reinforced my belief in leadership through creativity.

Don't communicate anything. This is such a generic goal that it sounds like a Miss Universe saying she wants peace in the world. It is extremely vague and empty. In contrast:

When I was in sixth grade, my father gave me a personal computer. Although it was not top of the line, I learned to program it to replicate other programs and games that my friends had in their higher end computers.

Tells us who you are, when was your motivation born and it is very specific. Then you can start relating those experiences to your college and your work (if you have worked before applying to grad school).

  • Tell us your story and be specific: State what you have been doing between your undergraduate degree and the present day --if appropriate--, for whom did you work and doing what, and how did this experience helped forge you as a person and as an aspiring computer scientist.
  • Then go into what kinds of things you will want to do with your degree and why did you pick our university. Again, be specific. Simply saying:

Your esteemed university will provide the tools necessary to become a successful professional

is boring and uninformative. As a university we think we have the tools to make you successful, so we know this much. So, that paragraph tells us nothing about you. You have to be very specific and truthful. If you think this university helps you because of its focus on a certain area, mention it and give examples of how our research and faculty can help you. If you chose our schools because some colleagues have recommended it, say so. If you think our university is affordable and allows you to get a degree while working full time, say so. You get the idea.

  • Use simple english and avoid hot air. "Esteemed University," "utmost thrill," "innate passion," etc. are unnecessary. In the same vein, quotes from writers or cliches are not necessary, unless you really know how to use them. Most people do not know how to use them correctly, so if you are in doubt, then do not quote other people. Period.
  • Lastly, if your essay (or a considerable part of it) shows up on a google search you will be rejected. This is plagiarism and no one wants a student who plagiarizes even before being admitted.
  • For a tongue and cheek guideline, please read Arun Vasan's advice

Arts and Sciences