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Required Courses

The M.A. program in Computer Science and IT Entrepreneurship combines solid training in computer science with a three course entrepreneurship sequence in which the student creates a business plan for an IT startup.

Students must complete nine computer science courses, including two core courses: COSI 235a, 236b; a practicum (COSI 320a) and six COSI electives numbered 100 or higher.

The minimum residence requirement is three semesters.

CS 235a: IT Entrepreneurship

This course covers the fundamental concepts needed to transform an idea into a viable business. The course focus is software-based IT enterprises and the specific challenges and opportunities they present. A wide range of topics will be covered, including:

  • Creativity and innovation (how to recognize good transformative ideas)
  • The product-development cycle, including the role of rapid prototyping as a tool to generate interest and solidify your plans
  • The business-plan cycle
  • Revenue models for information goods
  • IT marketing
  • Pricing in the information economy

The course will also cover IT-specific issues such as enterprise-computing architectures, security engineering, and traffic analysis techniques. The course will be conducted using case studies, lectures by successful entrepreneurs across the IT industry, as well as project work.

CS 236b: Software Development for IT Entrepreneurship

This course teaches the fundamentals of software engineering and emphasizes rapid prototyping, unit testing, usability testing and collaborative software development principles. Students will apply these concepts by building a complex software system in small teams of programmers / developers.

CS 320a: Practicum in Entrepreneurial IT

This practicum provides students with the opportunity to collaborate in small groups to create software or Web-based applications, and to launch a business based on that application (both nonprofit and for-profit businesses). The students work independently, but meet regularly throughout the semester to share their progress and challenges. The fundamental requirement is to produce a working product and business plan by the end of the semester. Students also complete an initial round of market analysis and user testing. As is the rule in all course-based instruction, students retain full intellectual property rights to what they have produced in this course.