Master's & Graduate Certificate Online Orientation

Welcome to the College of Computing & Software Engineering (CCSE)! We are very excited that you have chosen to complete your Master's degree or a certificate with us. Kennesaw State University (KSU) is a part of the University System of Georgia and offers Bachelors', Masters', and Doctorate degrees along with a variety of graduate certificates. KSU has two main campuses - Kennesaw, GA and Marietta, GA. The College of Computing & Software Engineering faculty and staff are located at the Marietta campus.

We offer classes completely online, completely on campus, or a combination of both. You may be able to complete all of your requirements 100% online, do some online and some on-campus, or do all your classes on-campus (International students on an F-1 or J-1 visa have restrictions). This orientation is designed for all students in all CCSE Master's and Graduate Certificate programs, regardless of how you intend to take your classes.

If you have questions after completing this orientation, please contact your program coordinator.

Once again - welcome to CCSE, and we look forward to working with you to achieve your academic and professional goals!


Create a Study Plan for Your Program

Expand your program area and review the contents. Print a copy your curriculum sheet. Curriculum sheets change every year, so it is important that you are following the correct sheet for your catalog year. Catalogs follow academic years, which run Fall (August) - Summer (July). Your catalog year is dependent on when you start; E.g. if you start in August of 2024, January of 2025, or May of 2025 you will follow the 2024-25 catalog year.

It is highly recommended to create a two-year study plan using the template below. The template contains general information, tips, and example plans of study for you to reference. Please complete a study plan and send the completed plan to Ms. Melinda Ross (Graduate Student Support Director for AI, CS, DSA, IT or SWE), Ms. Gina Gavin (MS Cybersecurity Program Coordinator) or your program coordinator for verification. Feel free to contact them if you need help with your study plan as well.

You may use the Course Forecasts to confirm when the classes required for your program will be offered over the next year. 

Study Plan Template
  • The MSAI program at KSU stands as Georgia's second program of its kind. As an innovative, 30-credit hour interdisciplinary graduate program, you’ll be supported to excel with advanced knowledge in the rapidly evolving domain of AI. With an emphasis on experiential learning and problem solving, KSU’s MSAI will introduce you to in-depth studies of AI core principles and technologies.

    The MSAI program consists of 10 courses. Four are required courses (12 credit hours) & six are arranged based on which program track you select:

    Thesis track: CS 7999 Thesis (6 credit hours taken over multiple semesters), CS 7998 Research in Computer Science, and 3 AI Elective courses.

    Capstone track: AI 7993 AI Capstone (3 credit hours) and 5 AI Elective courses.

    If you have an undergraduate degree in a noncomputing discipline and do not have experience or prior coursework demonstrating programming competency, you may be required to complete two 5000-level courses in the foundations of programming and data structures & algorithms in addition to the 10 courses required for the MSAI. Please speak with the program director if you are unsure whether you need to take these courses or not.

    2024 MSAI Curriculum Sheet
  • The MSCS program focuses on the algorithms and development of computing systems that requires more in-depth background in mathematics. The MSCS is right for you if you are interested in programming and development of small to large computing systems in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Data Sciences, High-Performance Computing, Networks, or other similar areas. Typical job titles for MSCS graduates are software/application developer, application and/or system programmer, research scientist, etc.

    The MSCS program consists of 30 credit hours (10 courses). Two core courses are required in addition to choosing an MSCS program model option:

    A) Professional Model: designed for students who plan to advance their knowledge in computer science and apply their knowledge to industrial applications. A total of 8 courses are chosen from elective course options. You may choose to complete 1 concentration area or a combination of any elective courses, for a total of 24 credit hours.

    B) Thesis Model: designed for students who plan to conduct computer science research under the supervision of faculty members in selected areas. You will take CS 7998 Research in Computer Science, CS 7999 Thesis (taken over multiple semesters), and 5 elective courses. You may choose to complete 1 concentration area or a combination of any elective courses, for a total of 15 credit hours.

    Current available concentrations are Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, or Cyber and Network Security.

    2024 MSCS Curriculum Sheet
  • The MSCYBR program is ranked one of the 15 best online master's in cybersecurity degrees by Fortune Magazine. Our cybersecurity program does more than just teach career-ready skills; we equip you with the tools to advance as a leader in the fast-growing field of cybersecurity.

    The MS in Cybersecurity program consists of 30 credit hours (10 courses). 9 core courses are required for all students, and the last course is either CYBR 7910 Capstone in Cybersecurity Practicum or CYBR 7930 Capstone in Cybersecurity Management.

    2024 MSCYBR Curriculum Sheet
  • The MSDSA program is a professional degree which seeks to prepare a diverse student body to utilize cutting edge applied statistical methods to enable correct, meaningful inferences from data obtained from business, industry, government and health services. The use of a wide variety of commercial software will be emphasized to ensure graduates can effectively analyze real-world data.

    The Data Science & Analytics Master's program is 36 credit hours total. It is comprised of

    • Four required courses (12 credits)
    • STAT 7220 Applied Experimental Design or STAT 7125 Design and Analysis of Human Studies (3 credits)
    • 2 Electives chosen from a list of 8 class options (6 credits)
    • 6-9 credit hours of a required project, which may be completed by taking STAT 7916 Cooperative Education, STAT 7918 Internship, and/or STAT 7940 Applied Analysis Project. You may take any of these courses multiple times.
    2024 MSDSA Curriculum Sheet
  • The Master of Science Degree in Information Technology (MSIT)   enhances career options for current and future IT professionals in the management, performance and integration of information technology systems.

    The MSIT program consists of 30 semester hours (10 courses): 1) four required courses (12 hours); 2) two program options.

    Option 1: IT 7993 IT Capstone (3 hours) and 15 hours of electives.  

    Option 2: IT 7999 Thesis (6 hours over 2 semesters) and 12 hours of electives. 

    Students without a computing background are required to take up to four additional IT foundation courses, which cover fundamental areas of information technology: database, operating systems and networking, programming and web development.  If you are required to take the foundation course(s) check the Graduate Program Decision Comments for the course(s) you must take.

    2024 MSIT Curriculum Sheet
  • The MSSWE program prepares students to design and build high-quality software and exposes them to the latest developer technologies, tools, and state-of-the-art practices.  As a Software Engineer, you will be involved in research, design, planning, architecture, development, test, implementation, and release phases. Compared to CS, MSSWE specializes in large-scale software development. MSSWE is suitable if you like a hands-on approach to coding and building software systems. Common job titles are Software Engineer, Solution Architect, UI/UX Designer (Front-end developer), Back-end Developer, and Full-stack Developer. 

    The MSSWE program is a total of 30 credit hours or 10 courses. 5 courses (15 credit hours) are Core Software Engineering courses all students must take. You may choose between 2 program options:

    1) Capstone Option - take SWE 7903 Software Engineering Capstone and 4 elective courses

    2) Thesis Option - take SWE 7803 Master's Thesis for a total of 6 credit hours (usually taken over 2 semesters) and 3 elective courses.

    2024 MSSWE Curriculum Sheet
  • In addition to our 6 Master's of Science programs, we offer 8 graduate certificates. These certificates may be taken as a stand-alone program or embedded in an MS program, where curriculum allows. Depending on your prior computing experience or undergraduate degree field, you may be required to take some or all of the courses in a foundations certificate prior to moving on to a Master's program.

    All graduate certificates are 12 credit hours.

Getting Registered

As a new student at Kennesaw State University, you will need to do a series of steps before you can get registered.

  • You will be automatically assigned a registration time ticket within 24-48 hours of being accepted. You can find your time ticket in your Owl Express account. You can register for your courses during the period assigned by the time ticket.
  • Remember the Study Plan you created using the information above? Have that handy to use as a reference for the classes you will be searching and registering for. You may also write down or copy/paste the class(es) you've planned to take for this coming term into another document to isolate them and quickly reference the right course(s). Detailed instructions and a how-to video is in the next section of this area.

    Before registering for classes, it's critical to understand a few things:

    • The "Subject" of a course is determined by the prefix part of the course number. E.g. For the course IT 6203 IT Design Studio, "IT" is the subject. When you put it in the search field to look for classes, it should bring up "IT-Information Technology" which you will click on to select.
    • The "Course Number" part of a course are the 4 numbers immediately following the subject. E.g. In IT 6203 IT Design Studio, "6203" is the course number.
    • On the schedule of classes, there will be a "Section Number" associated with each instance of a course being taught. If the section number includes a "W" in it, e.g. W01, this means it's an online course.
    • Each instance of a class being taught has a unique number identifier called a "CRN" or Course Reference Number. If you encounter any registration errors and need to contact someone for assistance, we will usually ask you for the CRN of the course you're having trouble with. Make sure you have that CRN ready to give to us.
    • When reviewing the schedule of classes/browsing classes, you will see under "Meeting Times" there's a row of boxes that have "S | M | T | W | R | F | S". If any of these boxes are blue/filled in, that means you will be meeting on that day.
      • The first "S" is Sunday
      • "R" is for Thursday
      • The second "S" is Saturday
    • You can find detailed information about a specific section of a course by clicking on the title of the one you're considering registering for. Class details include such things as the course description, any prerequisites or corequisites, restrictions, or special attributes, fees, etc. 
  • You need to use Owl Express to register for classes.

    • Obtain and activate your NetID if you have not yet done so.
    • Log in to Owl Express.
    • Using your curriculum sheet in which you have identified the courses you need to take, determine the subject and course number of the classes you need to register for. E.g. for the course CS 5000 Foundations of Programming, the subject will be 'CS-Computer Science' and the course number is 5000. 
    • Watch this video on how to register for step-by-step instructions and helpful information.  You may pause playback to follow along if you wish. If you prefer written instructions:
        1. Once you're logged in to Owl Express you will click the 'Registration' link/tab to bring up the registration menu.
        2. Click 'Register for Classes' and choose the term you are registering for.
        3. You should then see a page that is split into 3 sections: Find Classes/Enter Your Search Criteria, Schedule, and Summary.
        4. Using the subject and course number of a class you previously identified on the curriculum sheet, you will enter the subject in the Find Classes/Enter Your Search Criteria field that says 'Subject', then type in the course number in the next form field titled 'Course Number'. You may enter additional search criteria if you wish.
        5. Click the 'Search' button.
        6. The screen should refresh with course options currently available. Review the details of each section (such as Meeting Times, Campus and Status). If the Status of the course says "0 of 30 seats remain", that means the course is full and you will not be able to register for that section.
          1. You can also click on the title to see more detailed information about that course and section.
        7. Once you have chosen the section of the course you want to register for, click the 'Add' button that is in the right-most column of the grid/table.
        8. This will populate that section in the Schedule Details and Summary areas, with the status of 'Pending'.
        9. Make sure '**Web Registered** ' is selected in the Action dropdown list in the Summary area.
        10. Click the 'Submit' button.
        11. The status of the course in the Summary area should change to 'Registered' with a green background if there are no errors.
        12. You are now registered for the class! Repeat this process for each course you wish to add.
    • If you encounter issues with registration (holds or errors), check out this page on the Registrar's website to find more information and how to resolve them.
    • If the class you'd like to register for is full/closed, you may get on the wait list for it. To wait list, you will follow the same instructions as registering for a class, but select 'Wait list' from the Action dropdown in the Summary section of the Register for Classes page and click submit. The course's status should show 'Waitlisted' instead of 'Registered'.
      • If you sign up on a wait list, you are not actually registered for the class.
      • You'll have 18 hours from the time you're notified via email sent to your KSU email address to go in and switch from being waitlisted to 'Web Registered'. If you do not register within that 18 hours, you will be automatically deleted from the wait list.
    • You may alternatively find classes by clicking on the 'Browse Classes' link on the Registration menu in Owl Express and write down the CRNs and course information before going into the 'Register for Classes' screen, clicking the tab titled 'Enter CRNs', and putting all the CRNs in at one time. 

    If you encounter errors you can't resolve yourself, have a hold or can't find an open class for a course you absolutely must take in the semester you're registering, please contact Melinda Ross (for AI, CS, DSA, IT & SWE) or Gina Gavin (for CYBR). Make sure that you include your 9-digit KSU ID number and the issue you're having in your email (if it's a registration error, include what the error says).

Buying Books & Course Management Site

Graduate IT courses are using zero-cost-to-student learning material. There is no need to buy textbooks for those classes. 

  • You may check to see if there's textbooks assigned and what they are for your courses after you have registered for classes - to do that, you may either

    • On the Browse Classes/Class Schedule Search in Owl Express, you can see what kind of textbook (if any) is assigned to individual courses by clicking on the title of the section you're looking at registering for, and then clicking "Attributes" or "Bookstore Links". If the attributes say "NoCost $0 req'd textbooks ZNCM", that means there may be a textbook provided at no cost to you through the course management site/D2L.
    • On Owl Express, click 'Student Services' then 'KSU Bookstore' and select the term you're preparing for and click submit. This will automatically pull up any assigned books you may have as long as you're registered for classes in the term you've chosen.
    • Visit and check out the submenu for 'Textbooks' in the navigation menu. You may shop for physical textbooks, digital textbooks, compare prices online and more!
    • If you have any questions about your textbooks (or if there is a required/recommended one), you may also contact the instructor for the course to ask them about it.
  • The learning material of classes are hosted on our course Management site, D2L Brightspace. You can login to D2L through the Current Students page which lists many services and resources available to students on both campuses and online. The login credentials are your NetID and password.

    You’ll have access to registered courses in D2L on the first day of class. Contact the instructor of the course if you need course material earlier.

Additional Information

  • As a graduate student, you may have the opportunity to become a graduate assistant which comes with great benefits.

    More Information
  • The College of Computing & Software Engineering has a great relationship with companies such as ADP, The Home Depot, AT&T, etc., and offer internship opportunities to our students.

    You should begin searching for/applying for internships at least 1 semester ahead of the semester you're planning to actually do the internship (e.g. planning to work the internship Summer 2025, you would start applying no later than January 2025. Big name companies start their intern recruitment process usually in Fall semesters.)

    You can find detailed information about internships here:

    CCSE Internships

    Internships are highly recommended for all students, but especially for international students or students who don't have a computing background.

    International students should ALWAYS check with the International Student and Scholar Services office ( for CPT (Curricular Practical Training) eligibility at the beginning of your program. More CPT information can be found here.

    Please contact the CCSE Internship coordinator Darin Morrow for more information.

  • Engaging with the CCSE community is the best way to succeed with your academic and professional goals. The best way to stay up-to-date with current and upcoming opportunities to engage is to regularly check your KSU email and pay attention to the weekly student newsletter sent by the Office of the Dean.

    • Keep an eye out for CCSE events - CCSE holds several opportunities each fall/spring semester to get real-world, hands-on experience you can use on your resume and connect with industry partners.
    • The Graduate College also has events to offer additional opportunities to connect with the KSU community.
    • Mentoring is an excellent way to grow your network and practice critical soft skills.
    • We have a diverse and engaging range of student organizations that offers you a dynamic platform to connect, collaborate and explore your passions.
    • Participating in research with CCSE faculty will expose you to the consistent innovation happening in CCSE and can be a great way to make yourself stand out in the job market.
  • Once again, we are excited that you choose KSU for your graduate studies. If you experience any issues during your journey, our faculty and staff are dedicated to help you out. Follow the communication guidelines for the quickest and most effective resolution to issues.

    • Program Director - Your Graduate Academic Advisor and contact for advising and general program related questions.
    • Ms. Melinda Ross - Graduate Student Support Director. Ms. Ross is your contact for program related questions such as registration, academic holds, financial aid, etc. Email: 
    • Ms. Gina Gavin - Program Coordinator for the MS in Cybersecurity students. You may contact her if you have questions about registration, holds, courses, etc. Email: 
    • UITS Student Help Desk - Assistance with university IT services. Phone: 470-578-3555, Email: 
    • Tutoring for Java, C++ and C# is available in J-253, the CCSE Tutoring Center. You can schedule an in-person or online appointment by contacting Ms. Svetlana Dimova, Program Coordinator, or come to the lab as a walk-in with no appointment needed.
    • The Writing Center is available to help all students with any writing assignment in any class you're taking.