College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Applied Computer Science (ACS) program, a Purdue University degree, is designed to help individuals interested in advancing their knowledge of the computer field to meet their career goals, and to address the computing needs of employers in northern Indiana.

Applicants to the program should have strong undergraduate degrees in computer science, engineering, business, or mathematics. Applicants with another undergraduate degree and significant practical experience in the computer field may also be accepted.

As the name implies, the philosophy of the program is applied - stressing a hands-on approach, with emphasis on information analytics and software engineering. The newer, more advanced concepts of software engineering will emphasize the design of software systems with an engineering or applied approach. To meet the needs of working professionals, courses are offered in the evening.

General information about IPFW graduate programs are available at the IPFW Office of Graduate Studies.

Degree Requirements

Graduation requires 30 credit hours of approved graduate credit chosen with the guidance of a graduate advisor.

Core Courses

Six of the 30 credit hours should be selected from the following:

  • ACS 56000 Software Engineering

  • CS 58000 Algorithm Design Analysis and Implementation

  • CS 50300 Operating Systems or ACS 57400 Advanced Computer Networks. Either Operating Systems or Advanced Computer Networks can count toward this requirement, but not both.

Additional Requirements

Non-Thesis Option

To accommodate each student's individual needs, the remaining 24 credit hours are computer science electives. They should be chosen from the ACS and CS courses listed in the Graduate Bulletin. All of these courses have CS 260 and STAT 511 (or equivalents) as prerequisites unless stated otherwise. Many have additional undergraduate prerequisites. A limited number of other graduate courses in mathematics, engineering, and occasionally business may be approved on an individual basis.

Thesis Option

If the student wishes to conduct a substantial research project as part of their degree, they should consider the thesis option as part of their degree plan. This option would be particularly beneficial for students who wish to continue in research as part of their career path (e.g., additional graduate studies).

If choosing to complete a Master's thesis, the 24 credit hours beyond the core courses should consist of

  • a minimum of 18 credit hours chosen from the ACS and CS courses listed in the Graduate Bulletin. More information about fulfilling this requirement is stated in "Non-Thesis Option."
  • and a minimum of 6 credit hours of ACS 69800 – Research M.S. Thesis.

The student would need to find a faculty member to serve as their thesis project advisor. The faculty member and the student would identify a project (of mutual interest to the student and faculty member) to serve as the thesis project. Thesis projects are substantial, spanning at least two semesters. While working on the thesis project, the student will enroll in CS 69800 “Research M.S. Thesis,” which is a variable number of credit hours (typically 3-6 hours per semester, depending upon the project scope). At the conclusion of the project, the student will write the Master's thesis, describing the motivation for the project, the related research work, the project description, and the results of the project. The thesis is given to a committee of faculty members for review, who must approve the thesis, certifying it to be of good quality.

Course Information

For course descriptions and a list of planned course offerings, please visit our department course information page.

Financial Aid

There are a limited number of Graduate Teaching Aide positions available. These include a stipend and substantial fee remission. Generally they are not available to first-term students.

International Cooperation Agreement

IPFW is pleased to offer students from the International Institute for Information Science and Technology (Shanghai, China) the opportunity to earn a Master's degree in Applied Computer Science. (more information)