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2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Applied Computer Science

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing section of this catalog.

Degrees Offered

The Master of Science degree in applied computer science is offered in the School of Computing. It provides a solid foundation in computer information systems for working professionals and those with prior experience in computer science and information systems.

The primary purpose of the program is to make educational opportunities available to the professional computing community in West Michigan and is intended for computer professionals who are already working in industry. Classes are offered fully online, in a hybrid format, or in-person in the late afternoon or evening in downtown Grand Rapids.

The program consists of 11 three-credit courses (33 credit hours), consisting of two content areas (nine credits each), electives, and either a Capstone course, a project course, or a thesis option. The content areas available are biomedical informatics, database management, distributed computing, information systems management, software design and development, and software engineering. The last two courses in the content area must be completed at Grand Valley State University.


The mission of the School of Computing is to provide the GVSU student community with the intellectual foundations and experiences necessary to use information technology effectively in their chosen careers.

To enable students to attain this goal, computing faculty members have two primary responsibilities. First, a solid conceptual foundation is required for a career in information technology. Second, direct, experiential knowledge of technology is necessary to be a productive user/producer of information technology.

To achieve these goals, we

  • work continuously to keep our curriculum relevant to our mission;
  • ensure that work-relevant experience is part of every class;
  • establish and nurture industrial contacts;
  • establish an integrated, supported co-op experience for computing majors; and
  • provide all students, regardless of their major interests, fundamental knowledge of computers and information processing.


In addition to the requirements listed in the Graduate Admission section, candidates must satisfy all of the following:

  • U.S. students with a GPA below 3.0 from all of their undergraduate coursework must contact the School of Computing for advising.
  • 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 three minutes) where you briefly describe your career goals, background experiences, and previous projects, including an explanation of how this program will help you achieve educational and professional objectives. Please be sure the video is available to people without needing to log in, and for at least a 90-day period after submission of your application.
  • After admission, students will take a placement test to determine prior computing knowledge. The results of the placement test will help in the creation of a plan of study.

Minimum Number of Hours for Graduation

Eleven three-credit courses (33 credit hours) comprise the Master of Science in applied computer science degree.

Program Location

Classes are offered fully online, in a hybrid format, or in-person in the late afternoon or evening in downtown Grand Rapids.

Program Requirements

The following programs are available:

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.