Computer Information Science

Program Description

The M.S. Computer Information Science program provides students with a structured study of applied technical solutions to real-world problems. The program emphasizes the need to understand the program from definition, through implementation and review. The program uses real-world cases that develop problem solving techniques through the software engineering methodologies. The students also learn to manage the problem solution through the gathering of requirements, problem refinement, design modeling, implementation and user-testing. The curriculum emphasizes group interaction and problem solving skills through iterative processes and project management from problem definition through solution deployment.

The program emphasizes group work, presentation skills and collaboration through the use of technology. The M.S. Computer Information Science requires that students complete a capstone project to integrate core competencies with specific student goals based on the elective certificate. Examples of capstone projects are development and implementation of a new software solution or major extension to a completed software project; a research project on new trends or findings in software application development; analysis of network security standards and policies and policy implementation.

The M.S. Computer Information Science program is offered in an online format. It follows the traditional academic calendar of a fall and spring semester and a shorter summer semester. The fall and spring semesters are divided into two 8 week terms.  A full-time graduate student carries a minimum of 6 semester credit hours. Some courses may require more hours per week in some areas of instruction. All courses are online and 3 credits in the length. The courses will meet both synchronously (optional) and asynchronously. Students are required to participate in chat sessions and/or discussion boards, which will take the place of classroom meetings.  Synchronous sessions will be recorded for students who are not able to attend the actual session.  Students who are not able to attend the synchronous sessions will be asked to complete a short assignment related to the recorded session. Depending on their personal schedules, students may elect to take courses every term or wait for the next term to continue studies.  Courses in the summer are also 8 weeks in length.  If a student decides to take two courses during the summer session, they will overlap in the time frame.



Graduate education in Computer Information Science will provide a forum for the study, investigation, discussion, and presentation of how technical solutions may be used to improve an individual’s productivity and to enhance departmental and corporate systems. In order to prepare computing professionals who will be able to keep pace with the dynamic nature of the discipline and contribute to its growth, this program will emphasize individual and group effort, as well as lecture and hands-on training. The approach will be consistent will the philosophy of graduate education at La Salle.

Program Goals

  • Prepare students to create, implement, manage and review a technical solution to a real world problem through all phases of the problem resolution
  • Prepare students to use problem solving techniques and skills to analyze, design, and develop technical solutions using software engineering methodologies.
  • Manage the problem solution through the gathering of requirements, problem refinement, design modeling, implementation, and user testing
  • Prepare students to collaborate on problem solutions
  • Prepare students for professional workforce..

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Explain and differentiate between software engineering methodologies.
  • Create, plan, implement and test a technical problem solution.
  • Facilitate groups on problem definitions and solution designs.
  • Prepare professional written reports.
  • Create solutions specific to current technologies (such as mobile development, database services, and web services.)

Program Specific Information

Progression through the Program

Ten (10) to twelve (12) courses (at least 30 graduate credits) are required for the degree. Each student is required to satisfy the foundation courses, all six core courses, three electives, and a capstone project.

The design of this program assumes that the student has either a background in computer science or a related discipline or professional training involving programming. The total number of credits to fulfill the requirements depends upon the student’s academic and professional background. Some students may be required to take one or two foundation courses to supplement their computing expertise. The Admission Committee determines the appropriate number of foundation courses; the foundation courses may be waived, based on the student’s academic and professional background. Individual plans for progression will be determined for each student in consultation with the Program Director.

Students take a maximum of two foundation courses (as specified by the Admission Committee), six core courses, three electives, and a capstone project.

Five-Year Bachelor's in Computer Science to Master's in Computer Information Science

Students may earn both a B.A. in Computer Science and a M.S. in Computer Information Science or a B.S. in Computer Science and a M.S. in Computer Information Science by participating in the University’s Five-Year Program. Students would satisfy the undergraduate computer science major requirements during their first four years at the University, earning a minimum of 120 credits, of which a maximum of six may be graduate credits, while maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or better. Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree, students may then enter the M.S. in Computer Information Science program by completing the remainder of the full degree requirements.


Academic Requirements

Students complete at least 10 courses, six courses in the core competencies, three elective courses, and a capstone project to integrate all course work.  Students may also be required to take Foundation Courses, based on their background.  Students are expected to have a foundation in computer programming.

Foundation Courses

The purpose of the foundation courses is to provide students with a background in computing concepts and practice, as well as leadership skills. The following three courses are required but may be waived based on a student’s academic and professional training.

  • CIS 523 - Data Processing and Database Management
  • CIS 540 - Network Theory

Core Courses

The core courses provide the essential computing concepts, methodologies, and practical tools for the program. The courses provide a comprehensive study of current Web-centric and data-driven computing concepts and technologies.

  • CIS 613 - Software Engineering
  • CIS 615 - Project Management
  • CIS 617 - Software Project Development
  • CIS 621 - Client Interface Development
  • CIS 623 - Database Services Development using Microsoft Tools
  • CIS 629 - Mobile Development

Students are required to complete three electives.

  • CIS 612 - Ethics, Issues, and Government Regulations
  • CIS 624 - Data Warehouses
  • CIS 626 - Web Services Development
  • CIS 627 - Web Database Services Development
  • CIS 658 - Data Mining
  • CIS 67x - Special Topics in Computer Information Science
  • INL 631 - Technology Architectures
  • INL 644 - Information Security
  • INL 653 - Web Services and Solutions
  • INL 665 - Computer Digital Forensics
  • CYB 668 - Computer and Network Security
    or courses approved by program director.

Capstone Experience

Students conclude their studies with a capstone project, completed in one course, under the supervision of a faculty adviser. Students may work on a capstone experience either individually or in a group. Some students partner with an external company or work on a project associated with their employer as a project deliverable for that company. Students may also complete research on new developments in Computer Information Science.

  • CIS 685 - CIS Capstone

Course Sequence

Tentative Schedule

Fall 1

CIS 613 (SW Eng)

CIS 621 or a programming requirement

Spring 1

CIS 629 (Mobile) or a programming requirement

CIS 615 (Project Mgt)


Summer 1

CIS 624 (Elective)


Fall 2

CIS 617 or Elective


Spring 2


CIS 685 Capstone


Degree or Certificate Earned


Number of Courses Required for Program Completion


Number of Credits Required for Program Completion


GPA Required for Program Completion


Program Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding the Computer Information Science program, please contact:


Staff Contact Information

Margaret McCoey, Progrm Director

Holroyd 123



Program Director: Margaret McCoey, M.S.
Associate Professors: Blum, Highley, Kirsch, Redmond, Wang
Assistant Professors: McCoey
Lecturers: Casey, Cerenzio, Chu, Crossen, Henry, McGinley, McManus, Monaghan, Wacey

Course Descriptions

CIS 523 - Data Processing and Database Management

This course entails analysis and evaluation of database designs in relation to the strategic mission of the project. Topics include database systems, database architectures, and data-definition and data-manipulation languages. Also included are logical and physical database design, database models (e.g., entity-relationship, relational), normalization, integrity, query languages including SQL, and relational algebra, in addition to social and ethical considerations and privacy of data. This course incorporates case studies and a project using a relational DBMS.

Number of Credits: 3

CIS 540 - Network Theory

Lecture/theory course considers the current methods, practices, and standards used to enable communication on computer and voice networks. This includes a study of the physical layers, architectural layers, design, operation, management, and ISO standards, with particular consideration given to many of the IEEE 802 standards, various protocols in the TCP/IP suite, and telephony technologies. Both local and wide area networks are examined.

Number of Credits: 3

CIS 612 - Ethics, Issues, and Government Regulations

This course considers privacy both on- and off-line; legal background of intellectual property and e-mail; ethics and codes of ethics; effects of computers on work and society; and responsibilities and risks of computing, including topics such as accuracy of information, e-waste, and multitasking. This course includes an examination of government policies and regulations related to data security and information assurance.

Number of Credits: 3

CIS 613 - Software Engineering

Software Engineering treats the technical and administrative issues of the software development life-cycle process. Models of the software development process, including structured analysis and design as well as object-oriented analysis and design methodologies, are presented.
Topics include software milestones, project planning, team management, requirements analysis, specification development, analysis and design, implementation, integration, testing, and maintenance. Software legal issues, including contractual ownership, copyrights, and intellectual property rights, are considered. Additional topics include ethical issues recommended by the IEEE and ACM Code of Ethics as well as ethical responsibility of accurate software. The Unified Modeling Language (UML) and tools will be utilized. This course requires the completion of a team project.

Number of Credits: 3

CIS 615 - Project Management

This course entails standard Project Management (PM) concepts, principles, and practices for information technology (IT) and systems. It considers the various corporate organizational structures, politics, and external influences impacting effective PM for IT projects. It also covers systems development, product and PM life cycles, including the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). The course incorporates exploration of project phases and processes and how they relate to the disciplines of PM—integration, scope, time, cost, procurement, risk, human resources, quality, and communications. Students will analyze, evaluate, and select appropriate PM systems, tools, and methodologies from a project leader point of view and develop understanding of PM practices through selected project work.

Number of Credits: 3

CIS 617 - Software Project Development

This courses focuses on the implementation a software project. The students complete the implementation of a model that was constructed in a previous course or build a system that implements component services from an existing model. Students will use collaborative software development methods.

Number of Credits: 3

CIS 621 - Client Interface Development

This course addresses the design and development of  standards-based client interfaces for Web applications. The course includes Web-based standards and tool sets that support these standards. Application development  emphasizes client Web interface scripting to serve as a general introduction to computer programming. The specific tool set used will depend on the types of interfaces to be developed, considering technology trends. Examples of possible tools include XHTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This course may be waived if the student has prior experience in client interface development.

Number of Credits: 3

CIS 623 - Database Services Development Using Microsoft Tools

This course encompasses programming models that support database access, including ADO.NET. It covers client/server and multitiered architectures; use of components, including COM Class Libraries and .NET Framework; development of database applications using VB.NET and ASP.NET; Internet and intranet database design and implementation; database-driven Web sites; and use of XML syntax related to databases. It also considers privacy of data and data protection on servers.

Number of Credits: 3

Prerequisites: CIS 523, CIS 622

CIS 624 - Data Warehouses

This course covers the use of large-scale data stores to support decision making; critical success factors in designing and implementing a data warehouse and management of a data warehouse project; requirements analysis; design using the star schema; entire data warehouse integration; infrastructure needs; data staging process, including data cleansing and transformation; and data access, including On-line Analytic Processing (OLAP) tools. Also considered are introduction to data mining and analysis, evaluation, and selection of data warehousing tools, techniques, and methodologies.

Number of Credits: 3

Prerequisites: CIS 523

CIS 626 - Web Services Development

This course focuses on the development of Web services for use by many different types of Web applications. The course develops basic programming techniques to implement the server side function of the application. The course uses a non-Windows interface for the tools set.

Number of Credits: 3

CIS 627 - Web Database Services Development

This course is an extension to CIS 623. It encompasses programming models that support database access, including ADO.NET. It covers client/server and multitiered architectures; development of database applications; Internet and intranet database design and implementation; database-driven Web sites; and use of XML syntax related to databases. Examples of the possible tool sets for this tool set are PHP and mySQL on either a Linux or Windows server. The course also considers privacy of data and data protection on servers.

Number of Credits: 3

Prerequisites: CIS 523, CIS 622, or CIS 626

CIS 629 - Mobile Development

This course covers development of mobile applications and integration with existing systems on the devices. Students will extend development of mobile solutions with enhancements to views, layouts, and intents including interaction with the location-based services, messaging services, multimedia interfaces, and sensors available on the mobile device. The applications will manage data sources, both locally and from database providers. The applications will be tested in an emulation environment and prepared for deployment in a mobile marketplace.

Number of Credits: 3

CIS 658 - Data Mining

This course introduces the field of data mining, with specific emphasis on its use for Machine Learning algorithms. Techniques covered may include conceptual clustering, learning decision rules and decision trees, case-based reasoning, Bayesian analysis, genetic algorithms, and neural networks. The course covers data preparation and analysis of results. Skills in Microsoft Excel are useful.

Number of Credits: 3

Prerequisites: CIS 523

CIS 670-679 - Special Topics in Computer Information Science

Specialized study in Computer Information Science. Topics vary according to interest of students and faculty.

Number of Credits: 3

CIS 685 - CIS Capstone (Every semester as needed)

Students will design and implement a project related to computer Information science for use by an external organization or department. The student is mentored by a faculty member, and his or her project proposal must be approved by the graduate director and the faculty member supervising the project. The project design will use a software engineering approach in place for its organization. The goal of the capstone is to use the analysis, design, management, and maintenance techniques to solve the organization’s problem. To complete the capstone project, the student must prepare and submit a paper or report on the project and the solution, provide an oral presentation, and provide and submit the software components for the solution.

Number of Credits: 3

Prerequisites: All Core courses