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LAKERS TOGETHERGrand Valley is preparing for successful learning experiences when classes resume on Aug. 31. Learn more about the plan for fall in this handbook.



Applied Computer Science, M.S.

The Master of Science in applied computer science at Grand Valley State University is designed to help computing professionals expand their knowledge and opportunities for advancement in the field.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Job Growth in West Michigan
GVSU ranking as a West Michigan Talent Provider
Average Annual Wage for CIS Professionals

Source: EMSI, 2020

Program Overview

The applied computer science graduate program is a hybrid of computer science and information systems, and incorporates topics from both disciplines, providing flexibility in tailoring a graduate degree.

Why Study Applied Computer Science at Grand Valley?

Computing professionals who want to take their expertise or career to the next level can take advantage of Grand Valley's highly-credentialed and well-connected faculty.

  • All graduate faculty members hold doctorate degrees.
  • Instructors are active in professional societies.
  • Many faculty members have written textbooks.
  • The program uses an applied computing curriculum.
  • Competent advisors are available to all students.
  • The School of Computing and Information Systems has its own dedicated state-of-the-art computer labs for hands-on equipment. A premier data communications lab and computer architecture lab are also available.

Location & Format

Classes for graduate students in this major meet downtown on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

  • Face To Face


The M.S. in applied computer science curriculum includes content areas for depth of study, electives for breadth, and a capstone project/thesis. Specialization in content areas include:

  • Biomedical informatics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Database management
  • Distributed computing
  • Info systems management
  • Web and mobile computing
  • Software engineering

Career Options

Computer science professionals are in demand regionally and nationwide. According to 2020 EMSI data, job opportunities are projected to grow 11% in West Michigan and 8% in the U.S. by 2024. These jobs include:

  • Computer programmer
  • Network administrator
  • Software engineer
  • Web domain administrator
  • Web programmer/developer
  • Systems analyst
  • International organizations

Combined Degree Programs

Skills Employers Want

The M.S. in Applied Computer Science degree at GVSU will develop the skills you need to land the job you want. Whether the skills are advanced or general, you will build a resume of qualifications that are sure to attract employers. The following skills correlate with those pulled from actual job postings in computing.

  • Agile Software Development
  • Information Systems
  • SQL (Programming Language)
  • Business Process
  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Requirements
  • Project Management
  • Budgeting
  • Auditing

Source: EMSI, 2020

Application Deadline

Deadline for fall semester is July 1; winter is November 1; and spring/summer is April 1. The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to Grand Valley State University. Please visit

Admission Requirements


  • U.S. students with a GPA below 3.0 from all of their undergraduate coursework must contact the School of Computing and Information Systems for advising.
  • For Fall 2020 applications only, letters of recommendation are NOT required. Submit acceptable recommendations from at least two individuals attesting to the likelihood of the candidate's successful completion of the program.
  • Submit a resume detailing work experiences and accomplishments.
  • Submit a link to a video (no more than 3 minutes) where you briefly describe career goals, background experiences, and previous projects, including an explanation of how this program will help you achieve educations and professional objectives. Please be sure the video is available to people without needing to login, and for at least a 30 day period after submission of your application.
  • After admission, students will take a placement test to determine their computing knowledge. The results of the placement test will help in the creation of a plan of study. 
    • If you don't have an undergraduate degree or prior experience in computing, we will work with you to develop a plan to reach your goals. Please contact the graduate program director to set up a time to talk.

Additional requirements can be found here.

For More Information

School of Computing and Information Systems
C-2-100 Mackinac Hall
(616) 331-2060

Graduate Admissions Office


“I enjoy working with my students. Grand Valley gives me a chance to make a difference in my students' lives and open their minds to concepts and approaches that are new to them.”



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