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Master of Applied Computer Science (ACSG)

The master of applied computer science (MACS) program is designed to further students' understanding of the computing technologies shaping our world today and to prepare students for sustaining a life-long 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 16 credit hours each semester or in three to four semesters by spreading the courses over a longer period. A master 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 of applied computer science degree requires 32 credit hours of graduate course work consisting of at least 20 credit hours at the 500-level and at most 12 credit hours at the 400-level.

Required Courses (20 Credit Hours from the Following, including ACSG-599)

ACSG 520 TCP/IP Architecture and Protocols (4)
ACSG 540 Programming Languages for the Web (4)
ACSG 561 Systems Analysis and Design (4)
ACSG 570 Computer Systems Security (4)
ACSG 591 Special Topics (4)
ACSG 599 Graduate Capstone Course (4)

Elective Courses (Select 12 Credit Hours from the Following)

ACSG 400 Current and Future Trends of the Internet (4)
ACSG 405 Project Management for Information Technology (4)
ACSG 425 Data Communications and Wireless Networking (4)
ACSG 430 Mobile Applications (4)
ACSG 435 Cloud Computing (4)
ACSG 450 Digital Forensics (4)
ACSG 455 Open Source Software (4)
ACSG 460 Special Topics (4)
ACSG 465 Usability and Design (4)
ACSG 545 Software Engineering (4)
ACSG 552 Advanced Database Topics (4)
ACSG 575 Information Ethics (4)
ACSG 592 Independent Study (1-4)
ACSG 593 Directed Study (1-4)
ACSG 594 Internship (varies)

MBA/MACS Program     

A master of business administration degree 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.

Courses

ACSG 400: Current and Future Trends of the Internet (4)   
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. Student's 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 (4)
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 2003 integrates topics from the course.

ACSG 425: Data Communications and Wireless Networking (4)
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 (4)
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 (4)
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 (4)
This course examines the techniques and tools of computer forensics investigations in civil and criminal venues. Topics include coverage of the latest technologies (including PDAs, cell phones, and thumb drives), civil procedures, criminal procedures, analysis techniques, reporting, professional responsibility, ethical considerations, and available software. Hands-on activities using the most common forensic tools are an integral part of the coursework.  Targeted projects and research are required.

ACSG 455: Open Source Software (4)
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 (4)
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 (4)
In this course, students learn the principles of user-centered design and how they can be effectively applied to building usable Web sites and Intranets. Topics covered are user profiling, data gathering, scenarios, and transitioning to final design.

ACSG 520: TCP/IP Architecture and Protocols (4)
This course provides a solid foundation for understanding the communication process of the Internet. Topics including 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: Programming Languages for the Web (4)
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 Web site. Server-side scripting enables the Web site 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 (4)
Prerequisite: ACSG 540 (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. Student's 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 552: Advanced Database Topics (4)
Prerequisite: an 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 561: Systems Analysis (4)
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. Student's 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 (4)
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 (4)
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 (4)
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 – 4)
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 – 4)
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
Student's 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 597: Graduate Capstone Proposal (0)
Prerequisite: admission to the program
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 proposal must be submitted to the program director within 10 weeks from the first day of classes. A proposal outline is available from the department. Course may be repeated as a prerequisite for ACSG 599. Pass/fail grade option only.

ACSG 599: Graduate Capstone Course (1 to 4)
Prerequisite: ACSG-597
To fulfill the requirements for this course the student may complete a pre-approved (see ACSG 597) thesis, project, independent/directed study, or internship. The student must submit and present a final thesis or culmination report in his/her final semester in the program.

( ) = credit hours / / = classroom hours

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