George Mason University

Computer Science and Information Technology

Academics

With computers entrenched in so many aspects of our lives, there are few career areas that can match the growth potential and wide range of opportunities in this field.  Beyond the daily use of digital devices in the workplace, social networking, health care, commerce and finance, and entertainment, there is scientific exploration in such areas as climate change, medical research, and artificial intelligence. You can work on individual projects, be part of a team, or both, in an intellectually stimulating environment that happens to pay very well.

Data Mining Advances Biology and Work of Clinicians

 Computer science associate professor Huzefa Rangwala says one of his projects related to bioinformatics works on the same principles as Netflix: Both make recommendations based on previous behaviors.

Rangwala employs data mining to analyze the behavior of bacteria in the human body, and to look at the whole spectrum of data in disease processes, from inflammatory bowel disease to obesity. The fun part, Rangwala says, is that while he is advancing computer science, he’s also advancing biology and medicine, and the work of clinicians.

Collaborating with chemists and others, Rangwala is working with "recommended molecules," taking data mining several steps forward, and inventing new computer software solutions to discover hidden patterns. "Data mining is not just looking for phone numbers," says Rangwala, “but exploring and discovering the unknown. It leads to many innovations in varied fields.”
 
Rangwala's work, like many of Mason's top researchers, is cross-disciplinary. He is collaborating with Siddhartha Sikdar, associate professor of bioengineering, on a National Science Foundation-funded project to develop a prototype for a prosthetic arm. The project focuses on amputees who have no forearms, and the team is striving to develop a device that duplicates complex movements of the arm and hand. "You have muscular signature remnants in your arm," explains Rangwala, "which can be found with ultrasound probes." The aim is to replicate the patterns in muscle movements using a combination of robotics, electrical engineering, and bioengineering.

Two people work on computers

Huzefa Rangwala, assistant professor in the Computer Science Department, confers with Nadine Kabbani, assistant professor in molecular neuroscience

  • Applied Computer Science, BS

    Applied Computer Science is a degree program for those students who want and need the knowledge and expertise of computer science to work in one of the many disciplines that require advanced computing techniques. The program offers four areas of focus:  bioinformatics, computer game design, geography, and software engineering. Some career paths are: Software consulting, Bio-informatics and data management, Graphics and game development, Defense software analysis.

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  • Bioinformatics Management, MS

    This degree addresses the regional and national need for technically trained managers who will be able to lead teams of bioinformaticians in both the public and private sectors. The degree combines a solid foundation in bioinformatics research, tools, and techniques, with the management skills needed to address the associated legal, ethical, managerial, and business issues.

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  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Graduate Certificate

    This graduate certificate program addresses the growing national and regional demand for trained computational biologists by combining a solid foundation in biotechnology with computational skills relevant to bioinformatics. With online and in-classroom courses, the flexibility of this certificate’s structure permits students to custom design their curriculum under an advisor’s guidance, making the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Graduate Certificate especially relevant for students employed in today’s diverse Northern Virginia high-technology workplace. Ideal candidates for this certificate are those who have a background in biological and computer sciences, and are currently working in or planning to enter the fields of biotechnology or bioinformatics. The certificate is also highly relevant for students who are interested in advancing their career goals but may not have adequate time available to undertake a graduate degree program.

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  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, MS

    In the field of bioinformatics and computational biology, specialists collect, store, analyze, and present complex biological data. Through this work, critical contributions are made to disease detection, drug design, forensics, agriculture, and environmental sciences through the combination of biological analysis and high-performance computing.

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  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, PhD

    Recent advances in molecular biology have produced an avalanche of data, including DNA sequences and genetic maps that cover thousands of genes whose functions are poorly understood or completely unknown. These advances are having profound effect on the biological sciences, and have resulted in the development of the new discipline of bioinformatics. Bioinformatics utilizes computational approaches to analyze patterns in biological data and to create complex models of biological activity, including attempts to elucidate the functions of genes and their interactions in genetic pathways. Widespread social benefits are expected from the exploitation of the wealth of new knowledge concerning the genetic mechanisms of life and related processes. The coming years will see major developments in medicine, functional genomics, and environmental sciences, as well as profound advances in our understanding of the fundamental processes of biology. These benefits are increasingly dependent on the application of advanced information technology to the analysis of biological information.

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  • CIO Graduate Certificate

    The CIO Graduate Certificate program helps information technology professionals gain core competencies to help them advance into executive level roles that manage IT resources and strategy within organizations. The program specifically focuses on: enterprise architecture and IT governance; management of information security; IT project management; managing IT investments; managing IT operations; and emerging technologies. Students must complete 15 credits. Those enrolled in the MS in Technology Management program will complete 14 of the required credits as part of the degree program.

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  • Communications and Networking, Graduate Certificate

    This 15-credit certificate program combines six foundation and nine specialization credits to give professionals increased competency in this complex and growing field. You’ll gain greater understanding of random processes in electrical and computer engineering and computer networks and protocols. Beyond these foundations, you’ll choose three elective subjects to build specialized knowledge. Course work is at the graduate level, and is creditable to and a great starting point for a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering. Anyone with a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, or engineering from an accredited university is eligible to take this certificate program.

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  • Computational Science, MS

    The master’s program in computational science addresses the growing demand for trained computational scientists and engineers, and data scientists. It combines a solid foundation in information technology skills with computational courses in a variety of scientific and engineering areas, where large-scale simulation, data analysis, and high performance computing play a central role.

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  • Computational Sciences and Informatics, PhD

    Computational science is defined as the systematic development and application of computing systems and computational solution techniques for modeling and simulation of scientific and engineering phenomena. Informatics is defined as the systematic development and application of computing systems and computational solution techniques for analyzing data obtained through experiments, modeling, database searches, and instrumentation. The interdisciplinary PhD in Computational Sciences and Informatics addresses the role of computation in science, mathematics, and engineering, and is designed around a core of advanced computer technology courses. The program's research and development activities in federal laboratories, scientific institutions, and high-technology firms afford students opportunities for employment.

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  • Computational Social Science, Graduate Certificate

    This certificate program is designed for students who seek training in computer simulation and related computational methods for analyzing social systems and processes. The certificate allows students with social science or computational backgrounds to acquire new knowledge and modeling skills to improve their qualifications and attractiveness to employers in government, academia, or industry. The core courses provide a common foundation; additional elective courses allow for a variety of student interests across diverse social domains. The program is open to all students with graduate standing at Mason and all students who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.

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  • Computational Social Science, PhD

    The computational social science PhD program prepares graduate students to be professional computational social scientists in academia, government, or business. The program offers an innovative interdisciplinary academic environment for systematically exploring, discovering, and developing skills to successfully follow careers in one of the areas of computational social science.

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  • Computational and Data Sciences, BS, Computational Science, Accelerated MS

    The BS degree in Computational and Data Sciences combines computational techniques and domain sciences to provide the technical skills and knowledge for investigating physical and social phenomena in a world driven by “big data”. Students are trained to perform modeling and simulation in the natural and social sciences, and in the analysis and mining of big data. Graduates with this degree are very competitive for employment in federal laboratories and high-technology firms.

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  • Computational and Data Sciences, BS

    The BS degree in Computational and Data Sciences combines computational techniques and domain sciences to provide the technical skills and knowledge for investigating physical and social phenomena in a world driven by “big data”. Students are trained to perform modeling and simulation in the natural and social sciences, and in the analysis and mining of big data. Graduates with this degree are very competitive for employment in federal laboratories and high-technology firms.

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  • Computer Engineering, BS, Accelerated MS

    Computer Engineering involves knowledge of hardware and software development. The students learn how to design new generations of computers, as well as embedded computing systems, such as those found in smartphones, cars, appliances, computer networks, smart factories, and the Internet of Things. The university offers highly qualified students in the Computer Engineering bachelor's degree program the option of obtaining an accelerated MS in Computer Engineering.

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  • Computer Engineering, BS

    The field of computer engineering can be described as a blend of electrical engineering and computer science. It is an amalgam of the computer hardware orientation of an electrical engineering program and the operating systems and languages of a computer science program. Computer engineers are involved in research, development, design, production, and operation of a wide variety of digital systems, from integrated circuits to computer systems and large-scale computer networks.

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  • Computer Engineering, MS

    Computer engineering involves knowledge of hardware and software development. The students learn how to design new generations of computers, as well as embedded computing systems, such as those found in smartphones, cars, appliances, computer networks, and smart factories. The computer engineering program offers the following specialization areas: digital systems design, microprocessor and embedded systems, digital signal processing, computer networks, and network and system security.

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  • Computer Science, BS, Accelerated MS

    Computer Science is the discipline concerned with the design, implementation, and maintenance of the computer software systems used in almost all other professions. Computer scientists must be well-grounded in the technologies needed for the acquisition, representation, storage, transmission, transformation, and use of information in digital form and must be capable of working closely with members of other professions associated with computing. Highly qualified students in the BS in Computer Science program have the option of obtaining an accelerated MS in Computer Science.  

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  • Computer Science, BS, Minor

    Computer Science is the discipline concerned with the design, implementation, and maintenance of the computer software systems used in almost all other professions. Computer scientists must be well-grounded in the technologies needed for the acquisition, representation, storage, transmission, transformation, and use of information in digital form and must be capable of working closely with members of other professions associated with computing. The minor is intended for those pursuing other undergraduate degree programs who feel the need to pursue computer science to complement their other studies.

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  • Computer Science, MS

    The Master of Science in Computer Science offers students the opportunity to combine a sound foundation in computer science with concentrated knowledge in the latest developments in particular areas. The graduate program leading to an MS in Computer Science prepares students for research and professional practice in computer science and related technologies. The program includes both fundamentals and advanced work in the areas of artificial intelligence and databases, programming languages and software engineering, systems and networks, theoretical computer science, and visual computing.

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  • Computer Science, PhD

    Doctoral study in Computer Science offers students the opportunity to combine a sound foundation in computer science with concentrated knowledge in the latest developments in particular areas. The program includes both fundamentals and advanced work in the areas of artificial intelligence and databases, programming languages and software engineering, systems and networks, theoretical computer science, and visual computing.

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  • Cyber Security Engineering, BS

    This BS program is focused on the cyber security engineering of integrated cyber-physical systems. This degree provides a foundation in cyber security engineering, and is most appropriate for students with a strong mathematics and science background. The program prepares graduates either for direct entry into a career in engineering or for graduate study.

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  • Data Science, Graduate Certificate

    This certificate program focuses on mastering a variety of basic computational skills to manage and analyze data. The coursework provides an accelerated introduction to concepts in modern analysis of data, including computer packages, graphics, databases, data analytics and their applications. The program is designed primarily for professionals in technical fields who seek to upgrade their expertise in data science and for prospective or currently enrolled master’s degree students.

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  • Digital Forensics, MS

    Digital forensics is a discipline addressing the collection, processing, and analysis of digital information so that this information can be admitted as evidence in a court of law. It is interdisciplinary in its nature with the inclusion of computer engineering, computer science, information technology, law, and ethics. Digital forensics is a key component in criminal, civil, intelligence, and counter-terrorism matters. The MS in Digital Forensics will prepare graduates for careers in law enforcement, various other branches of government, and in the corporate sector such as banking and finance by combining academic education with real-world practical techniques and by offering advanced training in analyzing digital evidence, in intrusion forensics, and in legal and ethical issues.

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  • Earth Systems Science, MS

    This program addresses the growing demand for trained professionals in the Earth sciences. The program emphasizes a research-oriented, global systems approach to studying the Earth and its systems--atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere, including their interrelationships and interactions with the biosphere. Emphasis is on the observation, measurement, and analysis of Earth’s systems. Most student research projects and theses will relate to geologic and geographic topics, however studies of related topics in earth science are welcome. Students completing the program are qualified to pursue careers that require knowledge of the basics of Earth systems science and the requisite tools, specifically pertaining to the area of Earth science that they choose to investigate.

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  • Earth Systems and GeoInformation Sciences, PhD

    The Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences, PhD (ESGS) is based on the integration of the scientific disciplines in geosystems, geography, geosciences, and geoinformatics. Students receive broad-based training in systematic geosciences and geography, as well as technical courses in computation and geoinformation sciences. The ESGS doctoral program represents a gateway to an academic career for some students; for others, it facilitates career advancement in the public sector or private industry.Graduates of the program will be qualified as lead scientists in a wide range of activities involving geoinformatics, geosciences, geography, geographic information systems,geospatial intelligence and remote sensing. The continual expansion of the NASA Earth observation satellite constellation, development of the geospatial data infrastructure at USGS, USGIF and other federal agencies, and the need to analyze Earth-oriented data to achieve environmental and economic objectives will ensure an on-going need for qualified scientists in these fields.

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  • Foundations of Information Systems, Graduate Certificate

    This certificate program is designed primarily for students who earned an undergraduate degree in an area other than information systems and are interested in acquiring solid foundations to pursue further education and a career in information systems, software engineering, information security and assurance, or a related discipline.

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  • Geographic and Cartographic Sciences, MS

    The Master of Science Program in Geographic and Cartographic Sciences is one of the top programs in the nation. The program focuses on techniques of compilation, display, and analysis of spatial data. The objective is to produce geographers with a solid understanding of the techniques of spatial data analysis and the ability to apply those techniques to a variety of issues. Program graduates are qualified to pursue careers in government and industry, or to proceed with doctoral-level studies.

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  • Geoinformatics and Geospatial Intelligence, MS

    This new MS program addresses the emerging demand for scientists trained in the collection, organization, analysis, and dissemination of information about physical features, man-made structures, moving objects, people, and events that are geo-referenced or geo-located. Focusing primarily on the computational approaches that support the synthesis and analysis of diverse types of data, we can identify and monitor complex events and phenomena that manifest themselves over space and time. While geospatial intelligence has a strong Department of Defense connotation, it also addresses the needs of a broader audience, ranging from intelligent navigation in urban spaces to emergency response systems for natural and man-made disasters.

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  • Geospatial Intelligence, Graduate Certificate

    Be the eyes of intelligence and analyse human activiity from satilites, remotely piloted vehicles and other methods. Learn to discern what is simply mundane activity on earth or potentially dangerous. Your certificate will make you extremely valuable to the military, national policy makers and civil users.

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  • Health Administration, BS

    The BS in health administration, certified through the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) prepares students to become managers in hospitals, clinics, community health, home care, long-term care, and managed-care organizations. Graduates can also find careers in physician practices, information technology, medical technology and supply organizations, advocacy organizations and professional associations, the insurance industry, and consultant services. Students will have knowledge of health care policy and business skills. Concentrations are offered in health systems management, assisted living/senior housing administration, and health informatics.

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  • Health Informatics and Data Analytics, Graduate Certificate

    This certificate prepares clinicians, health care managers and information technology professionals to develop and manage health information technology systems. Course work stresses the impact of technology on the quality of health care services. Students can focus on general health informatics or health data analytics. They can also participate in an optional practicum course.

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  • Health Informatics, MS

    The Master of Science in Health Informatics is offered through the Department of Health Administration and Policy in the College of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with the Volgenau School of Engineering. Students obtaining this degree will have had the required experience and received the highly specialized knowledge and skills needed to support the adoption and use of health information systems and analytic applications for a variety of clinical, administrative, and research purposes. Graduates are prepared for careers in the fields of health information systems, health data analysis, management and consulting in health information technology firms, and health care/service organizations and their business partners, as well as public health entities. Students will be familiar with emerging technologies and be prepared to analyze, design and manage evolving health information systems for a wide variety of clinical, administrative and research purposes.

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  • Health Information Technology, Minor

    Located within the Department of Health Administration and Policy, College of Health and Human Services, the minor in Health Information Technology introduces students, in a non-technical context, to the utilization of information management in health care management and policy. Students will examine the current and projected role of health information management in the delivery of health care and development of health policy and apply this information in a practical research endeavor.

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  • Information Security and Assurance, MS

    The Department of Computer Science’s MS degree in Information Security and Assurance prepares graduates to fill the current and future need for information security and assurance professionals. Graduates work in a wide variety of capacities, protecting the information systems of different types of organizations and supporting the nation’s information infrastructure. Students are provided with the general and technical knowledge and skills to understand the relationship between information security and advancing information systems technology. The program also provides a theoretical understanding of the science and methodologies for ensuring the secrecy and integrity of data, as well as the availability and legitimate use of data and information systems.

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  • Information Systems, MS

    This professional degree program focuses on the technical, managerial and policy issues associated with designing, building and maintaining information systems in organizations. Data, information and knowledge are crucial to the modern enterprise, and this program addresses both the theoretical and engineering aspects of specifying, designing, implementing and managing large-scale information systems.

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  • Information Technology Entrepreneurship, Undergraduate Certificate

    This certificate prepares IT and engineering students for a successful career as entrepreneurs in the area of information technology. They acquire a unique body of knowledge related to innovation, both on the information technology/engineering/inventive side and on the entrepreneurial side, which will give them a competitive advantage in the difficult market where only a few new companies are able to survive and grow. This certificate is designed for students who are working on or possess an undergraduate degree in information technology, computer science, engineering or a related domain and want to focus on IT innovation and entrepreneurship.

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  • Information Technology, BS, Minor

    Students learn to apply IT to support business processes. The degree produces graduates with strong problem-solving, writing, and communication skills. There is virtually no business or organization that doesn't rely on IT, whether it's analysis, programming, software testing or consultancy, to name just a few of the options open to you.

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  • Information Technology, BS

    The B.S. in Information Technology prepares students to apply IT support to business processes. The degree produces graduates with strong problem-solving, writing, and communication skills who successfully compete for technical employment as computer analysts, system engineers, network and system administrators, and are prepared for advanced study. The objectives of the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program relate to the abilities of the graduates several years after graduation.

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  • Information Technology, PhD

    The program encompasses all aspects of information technology and the branches of engineering most closely associated with information and engineering.  Our focus on the science, engineering, and technology of information processing complements and enhances traditional approaches to engineering that are more strongly based on the physical and material sciences. The Information Technology PhD program is broad, and includes several specific concentrations.

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  • Information Technology, Undergraduate Certificate

    This certificate is designed primarily for those students who have earned a nontechnical bachelor’s degree or current undergraduate students who desire deeper knowledge than that which can be accomplished through the IT minor.  It allows students to supplement the knowledge gained through their major-related courses with a foundation of information technology (IT).

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  • Management of Secure Information Systems, MS

    Highly ranked by IT security practitioners, the MS in Management of Secure Information Systems is an interdisciplinary cyber-security management program offered by the School of Business, Volgenau School of Engineering, and the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs. Designed for mid-career professionals actively engaged in the cyber security field, you will complete the program in 16 months of Saturday classes and participate in a weeklong global residency. Gain the leadership and management expertise you need while addressing the specific technology and policy challenges of modern information systems and networks.

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  • Remote Sensing and Earth Image Processing, Graduate Certificate

    The Remote Sensing and Earth Image Processing graduate certificate (RSEIP) emphasizes advanced remote sensing and Earth-observing, building in students the skills needed to take advantage of the enormous increase in the availability and use of remotely sensed data related to the Earth. Ideal candidates for this certificate are students with a background in Earth and environmental sciences and are working in or planning to enter into the field of remote sensing, Earth observing, or image processing. Core coursework consists of remote sensing, earth images processing, and hyperspectral imaging systems, while electives include photogrammetry, earth science data analysis, and physical principles of remote sensing. Completion of the certificate will enhance graduates’ remote sensing careers and/or additional graduate work.

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  • Software Engineering, Minor

    The minor in Software Engineering teaches students to design and build high quality software, a valuable asset for engineers, mathematicians, and scientists interested in working in a variety of fields that increasingly demand strong software writing skills. Coursework focuses on modeling physical processes, programs to solve complex numerical problems, visualization of complex phenomena, and solving mathematical systems. The strong communication and analytical skills developed while earning this minor contribute to student success in a wide variety of professional careers as well as graduate education.

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  • Web-based Software Engineering, Graduate Certificate

    This graduate certificate program provides knowledge, tools, and techniques to those who are working in or plan to work in software engineering but do not want to complete requirements for a master’s degree in the field. The certificate may be pursued concurrently with any of the graduate degree programs in the Volgenau School.

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