Nova Southeastern University: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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Nova Southeastern University

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Fort Lauderdale, Florida


All of the school's graduate programs are offered in distance learning formats. Online master's programs require no on-campus classroom attendance. Students may complete the M.S. degree in twelve to eighteen months. Doctoral programs use one of two formats: cluster or institute. Cluster students attend four cluster meetings per year, held quarterly over an extended weekend (Friday, Saturday, and half-day Sunday) at the University. Cluster terms start in September and March. Cluster weekends take place in September, December, March, and June. Institute students attend a weeklong institute twice a year at the University. Institutes are held in mid-January and mid-July at the start of each five-month term. Clusters and institutes bring together students and faculty members for participation in courses, workshops, and dissertation counseling. Doctoral courses also have an online component. Between meetings, students complete assignments, research papers, and projects and participate in a range of online activities.


Online learning methods involve Web pages to access course materials, announcements, the electronic library, and other information, plus a range of activities that facilitate frequent student-professor and student-student interaction. Faculty members and students interact via online forums using threaded discussion boards, e-mail, chat rooms, electronic classrooms, and online submission of assignments in multimedia formats. Students are provided computer accounts but must obtain their own Internet service providers and use their own computers. New students are provided an orientation on computer and software requirements, online access, online tools and methods, and library resources.

A major force in educational innovation, the Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences (SCIS) provides educational programs of distinction to prepare students for leadership roles in its disciplines. Its strengths include a distinguished faculty, a cutting-edge curriculum, and flexible online formats for its five M.S. and five Ph.D. programs. It has approximately 2,000 graduate students. All programs enable working professionals to earn the M.S., Ph.D., or Ed.D. without interrupting their careers. Online master's degree programs require no campus attendance and are available to part-time or full-time students worldwide. A unique online doctoral program requires only four weekends or two weeklong campus visits each year. The school has online students living in every state in the United States and in more than twenty-five countries. Ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the nation's top twenty cyber universities, and listed in the Princeton Review's "The Best Distance Learning Graduate Schools," the School currently offers more than 300 online classes annually. The School, a pioneer in online graduate education, began offering online programs in 1983 and created the first electronic classroom in 1985. The School has been awarding graduate degrees since 1983.

In addition to its regional accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the school is a certified member of the Electronic Campus of the Southern Regional Education Board. Its curriculum in information security has been certified by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) for compliance with CNSS standards. The school participates in several federal and military programs including the DANTES Distance Learning Program and the U.S. Army's new online initiative, eArmyU. The school has been awarded a chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), the International Honor Society for the Computing and Information Disciplines, and qualified students are initiated into the society. Its student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) is the largest in Florida.

Located on a beautiful 300-acre campus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) has more than 20,000 students and is the largest independent institution of higher education in the southeastern United States. The tenth-largest private university in the United States, NSU awards associates, bachelor's, master's, educational specialist, doctoral, and first-professional degrees in more than 90 disciplines. It has a college of arts and sciences, as well as schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, allied health, optometry, law, computer and information sciences, psychology, education, business and entrepreneurship, oceanography, and humanities and social sciences.


The School offers distance programs leading to the M.S. in computer information systems (including a specialization in information security), computer science, computing technology in education, information security, and management information systems (including specializations in information security and e-commerce); the Ph.D. in computer information systems, computer science, computing technology in education, information science, and information systems; and the Ed.D. in computing technology in education. The School's master's degree students may apply for early admission into the doctoral program, which provides the opportunity to earn the Ph.D. or Ed.D. in a shorter time. The M.S. requires 36 credit hours (thesis optional). Terms are twelve weeks long, and there are four terms each year. To earn the M.S. in twelve months, the student must enroll in three courses each term. To complete the M.S. in eighteen months, the student must enroll in two courses each term. Master's terms start in September, January, April, and July. Doctoral programs require 64 credits, including eight 3-credit courses, four 4-credit projects, and the dissertation. They may be completed in three years. The Ph.D. in computer information systems and computer science are offered only in cluster format. Doctoral programs in computing technology in education, information science, and information systems are offered in cluster and institute formats. Students attend clusters or institutes during their first two years of the program while completing course work.


All of the School's programs are offered through the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus and the U.S. Army's eArmyU program.


Master's applicants may request a transfer of up to 6 graduate credits. Courses proposed for transfer must have grades of at least B. Credit is not awarded for life or work experience.


SCIS has 20 full-time and 10 part-time faculty members. All faculty members teaching at the graduate level have doctoral degrees.


The master's applicant must have an appropriate undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 2.5 and a GPA of at least 3.0 in an appropriate major. The doctoral applicant must have a master's degree with an appropriate graduate major and a graduate GPA of at least 3.25. Degrees must be from regionally accredited institutions. All applicants must submit a summary of professional experience or score report of the GRE, and three evaluations. English proficiency is a requirement for admission.


Tuition is $425 per credit for master's students; for doctoral students, tuition is $4750 per five-month term, or $475 per credit hour. The registration fee is $30 per term.


To qualify for financial assistance, a student must be admitted, must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible permanent resident, and must plan on registering for a minimum of 6 credit hours per term. A prospective student who requires financial assistance should apply for it while still a candidate for admission. For financial assistance information or application forms, students should call 800-522-3243 (toll-free).


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences
Nova Southeastern University
Carl DeSantis Building, Fourth Floor
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-4416
Telephone: 954-262-2000 800-986-2247 (toll-free)
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:


Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. To ensure evaluation for the desired starting term, reviewable applications must be received at least one month prior to the start of that term. The application fee is $50. Late applications that cannot be processed in time for the desired starting term are considered for the next term. Applicants may be granted provisional admission status pending completion of the application process. Admission forms, brochures, and the graduate catalog may be downloaded from the School's Web site. Master's terms start in September, January, April, and July. Doctoral cluster terms start in September and March. Doctoral institute terms start in January and July.

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Nova Southeastern University: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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