The Computer Science Department at Northern Illinois University offers a Master's Degree in Computer Science. The degree consists of at least 10 graduate level courses and a comprehensive examination. For qualifying students, a Thesis option is available. Recent revisions to the curriculum have resulted in fewer required courses than in the past, a larger choice of electives, and a number of new courses.
A unique feature of our M.S. program is the (optional) emphasis on Enterprise Computing, which grows out of the department's long history of specialization in IBM mainframe computing, and is now expanding to include a broader range of topics. These topics are concerned with computing in the Enterprise environment and include Web services, testing, scalability, distributed processing, and internationalization, among others.
In addition to the M.S. degree program, the department is actively developing special programs, one in Computer and Network Security and the other in Bioinformatics (in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, the Biology Department at NIU, and other institutions of higher learning in the Northern Illinois area). The Bioinformatics program focusses on, but is not limited to, techniques and theory of Genome Annotation.
The department's curriculum reflects a useful balance between theory and practice. Many, if not most, courses involve substantial programming or design assignments. At the same time, the theoretical and intellectual content necessary for a deep understanding of concepts and a basis for future acquisition of new knowledge and skills are not neglected. The nature of the field demands that students be prepared for self-learning once they have graduated and are in the workplace or conducting research. Traditionally, NIU's strength has been in preparing students for careers in software development in business and industry; however, our new offerings in Security, Bioinformatics, and the Thesis option reflect an increased commitment to prepare interested students in research and further academic work.
Please explore the materials accessible on this section of the Web site to learn more about Computer Science at NIU.