Dr. Sherri Harms
UNK Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, 308-865-8123

A new agreement between the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Kansas State University (KSU) will put some students on a fast-track to graduate school.

The UNK Department of Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS) and KSU Department of Computing and Information Science (CIS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will speed up the admissions process for UNK students entering the KSU master of science in computer science (MS-CS) or the master of software engineering in computer science (MSE-CS) programs. UNK computer science graduates will be considered for the master’s in computer science, while information technology students will be considered for the master’s in software engineering.

Dr. Sherri Harms, UNK CSIS chair, sees the agreement as an opportunity for both universities and for businesses in the region.

“The MOU offers a high-quality graduate program for UNK students,” she said. “It provides KSU with regional students prepared for graduate-level research, and it provides the Midwest with computer science professionals who will likely stay in the Midwest.”

Dr. David Gustafson, professor and Graduate Program director for the Kansas State CIS department said,  “We are very excited about the prospect of UNK graduates entering our graduate program in computing and information sciences.”

UNK computer science students with a 3.65 GPA or higher after their junior year will be eligible for the program. As a part of the agreement, those students will not be required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). In addition, once the students join a KSU-CIS graduate program, they will be reimbursed for the KSU application fee.

Dr. Harms noted that there is a high demand for computer science professionals in the United States. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of computer scientists is expected to grow by 19 percent through 2020.

“For the past several years, we have had 100 percent placement for our students,” she said. This trend can be seen in the growth of the CSIS program at UNK. According to Dr. Harms, the number of students in CSIS classes has more than doubled since 2007.

The UNK CSIS program has a similar MOU with the University of Nebraska – Lincoln computer science and engineering department.

“Having two excellent graduate programs actively seeking UNK CSIS students illustrates the quality of our programs,” Dr. Harms said.