MS Computer Science – Previous MSCS Curriculum

The College of Computing has high standards for all of its programs and students, and as such the below requirements may exceed the Institute minimum criteria for degree certification.  In all cases, the College requirements must be met.

A new MSCS curriculum is in effect beginning summer semester 2011 and is available here. Current students who entered the program before Summer Semester 2011 may choose to graduate under the new MSCS curriculum or the previous MSCS curriculum shown below.

Prerequisites: At the graduate level the College assumes that you have the proficiency needed to succeed in your selected classes. Prerequisites are listed as guidance for the skill level necessary in the course, but will not be enforced electronically. All students are responsible for ensuring they have the appropriate background to be successful in their course selections.

Program Options

Students may choose from one of three options in pursuing the MSCS.

Course Option

  • This option requires the student to complete 36 hours of course work.
  • Total Course Credit Hours for the Degree: 36
  • Minimum CS Course Credit Hours: 24
  • CS Course Credit Hours that must be at the 6000-8000 Level: 18
  • Total Credit Hours that must be at the 6000-8000 Level: 24
  • 12 hours may be taken at the 4000 level and/or outside of CS. Project units cannot be used as Course hours.  

Project Option

  • This option requires the student to complete 27 hours of course work and a 9-hour project. The project requires approval by a faculty advisor and the MSCS coordinator in the semester prior to its inception. See your academic advisor for more information.
  • Total Credit Hours for the Degree: 36
  • MS Project (CS 8902) Hours: 9
  • Minimum CS Course Hours: 24
  • CS Course Hours that must be at the 6000-8000 Level: 18
  • Only one course outside of CS may be used towards the degree and only two courses may be at the 4000 level.

Thesis Option

  • This option requires the student to complete 24 hours of course work and a 12-hour thesis. See your academic advisor for more information about the thesis process.
  • Total Credit Hours for the degree: 36
  • MS Thesis Hours: 12
  • CS Course Hours: 24
  • CS Course Hours that must be at the 6000-8000 Level: 18
  • No courses may be taken outside of CS, although two CS courses may be taken at the 4000 level.

Computer Science Core

All MSCS students, regardless of program option, are required to complete three hours of courses in each of the core areas of systems and theory at the graduate level. The list of classes that fulfill this requirement may be updated from time to time. Currently the core requirements can be met with the classes listed below.

  • Systems:  CS6210, 6241 (Spring term only), or CS6290
  • Theory:   CS6505 or CSE 6140

Specialization

Beyond the core requirements, each student must complete at least one specialization as a part of his or her degree program. Students may specialize in areas of their choice. A specialization is achieved by completing at least 2 graduate-level courses in the selected area. The current 12 specialization areas are:

  • computational science and engineering
  • computer architecture
  • database systems
  • graphics and visualization
  • human-computer interaction
  • information security
  • intelligent systems
  • networking and communications
  • programming languages and compilers
  • software methodology and engineering
  • systems
  • theory

Although the specialization requirement is satisfied by taking the minimum two courses, students are encouraged to pursue additional depth in their specialization through coursework or research.  The list of approved courses is contained in the CS PhD breadth list. Courses that are not on that list need to be approved through the MSCS academic advisor.

Program Rules

  • 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 courses taken, whether used for the degree or not, are used in the cumulative GPA.
  • Undergraduate Courses – Undergraduate courses required for the BSCS degree may not be used toward the MSCS degree. In addition, no graduate credit will be given for courses below 4140.
  • Pass-Fail and Audit – Students must take all master's degree course work on a letter-grade basis. Students may take courses P/F or Audit, but these will not count toward fulfilling the degree requirements.
  • The maximum total credit hours of Special Problems (CS 8903) that may be applied toward the MSCS degree is three.  This applies to all Special Problems courses on campus regardless of the course number assigned.
  • There is no maximum number of Special Topics (CS 8803) courses that may be used towards the degree.