Online Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences frequently asked questions

Curriculum questions

What kinds of skills can I develop while earning the online M.S. in Computer and Information Sciences?

The computer and information sciences master's program from the Department of Computer Science is designed to flexibly cover the many in-demand and practical skills used in modern computing environments. These may include software development and architecture, IT service management, operating systems technology, artificial intelligence, mobile systems, data analysis, data management, project and portfolio management, or cybersecurity analysis, architecture and management. The skills acquired by a student will be specific to the courses selected by the student.

What kinds of positions might someone earning this degree pursue?

There are many possible roles and titles that reflect technical competence or management responsibility for any of the various aspects of computing systems and technology. Among the most popular are: Software Analyst, Software Developer, Software Architect. Mobile Systems Analyst, IT Service Manager, IT Operations Manager, Business Development Manager, Data Analyst, Business Intelligence Systems Analyst, Data Architect, Cybersecurity Analyst, Cybersecurity Architect, Network Architect, Embedded Systems Analyst.

Are there prerequisites for this degree?

There are no prerequisites or required prior knowledge for those enrolling in the Career Changer pathway/specializations. The curriculum for Career-Changer pathway includes the initial 7-credit COSC 6500: Foundations of Computing course that develops the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to complete the degree.

Those applying to one of the other pathways are expected to have transcripts showing two computer science related courses, one on programming in a modern programming language (i.e., including object-oriented concepts) and the other covering data structures and algorithms or substantial professional experience that subsumes the topics and learning outcomes covered in those courses.

General admissions questions

How do I start my online application?

To start your M.S. in Computer and Information Sciences application, visit our graduate online application portal.

What if I forget my password?

Use the “Forgot your password?” link on the login page.

What if I have problems while completing the application?

If you need assistance with the application, please contact your Admissions Advisor at 844-640-0408, or email us at onlineMSComputing@marquette.edu.

For step-by-step instructions please review:
how to apply to the Online M.S. in Computer and Information Sciences program

What if I cannot find my undergraduate school listed on the application?

Occasionally, institutions do not appear on the list of schools from which you can select in the online application. If this happens to you, please proceed with submitting your transcript; we will update the list of institutions on your application once we receive your transcript.

Can I save my application and work on it later?

Yes, the application will save automatically when you leave the page.

What are the application requirements?

  • Completed online application form
  • $50 application fee
    • A waiver is available if the applicant attends an information session or is a Marquette University alumni member.
  • Current and previous transcripts from colleges and universities attended (excluding Marquette)*
    • Note: Unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application; once admitted, final official transcripts from past academic institutions will be required
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0
    • If your GPA is less than 3.0, significant work experience, supported by references attesting to the experience, will be considered for admissions decisions
  • Statement of purpose outlining reasons for seeking admission to this program, career goals, possible areas of interest, relevant work experience or education
  • Three letters of recommendation from those familiar with your abilities, academic work or professional background, knowledge and skills
  • International applicants only: official TOEFL score report (minimum 80 on the Internet-based version) or other acceptable proof of English proficiency

Download an application checklist

*Upon admission, final official transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities, with certified English translations if original language is not English, must be submitted to the Graduate School within the first five weeks of the term of admission or a hold preventing registration for future terms will be placed on the student’s record.

Do I need to provide my GRE score for the MS in Computer and Information Sciences program?

No, the GRE is not required for admission to the online computer and information sciences master’s program, but we will review scores if provided.

Does Marquette need to receive all application materials by the application deadline?

Flexibility is provided, as possible. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Admitted students may begin their program in spring, summer or fall. All application materials must be received before your chosen term in time for review.

We will consider incomplete applications on a case-by-case basis for reasons that may include delay in test score reporting, formal transcript delivery, or letters of recommendation that were mailed rather than emailed. If this occurs, we will evaluate whether an application decision can be made for the chosen term.

Do you accept e-transcripts sent directly from the issuing institution?

Yes. Please have the institution send electronic transcripts to gradadmit@marquette.edu.

Where can I mail my transcript?

Hard copy transcripts can be mailed to:

Marquette University Graduate School
1250 W. Wisconsin Ave, Room 205
Milwaukee, WI 53233

Can I submit a hard copy of my application? If so, what email address should I use?

Yes. Hard copies of application documents can be scanned and sent to gradadmit@marquette.edu.

Do I need to submit copies of all my transcripts, even if I only took one course at an institution?

Yes, please submit copies of transcripts from all current and previous colleges you attended.

How long does my personal statement need to be?

While we do not prescribe a length for your personal statement, please ensure it addresses the following:

  • Your previous computer coursework including programming, data structures and algorithms, or equivalent experience. If you do not have relevant coursework reported on transcripts, please explain alternative experiences. Not having these academic or professional experiences may indicate that you should consider applying for the career-change path
  • Your career goals and how you envision this degree helping you achieve those goals
  • Your interest in the field of computer and information sciences (and the cybersecurity specialization, if relevant) and reasons for seeking admission to this program
  • List and describe any relevant professional and/or community activities in which you are currently or have previously been involved
  • List and describe any distinctions, honors or awards that you have received for your academic, professional or civic duties
  • If you are an international student seeking admission without formal testing of English language skills, describe the use of the English language in your prior studies or employment experiences

Who should I ask for letters of recommendation?

Your letters of recommendation preferably come from close professional or academic contacts who can best speak to your potential for future success in the program and in a future computing career role.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. Financial aid, which is typically not merit-based, is occasionally available to incoming Computer and Information Sciences students. For information to see if you might qualify and how to apply contact your Admissions Advisor at 844-640-0408 or email us at onlineMSComputing@marquette.edu.

Does Marquette University accept tuition reimbursement?

Yes, but because tuition reimbursement is typically sent directly to students by the employer, please contact your employer first for information regarding tuition reimbursement. If your employer chooses to reimburse Marquette University directly please have them contact your Admissions Advisor at 844-640-0408 or email us at onlineMSComputing@marquette.edu.

When will I be notified of an admission decision?

Once all your application materials are received, you will usually be notified within one week.

Is the application deadline flexible?

Yes, when possible. For domestic students, the application deadline is more flexible, but the decision about when to start the program includes ensuring you have enough time to complete the online orientation and become acclimated with Marquette University before classes begin. International students should submit by the published deadline under all circumstances.

International student questions

Do you accept the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) for International Students?

Yes. The minimum IELTS score for admission to Marquette University is 6.5 overall and in each of the four categories. Visit marquette.edu/grad/english-proficiency.php for more information.

Do I have to submit IELTS/TOEFL scores if I have earned a degree from a U.S. institution or an Enlgish language institution?

No. IELTS/TOFEL scores are not required if you have earned a degree from a U.S. institution or a international institution that uses English as the primary language for instruction. We waive the IELTS/TOEFL checklist item when we see that an international student earned a degree at an institution where the language of instruction was English.

If I earned my bachelor’s degree outside of the U.S., what official documents does Marquette require from me for the M.S. in Computer and Information Sciences?

Foreign transcripts that are issued in a language other than English must be submitted as an official transcript and accompanied by a certified English translation. Please note that evaluations such as those from WES and ECE are not official transcripts, but are considered official translations.

Does Marquette accept TOEFL scores issued more than two years prior to applying?

TOEFL scores earned beyond two years prior to your application date may be considered on a case-by-case basis, but acceptance is not guaranteed. You can use your Statement of Purpose to provide justification for older scores. If you have questions, please contact your Admissions Advisor at 844-640-0408, or email us at onlineMSComputing@marquette.edu.

Is F-1 visa sponsorship available to online students?

No. Marquette cannot issue Form I-20 for online degree programs, but it does so regularly for international students attending classes on campus.

Online experience questions

Why should I choose an online program?

Marquette University’s M.S. in Computer and Information Sciences was designed to make practical education about the various in-demand aspects of IT and computing available to those seeking professional advancement. The online program provides online students the same high-quality educational experiences as their on-campus counterparts, providing easier access to education through a style that is often more convenient to working professionals and those with significant responsibilities. The program is designed to be completed on either a full-time or part-time basis and accessible for those with or without prior formal education in computer and information sciences.

Is it possible to complete this program while also working a full-time job?

Yes. To support you, we connect you with a dedicated Student Success Coordinator to offer assistance as you plan your schedule and navigate the program in a way that meets your specific needs. Additionally, you may be able to earn credits for applying what you have learned in the classroom to your professional role.

Approximately how many courses should I expect to complete each year?

Students wishing to graduate in two years will typically take 7 credits of coursework (usually two courses plus a seminar) in each semester and include a summer session in their academic plan.

Students on the Career Changer pathway will have one additional 7-credit course to complete at the beginning of the program, but may complete within two years using two summer terms and receiving credit for an initial work experience

How much time each week should I be spending on my coursework?

The weekly time commitment will vary based on course assignments. In general, you can expect to spend about 4-5 hours per week for each credit in which you are enrolled.

For example, for a typical 3-credit course you can expect to spend approximately 12-15 hours per week on coursework (including readings and other assignments). You can also expect that some of that time will be spread out throughout the week as you will spend time on readings, viewing recorded materials, discussions, developing projects and other assigned activities with your classmates.

Is this a self-paced program?

Courses are not fully self-paced. In each course students complete assignments that include participating in discussions and submitting written assignments by particular deadlines, usually on a weekly basis. You will choose which and how many courses you will take each term and pace yourself to complete the assignments by the deadlines.

How will I interact with my classmates?

You will interact with your classmates in our intuitive online learning system, D2L, which includes discussion boards that promote conversations between students and their professors about course topics. Our one-credit online seminar explores current technology topics and provides extensive student interaction through weekly discussions. Many courses also have other collaborative components, such as group projects or opportunities for synchronous interaction.

Will I be expected to log on to my computer at the same time as the other students and instructor?

The online computer and information sciences program has synchronous and asynchronous components. If a course includes sessions in which course participants log on at the same time (a synchronous session), information about those sessions will be communicated at the beginning of the course. Our computer and information sciences faculty are recognized by U.S. News and World Report with a 97% score for student engagement. We have been using synchronous sessions for student interaction for many years and our faculty are adept at using such technology to its greatest benefit. The deadlines for asynchronous assignments and discussion participation will also be communicated well in advance to allow students to pace themselves through the course obligations. The structure of courses in the M.S. in Computer and Information Sciences is intended to provide flexibility while promoting high-quality learning experiences. In many advanced courses, interactions with professors will be supported through synchronous team meetings to introduce skills and enhance active learning.

What are the technical requirements?

The minimum computer requirements for our online programs can be found here.

Will I be able to access my courses on my mobile device?

Yes. Many online courses, our supported technology, and our learning management system (D2L) are friendly to mobile devices.

Will the degree I earn be labeled an online degree?

You will earn a Marquette University Master of Science degree. Marquette University provides the same quality educational experiences across courses and programs regardless of mode of delivery. Your diploma will read "Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences,” without reference to mode of delivery ("online"). If you complete a specialization, it will be noted on your transcript.

​​What technology resources will you make available to me as an online student?

Marquette University student support applications such as our enrollment system (CheckMarq) and email and calendaring system (eMarq) are all accessible remotely. Marquette University also makes Microsoft Office 365 available to all students. In addition, specialized hardware and software in our many computer science laboratories are available through remote access. This includes labs with high performance computers, cybersecurity tools, machine learning, operating systems, databases, statistical analysis, virtual machines, and software development tools.

What support services will you make available to me as an online student?

You will be a Marquette University graduate student with access to virtually all the services that are available to graduate students on camp. Marquette University is proud to have an accessible campus and offer a blanket of services. Employment resources can be accessed through the Career Services Center while you are a student and after graduation. The Ott Memorial Writing Center will help you improve writing skills. The Raynor Memorial Libraries provides eBooks and online access to numerous research publications featuring the most reliable sources related to computing. Additionally, there are Student Educational Services, Disability Services, and IT Services, to name a few of the services we offer to support your personal development and education. Our many centers and institutes such as the Northwestern Mutual Data Sciences Institute, the Center for Cyber Security Awareness and Cyber Defense, the Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality, and the Center for Peace Making offer informational programs accessible to remote students. The Graduate Student Organization and student chapters of professional organizations (ACM and IEE) provide additional benefits and opportunities.
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27
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Fall 2022 term
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