Digital Sciences - M.D.S.

DEPARTMENT: School of Digital Sciences
236 Mathematics and Computer Science Building
Tel: 330-672-9105
E-mail: digital-sciences@kent.edu
Web: www.kent.edu/dsci
DESCRIPTION: The Master of Digital Sciences provides a broad overview of the digital sciences across traditional “digital” programs. It can serve as a terminal professional degree to augment bachelor's degrees in related units by giving their graduates a broader exposure to the digital sciences and some focused depth in one area outside their own discipline. It can also serve as an entry degree to augment bachelor's degrees in other units by giving their graduates a broad exposure to the digital sciences and a focused introduction to one area outside their own discipline.

A graduate of the school’s master's degree program will understand the relationship between information processing, software development and the telecommunications infrastructure, and will have an appreciation of the cognitive and managerial aspects of digital sciences.

The Master of Digital Sciences comprises five concentrations to provide deeper knowledge in one or more domains: Digital Science Cognition and Communication, Digital Systems Management and Consulting, Digital Systems Software Development, Digital Systems Telecommunication Networks, and Enterprise Architecture.

The Digital Science Cognition and Communication concentration provides students the skills to analyze the learning, teaching, communication and training needs of an organization, and design hardware and software systems to meet those needs. Students will know how to use the principles, theories and research-based outcomes of how people interact and communicate with and through technology to improve the usability of hardware, software and training within an organization. The concentration adds a deeper understanding of instructional design, managing technological change, simulation games in education and virtual reality.

The Digital Systems Management and Consulting concentration provides students the skills to identify and shape solutions that address clients' key business priorities, including identifying and creatively solving complex problems, designing and re-engineering critical processes and fundamentally transforming business processes in a company. Students will know how to oversee the technical operations of an organization, and will be able create, re-engineer and integrate technology-enabled solutions with an understanding of how users interact and communicate with technology. The concentration adds a deeper understanding of system development, database management and information security.

The Digital Systems Software Development concentration provides students the skills to analyze the software system needs of an organization’s computer system, and coordinate the design, maintenance and expansion of a software system to meet those needs. Students will understand the role of software development in relationship to information management and the technology infrastructure in an enterprise environment. They will be able to work with chief enterprise architects, information architects and technology architects to design software systems in support of business goals, and work with software engineers as they build those software systems. The concentration covers application architecture, software engineering, programming and data structures. (Programming and data structures may be replaced with additional material on enterprise architecture and software development for students already familiar with programming.)

The Digital Systems Telecommunication Networks concentration provides students the skills to analyze the communication needs for an organization, and design a telecommunication and network infrastructure to meet those needs. Students will understand how to design hardware systems and the supporting communication infrastructure to transport and store the converged voice, video and data traffic required by a modern multimedia system. They will be able to work with chief enterprise architects, information architects and application (software) architects to design that communication infrastructure. The concentration adds a deeper understanding of ethics and technology, wireless networks and systems engineering.

The Enterprise Architecture concentration provides students the skills to assist organizations in all sectors of the economy to review and improve their investments in technology; and to ensure that investments in digital information, application, and technology are fully aligned with business goals and objectives. Students will know how to develop detailed blueprints of an organization’s current state, to work with the stakeholders to prepare a vision of a future architecture, to prepare an implementation roadmap, and to execute technology and business change. The concentration adds a deeper understanding of business architecture, application/software architecture and information architecture.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES:
In many cases, computing graduates can benefit from a broader view than that provided by traditional computer-related degree programs. For a growing number of computer-related occupations, the career path will increasingly require broad multidisciplinary training that provides exposure to business processes, information management, software development, telecommunications infrastructure, design, project management and a host of other skills. While these graduates will lack the deep domain knowledge provided by a traditional degree, they will gain familiarity across a broad spectrum of disciplines.

The Master of Digital Sciences provides a broad overview of the digital sciences across traditional “digital” programs. It can serve as a terminal professional degree to augment bachelor's degrees in related units by giving their graduates a broader exposure to the digital sciences and some focused depth in one area outside their own discipline. It can also serve as an entry degree to augment bachelor's degrees in other units by giving their graduates a broad exposure to the digital sciences and a focused introduction to one area outside their own discipline.

These graduates will have the skills to analyze users' needs, plan an enterprise architecture, guide the development of a digital software/hardware system and manage these complex systems. They will be comfortable working in multidisciplinary teams with computer scientists, computer engineers, business analysts, information architects, etc., and will have sufficiently broad training to bridge the communication gap between disciplines.

Students graduating from the M.S. degree program will be prepared for careers as enterprise architects, digital cognition analysts, application (software) architects, network system analysts, and information technology officers.

ADMISSION
REQUIREMENTS:
Applicants are expected to submit evidence of scholarly accomplishment in previous undergraduate and graduate work if undertaken. This may be accomplished in part by having achieved an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 on a 4.0 point scale, although some departments may require a higher minimum GPA. At the graduate level, a minimum 3.0 GPA is expected. In all cases, the GPA is only one of several measures used to determine admission. Additional considerations are letters of recommendation, scores on standardized tests and other indices of ability to do graduate-level work.

Students with below a 2.75 GPA will be considered for conditional admission on an individual basis. Admission in such cases will depend heavily on other indices of the student’s ability to handle graduate-level work. These might include strong performance on standardized tests, GPA in the major and/or experiences subsequent to matriculation that are clearly indicative of strong academic ability. Evidence of holding a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university must be included.

Students who hold degrees from non-accredited institutions may be admitted under conditions that are determined in each individual case and which ordinarily include the necessity of further undergraduate work.

GRADUATION
REQUIREMENTS:
Minimum 32 credit hours of graduate-level coursework comprising of 9 credits of major requirements, 9 credits of concentration requirements and 14 credits of approved electives in the digital sciences or related programs.

CULMINATING REQUIREMENTS:
Candidates choosing the Thesis option will replace 6 of the required 14 elective hours with of a Thesis I course.

PROGRAM FEE: None

DOCTORATE PROGRAMS:
Business Administration–Information Systems/Operations Management (Ph.D.), Computer Science (Ph.D), Educational Psychology–Instructional Technology (Ph.D.), Evaluation and Measurement (Ph.D.)

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