A-Z Index

Frequently Asked Questions

For international students:

I have received my visa -- what next? This document is prepared by the International Involvement Center (IIC). It provides much useful information regarding the next steps after receiving your visa. For more information contact Connie Murphy and IIC (

Do I have to purchase health insurance in the United States? What vaccines do I need to have before I arrive?

Students must purchase health insurance at Northwest. For the year 2022-2023, the annual cost is around $1,500.00.Regarding the Vaccines, you need to at least complete MMR (1st dose) and if you live on campus you need to even take Meningitis.

For all students, both international and non-international:

How does the Master of Science in Applied Computer Science differ from programs in Computer Science?

The MS in Applied Computer Science at Northwest Missouri State University differs from other programs in computer science in some significant ways:

The focus of this program is to prepare students to enter a very competitive job market by increasing their skills in high-demand areas and emerging technologies. Many master's programs in computer science have a more theoretical basis because the aim of the program is to prepare students to go on for more graduate work at the Ph.D. level. Our program covers theoretical concepts, but students also gain hands-on experience and have strong technical skills when they graduate from the program.

Our program requirements include six credit hours of course work (two courses) that look at information technology issues from a business perspective. In many computer science programs there is no coverage of business issues.

In place of the thesis requirement required by many programs, our program requires a year-long, six-credit hour project that provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge to a software project.

The primary goals of this program are to produce graduates that

  • have a high degree of competence in areas of high-demand and emerging technologies
  • have good project management skills and will understand fundamental business concepts, as related specifically to information technology
  • have experience in design and implementation of a large project
  • know how to work in teams
  • have good written communication and presentation skills

To ensure that our program meets these goals, we get regular feedback from potential employers. Feedback for this program has been very positive with employers confirming that we have the right mix of theory and practice. They have been particularly positive about the inclusion of the two business-related courses because they frequently encounter problems with "techies" being unable to communicate with others in the organization.

What work opportunities are available? Can I get a graduate assistantship?

  • There are many work opportunities available on campus for students few among them are office Assistants, Student ambassadors, Teaching assistants, Campus Dine-in jobs, Graduate Assistants, and many more. Every student would be eligible for a Graduate Assistantship based on their performance in the semesters, proactiveness, and active participation in the class.
  • In any semester if you get a full graduate assistantship or 3/4th graduate assistantship or 1/2 graduate assistantship, your 100% or 75% or 50% of the tuition fee will be waived off, respectively. Click here to review the Graduate and Teaching Assistant Opportunities:

What is the typical class size?

Class sizes are generally small, so you can get individual attention from the instructor. Average class size is approximately 27 students. If we get an unexpectedly large number of students joining the program, then class sizes may be slightly larger than the figures indicated here. In some cases, we have larger sections (40-45 students) that meet once a week; for the second meeting of the week, the class is split into two smaller sections.

Do I need to bring a laptop with me?

No, you do not need to bring a laptop with you. All full-time students are provided a laptop by the university.

Please explain the credit hour system used.

Each required course in the major is three credit hours. This means the class meets for approximately three hours per week. You are expected to work outside of class also. Undergraduates take about 15 credit hours per semester, but the normal load for a graduate student is nine credit hours (three courses) per semester. It is possible to take twelve credit hours (four courses) as a graduate student, but you should talk with your advisor before doing this. During the semesters that you are enrolled in Directed Graduate Project, it is especially important that you do not enroll in an excessive number of hours.

How are grades determined?

When you begin a course, the instructor will provide a syllabus for the course which, among other things, describes the grading criteria for the course. This can vary from course to course, but generally the grading criteria will include exams, quizzes, projects, and assignments. The instructor will also include a grading scale to show you how final grades are determined. For most instructors, each item (exam, quiz, project, etc) is assigned a point value. At the end of the term you must have a certain percentage of the total point values for an A, a certain percentage for a B, and so forth.

What kind of research activities are the faculty involved in?

Note that we do not offer a doctoral program at Northwest Missouri State University, and therefore research is limited. The highest degree we offer in computer science is the Master of Science in Applied Computer Science. The primary purpose of the program is to prepare students to succeed in a very competitive job market, so the focus of the program is different from what you find in programs designed to lead to a doctoral degree.

Our faculty is very active professionally. Faculty members present papers regularly at professional meetings and attend conferences and seminars in order to stay up on current technologies. Special areas of interest include artificial intelligence, database systems, computer networks, web services, human-computer interaction, component-based development, and programming languages. For more specific details about individual faculty members, see faculty page.

My admission letter says that I need to take 44-460 Database Systems. Can you tell me more about this course?

44-460 Database Systems is a senior level course, emphasizing design concepts and ER modeling. In addition, SQL is covered extensively. Students who enter the MS program and do not have an undergraduate course in database systems must take 44-460 before they can enroll in 44-560 Advanced Topics in Database Systems.

How can I pay my fees?

The Office of Student Account Services will accept cash, credit card, flywire, or traveler's checks. For new students registering during the general registration period in the week prior to classes beginning, one-fourth of tuition is due on the day they enroll. The remaining payments are scheduled throughout the semester.

Checks should be made out to Northwest Missouri State University

Can you give an estimate of the total expenses for the first year?

This information is an approximation only. Fees are based on the best information currently available for years 2021-22.

To determine tuition fees, go to Graduate Fee Calculator. With a normal load, a graduate student will take 9 credit hours per semester. If you have deficiencies, you may take up to 12 credit hours per semester. The more credit hours you take, the higher the tuition costs.

When using the Graduate Fee Calculator, you must select out-of-state for your first semester fees. However, some reduction of fees may be possible after the first semester for qualifying students. See financial assistance for details.

International students must purchase health insurance if they do not have their own health insurance. For the cost of health insurance, see the estimated cost for international students. Note that the total cost on this page includes estimates for personal expenses and on-campus living expenses. These costs may be different if you choose to live off-campus.

How can I arrange for housing? Should I live off-campus or on-campus?

On-campus housing is available. Information about on-campus housing was included in your I-20 packet. Most graduate students live off-campus. Popular apartments include:

  • Horizons West, 660.582.5211 (adjacent to campus)
  • Village O, 660.582.7725 (about 1 or 1-1/2 miles from campus)
  • Northridge, 660.582.3927 (adjacent to campus)

What should one know about Northwest Missouri State University and how is it different from other institutions?

We offer a practical program that provides you with the skills you need to find employment when you graduate; we believe you learn by doing, so we have a hands-on approach to our classes

  • we have one of the safest campuses in the United States
  • you will have lots of personal attention from the faculty
  • Northwest has low tuition, relative to most other schools
  • we have a beautiful campus, with about 1300 trees and 125 different species (we are the Missouri State Arboretum)
  • we also provide good scholarships. See financial assistance for details.

Northwest’s niche is to provide first-rate, high-quality bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. The quality of these programs is evidenced by our large enrollment in the MS-ACS program and the success our graduates have in obtaining jobs; at the bachelor’s level, our school just received a grant in excess of $500,000 from the National Science Foundation to support recruitment and retention of undergraduates in Computer Science through scholarships and an extensive mentoring program.  This kind of recognition speaks well to the quality of our programs at Northwest.

If you have  more questions about our program, visit the program website at Look under the FAQs button to see how the MS-ACS program is different from other programs. Look under to find research interests for faculty. Note that our school is large and includes several different disciplines.  Faculty involved in the MS-ACS program include Dr. Ajay Bandi, Dr. Denise Case, Dr. Charles Hoot, and Aziz Fellah. Look under to see the software development projects that students in the MS-ACS program work on to fulfill their Research Component requirement.

Research at Northwest:

Regarding research activities, please keep in mind that Northwest is not a research institution, and the program you have selected is Applied Computer Science.  The applied nature of this program is one of the aspects that makes it unique and different from many other master's programs.  The purpose of this program is to prepare students to enter a competitive field and have a successful career.  We do, however, have a faculty that is professionally active.  Each year several of the faculty members present papers at major conferences or publish in national journals.  In addition, several faculty members are working on a $500,000 nationally-funded grant.  To see the professional interests of the faculty members, visit In the future, we will post full vitas of the faculty members so you can see the publications of individual faculty members, but those are not readily available at present.

Regarding the course curriculum please find the following link:

Where can I get additional information?

For more information

What are the documents required to complete the application of Northwest Missouri state university?

The documents required for the admission process include:

a)Official English proficiency scores (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, DUOLINGO)

b)Official GRE Score card.

c)Bank statement and Statement of support.

d)Copy of your passport.

e)Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended or are now attending for undergraduate and graduate coursework.

To review more details about the admission requirements please click on the link:

what would be the approximate complete tuition fee for MSACS?

To know the tuition fees for the MS-ACS program click on the mentioned link:


What are the courses involved in MSACS Program.Could you please give me a brief notes on it?

To know details about the coursework description, click on the mentioned link:

What are the Scholarship options available in the MSACS Program?

  • Any student who gets admitted to our program would receive the $500 scholarship for the first semester.
  • In any semester if you get a full graduate assistantship or 3/4th graduate assistantship or 1/2 graduate assistantship, your 100% or 75% or 50% of the tuition fee will be waived off, respectively. Click here to review the Graduate and Teaching Assistant Opportunities:

what would be the deadline for students to submit the application?

Based on the intake we have the deadlines to submit the application. As per 2020-2021, we have the following deadlines for the semesters as below:

Summer Semester: March 1

Fall Semester: June 15

Spring Semester: September 30

To know details about the application deadlines, click on the mentioned link:

Based on work experience in the IT industry can we get a waiver of doing Database prerequisite?

For Masters in Applied Computer science program, we will not waive off the prerequisite based on the job experience. We will waive off the prerequisite for the students who have completed the Database Management Systems (DBMS) as part of their under graduation coursework.

After submission of the application in what time I can expect to hear back from your university?

In general, you will hear the decision from the University within 3 to 4 weeks of time. However, It depends on the number of applications that we receive and process.

How many credit hours would be eligible to be transferred if you opt to transfer from other university to Northwest Missouri State University?

The maximum graduate credit accepted for transfer is nine semester hours in no more than four courses. In order for graduate transfer credits to be evaluated, the prospective graduate student must send the unofficial transcripts with final grades to the program coordinator. To be considered for transfer credit, courses must have a grade of “B” or higher and may not be older than eight years at the time of degree completion.

To know details about the coursework description, click on the mentioned link below:-