Master of Science, Computer Science: REGULAR TRACK


An applicant must meet graduate school requirements and either of the following program requirements to be considered for admission:

  • Undergraduate major in Computer Science.
  • Satisfactory completion of two programming courses (such as CompSci 250 and 251); at least 6 additional credits of coursework in CS; and one course in calculus (such as Math 211 or Math 231).

Applicants may be admitted with specific program-defined course deficiencies provided that the deficiencies amount to no more than two courses. The student is expected to satisfy deficiency requirements within three enrolled semesters. The deficiencies are monitored by the graduate school and the individual graduate program unit. No course credits that are earned to make up deficiencies may be counted as program credits required for the degree. The overall quality of the academic record will also be an important factor in admission decisions.

Recommended Application Deadlines*

Fall Semester: April 1
Spring Semester: September 1
Summer: February 1

*International applicants should have their application complete one month earlier.

Major Professor as Advisor

The student is assigned an initial faculty advisor at the time of admission. The student selects a faculty member as a capstone or thesis advisor, respectively, as they follow the thesis or non-thesis option, after consultation with that faculty member. Any change in faculty advisor requires the documented permission of the new faculty member and the department. An initial program of study with student, advisor and department approval should be completed prior to the completion of nine credits in the program. The final program of study must be approved by the thesis or capstone advisor, as appropriate.

Change of Advisor

Credits and Courses

The following is a requirement for both options: The student must have taken six computer science courses (specified below) or their equivalents prior to completion of the MS program. Appropriate courses taken by a student in another program that are considered equivalent to the courses below can be used to satisfy this requirement with the approval of the department. The six courses are:

  • CS315 Computer Organization and Assembly Language Programming
  • CS317 Discrete Information Structures
  • CS351 Data Structures and Algorithms
  • CS458 Computer Architecture
  • CS535 Algorithm Design and Analysis
  • CS537 Introduction to Operating Systems

Since CS 315, 317, and 351 do not carry graduate credit, they do not count toward the 30 or 31 credits required to complete the degree.  In addition, at most six credits of the remaining courses in this list (CS 458, 535, and 537) may be used to satisfy this requirement, provided those courses are taken as a graduate student. All students must submit an approved undergraduate requirements assessment (which explains how these requirement will be met) prior to registering for any courses.

Undergraduate Requirements Assessment Form

Industrial Internship

With faculty advisor’s approval, one credit per semester of CompSci 999 may be satisfied with a supervised industrial internship for a maximum of two credits for the entire degree program.

Thesis Option

The minimum credit requirement is 30, comprised of:

  • 18 credits of 700 or higher level courses including CS 700 (CEAS Graduate Seminar — 3 credits), CS 704 (Analysis of Algorithms) and excluding CS 990 (Master’s Thesis),
  • 6 credits of additional courses that carry graduate credit, and
  • 6 credits of CS 990.

All courses must be approved in the Program of Study, which must not include any more than one credit of CompSci 870. The student must not register for more than 4 credits of CS 990 in any one semester. The student must write an acceptable thesis under the supervision of a faculty advisor and pass a final comprehensive examination which will normally focus on the thesis. Once a student begins a thesis under the supervision of an advisor, the graduate program director must approve any change to a new thesis advisor.

Program of Study for Thesis Option

Non-Thesis Option

The minimum credit requirement is 31, comprised of:

  • 19 credits of 700 or higher level courses including CS 700 (CEAS Graduate Seminar — 1 credit only), CS 704 (Analysis of Algorithms) and excluding CS 995 (Master’s Capstone Project),
  • 9 credits of additional courses that carry graduate credit, and
  • 3 credits of CS 995 (Master’s Capstone Project).

All courses must be approved in the program of study. The student must complete an acceptable capstone project under the supervision of a faculty advisor by registering for CS 995 with that advisor as the instructor and receiving a grade of B or better.

Program of Study for Non Thesis Option

Non Computer Science Courses

For either option, all courses must be approved in the program of study. Courses with curricular designations other than computer science must be approved prior to registration.

Time Limit

All students must complete the degree requirements within five years of initial enrollment.

Have questions?

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page

If you have any further questions or comments, please send us an e-mail. We will be looking forward to hearing from you. Send e-mail to CS Graduate Program Representative.