Studying Computer Science at VIU
Virginia International University appears in our ranking of the Top 30 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs.
Through its School of Computer Information Systems, Virginia International University offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, as well as its Master of Science in Computer Science (MCS). The master’s program is meant to provide almost anyone with an interest in computer science the chance to study at the graduate level. The program teaches students to design and evaluate computer-based systems, as well as implement problem-solving strategies to common issues faced in the industry. Students with a variety of educational backgrounds may enroll in the program.
The total number of credit hours required in the program is 36, and those courses will come from a selection of core courses, program specialization courses, and elective courses. Some students may also need to complete program prerequisites. Core courses in the program include Computer Architecture & Implementation, Database Management Systems, Software Engineering, Design & Analysis of Algorithms, and Operating Systems. Within this graduate computer science program, students may choose from seven program specializations that include Software Applications Development, Intelligent Systems, Software Engineering, Networking, Data Management, Cybersecurity, and Computer Animation & Gaming.
Each specialization requires students to complete a capstone project, and students may also choose to complete a master’s thesis. New students must complete a series of prerequisites that include Database Concepts, Essentials of Networking, Programming II, Operating Systems, and Data Structures & Algorithm Analysis. Entry into the graduate program also requires that students have completed at least 120 credits in undergraduate work, and students who have earned a bachelor’s degree with fewer credits may choose to reach that threshold by taking undergraduate courses from the university’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BCS) program.
At the conclusion of study, students have many opportunities available for employment as computer scientists in a variety of industries. Virtually all businesses today rely on the expertise of individuals trained in computer science, and students may find work as System Programmers, Data Analysts, Computer Engineers, Network Engineers, or Network Administrators. Work is also available with job titles like Integration Engineer, Solutions Architect, Software Architect, and Technical Systems Analyst. The flexible nature of the degree ensures that students from many backgrounds may enter the graduate program and further their knowledge of computer science or accomplish a career change with advanced knowledge in the area.
Other graduate degrees offered by the university include a Master of Science in Information Systems Management, a Master of Science in Information Technology, a Master of Science in Information Systems, and a Master of Science in Computer Science. Students may also choose to earn a Graduate Certificate in Business Intelligence or a Graduate Certificate in Information Systems. Through its STEM Institute, Virginia International University also offers students the chance to enter a summer boot camp where students are introduced to various STEM disciplines and may attend events with distinguished speakers, as well as the International Conference on Computing and Technology, which is held each fall at the university.
About Virginia International University
Located in Fairfax, Virginia, Virginia International University is a private and non-profit college that offers on-campus degrees, online degrees, and additional services like continuing education classes and classes for test preparation. The school was founded in 1998 in Fairfax, and the first degree offered by the university was a Master of Business Administration (MBA). After receiving approval from Virginia’s State Council of Higher Education, the university would then expand to provide certificates and diplomas in a variety of areas. The first graduating class at the university was in 2006 where 20 graduates attended a ceremony in Fairfax. With more than 1,200 students today, the school has expanded quickly to accommodate the educational needs of Virginians, as well as students from around the country and the world.
Virginia International University Accreditation Details
At one time, Virginia International University was accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools; however, with the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to no longer recognize that agency, Virginia International University was given a grace period within which to find a new accrediting agency. New accreditation will ensure students may continue to receive financial assistance through the Federal Student Aid program from the government. The Council on Higher Education Administration (CHEA) currently recognizes the university. The school is also currently seeking regional accreditation and hopes to complete its search for a new accrediting agency by the middle of 2018 to satisfy the requirements of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the U.S. Department of Education.
Virginia International University Application Requirements
Undergraduate application requirements for on-campus students and online students are similar. Students must submit the school’s official online application form, an application fee of $20, and a copy of their U.S. government-issued photo identification. Students must also submit evidence of a high school diploma and possess a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. For admission as a graduate student, requirements are similar with the application, fee, and photo identification, but students must submit evidence of having earned a bachelor’s degree, as well as possess a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 on a scale of 4.0. Students applying to programs in the School of Public & International Affairs and the School of Education must also submit two official recommendations, a resume, and a statement of purpose.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Domestic students attending Virginia International University as undergraduates will pay $392 per credit and graduate students will pay $508 per credit. Online tuition is the same for students enrolled in its online education programs. International students will pay $422 per credit, TESOL students will pay $695 per credit, and international graduate students will pay $726 per credit. The university also estimates that students will pay around $100 per class for textbooks while they are enrolled and will pay around $12,000 for living expenses if they choose to reside in the Washington, D.C. area and attend classes at the Fairfax campus.
The university offers students several options for financial aid, including loans through the federal government’s official program. In addition to federal loans, grants, and work-study awards, students may also seek out scholarships from the university, as well as from independent organizations. Some students may also qualify for tuition discounts, and the school also offers special financial assistance to veterans of the United States military and their families. Virginia International University recommends that students visit resources like the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the U.S. Department of Labor for additional opportunities for financial aid for the Master of Science in Computer Science program.