Apr 20, 2021  
2008-2009 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2008-2009 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Computer Science, M.A.

Mission Statement
The mission of the M.A. program offered by the Department of Computer Science is to develop independent thinkers who can provide leadership in the computing industry or academia, with deep insights in the fundamentals of computer science, a broad perspective in the established and emerging fields of computing, and expertise in fields of their choice.

Program Description
This program is designed to prepare students for diverse careers in computing, including the design of computer systems and equipment, the development of software to control operations and process information, and the research to satisfy the growing computer needs in all segments of society. New computer applications are expanding at a rapid pace in all areas including medicine, the media and entertainment, science, architecture, engineering and business. Business men and women, and science professionals will find electives specifically for their specialties. The program is also intended for computing professionals who wish to advance their careers by staying abreast of state-of-the art techniques for the design, implementation, testing and deployment of modern computing systems. The fundamental courses in algorithms, programming languages, and operating systems support the remainder of the course work. The program is designed to meet the needs of the technical and business-oriented markets allowing a student to tailor her/his individual program in consultation with an adviser. The seven elective courses provide the needed flexibility. Students are engaged with a project of their choice, approved by an adviser, as their capstone experience. 

Graduates of this program have found challenging, fulfilling and lucrative positions in varied areas of industry including software manufacturers, communication and networking companies, banks, publishers, stock brokerages, and business consulting firms. They perform a wide range of tasks including programming, systems and network administration, database administration, systems analysis, and network security analysis.

Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  2. An undergraduate minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Achievement in General (verbal, quantitative and analytical writing) GRE scores.
Note: Applicants without GRE may be admitted if they meet all other admission criteria. They may enroll in graduate courses if they meet individual course prerequisites. To continue in the program students must demonstrate GRE achievement before completing 6 semester hours of graduate study.

Prerequisite Requirements

   1.    Discrete Mathematics
   2.    Programming Principles and Techniques
   3.    Algorithms and Data Structures
   4.    Computer Architecture
   5.    Operating Systems
   6.    Calculus II (Integral Calculus and Analytical Geometry)

Students may satisfy any or all of the listed prerequisites by completing equivalent courses at Hofstra or an accredited institution. With the permission of the Graduate Program Director, eligible students may elect to sit for proficiency examinations. Applicants without undergraduate computer science degrees may be admitted as provisionally matriculated students if they meet all admission criteria except for the required prerequisites. They can enroll in graduate courses if they meet individual course prerequisites and satisfy the general requirements before completing 12 semester hours of graduate study. This condition is automatically lifted as soon as the prerequisites or their equivalents are satisfactorily completed.

Program Requirements - Total Semester Hours: 30

The Master of Arts in Computer Science requires the satisfactory completion of a 30-semester hour program, including three required courses, six electives and a 3 semester hour capstone project. One graduate course is 3 semester hours.

Full-time students can complete the program in four semesters. Part-time students usually complete the program in six or seven semesters. At least 24 semester hours must be in graduate computer science courses. Up to 6 semester hours of graduate courses in areas outside of computer science may be taken as electives with the written approval of the Graduate Program Director. At least 24 semester hours must be completed in residence at Hofstra. A minimum 3.0 average with a grade of C or better in all courses is required.

Required Fundamental Courses - Semester Hours: 9


To complete the 30-semester hour program requirement, students select from the computer science graduate offerings (which include up to two independent study courses) or approved electives in other departments. For the complete list of graduate courses see the course listings within this Bulletin.

Required Capstone Experience

CSC 300 Independent Project, 3 s.h.

The capstone experience (master’s project) should be in the chosen area of specialization. Students must have completed 18 semester hours of computer science graduate course work prior to beginning their master’s project. Students should contact the graduate director as soon as they complete 18 semester hours and discuss a possible topic and elective courses that would prepare them for the master’s project. A student must have a project adviser and a project committee prior to registering for the project. A project proposal on approval from the adviser must be submitted to the graduate director. The project includes a written body of work and a presentation. The project is presented in a 15-minute presentation as part of a departmental colloquium.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of all program requirements.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in overall graduate course work.