The Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) program is a terminal degree program designed to prepare students for more highly productive careers in industry.
Graduates receive the MS CS for completing one of three options in the program as described in the program of study. The program is designed for students who possess a bachelor's degree in computer science from an accredited institution. Students with a bachelor's degree in other than computer science are encouraged to apply as well, with the understanding that they may be required to complete remedial course work in addition to the requirements of the MS CS degree.
Admission to the program is highly selective; there are many more qualified applicants than there are places in the program. The challenge for the College every year is to select a class from a highly qualified pool. The College looks for compelling reasons to admit candidates, and the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, test scores and GPA are all reviewed carefully. Having a strong undergraduate background in computer science, including C programming, is highly recommended for applicants. The Admissions Committee welcomes additional pertinent information that will aid in making objective and informed decisions.
Students are admitted to the master's program only once a year. The application deadline is Feb. 1 for admission to the following fall semester.
Learn important information about our admissions process as well as fast-track admissions on our Admissions Requirements page.
- GPA – Students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 to graduate, and no course grades below C will be allowed to count toward graduation. All grades labeled below as core and elective courses within your specialization must be B or better.
- No course may be used to satisfy the requirements of two degrees. In addition, no graduate credit will be given for CS courses with a number lower than 4140.
- A maximum of 6 hours may be taken at the 4000-level and/or with a subject code other than CS or CSE. See exceptions under the Project and Thesis options below.
- Pass-Fail and Audit – All courses applied to the MSCS degree must be taken for letter grade, other than thesis hours.
- The maximum total credit hours of Special Problems (CS or CSE 89xx) that may be applied toward the MSCS degree is 3. These courses must be within the CoC.
- There is no maximum number of Special Topics (CS or CSE 88xx) courses that may be used towards the degree.
- Each student must complete the requirements for one specialization.
Students may choose from one of the following three options in pursuing the MSCS.
- 36 hours of course work (no MS project or thesis hours
- Total course credit hours required: 36
- Minimum CS/CSE course credit hours: 30
- Minimum CS/CSE course credit hours at the graduate (6000-8000) level: 24
- Minimum total credit hours at the 6000-8000 level: 30
- 27 hours of course work and a 9-hour project. The student must obtain advance approval of the project proposal by the faculty advisor and MSCS coordinator. See your academic advisor for more information.
- Total credit hours required: 36
- MSCS project hours (CS 6999): 9
- Minimum CS/CSE course hours required: 21
- Minimum CS/CSE course credit hours at the graduate (6000-8000) level: 21
- The approved program of study may include a maximum of (a) 3 hours of non-CS/CSE credit (b) 6 total 4000-level hours.
- 24 hours of course work and a 12-hour thesis. The student must obtain advance approval of the thesis proposal by the faculty advisor and MSCS coordinator. See your academic advisor for more information about the thesis process.
- Total credit hours required: 36
- MSCS thesis hours (CS 7000): 12
- Minimum CS/CSE course hours required: 24
- Minimum CS/CSE course credit hours at the graduate (6000-8000) level: 18
- The approved program of study may include a maximum of 6 total 4000-level CS hours. No non-CS/CSE hours may be applied to the degree requirements.
Students in the MS CS program choose from 15 areas of specialization. This allows students to better customize their degree program. To find out which courses are required for each specialization, visit our MS CS Specializations page to explore the possibilities.