A Master of Computer Applications (MCA) degree, offered by various universities in India, gives students a foundation in technical mathematics, computer science and business. The degree's curriculum prepares you for a career in computer programming, database administration, networking, web design and microprocessor programming. It is similar to a master's degree in computer science in the United States, and admittance requires a bachelor's degree with a background in mathematics, sufficient grades earned during the bachelor's program and the completion of an entrance exam. In addition to the degree's courses, you must complete a technical project or internship to graduate.
Before starting a Master of Computer Applications program, you need to have completed a bachelor's program that lasted a minimum of three years and included a number of math and statistics courses. While some schools let you enroll with any bachelor's degree as long as you meet the math requirements, others require a bachelor's in computer science or information technology. Another possible requirement for unrelated majors is the completion of a year-long post-graduate diploma that focuses on computer applications.
In addition to any bachelor's degree requirements, most schools require you to be an Indian national or meet the requirements to enroll as a foreign student. You also will need to successfully pass your prospective school's technical college entrance exam. Being able to sit for the entrance exam requires that you already have met the bachelor degree requirements and earned sufficient scores on your prior coursework.
The coursework required to earn a Master of Computer Applications degree consists of both theoretical and laboratory courses, and it can take up to three years or six semesters to complete the mix of business, computer and math courses. The business courses focus on management, organizational behavior, managerial and financial accounting, customer service, economics and project management. Computer courses make up the largest portion of the degree and include classes in computer programming languages, operating systems, information security, mobile computing, systems design and analysis, database management and computer hardware. Math courses focus on probability and discrete mathematics.
The final semester of a Master of Computer Applications degree typically includes the completion of a major project that often coincides with an internship. You usually will do a project in software engineering, which may include creating a program or an entire system for a company. The goal of the project is to give you an opportunity to apply material from each of the courses you completed. If you complete it at an internship site, the project also may include some job training.