Department Spotlight – MS-ACS Degree

This article shines a spotlight on one of the most reputed departments in Northwest Missouri State University. The Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems provides the appropriate technological and instructional resources needed to help students succeed in the IT industry. Masters of Science in Applied Computer Science, referred to as MS-ACS, is a program which offers students a strong focus in a technical and computing discipline. There are 10 majors offered in this program which a full-time student can complete in two academic years.

MS-ACS has professors who have accompanied the department for many years. Dr.Phillip Heeler is the department chairperson coupled with Dr. Merry McDonald as the program director. There are many other professors who play a key role in making the MS-ACS program a huge success. To get a degree, an individual must complete 33 credit hours along with a comprehensive examination. Courses offered include Object Oriented Programming which deals with development in Java. It is a platform independent language which helps students to develop a variety of applications. The rest of the courses include Network Security, Advanced Topics in Database Systems, Developmental Web Applications and Services, Project Management in Business and Technology, Information Technology Management, Application Development in C#.NET, Human Computer Interaction, a graduate directed project and an advisor-approved elective.

All these subjects teach an individual how an IT firm works and what aspects should be understood before entering into industry. Each course in this program offers its own importance; Network Security teaches how the world runs on the Internet, Database Management deals with company-maintained data, Web Applications and C#.Net deals with development of different applications, and the rest deal with an individual’s work attitude and ethics in IT firms. The graduated directed project is a project that runs for 2 semesters. Each graduate student must do a live project with help of a mentor and meetings with a client to gather requirements. There are also other minor subjects that include CCNA Network Fundamentals and Database Systems. Learning the material is always an interesting challenge to take on, and I recommend this program to any student interested in pursuing their education in applied computer science.

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