Online Graduate Programs

The department of Computer Science has two online graduate programs:

Online Master of Science in Computer Science

Computer technology is at the heart of today’s business organizations – public and private. GSW serves the educational needs of the southwestern part of the state and attracts students from many southwestern counties of Georgia. GSW is within driving distance from many places. Yet, distance is not a factor, but convenience. A large number of students who wish to pursue a master's degree are looking for a fully online degree program. Employees of a number of local and regional employers have sought the convenience of attending university while being employed fulltime. 

Online Graduate Certificate Program in CIS

The primary goal of this program is to give instructors from two-year colleges and technical colleges the opportunity to obtain 18 hours of graduate course work in their teaching field (CIS). The program was created for instructors, but it is not limited only to them. This certificate program includes courses which reflect the current industry trend. Because of its online format students can take up to six graduate classes (18 credit hours) and complete their study in one year. Students who are willing to enroll in this program should meet regular admission requirements for MS Computer Science program. After taking 18 credit hours, students can continue to take courses toward to the MS in CS degree.

The distinct features of both programs are:

     1. Completely Online
     2. Curriculum designed to reflect current trends in the industry
     3. Courses developed by experienced faculties
     4. Courseware available on GeorgiaVIEW
     5. Software availability under Microsoft Academic Alliance
     6. Laboratory support

Admission requirements

All requirements for admission to the Online MS in CS and Online Graduate Certificate Program are the same as those for the Master of Science in Computer Science degree program.

Student Advising

Each student will have access to the Graduate Advisor. Upon acceptance in the program the student will receive a information brochure which will guide the student initially. Once the student is in the program, student will use the GeorgiaVIEW based Advising sessions to plan their course of study. There will be an online orientation for new graduate students.

Program Management

The graduate program is administered by the Director of the graduate program in CIS, who reports to the dean of the school. The duties of the Director include (but are not limited to) handling recruiting and admissions, collecting program statistics, serving as academic advisor, monitoring the masters thesis, and serving as the primary representative for the program within the Department, School, the University, and the community.

Virtual Environment

With more and more students enrolled in online classes, it has been a major concern for educators that online students should be able to access the lab facilities, especially the contemporary software development tools. Many of the software tools required by the CIS curriculum (such as Microsoft Visual Studio.NET, ColdFusion, MS SQL Server, and Oracle DBMS) require stronger computing abilities that can not be provided by the regular PCs or laptops owned by students. In addition, having students send their projects directly to instructors could create an unnecessary inconvenience in grading. Faculty members need to configure their desktop systems to run the projects sent by each student and such configuration is time-consuming.

Since Spring 2006 the School has offered a new service for online computer classes – access to the virtual machines. Students can remotely log onto the system and complete their project assignments. The virtual lab can eliminate all the aforementioned problems for the students and instructors in online classes. It gives equal opportunities to both online and regular students.

Testing Centers

The School has established a network of Testing Centers for the online graduate programs. Information on Testing Centers near you will be provided upon acceptance in to the program. If there is no testing center near your place of residence, guidelines for establishing the testing centers are available with the graduate advisor. The testing center may have a nominal charge for their services. The student is responsible for such charges.

Curriculum and Plan of Study

The curriculum for the online program is the same as for the regular MS in CS program. Under the multi-year schedule, several graduate online courses will be offered each semester.

It is assumed that most online graduate students will take two or three courses each semester. However, it is recommended that a student be registered for at least two courses to complete the degree requirements in two years (including summer semester). 

Dr. Arvind C. Shah, Director
Graduate Programs in Computer Science
Department of Computer Science
Georgia Southwestern State University
Americus, Georgia 31709

Tel: (229) 931-2100 Ext. 2114
Fax: (229) 931-2270
email: acs1@gsw.edu