M.S. Computer Information Sciences

Computer & Information Sciences



Master of Science in Computer Information Sciences (CISC)

The 36 semester hour master degree in Computer Information Sciences provides a solid foundation in the fundamental areas of computer science and cyber security. The program includes courses to acquaint the student with current advances in the discipline, and their applications in business, health care and other areas. The ability to devise a solution and execute it is the heart of the practice of this program. Designing such solutions requires creating efficient computation, which involves the integration of few key design notions of data representation, algorithms, programming, and knowledge in systems, data security, and software engineering in one unified framework. A graduate of the program is able to integrate business, interpersonal and team skills, and the computational skills that lead to a professional employment and prepare them for the doctoral studies in the field.

Program Goals

A successful student of the program gains the following skills (vary according to the degree/concentration taken):

• Ability to manage, interpret, and analyze model large data sets, and employ computer science algorithms and methods to real-world problems where custom software solutions often need to be created;
• Ability to employ modern software engineering processes (such as object-oriented analysis, design and implementation);
• Proficient in the use of one or more scripting languages (such as Python, R, Java, C, etc.) or one of scientific and statistical analytical software packages (such as R, MATLAB, XLMiner, SPSS, Statistica DataMiner, etc.);
• Ability to effectively utilize distributed and high-performance computing to analyze large data sets, as is knowledge of networking technology and internet protocols;
• Have a high level of motivation, be independent and dedicated, possess strong interpersonal and managerial skills and have outstanding analytical ability; and,
• Have excellent teamwork skills and have strong scientific communication skills.


A bachelor’s degree (BA / BS / BE) in computer science or a related technical field (e.g., electrical and computer engineering, information science, operations research) typically suffices.

Applicants who have majored in other fields are absolutely encouraged to apply provided they have demonstrated knowledge of the following subjects:

  • Introductory level Programming Topics include program structure and organization, object-oriented programming (classes, objects, types, sub-typing), graphical user interfaces, algorithm analysis, recursion, data structures, simple graph algorithms. Any programming language is fine.
  • Introductory level Linear Algebra Topics include properties of real numbers, problem-solving using equations and inequalities, algebraic functions, graphing, systems of equations and inequalities, polynomial functions and graphs, exponents and radicals, the binomial theorem, zeros of polynomials, inverse functions, and applications and graphs. Free on-line graphing and calculating utilities are used in lieu of a graphing calculator.     
  • Introductory level Calculus Topics include techniques to evaluate limits and covers continuity, special trigonometric limits, absolute value limits and differentiation of algebraic, trigonometric, logarithmic functions, intermediate value theorem, mean value theorem, and extreme value theorem. Other topics for exploration are application and formal definition of derivative average rate of change versus instantaneous rate of change, velocity, and the introduction of the definite integral and its applications.
  • Discrete Mathematical Structures Topics include mathematical induction; logical proof; propositional and predicate calculus; combinatorics and discrete mathematics; some basic elements of basic probability theory; basic number theory; sets, functions, and relations; graphs; and finite-state machines.


Computer Information Sciences Requirements

The following courses comprise the Master of Computer Information Sciences – 36 semester hours. The semester hour value of each course appears in parentheses ( ).


Complete all of the following core courses – 15 semester hours:
CISC 530 Computer Architecture (3)
CISC 560 Secure Computer Systems (3)
CISC 600 Scientific Computing I (3)
CISC 610 Data Structures & Algorithms (3)
CISC 620 Principles of Machine Learning (3)

Complete the following experiential courses – 6 semester hours:
GRAD 695 Research Methodology & Writing (3)
CISC 699 Applied Project in CISC (3)
GRAD 699 Graduate Thesis (3)

Complete one of the following concentrations (15 semester hours):

Computer Science Concentration:
CISC 601 Scientific Computing II (3)
CISC 603 Theory of Computation (3)
CISC 611 Network Operating Systems (3)
CISC 612 Elements of Computing Systems (3)
CISC 614 Computer Simulation (3)

Cyber Security Concentration:
CISC 661 Principles of Cybersecurity & Cyber Warfare (3)
CISC 662 Ethical Hacking Development Lab (3)
CISC 663 Cyber Risk Assessment & Management (3)
CISC 664 Advanced Digital Forensics (3)
CISC 665 Biometric security Systems (3)

Graduate Admissions Requirements for Non-International Graduate Students

Each applicant’s candidacy will be evaluated once all admissions materials have been received.

The graduate admission process for non-international students requires the candidate to:

  • complete the application online at HarrisburgU.edu/Apply;
  • submit final official undergraduate transcript(s) from the college or university at which a baccalaureate degree was conferred, and any other institution of higher education attended (whether or not academic credit was earned);
  • submit a personal goal statement including:
  • future goals: identify career/professional goals; and,
  • leadership or group contributions: describe examples of leadership experience in which you have significantly influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.
  • submit a hard copy resume or by email to Admissions@HarrisburgU.edu.
  • The University does not require the GRE/GMAT.

    International Graduate Student Admissions Requirements and Curricular Practical Training

    To receive information on the requirements for graduate admissions for international students, please email your request to CPT@HarrisburgU.edu  Click here for requirements for admissions and Curricual Practical Training!  All of the University’s graduate programs are STEM approved and Curricular Practical Training is offered.


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Address: 326 Market St, Harrisburg, PA 17101 | Phone: (717) 901-5100