Graduate Assessment Exams

Graduate Assessment Exams

Graduate Assessment Exams (GAE) are available for many Introductory Courses in the CDM graduate program curricula. The GAEs are an evaluative tool, not a learning experience for students, and we do not share or discuss the materials.

Plan accordingly prior to start of the term, faculty reviews for possible course waivers can take a few weeks. For newly admitted students, possible course waivers will not be initiated until an Intent to Enroll form has been submitted.

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GAE Facts

  • Any one GAE may be attempted one time only.
  • If passed, the corresponding introductory course requirement will be waived.
  • There is no fee to take a Graduate Assessment Exam.
  • The GAE will be administered in the Lewis Building, room 1208.

GAE Proctoring

We only have one GAE that can be taken online. That GAE is CSC 400. This GAE can be taken at any time with Integrity Lock Exam Proctoring. Students should review before taking this GAE.

All the other GAEs can be taken at the loop or with a remote proctor. Learn what are acceptable and unacceptable proctors.

  • Photo identification is required. The Proctors can deny the exam to anyone unable to provide a state-issued photo ID, DePaul photo ID card, or passport.
  • GAE instructions will be strictly enforced. Each instructor will provide specific instructions on how the GAE is to be administered, and proctors will enforce those instructions literally. For example, if your instructor allows notes but not electronic devices, you will not be allowed to access notes on a laptop or mobile device. Such devices must be explicitly allowed by the instructor.
  • Late arrivals will not be provided extra time. An GAE appointment secures a room for a proctor for a specific period of time. If you arrive late for your scheduled appointment, the GAE may still end at the scheduled time. This means that you may not be allowed the entire time specified in the GAE instructions. Your proctor will determine this based on the room reservation schedule and staffing considerations. Please, make every effort to arrive for your GAE appointment on time.

For questions about graduate assessment exams please contact

Loop Proctoring

Monday and Wednesday, June 24, until August 28th at 2 pm, in the Loop Testing Center. The Loop Testing Center is located at 1 E Jackson, Lower Level, C102.

GAE Study Guides

  • CSC 400  Discrete Structures for Computer Science
  • CSC 401  Introduction to Programming
  • CSC 402  Data Structures I
  • CSC 403  Data Structures II
  • CSC 404  Accelerated C++
  • CSC 406  Systems I
  • CSC 407  Systems II
  • CSC 412  Tools and Techniques for Computational Analysis
  • CSEC 418  Introduction to Host Security
  • ECT 410  Development of Web-Based Business Applications
  • HCI 406  Website Design for HCI
  • HCI 412  HCI Design Fundamentals I
  • IT 403  Statistics and Data Analysis
  • IT 411  Scripting for Interactive Systems
  • IS 411  Introduction to Programming for Business Applications
  • NET 405  Voice and Data Network Fundamentals
  • NET 411  Introduction to Computer and Network Systems
  • NET 413  Introduction to LAN and WAN

CSEC 418 Introduction to Host Security


  • Linux command line tools and syntax
  • Basic bash usage
  • Windows and Linux system administration
  • Linux and Windows OS file hierarchy and common paths for known file types (e.g. where are passwords are stored)
  • Windows and Linux file permissions
  • Windows Active Directory
  • Windows and Linux logging
  • Cryptography
  • Authentication mechanisms (Kerberos, NET-NTLM, etc)
  • Security Services (SSL/TLS, IPSEC, IDS, etc)
  • Host firewalls (Windows and Linux)
  • Common service function, usage, and security (DHCP, DNS, etc)
  • References:

    • Mastering Linux Administration, Alexandru Calcatinge, Julian Balog
    • How Linux Works, 3rd Edition, Brian Ward
    • Windows Server 2019 Administration Fundamentals - Second Edition, Bekim Dauti
    • Mastering Windows Server 2019 - Third Edition, Jordan Krause

    CSC 400 Discrete Structures for Computer Science

    This course introduces basic mathematical tools essential for solving problems in computer science.


    • Propositional/Boolean Logic (and, or, not, truth-tables, disjunctive normal form)
    • Set Theory (union, intersection, difference, complement, power set)
    • First-Order Logic (existential, universal quantifiers)
    • Relations (properties, equivalence, ordering)
    • Functions (composition, inverse)
    • Searching and Sorting (depth-first/breadth-first search, insertion sort, topological sort)
    • Graph Theory (definitions, paths, cycles, complete graphs, bipartite graphs, Eulerian cycles, Hamiltonian cycles, planarity, graph coloring, graph isomorphism)
    • Combinatorics (counting and probability, permutations, combinations)
    • Arithmetic (logarithms, exponentials, polynomials, arithmetic series, geometric series)


    • Schaum's Outline of Discrete Mathematics, 4th ed., Seymour Lipschutz, Marc Lipson, McGraw Hill, 2021.
    • Discrete Mathematics with Applications, 4th ed., Susanna S. Epp. Brooks/Cole Publishing, 2011.
    • Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications, 4th ed., Kenneth H. Rosen, WCB/McGraw-Hill, 2008.
    • Discrete Mathematics, 7th ed., Richard Johnsonbaugh, Prentice-Hall, 2008.

    CSC 401 Introduction to Programming

    Note: There are three versions of the Graduate Assessment Exam for CSC 401: a Python version, a Java version, and a C++ version. Students should take the exam based on the programming language they are most familiar with. Students who plan to pursue the MS Computational Finance program must take the Python version of the exam.


    • Variables, assignments, and expressions involving arithmetic, unary, relational, and conditional operators;
    • Core built-in data types
      • Python: int, bool, float, str, list, two-dimensional lists;
      • Java: int, double, boolean, and char primitive types, java.lang.String class, arrays, two-dimensional arrays
      • C++: int, double, bool, and char types, standard string class, arrays, two-dimensional arrays
    • Control flow structures (if, for, while, break, continue statements)
    • Functions (static methods in Java), parameter passing, return statement, function scope
    • Interactive and file Input/Output
      • Python: print, open, input
      • Java:, System.out,,, java.util.Scanner
      • C++: iostream, fstream
    • Recursion



    Java: An Introduction to Problem Solving and Programming, 6/E
    Walter Savitch, Addison-Wesley, 2012


    Problem Solving with C++, 8/E
    Walter Savitch, Addison-Wesley, 2012


    Introduction to Computing Using Python
    Ljubomir Perkovic, Wiley, 2011.

    CSC 402 Data Structures I

    This course introduces linear data structures, algorithm analysis, and java programming.


    • Review of basic programming techniques and introduction to Java: strings, arrays, iteration, recursion, exceptions, the eclipse debugger
    • Objects, base types and reference types, boxing and unboxing, deep and shallow copy, deep and shallow equality
    • Data Abstraction, interfaces, overriding and overloading, equals
    • Java interfaces: Iterable, Comparable, Comparator
    • Basic Structures: Stack, Queue, Bag, Deque, Priority Queue
    • Linked and resizing array implementations
    • Binary Heaps, Union-Find
    • Introduction to algorithm analysis: order of growth, experimental techniques, worst/best/average-case and amortized analysis
    • Sorting algorithms, including Selection Sort, Insertion Sort, Mergesort, Quicksort, and Heapsort


    Algorithms 4e (Chapters 1-2 and Sections 6.1-6.2). Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne. Addison-Wesley, 2011.

    CSC 403 Data Structures II

    This course extends the techniques developed in CSC 402 to non-linear structures: trees, graphs and tries.


    • Maps and Sets
    • Binary search trees, k-dimensional BSTs
    • Balanced trees, 2-3 trees, red-black trees, B-trees, Java's TreeSet and TreeMap
    • Hash tables, hash functions, separate-chaining, open indexing (linear probing), Java's HashSet, HashMap and IdentityHashMap
    • Undirected Graphs, adjacency matrix, adjacency list, basic algorithms based on depth-first and breadth-first search
    • Trees as degenerate graphs, DFS and BFS on trees
    • Directed Graphs, basic algorithms such as topological sort and strongly connected components, DAGs
    • String sorting, Tries, data compression


    Algorithms 4e (Chapters 3-4 and Sections 5.1-5.2, 5.5) Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne. Addison-Wesley, 2011. Course notes on 2D-trees.

    CSC 404 Accelerated C++


    • C++ Variable types, objects, strings. C++ control structures (if, switch, for, do, etc). C++ functions and parameter passing.
    • C++ pointers. Using the C++ new operator and differences with Java: e.g. no garbage collection, and how to delete dynamically declared variables. Differences between pointers and references. *, ->, &.
    • Memory management, pointers and arrays. Arrays of pointers.
    • C++ structs and classes. Data structures and stacks.
    • Linked Lists.
    • Recursive functions. Trees and tree traversals.
    • Object oriented concepts, inheritance, virtual functions, polymorphism and encapsulation.
    • Operator Overloading & Templates


    Object Oriented Programming in C++,Johnsonbaugh and Kalin.

    CSC 406 Systems I

    A course on computer systems topics, focusing on machine-level programming and architecture and their relevance for application programming. Information representations, assembly language and debuggers, processor architecture, program optimization, memory hierarchy and caching.

    Topics (PP and C refer to books listed below)

    • C language primer. (Chapters 1-8 of [C])
    • Representations of data. (Chapter 2 of [PP])
    • Assembly language programming. (Chapter 3 of [PP])
    • Optimizing Program Performance (Chapter 5 of [PP])
    • Memory hierarchies. (Chapter 6 of [PP])


    PP: Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, 2nd edition. Randal E. Bryant and David R. O'Hallaron. Prentice Hall, 2011.

    C: System Programming with C and Unix, Adam Hoover. Addison Wesley, 2010.

    CSC 407 Systems II

    A course on computer systems topics, focusing on operating systems components and their relevance for application programming. Linking, processes, virtual memory, dynamic memory allocation, system level I/O, networking and network programming, concurrent servers and web services.

    Topics (PP and C refer to books listed below):

    • Linking (PP 7)
    • Process Creation and Synchronization (PP 8)
    • Virtual Memory (PP 9)
    • Input/Output and Network Programming (PP 10, 11)
    • Threads and Synchronization (PP 12)


    PP:Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, 2nd edition. Randal E. Bryant and David R. O'Hallaron. Prentice Hall, 2011.

    C:System Programming with C and Unix, Adam Hoover. Addison Wesley, 2010.

    CSC 412 Tools and Techniques for Computational Analysis

    Use of mathematical software to explore basic concepts in linear algebra and calculus. Scripting for symbolic and computational processing. Emphasis is on applications in computer science, finance, data mining, and computer vision.

    Topics (LA and C refer to books listed below):

    • Linear Systems and Matrices, Gaussian Elimination, Matlab. (LA 1, 2)
    • Solving Linear Systems and Matrix Inversion, LU decomposition. (LA 1, 2)
    • Vectors and Vector Spaces (LA 3)
    • Orthogonality, Gram-Schmidt, and QR decomposition (LA 4, 6)
    • Eigenvalues, Eigenvectors, and SVD (LA 5)
    • Functions, Equations, and Limits (C 6-8, 25, 26)
    • Sequences, Series, and Convergence (C 42, 43, 9, 10)
    • Derivatives (C 12, 27, 21)
    • Critical Points and Curve Sketching (C 13, 14, 15)
    • Power Series and Approximation (C 46, 47)


    LA: Shores, Thomas S. Applied Linear Algebra and Matrix Analysis, Springer, 2007.
    C: Ayres, Mendelson, Calculus, 6th Edition, 2013.

    ECT 410 Development of Web-Based Business Applications


    Question formats may include: true/false, multiple choice, matching, short answer, fill-in-the-blank, coding and essay. The exam has many questions and requires you to work quickly.


    The exam covers c#-based ASP.NET. Any of the topics below could provide appropriate questions for the GAE exam, since all are covered in ECT 410. Because of time limitations, not all topics may actually appear on the exam:

    • What ASP.NET can do for your Web pages
    • What you need to run ASP.NET
    • .NET framework and ASP.NET
    • Differences between running a script on a server and running your script on a client
    • Declaring and referring to a variable; Converting variables; Declaring and using an array
    • Arithmetic
    • String variable manipulation
    • Control structures: Branching (if-then and select case); Looping (for-next and do while); Jumping (sub-procedures and functions)
    • Objects and their interfaces (properties, methods and events)
    • Setting and retrieving object properties
    • Calling an object's methods
    • HTML server controls
    • ASP.NET server controls
    • ASP.NET validator controls
    • ASP.NET user controls and code-behind
    • Application and session objects/variables
    • Cookies
    • Debugging ASP.NET code
    • Accessing and updating ACCESS databases through ASP.NET
    • Using SQL in ASP.NET
    • Building a shopping cart using ASP.NET


    Beginning ASP.NET 1.1 with Visual C# .NET 2003 . Wrox Press.

    HCI 406 Website Design for HCI


    This study guide contains guidance and practice questions for the HCI 406 Graduate Assessment Exam (GAE). The exam is designed to test whether students have strong and current knowledge of HTML and CSS web design concepts. The HCI 406 course and this exam assume knowledge of HTML5, CSS3, semantic design concepts, responsive design concepts, and basic skills working with a webhosting account.

    The exam is open book and open note, but student are not permitted to use a computer or any other electronic device during the exam period (this means no ebook materials are permitted.)

    Recommended Study Materials:

    The HCI 406 text, which would well serve as study guides for this exam material is:

    • Jennifer Niederst Robbins, Learning Web Design, 5th Edition, O'Reilly Media, 2018, ISBN: 978-1-491-96020-2. Note that access to this text is available through the O'Reilly E-Books subscription at the DePaul Library.

    Topics to Focus Study On

    Using the Robbins text as a guiding structure, students should be prepared to answer GAE questions from the following Chapters

    1. Chapter 2: How the Web Works
    2. Chapter 3: Some Big Concepts You Need to Know
    3. Chapter 4: Creating a Simple Page (HCI 406 emphasizes the use of HTML for semantic markup)
    4. Chapter 5: Marking Up Text
    5. Chapter 6: Adding Links
    6. Chapter 7: Adding Images (we cover responsive images in HCI 406)
    7. Chapter 11: Introduction of Cascading Style Sheets
    8. Chapter 12: Formatting Text
    9. Chapter 13: Color and Backgrounds
    10. Chapter 14: Thinking Inside the Box (CSS Box Model is covered)
    11. Chapter 15: Floating and Positioning (although HCI 406 and this exam do not stress using floats for page layout)
    12. Chapter 16: CSS Layout with Flexbox and Grid (These techniques are taugh in HCI 406 for modern web page layout.)
    13. Chapter 17: Responsive Web Design

    HCI 412 HCI Design Fundamentals I


    HCI 412 focuses on 2D visual design basics. This exam measures your knowledge of design basics at work in numerous visual examples.

    • Application of design principles and elements
    • Additive and subtractive color systems incorporated in 2D graphic programs
    • Color harmonies derived from these systems
    • Methods for conveying the illusion of space on a two-dimensional page

    Design Basics | David A. Lauer and Stephen Pentak, Design Basics - Ninth Edition, 2015 | ISBN: 978-1285858227

    IT 403 Statistics and Data Analysis

    This exam covers topics in a first data analysis or statistics class.


    • Basic descriptive statistics: mean, median, standard deviation, interquartile range
    • Measurement error
    • Normal distributions
    • Correlation as a measure of linear association
    • The straight line regression model Root mean squared error for regression
    • Interpret the output of a linear regression model by statistical software (specifically slope and intercept) and generate a model
    • Basic laws of probability (While the student should possess an understanding of probability basics, it will not be covered on this GAE)
    • The binomial formula
    • Expected value and standard deviation of a random variable
    • Expected value and standard error of the sum and average of independent outcomes.
    • Law of averages (also known as the Law of Large Numbers)
    • Normal approximation of a sum and an average (also known as the Central Limit Theorem)
    • Confidence intervals
    • Tests of significance


    Introduction to the Practice of Statistics , 4th Ed., D.S. Moore and G.P. McCabe. Freeman and Co, 2002.

    IT 411 Scripting for Interactive Systems

    This is an introductory programming course that uses the JavaScript language, supplemented by the jQuery library. Topics:

    • Variables, assignments, and expressions involving arithmetic, unary, relational, and conditional operators;
    • Core built-in data types: integer, string, floating point, Boolean, array
    • Simple JavaScript objects
    • Control flow structures (if, for, while, break statements)
    • Functions, parameter passing, return statement, function scope
    • Document Object Model (DOM) and how it is accessed by JavaScript
    • Introductory HTML
    • Introductory CSS
    • Programs written using the jQuery API, especially the functions for element selection, event handling, DOM manipulation, and attribute getting and setting

    References: JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual, David McFarland, O’Reilly, 2012

    IS 411 Introduction to Programming for Business Applications

    Students must learn to apply the following concepts in a Python program:

    • Variables (integers, floating point numbers, and strings)
    • if structure
    • loop structures (for and while)
    • function
    • input and output

    Reading: Ljubomir Perkovic, Introduction to Computer Science with Python, 2nd edition, ISBN: 978-1-118-89094-3, Wiley, 2015

    NET 405 Voice and Data Network Fundamentals


    • Know the concept of a network architecture model; the OSI model and its layers; the TCP/IP protocol suite and its layers
    • Know the differences between data and signals, differences between and advantages of analog and digital, signal amplitude, frequency and phase, modulation techniques, pulse code modulation
    • Know the different media types (twisted pair, coax, fiber, wireless); their advantages and disadvantages; application areas for each type of media
    • What are the basic modem operations; operation and limitations of 56k modems; four parts of an interface standard; basic understanding of RS232, USB; data link asynchronous connections versus synchronous connections
    • What are the basic operations, advantages and disadvantages of frequency division multiplexing, time division multiplexing (both synchronous and statistical), and wavelength division multiplexing
    • What are the various types of error; parity checks; cyclic redundancy checks; efficiencies; basic concepts of error control
    • What are the functions, advantages and disadvantages of a LAN; LAN topologies; medium access control protocols; MAC sublayer; popular LAN systems
    • What is the difference between a hub and a switch; basics of routers and servers
    • What are the network operating system basics, including domain and tree structured designs; characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of popular NOSs.
    • What are WAN basics: including circuit switched, packet switched (datagram and virtual circuit), broadcast, connection-oriented, connectionless, routing (least cost, flooding, centralized, distributed, isolated, adaptive, and static), and network congestion.
    • What is the Internet and how does it work: services provided, IP (addressing, routing, fragmentation, time-to-live), ARP, DHCP, NAT, IPv6, DNS, and TCP protocol (basic functions)
    • Know the basic telecommunication concepts: POTS, Divestiture of 1984, Telecommunications Act of 1996, PBX, key systems, voice processing, T-1, ISDN, frame relay, ATM, and DSL
    • Know the basics of network security: basic security measures, standard system attacks, encryption and decryption techniques, PKI, and firewalls
    • Know the basic concepts of compression; lossy vs. lossless compression


    Data Communications and Computer Networks: A Business User's Approach , White, Course Technology.
    Business Data Communications , Stallings and Van Slyke. Prentice Hall.
    Business Data Communications and Networking , Panko. Prentice Hall.
    Business Data Communications and Networking , Fitzgerald and Dennis, John Wiley & Sons.
    Business Data Communications, Stamper, Addison-Wesley.

    NET 411 Introduction to Computer and Network Systems


    • Introduction to systems architecture: Computer capabilities (Processor, Storage capacity, Input/Output capability); Computer hardware (Central processing unit, System bus, Primary storage, Secondary storage, Input/output devices); Computer system classes (Multicomputer configurations).
    • Data representation: Binary data representations (Hexadecimal notation, Octal notation); Goals of computer data representation (Compactness, Accuracy, Ease of manipulation, Standardization); CPU data types (Integers, Real Numbers, Character data, Unicode, Boolean data, Memory addresses).
    • Processor technology and architecture: CPU Operation; Instructions and instruction sets (Data movement, Data transformations, Sequence control, Complex processing operations); Instruction format (Instruction length, Reduced instruction set computing); Clock rate; CPU registers (General purpose registers, Special purpose registers); Word size; Enhancing processor performance (Pipelining, Branch prediction and speculative execution, Multiprocessing).
    • Data storage technology: Storage device characteristics (Speed, Volatility, Access method, Portability, Cost and capacity, Memory-storage hierarchy); Primary storage devices (Storing electrical signals, Random access memory, Nonvolatile memory, Memory packaging); CPU memory access (Physical memory organization, Memory allocation and addressing); Magnetic storage (Magnetic decay and leakage, Areal density, Media integrity, Magnetic tape); Optical mass storage devices (CD-ROM, CD-R).
    • System integration and performance: System bus (Bus clock and data transfer rate, Bus protocol); Logical and physical access; Device controllers (Mainframe channels); Interrupt processing (Interrupt handlers, Multiple interrupts, Stack processing, Performance effects); Buffers and caches (Buffers, Diminishing returns, Cache); Processing parallelism (Multicore processors, Multi-CPU architecture, Scaling up and scaling out); High-performance clustering.
    • Operating systems: Operating system overview (Operating system management functions, Operating system layers); Resource allocation (Single-tasking resource allocation, Multitasking resource allocation, Resource allocation goals, Resource allocation tasks, Real and virtual resources); Process management (Process control data structures, Threads); CPU allocation (Thread states, Interrupt processing, Scheduling); Memory allocation (Single-tasking memory allocation, Multitasking memory allocation, Memory fragmentation, Noncontiguous memory allocation, Virtual memory management, Memory protection, Memory management hardware).
    • Files and secondary storage management: File management systems (Logical and physical storage views, File content and type); Directory content and structure (Hierarchical directory structure, Graph directory structure); Storage allocation (Allocation units, Storage allocation tables, Blocking and buffering); File manipulation (File open and close operations, Delete and undelete operations); Access controls.
    • Internet and distributed application services: Distributed computing (Client/server architecture, N-layer client/server architecture); Network resource access (Protocol stacks, Access remote resources); Interprocess communication (Sockets, Named pipes, Remote procedure calls); The Internet (Standard web protocols and services, The Internet as an application platform); Components and distributed objects (Component-based software, Components and objects, Connection standards and infrastructure, CORBA, COM+, SOAP); Directory services (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)).


    Systems Architecture, Stephen D. Burd.

    NET 413 Introduction to LAN and WAN


    1. Definition of network and local area networks. OSI 7-layer model. Communication media (cables and connectors)
    2. Ethernet and hardware devices. Ethernet frame structure. MAC address, CSMA/CD. Spanning-Tree Algorithm and Protocol (STA, 802.1D), Virtual LAN (VLAN, 802.1Q).
    3. Internet Protocols: IPv4 and IPv6, Classful and Classless IP addresses, Routing
    4. TCP and UDP
    5. Application Layer Protocols: FTP, DNS, DHCP, NTP, and mail protocols.
    6. Linux and Cisco utilities for network administration
    7. WAN technologies: Frame Relay, ATM, SONET, and VPN
    8. Wireless LAN (802.11), Spread Spectrum, CSMA/CA, addressing schemes, performance, and security.
    9. Network Operating Systems, Windows Server Administration, and LDAP.
    10. Linux System Administration, NIS, NFS.
    11. Storage Area Networks (SAN): RAID, NFS, Fiber Channel.
    12. Network/Traffic Sniffing, wireshark.
    13. Network Management, SNMP.


    Enhanced Network+: Guide to Networks, 4th edition, Dean, Course Technology, 2006
    ISBN: 0-619-21743-X