George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

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School of Information Technology and Engineering

Administrative Units

The School of Information Technology and Engineering (SITE) at George Mason University is concerned primarily with study areas that involve integrating the information basis for modern engineering with the more conventional physical and materials science approach. The careful integration of these areas results in a unique academic experience for highly motivated students.

SITE offers 13 degree programs that concentrate on important contemporary technological issues and needs. Four bachelor's degree programs are offered: computer science, electrical engineering, systems engineering, and urban systems engineering. Eight master's degree programs are available: computer science, electrical engineering, information systems, operations research and management science, software systems engineering, statistical sciences, systems engineering, and urban systems engineering. A single cross-disciplinary doctoral program is offered in information technology. Undergraduate certificates are offered in statistics and operations research. For graduate students, certificate programs are offered in command, control, communications, and intelligence; communications and networking; computer, information, and software-intensive systems; federal statistics; information engineering; and software systems engineering.

The undergraduate degree programs prepare graduates to enter directly into professional employment or to continue studies at the graduate level. The requirements for the bachelor's degrees include required and elective courses in mathematics, humanities, and general education, and specialty courses in computer science, electrical engineering, systems engineering, and urban systems engineering. Each program strongly emphasizes English composition and communication.

Students also have the opportunity to develop interest areas in other fields within SITE that offer undergraduate courses but do not now have undergraduate majors. The Bachelor of Individualized Study (B.I.S.) degree program may appeal to mature students who have completed a substantial portion of their studies at other institutions.


Andrew P. Sage, Founding Dean Emeritus

Lloyd Griffiths, Dean

Carl M. Harris, Interim Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies

Peter J. Denning, Associate Dean for Computing

E. Bernard White, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies

Terrance Ryan, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies

George R. Umberger, Assistant Dean for Administration and Outreach

John P. Wenzelberger, Director, Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program


Bachelor of Science

Degree Requirements

The following general requirements for a bachelor of science degree must be completed by all undergraduate students who receive bachelor's degrees through majors in SITE:
  1. Completion of at least 120 semester hours of academic work
  2. Completion of at least 6 semester hours of English composition and 6 semester hours of literature
  3. Completion of at least 12 additional semester hours in the humanities and social sciences; 6 of these hours must be chosen from the social science areas of anthropology, economics, geography, government, history, linguistics, psychology, and sociology
  4. Completion of the requirements for the major as listed under the curricula for computer science, electrical engineering, systems engineering, or urban systems engineering
  5. Completion of an acceptable plan of study formulated by the student and his or her adviser

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all undergraduate students to successfully complete a course, or combination of courses, designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. To determine the specific writing-intensive course requirements for your degree, please refer to the major program descriptions in the following sections.

Sample schedules that fulfill degree requirements for individual programs within SITE departments are provided in the following pages. With approval of departmental advisers, some courses may be taken out of the indicated sequences, particularly in the case of English, literature, humanities, and social sciences courses.

Students should consult the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements section under Academic Policies in this catalog for detailed information concerning requirements for graduation, curricula, English composition and literature, core courses for the selected major, residence, and academic quality for graduation with a major in computer science, electrical engineering, systems engineering, or urban systems engineering. The portion of the catalog that concerns the Office of Academic Affairs discusses the requirements for the B.I.S. degree. The requirements for the computer science, electrical engineering, systems engineering, and urban systems engineering undergraduate degree programs are provided in the sections associated with the academic departments offering the degree.

Master of Science

Degree Requirements

SITE offers eight master of science programs in its six academic departments. Policies regarding admission and degree requirements are provided in the sections associated with the respective academic departments that follow.
M.S. Degree Department
Computer Science Computer Science
Electrical Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering
Information Systems Information and Software Systems Engineering
Operations Research and Management Science Operations Research and Engineering
Software Systems Engineering Information and Software Systems Engineering
Statistical Sciences Applied and Engineering Statistics
Systems Engineering Systems Engineering
Urban Systems Engineering Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering

Doctoral Degree

SITE offers a Ph.D. in Information Technology, a program that builds on a fundamental core and emphasizes cross-disciplinary efforts between the eight master's programs in SITE, as well as with related units at George Mason University. Specific entrance and degree requirements of the doctoral program are found in the section headed "Information Technology."

Nondegree Graduate Program

Admission to graduate study in nondegree status is available for those individuals who do not wish to pursue a degree but are interested in taking graduate courses offered by SITE. To be admitted to nondegree status, a student must meet the following requirements. For routine admission, a student should have a 3.0 GPA or higher and a B.S. degree (preferably in a discipline in the potential degree area of interest), and must have met the course prerequisites as listed in the various departments. Admission criteria for students with a GPA below 3.0 or those with a nonengineering background are varied, and applications are reviewed in the department on an individual basis.

Nondegree students may take up to 12 credit hours and are required to have an approved Course Request Form before registering each semester. Approval of a specific course does not imply that the course section will be open at the time of registration.

Students who later choose to seek admission to one of the SITE graduate degree programs must reapply for admission to a degree program and supply the additional required materials with the new application. If admitted to the degree program, the student may request that up to 12 credit hours taken in nondegree status be approved for transfer for a degree. Admission to nondegree status does not automatically guarantee admission to the degree program at a later date. Applicants may obtain more information by contacting the SITE Student Services Office, Room 160, Science and Technology II, (703) 993-1511, or by contacting the individual departments.

University Computing Capability

Academic computing capability is provided by laboratories offering a large number of individual student computers, as well as campuswide networked timesharing facilities. All laboratories are networked and include access to local and remote servers as well as the Internet. Equipment includes personal computer stations (MS-DOS compatible) and UNIX-based workstations from Sun Microsystems and other manufacturers, as well as a large DEC 5900 UNIX-based system, which supports the entire campus.

Software includes compilers for a variety of programming languages and software tools supporting engineering design, graphics, neural networks, and high-performance/parallel computing. Specialized facilities are available for artificial intelligence, software engineering, image processing and computer vision, and parallel and distributed computing research.

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