Jun 20, 2024  
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Networks, M.S.

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Computer Networks (M.S.) 45 units

Program Description

The Department of Computer Science offers graduate study leading to the degree of Master of Science in Computer Networks. The program provides opportunities for students to gain a deeper understanding of the basis for computer networking technology and its application to communication infrastructures. It is designed to offer both a theoretical background and practical experience beyond that covered in typical undergraduate degree programs. A theoretical background to support hands-on learning is imperative as the computer network industry and its technologies are transitory and rapidly evolving. Students can expect to have a number of different job classifications during their working lives.

The area of computer networks requires a variety of skills including knowledge and experience with computer network protocols, routing algorithms, network congestion control, error handling, network management, data compression and encryption, switching algorithms, operating systems principles and practices, computer architecture, and software development. Computer network theory rests upon engineering principles and concepts that draw upon mathematics and physics.

Our program features small classes that allow for close contact between students and faculty. Many graduate classes are offered in the late afternoon or early evening, making it possible for working students to attend. Courses toward the M.S. degree may also be taken during the summer quarter. Students may begin their studies in any one of the four quarters.

Students interested in the M.S. degree program in Computer Networks should speak with the Computer Networks Graduate Coordinator.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a Master’s degree in Computer Networks will be able to:

  1. Exhibit mastery of advanced computer science theory as applied to the field of computer networks.
  2. Employ current techniques, skills, tools, and coding practices necessary for application and system development.
  3. Apply critical thinking and problem solving skills by analyzing problems, designing solutions, and evaluating results.
  4. Demonstrate communication skills in both written and oral form, and work in a team environment.
  5. Independently acquire new computer related skills through analysis of current computer science literature and industrial practices.

Career Opportunities

  • Network Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Network Administrator
  • Network Applications Programmer
  • Web/Multimedia Manager
  • Webmaster
  • Network Security Administrator
  • Programming Team Member, possibly specializing in Design, Testing, or Documentation
  • Computer Network Support
  • Computer Sales Representative
  • Customer Support
  • Technical Writer
  • Teacher/Professor


The faculty of the Computer Science Department hold doctorates in a wide variety of areas. They have a strong commitment to high quality teaching, and have interests in fields such as wireless and mobile networking, network security, data compression, computer graphics, numerical analysis, compiler design, computer simulation, parallel programming, computer architecture, automata, multimedia, cryptography, computational complexity, language design and implementation, graph theory, microcomputer architecture, and database systems.


There are multiple PC labs around campus as well as wireless network access. The department runs a grid computing laboratory and has classrooms equipped for computerized demonstration.


Each year the department awards several scholarships for the subsequent year. Scholarship applications may be obtained from the department office during the Spring quarter.


To apply for admission to the Master of Science program in Computer Networks, a student must submit the proper forms, fees and transcripts to the university’s Office of the Registrar, which reviews each application initially. The department then reviews the application, making the decision whether to accept or reject the applicant. Each applicant must have their scores on the general portion of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) submitted directly to the department. Submission of scores on the Computer Science portion is optional.

A student wishing to enter this program typically has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science or in a related field, with courses in Computer Science as indicated below, and must have a grade point average of 2.75 in all undergraduate work and a  3.00 grade point average in the Computer Science Core courses listed below.

Computer Networks Admission Requirements

  • Successful completion of equivalents to all the following mathematics requirements is also required.

Mathematics Requirements for Admission

   An upper division course in probability or statistics

A student who has not met all of the above course requirements may

A student who has not met all of the above course requirements may be admitted to the program at the discretion of the department as a “Conditionally Classified Graduate” student, provided the student’s record clearly demonstrates the capability of meeting all these requirements.

No more than 20 quarter units taken while in “Conditionally Classified Graduate” status may be applied to the degree. Note that courses used to make up deficiencies for admission may not be applied toward the master’s degree. A “Conditionally Classified Graduate” student who has no course deficiencies, a “B” or better average in at least 12 quarter units of post-baccalaureate study, and has satisfied the University Writing Skills Requirement should petition the graduate coordinator for admission to the master’s degree program with “Classified Graduate” status. A maximum of 13 units taken as an “Unclassified Post-baccalaureate” student may be applied to a master’s degree.

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to Candidacy is a university requirement for graduation for a master’s degree program. A student with “Classified Graduate” status may apply for Advancement to Candidacy after completing at least 16 quarter units towards the master’s degree with a “B” average, including at least two 6000 level Computer Science courses with a “B” or better average.

Before being Advanced to Candidacy, a student’s complete course of study must be approved by the Computer Networks Graduate Committee.


Degree Requirements

At least 45 quarter units of approved upper division and graduate work. Of these, at least 26 units must be approved graduate (6000- level) courses. All work toward the 45 units must be at an average grade of “B” (3.0) or higher. Grades below “C-” will not be counted as prerequisites or toward the degree. Note: see the Errata chapter of this catalog for degree requirement changes.

The following departmental requirements are in addition to the university requirements noted below.

Breadth Requirements (16 units)

Four courses selected from the following:

Note: Some of the breadth requirement courses contain prerequisites that are not included in the program admission requirements.

Elective Courses (12 units)

Any graduate course in Computer Science may be applied to this category. Any Computer Science course numbered 3000 (except CS 3898) or higher, provided it has not been already applied toward a B.S. degree or toward prerequisites for admission. This restriction includes equivalent courses from other degree programs; exceptions require the approval of the Computer Networks Graduate Committee.

Capstone Experience (5 units)

The capstone experience consists of a project, normally involving a team of students, and an individual formal document from each student. Projects must be approved by a designated faculty committee and sponsored by a faculty advisor.

Course Descriptions

Use this link to see all Course Descriptions  available throughout this catalog.

Other Graduate & Post-Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

In addition to departmental requirements, every student must also satisfy the university requirements for graduation as described in the Graduate/Post-Baccalaureate Admission and Degree Information  chapter in this catalog. These include the 32-unit residence requirement, the five year rule on currency of subject matter, the minimum number of units of 6000-level courses, the 3.00 grade point average, and the University Writing Skills Requirement. For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website at www.csueastbay.edu/testing or call 510.885.3661.

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