SOU, WOU Partner on Master's Degree in Computer Science

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University and Western Oregon University have teamed up on a pilot program that will make SOU’s Master of Science in Applied Computer Science degree available to students on the campuses of both universities.
In a memorandum of understanding agreed upon by both universities, the institutions agree to each offer specific courses toward the degree on their respective campuses, and make those courses available via live, synchronous delivery to students on the other campus.
“By utilizing technology and offering this classes via live, interactive video, we’re not only able to realize efficiencies that make the program more economically feasible, but also serve a broader population and better meet the needs of employers throughout the state,” said Dr. Sherry Ettlich, who oversees science, mathematics, and computer science programs at SOU. Students who complete the program will receive a diploma from SOU regardless of which campus serves as their home campus throughout their studies.
Though there are computer science courses built into the curriculum, the program isn’t necessarily designed just for those with computer science-related undergraduate majors, according to Pete Nordquist, associate professor and chair of the Computer Science Department at SOU. “In many ways this program is kind of like an MBA for scientists,” he said. “We are producing well-rounded professionals with strong computer science backgrounds, but who are also extremely capable of communicating and leading across various departments and disciplines.”
The MOU for the pilot program lasts through the end of the 2015-2016 academic year, at which time it can be renewed if successful. “If, as we expect, this is a successful pilot and this type of partnership proves to be beneficial to students at both institutions, we will certainly look into the possibility of incorporating these interactive, shared classrooms into other programs in order to enrich the curriculum of both institutions,” Dr. Ettlich said. “Ultimately, we’d like to bring other institutions into the fold as well and explore ways in which we can collaborate for more efficient and effective delivery of higher education services across the state.”
Applications into the program are being accepted now, and any prospective students who would like more information are encouraged to contact Nordquist at or 541-552-6148.
About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power, and it is the first university in the nation to balance 100% of its water consumption. Visit