3210 Computer Science

Programs Offered:

  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science  (Bioinformatics Concentration)
  • Dual B.S./M.S. Program in Computer Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Computer Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Computer Science (Bioinformatics Concentration)

Department of Computer Science
Georgia State University
7th Floor, 25 Park Place Bldg.
P.O. Box 3994
Atlanta, GA 30302-3994
404/413-5700
cs.gsu.edu

Rajshekhar Sunderraman, Interim Chair and Director of Graduate Studies

The Department of Computer Science offers a program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Computer Science. A bioinformatics concentration is available. A baccalaureate or master’s degree in computer science, or its equivalent, is required for admission. The department encourages applications from high-tech and teaching professionals and those with non-computer science but closely related degrees. Pursuing the Ph.D. program part-time is possible, so working professionals are encouraged to consider applying. Competitive financial aid is available for full-time Ph.D. students along with tuition waivers.

The M.S. degree program in computer science provides students with advanced training in the fundamental principles and processes of computation. The program focuses on the technical aspects of both software and hardware. Computer Science faculty are actively engaged in a wide variety of research endeavors. Research efforts are concentrated in artificial intelligence and neural nets, computer architecture, database, graphics and visualization, networks, parallel and distributed computing, programming languages, simulation, and software engineering. A bioinformatics concentration is available. Graduate laboratory, research, and teaching assistantships are available to graduate students.

The computer science department accepts applications for the M.S. program each semester and for the Ph.D. program only fall semester with the general deadlines applying. However, in order to be considered for graduate assistantships, applicants must have all application materials in by February 15 for fall semester and by August 15 for spring semester. No financial aid is offered to new applicants for summer semesters.

Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of Computer Science by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies.

Admission Requirements

Master of Science

In addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Computer Science has the following requirements:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in computer science, or equivalent. While we welcome capable students with non-computer-science degrees, they may need some foundation courses.
  2. A supplemental application for computer science.
  3. A statement of background and goals.
  4. Three letters of recommendations from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for graduate work in computer science.
  5. GRE (General) score.

Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Computer Science has the following requirements:

  1. A baccalaureate or master’s degree in computer science or its equivalent. While we welcome capable students with non-computer science degrees, they may need some foundation courses.
  2. A supplemental application for computer science.
  3. A statement of background and goals.
  4. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for Ph.D. work in computer science.
  5. GRE (General) score.
  6. Minimum GPA 3.0/4.0.

Degree Requirements

M.S. Computer Science

  1. Foundation coursework: If any of the following foundation courses in Computer Science or Mathematics have not been taken in another program, these must be completed at the earliest. 4000-level foundation courses must be taken as their 6000-level counterparts by graduate students.
  2. CSC 8900 Seminar in Computer Science (1 hour). A research training course which must be taken in the first semester.
  3. Graduate-level coursework (24 hours): To be taken in consultation with an academic adviser, and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, with a grade of B or higher in each course.
    • Sixteen hours of computer science courses at the 8000-level, exclusive of Research, Thesis Research, and Independent Study courses.
    • An additional eight hours of graduate-level coursework, exclusive of Research, Thesis Research and Independent Study courses.
  4. Thesis/Project/Course Only (6-8 hours)
    • Thesis Option: Six hours of Thesis Research (CSC 8999). A thesis committee must be set up no later than two semesters after completing any foundation courses. This work should culminate in the writing of a thesis. The thesis must be defended successfully in an oral examination. This examination will pertain to, but is not limited to, the subject matter of the thesis.
    • Project Option: Four hours of CSC 8930 in which the student completes a project and an additional four hours of graduate-level coursework in computer science at the 6000 level or above exclusive of Foundation Research, Thesis Research, and Independent Study courses. The project must be supervised by a computer science graduate faculty adviser. The student must write a report on the project and pass an oral final examination given by an ad hoc faculty committee headed by the project adviser. This examination will pertain to, but is not limited to, the subject matter of the project.
    • Course Only Option: Two additional courses, one at the 6000-level or above in computer science exclusive of Foundation, Research, Thesis Research, and Independent Study courses and the other at the 8000-level exclusive of Research, Thesis Research, and Independent Study courses.

M.S. Computer Science (Bioinformatics Concentration)

  1. Foundation Coursework (any that are not done): Math 2211, 2212, CSc 2510, 3410, 4210, 4320, 4330, 4350, 4510, 4520 with B or better in each. 4000-level foundation courses must be taken as their 6000-level counterparts by graduate students.
  2. Graduate Coursework (30 hours): Computer Science (16 hours): ):
    • CSC 6640, CSC 8630 and two other 8000-level classroom taught courses.
    • Biology (8 hours): BIOL 7800, Molecular Cell Biology; BIOL 7810, Molecular Cell Biology Laboratory; and BIOL 7900, Genetics; or BIOL 6564, Advanced Genetics.
    • Chemistry (3 hours): CHEM 6150, Introduction to Biophysical Chemistry. Alternatives to Chem 6150 include Chem 6110 or 6120, or 6600 or 8900.
    • Mathematics/Statistics (3 hours): MATH 6544, Biostatistics.
  3. Thesis/Project/Course Only (6-8 hours):
    • Thesis option requires 6 hours of CSC 8999.
    • Project option requires 4 hours of CSC 8930 (project) and an additional classroom taught 6000-level or higher computer science course.
    • Course Only option requires one additional classroom taught 6000-level or higher computer science course and another 8000-level classroom taught course.

Dual B.S./M.S. in Computer Science

The department offers a dual Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Computer Science. The dual degree opportunity enables qualified students to enroll in graduate courses late in their undergraduate program and apply the coursework toward both the bachelor’s and master’s programs.

Students must be formally accepted into the dual degree program by the department and College of Arts and Sciences to be able to take graduate courses as an undergraduate. Additionally, acceptance into the dual program does not constitute admission to the master’s program. Students must fulfill regular graduate admissions requirements and apply for the master’s program following college processes.

Information about the dual program, including application instructions and program requirements, can be found at cas.gsu.edu/dual-degrees/.

Ph.D. Computer Science

Note: Students enrolled in this program mush maintain 3.5 GPA in coursework at Georgia State University.

  1. Foundation Coursework. If any of the following foundation courses in computer science or mathematics has not been taken in another program, these must be completed at the earliest. 4000-level foundation courses must be taken as their 6000-level counterparts by graduate students.
  2. Ph.D. Coursework (48 hours)
    Of these 48 hours, no more than 12 hours can be taken at the 6000 level. These 12 hours exclude any of the foundation courses previously listed.

    • CSc 9900 Seminar in Computer Science (1 hour). A research training course which must be taken in the first semester.
    • Core Coursework (12 hours). Take one from each of the following three groups:
      • ALGORITHMS (8520, 8530, 8550, 8560)
      • ARCHITECTURE (8210, 8270, 8251)
      • SYSTEMS (8220, 8320, 8370)
    • Breadth Coursework (12 hours). Take one each from three of the following groups:
      • Bioinformatics (8050, 8540, 8630)
      • Database and Artificial Intelligence (8710, 8711, 8712, 8810)
      • Distributed Computing (8223)
      • Graphics and Visual Computing (8260, 8720, 8820)
      • Networks (8221, 8222, 8250)
      • Numerical and Scientific Computing (8610, 8620)
      • Software Engineering and Simulation/Modeling (8350, 8840)
    • Electives (23 hours).
      • To be chosen in concert with dissertation committee and approved by dissertation committee and should reflect student interest, coursework related to research area, etc.
      • A maximum of 8 hours can be directed study/research or seminars (6999, 8950, or 8910).
      • A minimum of 3 hours and a maximum of 9 hours from outside the department.
      • 6 to 20 hours of depth computer science classroom taught non-foundation courses.
  3. Qualifying Process. The qualification process consists of two parts:
    • Curriculum Requirement: The student is required to complete one course in each of the three CORE areas (Algorithms, Architecture, and Systems) and receive at least 2 A’s and 1 B in these courses to meet the curriculum requirement of the qualifying process.
    • Research Examination: The objective of the research examination is to assess the student’s potential to begin doctoral‐level research. The examination will assess the student’s abilities to:
      • Read and understand research papers in their field.
      • Formulate a problem clearly and provide the motivation and requirements for a solution.
      • Determine if a solution is correct.
      • Assess to what extent a presumably correct solution solves the problem.
      • Clearly identify potential next research problems and provide solutions.
      • Communicate effectively, both in writing and orally.
      • Answer questions related to the problem and its solutions.
      • The student will request the research examination in an area/sub‐area of computer science. A committee of 3 faculty members will choose two advanced research papers and assign to the student. After a period of time, the student will present a written report and schedule an oral defense in which there will be general questioning by the committee. The result of the exam is PASS/FAIL. A student who receives a FAIL in the first attempt will be given a second and final attempt.

      Timeline: A typical student (one who is admitted to the Ph.D. program with very few foundation courses to take) is expected to qualify by the end of the third semester (excluding summers) after admission.

  4. Dissertation Committee. Must be formed immediately after completing the qualification process.
    • Major adviser plus at least three other members.
    • One member must be from outside the department. Major adviser and at least two other members must be computer science graduate faculty.
    • This committee should be consulted to plan electives and possibly required courses to ensure depth in the research area.
    • This committee may suggest additional technical writing, mathematics, or computer skill courses depending on the student’s background.
  5. Candidacy Examination. To be taken within two years of qualifying. A written proposal on the research to be carried out will be submitted and defended in front of the dissertation committee. Upon successful completion of the candidacy examination, a student is declared a candidate for the doctoral degree. An unsuccessful result in the candidacy examination would require the student to take the candidacy examination a second and last time within three semesters (excluding summer).
  6. Dissertation (24 hours of CSC 9999).
  7. Written dissertation and oral defense.

Ph.D. Computer Science (Bioinformatics Concentration)

Note: Must maintain 3.5 GPA in coursework at Georgia State University.

  1. Foundation Coursework. If any of the following foundation courses in computer science or mathematics has not been taken in another program, these must be completed at the earliest. 4000-level foundation courses must be taken as their 6000-level counterparts by graduate students.
  2. Ph.D. Coursework (48 hours)
    • CSC 9900 Seminar in Computer Science (1). A research training course which must be taken in the first semester.
    • Core Coursework (12hours). Take one from each of the following three groups:
      • Algorithms (8520, 8530, 8550, 8560)
      • Architecture (8210, 8270)
      • Systems (8220, 8320, 8370)
    • Bioinformatics (12 hours): Take CSc 6640 and two from of CSc 8050, 8540, 8630.
    • Electives (23 hours)
  3. Qualifying Process: same as in regular Ph.D. requirements.
  4. Dissertation Committee: same as in regular Ph.D. requirements except one member must be a biologist or chemist.
  5. Candidacy Examination: same as in regular Ph.D. requirements.
  6. Dissertation (24 hours of CSC 9999): Research should involve a current topic in bioinformatics.
  7. Written Dissertation and Oral Defense.