Apr 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Rivier University Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Rivier University Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science

The graduate programs in Computer Science educate highly qualified students for successful careers in the field of computing. Our graduates assume active roles in the research, development, production, and management of computing environments. The Computer Science graduate programs equip students with a solid understanding of the theoretical underpinning of the computing discipline, and with significant practical experience of computer technology.

To ensure that our graduates are properly prepared for the demands of the workplace, the graduate program involves meaningful industry participation through faculty members who are professionals working in computing research laboratories and high-tech industries within the Greater Nashua area, or are actively engaged in industry-sponsored research.

The graduate program has state-of-the-art computing support through the CANVAS™ Learning Management System environment and the Virtual Desktop infrastructure. By partnering with Dell Computer Corporation and Microsoft, the campus provides up-to-date technology in the Academic Computing Center laboratories and electronic classrooms. Students have access to Windows, Linux, and UNIX operating systems. Lab and classroom computers provide programming development environments for Java, C/C++, Python, SQL, R, Perl, Scheme, and Prolog, among other languages. Software systems (e.g., Oracle, OPNET IT Guru, Visual Paradigm, ArgoUML, McCabe IQ, OpenGL, ARENA, etc.) are also available to enhance the academic experience with the best professional practices in specialty areas such as database management, computer graphics, architecture simulation, software engineering, networking technologies, and intelligent systems.

Master of Science Degree Program

The purpose of the Master’s program is to provide students with advanced disciplinary knowledge and skills and valid professional practices. The program is structured to serve prospective students with diverse academic backgrounds and professional experience, and thus offers two tracks of course of study. The highly-or cross-trained student track is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in computer science or related areas, such as Mathematics, Physical and Life Sciences, and Engineering. The retraining student track is designed for students with a non-technical undergraduate degree and with limited mathematical background.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission to the graduate programs in Computer Science are required to follow the general guidelines for the application process presented in the Admission Process section in this catalog. Prospective students applying to a degree program must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Submit official transcripts of an undergraduate degree awarded and any other relevant academic credits. International students must send transcripts to a transcript evaluation service in the United States approved by the Office of Admissions. The service should be requested to evaluate the student’s transcript and degree awarded, and provide a course by course evaluation.
  • Provide one letter of recommendation from an individual with whom the applicant has studied and/or under whose immediate supervision the applicant has worked in a professional capacity; and/or from others who are in a position to offer pertinent appraisal of applicant’s academic and interpersonal skills, ability, and potential.
  • Provide a “Statement of Purpose” (see application form for content).
  • Provide evidence of English proficiency if a language other than English is the applicant’s native language. Please consult Admission Process section of this catalog.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Design and implement moderately large software systems.
  • Collaborate in project teams efforts to develop a software system following the software development life cycle principles.
  • Pursue professional career paths in computer science to obtain an entry level position or improve on their current employment situation.


For admission into the Master’s program, students must demonstrate competency in the following five knowledge areas:

  • College-level mathematics
  • Discrete mathematics
  • Programming Fundamentals
  • Computer Organization
  • Data Structures and Algorithms

Knowledge areas which have not been satisfied at the time of entrance into the graduate program become additional requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to fulfill all conditions at the earliest possible time, and prior to accumulating 18 graduate credits. Typically, students in the highly- or cross-trained student track have met these requirements prior to the beginning of the program. Students in the retraining student track need to complete one or more requirements. Students demonstrate competency in the five knowledge areas by satisfying ONE of the following requirements:

  1. Produce undergraduate transcripts that document passing grades in courses related to the five knowledge areas, or
  2. Earn a passing grade in the following foundation courses:
    • Calculus I and Calculus II
    • Discrete Mathematics, or Placement Exam
  3. Pass a Placement examination in the required knowledge areas, or
  4. Produce graduate transcripts in a related field of study, such as Mathematics, Computer Sciences, Information Technology, Natural Sciences, or Engineering.

Placement exams are given by arrangement. Failure on passing the exams automatically requires that students register for the corresponding prerequisite courses. Students interested in taking Placement exams should consult with the program director.


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