Master of Applied Computer Science

The Master of Applied Computer Science Program (MACS) is designed to further students' understanding of the computing technologies shaping our world today and to prepare students for sustaining a lifelong contribution to a technology-related career. The MACS program provides students with a theoretical and practical understanding of important areas in the computing field.

This program may be completed in two semesters by completing 18 credit hours each semester or in three to four semesters by spreading the courses over a longer period. A master's of business administration (MBA) degree may be completed by taking an additional 24 graduate credit hours from the Graham School of Management, which can be completed in one additional year.

Entrance Requirements

The MACS program is designed for students with a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. However, a student with a non-computer-related degree may substitute relevant work experience as a prerequisite for entry into the program. College graduates who have not worked or studied in a computing field may become eligible for the program by addressing their deficiencies either by taking courses at Saint Xavier University prior to their enrollment in the program (a conditional acceptance will be considered), or by providing documentation that they have completed similar courses at another institution. Students wishing to pursue this option should consult with the program director.

Students with no experience in programming will be required to gain proficiency in one programming language (for example, Visual Basic, C, Java or C++) prior to acceptance into the program. In some cases a student may be required to complete an introductory computing course. Please contact the program director for advice on fulfilling these requirements.

Program Requirements

The master's degree in applied computer science requires 36 credit hours of graduate course work consisting of at least 15 credit hours at the 500-level.

Required Courses (15 credit hours)

Choose five from the following 500-level courses:

Elective Courses

Select additional credit hours from the following courses:

MBA/MACS Program

An MBA may be completed by taking additional 24 graduate credit hours from the Graham School of Management. Therefore, a competent student may complete both degrees in two years. Consult the Graham School of Management for specific courses and procedures.

Course Descriptions

ACSG 400: Current and Future Trends of the Internet (3)

This course provides a forum for the in-depth analysis of leading edge technology such as multimedia, wireless technology, global data access and consideration of Web 2.0 theories. Students will perform detailed searches on assigned topics and provide presentations on topics of interest. Most classes are an examination and critique of leading-edge technology in an internet connected classroom. Coverage of career development in emerging fields in Internet-related jobs and a framework for understanding how current trends will drive future development is established.

ACSG 405: Project Management for Information Technology (3)

In this course, students develop an understanding of project management and how it improves the success of information technology projects. Project management terms and techniques such as the triple constraint of project management, knowledge areas, process groups and the life cycle are illustrated. The course provides coverage of tools and techniques of project management such as selection methods, work breakdown structures, network diagrams, critical path analysis, critical chain scheduling, cost estimates and earned value management. Motivation theory and team building as part of the information systems organization structure is considered. A small project described from some case examples and solved using Microsoft Project 2007 integrates topics from the course.

ACSG 425: Data Communications and Wireless Networking (3)

This course provides an overview for the fundamentals of data communications for wired and wireless networking. Topics include: analog and digital transmission, transmission media, encoding techniques, multiplexing, flow control, error control, packet switching, circuit switching, wireless LANs, cellular wireless networking and emerging wireless technologies.

ACSG 430: Mobile Applications (3)

Currently, there is rapid growth in the number of mobile devices being used with correspondingly high demand for good apps for phones and tablets on all platforms. In this course students will research the characteristics of a good app, then learn how to create one. As a culminating project, students will plan, design and build a fully functional app.

ACSG 435: Cloud Computing (3)

*Prerequisite: Introductory course to networking
This course provides an overview for the fundamentals of cloud computing. It describes the delivery model of how IT resources including applications, computing and storage are provided as services, releasing consumers from owning the physical resources and paying for unused services. It describes the concepts of Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Topics include cloud computing architecture, design, use cases, deployment and management.

ACSG 450: Digital Forensics (3)

This course introduces students to the techniques and tools of computer forensics investigations. Students will receive step-by-step explanations of how to use the most popular forensic tools. Topics include coverage of the latest technology, including PDAs, cell phones and thumb drives. Many hands-on activities are included which allow students to practice skills as they are learned.

ACSG 452: Advanced Database Topics (3)

*Prerequisite: Introductory database course
As a second course in database theory and design, it begins with a quick review of database fundamentals, including ER modeling techniques, normalization, SQL and implementation issues. Course topics include: data storage techniques, indexing, query processing and optimization, transaction processing, concurrency control, administration, security, data mining, data warehousing, distributed databases, internet databases and XML.

ACSG 455: Open Source Software (3)

This course covers the installation, configuration and basic operation of the LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP) environment and other open source software. LAMP has become a common environment in business. Instructional modules in this course serve as a necessary introduction to the use of the Linux operating system and provide basic functional familiarity with software used in other courses for database, web service and scripting.

ACSG 460: Special Topics (3)

Special Topics of significance emerging in the field of computer science are covered. This course may be proposed and organized from within the University or by outside-recognized professionals who wish to contribute to the program and its studies.

ACSG 465: Usability and Design (3)

In this course, students learn the principles of user-centered design and how they can be effectively applied to building usable websites and intranets. Topics covered are user profiling, data gathering, scenarios and transitioning to final design.

ACSG 520: TCP/IP Architecture and Protocols (3)

This course provides a solid foundation for understanding the communication process of the Internet. Topics include: TCP/IP protocol suite, TCP/IP layered architecture, classful and classless addressing, IPv6, ARP, RARP, UDP, TCP, SCTP, unicast and multicast routing protocols, TELNET, FTP, TFTP, HTTP, SMTP, POP, IMAP, WAN technologies, mobile IP, multimedia over IP, compression, congestion control, flow control, and security issues.

ACSG 540: Web Development (3)

This course will enable students to create dynamic web applications using both client-side and server-side scripting technologies. Client-side technologies are necessary for validation of form data and interaction with visitors to the website. Server-side scripting enables the website to interact with other computer application systems such as email and databases. Topics include HTML, Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript, Java Applets, Active Server Pages and Database access through the web.

ACSG 545: Software Engineering (3)

*Prerequisite: ACSG 540
*NOTE: Concurrent registration in ACSG 540 and ACSG 545 is acceptable.
This course addresses the foundations, methodologies and tools for developing high-quality large-scale software systems, with an emphasis on the technical issues of software development. Students in this course will work in groups through all stages of the design process (requirements, specification, design, code, and test) as they design and implement large-scale projects.

ACSG 555: Data Mining and Warehousing (3)

This course focuses on the design and implementation of data mining systems and introduces the student to all aspects of the data mining process, from preprocessing to information retrieval. Current algorithms and OLAP technologies are covered. Applications in a variety of settings and industries are introduced and discussed.

ACSG 556: Data Visualization (3)

This hands-on course is an introduction to the principles and techniques of data visualization, and will include the identification of patterns, trends and differences from data sets across categories, space, and time. Students will learn appropriate visual representation methods and techniques that increase an audience’s understanding of complex data and models and enhance human comprehension, communication, and decision-making. Graphical methods for specialized data types will be presented.

ACSG 561: Systems Analysis (3)

The course material encompasses the concepts, tools and techniques required to analyze and design business information systems. It includes structured development approaches and the system development life cycle, as well as rapid application development through alternative approaches. Emphasis will be given to the role of information systems in organizations and how they relate to organizational objectives and structure. Students will be introduced to modeling tools such as data flow diagrams, entity-relationship diagrams, data dictionaries, decision tables, decision trees, structured English, use cases and structure charts.

ACSG 570: Computer Systems Security (3)

This course is concerned with the planning, deployment and security of Web services. Topics include: hardware and software selection, fundamentals of secure configuration and maintenance, site organization, intrusion detection, and hardening of systems, hacking, the nature of malicious attacks, resources for improving computer security, backup procedures, and documentation techniques.

ACSG 575: Information Ethics (3)

This course is an introduction to ethical theories and the tools of ethical analysis is followed by the study of ethics issues in privacy, security and intellectual property. Topics include: database and Internet ethics, electronic surveillance, plagiarism, and electronic voting. Readings will be drawn from classical computer ethics literature, journals, news media and contemporary books that address these topics.

ACSG 591: Special Topics (3)

Special Topics are offerings developed to examine emerging issues of significance in the field. This course may be proposed and organized from within the University or by outside-recognized professionals who wish to contribute to the program and its studies.

ACSG 592: Independent Study (1-3)

*Prerequisite: Admission to the program
Independent study isintensive individualized study related to a topic in the field. Study goals are outlined, reviewed and agreed upon by the student and faculty member. A written contract is developed. A final report or project is mandatory from the student to the faculty member. Pass/fail grade option only.

ACSG 593: Directed Study (1-3)

*Prerequisite: Admission to the program
Directed study is a course offered by a non-traditional method or a non-traditional educational institution that does not offer university credit or employer related training. The student is responsible for putting sufficient documentation on file with the advisor to receive credit. Pass/Fail grade option only.

ACSG 594: Internship (varies)

*Prerequisite: Admission to the program
Students will work for a semester in an agreed upon career position. The employer will be expected to put a letter on file with the program advisor documenting the proposed professional contribution the student is making to the organization. The employer must supply an evaluation at the end of the internship period. Pass/fail grade option only.

ACSG 599: Graduate Capstone Course (3)

*Prerequisite: Admission to the program and department approval
This course covers the formal development of a proposal and written contract for a thesis, project, independent/directed study, or internship. The proposal must be for an intensive individualized study related to a topic in the field. Study goals are outlined, reviewed and agreed upon by the student and faculty. The student must submit and present a final thesis or culmination report for final evaluation and approval by the department.