This program presents an innovative approach to the integration of computer science with other disciplines that require expertise in computing techniques. These disciplines do not merely use computing but create new and interesting problems for computer scientists.

Policies

Advanced Placement, Credit by Exam

A score of 4 on the Advanced Placement (AP) computer science exam qualifies students for credit in CS 112 Introduction to Computer Programming. A score of 4 on the International Baccalaureate (IB) computer science exam qualifies students for credits in CS 112 Introduction to Computer Programming, and a score of 5 or more qualifies students for credit in CS 211 Object-Oriented Programming.

Change of Major

Students requesting a change of major to Applied Computer Science must meet with the Volgenau School of Engineering Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising, 2500 Nguyen Engineering Building. Students requesting a change of major to Applied Computer Science must have a GPA of at least 2.75 in computer science and math courses and successfully completed one of CS 112 or CS 211, and one of MATH 113,  MATH 114, or MATH 125, with a grade of B or better at Mason.  See Change of Major for more information. 

Grades

Students must earn a C or better in any course intended to satisfy a prerequisite for a computer science course. Applied Computer Science majors may not use more than one course with a grade of C- or D toward department requirements.

Program Requirements

For the BS ACS degree, students must complete 120 credits, including the Mason Core requirements. The program requires foundation, core, and concentration courses. These course requirements provide expertise in programming, computer systems, software requirements and modeling, formal methods, and analysis of algorithms.

Repeating Courses

Students may attempt an undergraduate course taught by the Volgenau School of Engineering twice. A third attempt requires approval of the department offering the course. This policy does not apply to STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core), which follows the normal university policy for repeating undergraduate courses.

The CS Department may not allow students to retake certain high-demand CS courses in which they have already earned a grade of C or better simply to improve their GPA.

Writing-Intensive Requirement

Computer science majors complete the writing-intensive requirement through a sequence of projects and reports in CS 306 Synthesis of Ethics and Law for the Computing Professional (Mason Core) and CS 321 Software Engineering. Faculty members provide feedback on students' expository writing.

Termination from the Major

No math, science, or Volgenau School of Engineering course that is required for the major may be attempted more than three times. Those students who do not successfully complete such a course within three attempts will be terminated from the major. Undeclared students in the Volgenau School who do not successfully complete a course required for a Volgenau School major within three attempts will also be terminated. 

In addition, students in the Volgenau School with evidence of continued failure to make adequate progress toward declaring or completing a Volgenau School major will be terminated from the school. Adequate progress is determined by the major program. For more information, see AP.5.2.4 Termination from the Major.

Once a student has attempted one of these courses twice unsuccessfully, the third attempt must be no later than the next semester of enrollment, excluding summers. Failure to take the course at that time will result in termination from the major. A third attempt of a Volgenau School of Engineering course requires support by the student's major department as well as permission by the department offering the course. This permission is not guaranteed. If the student is unable to take the course when required, the student may request an extension to a future semester; extensions require approval of the student's advisor, their department, and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs. The deadline for extension requests is the add deadline for the semester in which the course is required.

Students who have been terminated from a Volgenau School of Engineering major may not register for a Volgenau School course without permission of the department offering the course. This applies to all undergraduate courses offered by the Volgenau School except IT 104 Introduction to Computing (Mason Core) and STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core).

A student may not declare any major in the Volgenau School of Engineering if the student has previously met the termination criteria for that major at any time, regardless of what the student's major was at the time the courses were taken.

Banner Code: VS-BS-ACS

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 120

Students must complete all foundation, core, elective, and communication requirements, and the requirements from one selected concentration.

Foundation

CS 110Essentials of Computer Science (Mason Core) 13
CS 112Introduction to Computer Programming4
CS 211Object-Oriented Programming3
MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
or MATH 123
MATH 124
Calculus with Algebra/Trigonometry, Part A
and Calculus with Algebra/Trigonometry, Part B (Mason Core)
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 125Discrete Mathematics I (Mason Core)3
MATH 203Linear Algebra3
Total Credits24

Note:

MATH 104 Trigonometry and Transcendental Functions, MATH 105 Precalculus Mathematics, MATH 108 Introductory Calculus with Business Applications (Mason Core), and courses with an IT designation (and any associated cross-listed courses) cannot be counted toward this degree.

Core

CS 262Introduction to Low-Level Programming3
CS 310Data Structures3
CS 321Software Engineering3
CS 330Formal Methods and Models3
CS 367Computer Systems and Programming4
CS 471Operating Systems3
CS 483Analysis of Algorithms3
Total Credits22

Elective

Select one CS course numbered above 400, except CS 4983
Total Credits3

Concentration in Bioinformatics (BNF)

Foundation

PHYS 160University Physics I (Mason Core)3
PHYS 161University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)1
BIOL 213Cell Structure and Function (Mason Core)4
CHEM 211General Chemistry I (Mason Core)3
CS 306Synthesis of Ethics and Law for the Computing Professional (Mason Core) 13
STAT 344Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I3
Total Credits17

Core

BINF 450Bioinformatics for Life Sciences4
BIOL 482Introduction to Molecular Genetics3
BIOL 580Computer Applications for the Life Sciences3
CS 450Database Concepts3
BINF 401Bioinformatics and Computational Biology I3
or CS 444 Introduction to Computational Biology
BINF 402Bioinformatics and Computational Biology II3
or CS 445 Computational Methods for Genomics
Total Credits19

Two Approved Electives Related to Bioinformatics

Select two approved electives (6 credits) related to bioinformatics with the student's advisor and approved by the CS department6
Total Credits6

Additional Mason Core

Oral Communication3
Public Speaking (Mason Core)
Fundamentals of Communication (Mason Core)
Written Communication3
Composition for Multilingual Writers (Mason Core)
Composition (Mason Core)
Advanced Composition3
Advanced Composition (Mason Core) (Natural Sciences section) 1
Literature3
Arts3
Western Civilization/World History3
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Global Understanding3
Total Credits24

Electives

Select 5 credits of electives5
Total Credits5

Concentration in Computer Game Design (CGDS)

Foundation

GAME 230History of Computer Game Design3
CS 306Synthesis of Ethics and Law for the Computing Professional (Mason Core) 13
CS 325Introduction to Game Design3
CS 351Visual Computing3
AVT 104Two-Dimensional Design and Color (Mason Core)3
STAT 344Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I3
Total Credits18

Core

CS 425Game Programming I3
CS 426Game Programming II3
CS 451Computer Graphics3
AVT 3822D Experimental Animation3
AVT 3833D Experimental Animation3
Total Credits15

Approved Elective Related to Game Design

Select one course from the following:3
Object-Oriented Software Design and Implementation
Object-Oriented Software Design and Implementation
Object-Oriented Software Design and Implementation
Computer Communications and Networking
Concurrent and Distributed Systems
Mobile Application Development
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Autonomous Robotics
Web Application Development
RS: Story Design for Computer Games
Entrepreneurship in the Arts
Sound Art I
Advanced Topics: New Media Art
Video Games and Japan
Total Credits3

Natural Science

PHYS 160University Physics I (Mason Core)3
PHYS 161University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)1
Select one additional lab science4
Total Credits8

Additional Mason Core

Oral Communication3
Public Speaking (Mason Core)
Fundamentals of Communication (Mason Core)
Written Communication3
Composition for Multilingual Writers (Mason Core)
Composition (Mason Core)
Advanced Composition 13
Advanced Composition (Mason Core) (Natural Sciences section)
Literature3
Western Civilization/World History3
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Global Understanding3
Total Credits21

Electives

Select 6 credits of electives6
Total Credits6

Concentration in Geoinformatics (GINF)

Foundation

CS 306Synthesis of Ethics and Law for the Computing Professional (Mason Core) 13
GGS 102Physical Geography (Mason Core)3
GGS 103Human Geography (Mason Core)3
GGS 110Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies3
GGS 300Spatial Quantitative Methods3
STAT 250Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)3
Total Credits18

Core

GGS 210Introduction to Spatial Computing3
GGS 310Cartographic Design3
GGS 311Geographic Information Systems3
GGS 379Remote Sensing3
Select 12 credits from the following:12
Data Analysis and Global Change Detection Techniques
Geovisualization
Satellite Image Analysis
Drone Remote Sensing
Physical Fundamentals of Remote Sensing
Remote Sensing of the Environment and Earth System
Web-based Geographic Information Systems
RS: GIS Analysis and Application
Special Topics in Geographic Techniques
Total Credits24

Additional Mason Core

Oral Communication3
Public Speaking (Mason Core)
Fundamentals of Communication (Mason Core)
Written Communication3
Composition for Multilingual Writers (Mason Core)
Composition (Mason Core)
Advanced Composition 13
Advanced Composition (Mason Core) (Natural Sciences section)
Literature3
Arts3
Global Understanding3
Western Civilization/World History3
Lab Science4
Total Credits25

Electives

Select 7 credits of electives7
Total Credits7

Concentration in Software Engineering (SWE)

Foundation

STAT 344Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I3
CS 306Synthesis of Ethics and Law for the Computing Professional (Mason Core) 13
Total Credits6

Core

SWE 205Software Usability Analysis and Design3
SWE 301Internship Preparation0
SWE 401Internship Reflection1
CS 332Object-Oriented Software Design and Implementation3
or SWE 332 Object-Oriented Software Design and Implementation
or SWE 419 Object-Oriented Software Design and Implementation
SWE 437Software Testing and Maintenance3
Total Credits10

SWE Related

Select 15 credits from the following:15
Database Concepts
Computer Communications and Networking
Comparative Programming Languages
Computer Systems Architecture
Secure Programming and Systems
Concurrent and Distributed Systems
Mobile Application Development
Industry-Sponsored Senior Design Project
Web Application Development
Software Architectures
Human Computer Interaction
Total Credits15

Cross-Disciplinary

ENGH 388Professional and Technical Writing3
Select one from the following:3
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Business and Professional Communication
Organizational Communication
Total Credits6

Additional Mason Core

Oral Communication3
Public Speaking (Mason Core)
Fundamentals of Communication (Mason Core)
Written Communication3
Composition for Multilingual Writers (Mason Core)
Composition (Mason Core)
Advanced Composition 13
Advanced Composition (Mason Core) (Natural Sciences section)
Literature3
Arts3
Western Civilization/World History3
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Global Understanding3
Natural Science7
Total Credits31

Electives

Select 3 credits of electives3
Total Credits3

Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science

Detailed four year plans and degree planning checklists can be found at https://advising.gmu.edu/current-student/majors-at-mason/.

CS Honors Program

The Department of Computer Science offers a CS Honors Program for students with strong computational foundations and the drive to delve deeper into computing. The program is based on the bachelor of science in computer science and applied computer science curriculum and is distinct from the University Honors College curriculum.

Entry Requirements

Students must be seeking a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or a Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science and must apply for entry into the CS Honors Program after completing 12 credits of CS courses. Applicants must meet the GPA requirements outlined below to enter into the CS Honors Program.

Honors Requirements

CS Honors Program students must fulfill all standard courses required by the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Applied Computer Science degree as well as the following additional requirements:

  • GPA Requirement: Students must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.50 and a GPA of at least 3.50 for courses which count towards the BS/CS or BS/ACS major including math, natural sciences, and all CS/SWE courses.
  • Research Project Requirement: Students must complete a significant research project prior to graduation. Students should seek out a CS faculty member willing to serve as their research advisor for the project. The project should comprise original work by the student and be demonstrated via two channels:
    1. a written project report that is approved by the student's research advisor and submitted to the department;
    2. a presentation of the project to an audience of students and/or faculty.
  • Advanced Course Requirement: At least two Advanced Courses must be completed.  A complete list of acceptable advanced courses is maintained by the CS department and is available on the department web site.

Applied Computer Science, BS/Computer Science, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in the Applied Computer Science, BS can complete both a BS-ACS and a Computer Science, MS in five years through the BS-MS accelerated (BAM) program.

General BAM policies are in the catalog under AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. Policies governing all graduate degrees are in the catalog under AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Students in the Applied Computer Science, BS program are encouraged to apply to the BAM program after earning 60 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30. Students must have successfully completed CS 310 Data Structures and CS 330 Formal Methods and Models.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students accepted to the BAM program may earn up to 12 credits of graduate coursework that count towards both the BS and MS degrees. They may begin taking graduate courses after completing 75 undergraduate credits and successfully completing CS 367 Computer Systems and Programming.

The following graduate courses can replace the corresponding undergraduate courses.

CS 540Language Processors (to replace CS 440)3
CS 550Database Systems (to replace CS 450)3
CS 551Computer Graphics (to replace CS 451)3
CS 555Computer Communications and Networking (to replace CS 455)3
CS 571Operating Systems (to replace CS 471)3
CS 580Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (to replace CS 480)3
CS 584Theory and Applications of Data Mining (to replace CS 484)3
CS 583Analysis of Algorithms (to replace CS 483)3
CS 587Introduction to Cryptography (to replace CS 487)3
SWE 619Object-Oriented Software Specification and Construction (to replace SWE 419)3
SWE 637Software Testing (to replace SWE 437)3
SWE 642Software Engineering for the World Wide Web (to replace SWE 432)3

Notes:

  • Students may not use both the graduate course and the undergraduate alternative for their BS degree.
  • Students must satisfy all recommended and required prerequisites for the graduate courses they take.
  • Students also have the option to take up to 6 additional credits of graduate coursework on reserve, which can be used for the MS degree only.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply for degree conferral the semester before they expect to complete their BS requirements. At the beginning of their final undergraduate semester, students must submit a completed Bachelor's-Accelerated Master's Transition form to the CS department office. The master’s degree will be conferred after the student completes the MS requirements.

Applied Computer Science, BS/Data Analytics Engineering, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in the Applied Computer Science, BS can complete both a BS-ACS and a Data Analytics Engineering, MS in five years through the BS-MS accelerated (BAM) program.

General BAM policies are in the catalog under AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. Policies governing all graduate degrees are in the catalog under AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Students in the Applied Computer Science, BS program are encouraged to apply to the BAM program after earning 60 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30. Students must also have successfully completed CS 310 Data Structures and CS 330 Formal Methods and Models.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students accepted to the BAM program may earn up to 9 credits of graduate coursework that count towards both the BS and MS degrees. They may begin taking graduate courses after completing 75 undergraduate credits and successfully completing CS 367 Computer Systems and Programming.

The following graduate courses can replace the corresponding undergraduate courses. For all students in the Applied Computer Science, BS program:

CS 584Theory and Applications of Data Mining (to replace CS 484)3

Students in the Software Engineering and Bioinformatics concentrations of the Applied Computer Science, BS program may also register for:

CS 550Database Systems (to replace CS 450)3

Students in the Computer Game Design and Geography concentrations of the Applied Computer Science, BS program may also register for one or both of the following courses:

CS 550Database Systems (to replace CS 450)3
CS 580Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (to replace CS 480)3

Notes:

  • For students in the Computer Game Design and Geography concentrations of the Applied Computer Science, BS program, one of the 500 level courses will count as an elective towards their undergraduate degree.
  • Students may not use both the graduate course and the undergraduate alternative for their BS degree.
  • Students must satisfy all recommended and required prerequisites for the graduate courses they take.
  • Students must still take the DAEN core courses (AIT 580 Analytics Big Data to Information, OR 531 Analytics and Decision Analysis, and STAT 515 Applied Statistics and Visualization for Analytics).
  • Students also have the option to take up to 6 additional credits of graduate coursework on reserve, which can be used for the MS degree only.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply for degree conferral the semester before they expect to complete their BS requirements. At the beginning of their final undergraduate semester, students must submit a completed Bachelor's-Accelerated Master's Transition form to the CS department office. The master’s degree will be conferred after the student completes the MS requirements.

Applied Computer Science, BS/Information Security and Assurance, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in the Applied Computer Science, BS program can complete both a BS-ACS and an Information Security and Assurance, MS in five years through the BS-MS accelerated (BAM) program.

General BAM policies are in the catalog under AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. Policies governing all graduate degrees are in the catalog under AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Students in the Applied Computer Science, BS program are encouraged to apply to the BAM program after earning 60 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30.  Students must also have successfully completed CS 310 Data Structures and CS 330 Formal Methods and Models.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students accepted to the BAM program may earn up to 12 credits of graduate coursework that count towards both the BS and MS degrees. They may begin taking graduate courses after completing 75 undergraduate credits and successfully completing CS 367 Computer Systems and Programming.

The following graduate courses can replace the corresponding undergraduate courses.

CS 540Language Processors (to replace CS 440)3
CS 550Database Systems (to replace CS 450)3
CS 551Computer Graphics (to replace CS 451)3
CS 555Computer Communications and Networking (to replace CS 455)3
CS 571Operating Systems (to replace CS 471)3
CS 580Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (to replace CS 480)3
CS 583Analysis of Algorithms (to replace CS 483)3
CS 584Theory and Applications of Data Mining (to replace CS 484)3
CS 587Introduction to Cryptography (to replace CS 487)3
SWE 619Object-Oriented Software Specification and Construction (to replace SWE 419)3
SWE 637Software Testing (to replace SWE 437)3
SWE 642Software Engineering for the World Wide Web (to replace SWE 432)3

Notes:

  • Students may not use both the graduate course and the undergraduate alternative for their BS degree.
  • Students must satisfy all recommended and required prerequisites for the graduate courses they take.
  • Students also have the option to take up to 6 additional credits of graduate coursework on reserve, which can be used for the MS degree only.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply for degree conferral the semester before they expect to complete their BS requirements. At the beginning of their final undergraduate semester, students must submit a completed Bachelor's-Accelerated Master's Transition form to the CS department office. The master’s degree will be conferred after the student completes the MS requirements.

Applied Computer Science, BS/Information Systems, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in the Applied Computer Science, BS program can complete both a BS-ACS and an Information Systems, MS in five years through the BS-MS accelerated (BAM) program.

General BAM policies are in the catalog under AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. Policies governing all graduate degrees are in the catalog under AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Students in the Applied Computer Science, BS program are encouraged to apply to the BAM program after earning 60 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30. Students must also have successfully completed CS 310 Data Structures and CS 330 Formal Methods and Models.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students accepted to the BAM program may earn up to 12 credits of graduate coursework that count towards both the BS and MS degrees. They may begin taking graduate courses after completing 75 undergraduate credits and successfully completing CS 367 Computer Systems and Programming.

The following graduate courses can replace the corresponding undergraduate courses.

CS 540Language Processors (to replace CS 440)3
CS 550Database Systems (to replace CS 450)3
CS 551Computer Graphics (to replace CS 451)3
CS 555Computer Communications and Networking (to replace CS 455)3
CS 571Operating Systems (to replace CS 471)3
CS 580Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (to replace CS 480)3
CS 583Analysis of Algorithms (to replace CS 483)3
CS 584Theory and Applications of Data Mining (to replace CS 484)3
CS 587Introduction to Cryptography (to replace CS 487)3
SWE 619Object-Oriented Software Specification and Construction (to replace SWE 419)3
SWE 637Software Testing (to replace SWE 437)3
SWE 642Software Engineering for the World Wide Web (to replace SWE 432)3

Notes:

  • Students may not use both the graduate course and the undergraduate alternative for their BS degree.
  • Students must satisfy all recommended and required prerequisites for the graduate courses they take.
  • Students also have the option to take up to 6 additional credits of graduate coursework on reserve, which can be used for the MS degree only.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply for degree conferral the semester before they expect to complete their BS requirements. At the beginning of their final undergraduate semester, students must submit a completed Bachelor's-Accelerated Master's Transition form to the CS department office. The master’s degree will be conferred after the student completes the MS requirements.

Applied Computer Science, BS/Software Engineering, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in the Applied Computer Science, BS can complete both a BS-ACS and a Software Engineering, MS in five years through the BS-MS accelerated (BAM) program.

General BAM policies are in the catalog under AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. Policies governing all graduate degrees are in the catalog under AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Students in the Applied Computer Science, BS program are encouraged to apply to the BAM program after earning 60 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30. Students must also have successfully completed CS 310 Data Structures and CS 330 Formal Methods and Models.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students accepted to the BAM program may earn up to 12 credits of graduate coursework that count towards both the BS and MS degrees. They may begin taking graduate courses after completing 75 undergraduate credits and successfully completing CS 367 Computer Systems and Programming.

The following graduate courses can replace the corresponding undergraduate courses.

CS 540Language Processors (to replace CS 440)3
CS 550Database Systems (to replace CS 450)3
CS 551Computer Graphics (to replace CS 451)3
CS 555Computer Communications and Networking (to replace CS 455)3
CS 571Operating Systems (to replace CS 471)3
CS 580Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (to replace CS 480)3
CS 583Analysis of Algorithms (to replace CS 483)3
CS 584Theory and Applications of Data Mining (to replace CS 484)3
CS 587Introduction to Cryptography (to replace CS 487)3
SWE 619Object-Oriented Software Specification and Construction (to replace SWE 419)3
SWE 637Software Testing (to replace SWE 437)3
SWE 642Software Engineering for the World Wide Web (to replace SWE 432)3

Notes:

  • Students may not use both the graduate course and the undergraduate alternative for their BS degree.
  • Students must satisfy all recommended and required prerequisites for the graduate courses they take
  • Students also have the option to take up to 6 additional credits of graduate coursework on reserve, which can be used for the MS degree only.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply for degree conferral the semester before they expect to complete their BS requirements. At the beginning of their final undergraduate semester, students must submit a completed Bachelor's-Accelerated Master's Transition form to the CS department office. The master’s degree will be conferred after the student completes the MS requirements.