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MSCS Online Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I find the basic information about this program?

Q: What are the requirements for the online CS, MS program?

A: Our online MS program has the same requirements as our traditional MS program, while the difference is that the courses are offered online instead of on-site. You may find more information about our MS program admission requirements at CIS Graduate Admissions Requirements.

Q. How many courses are required? How long does it take to finish this Program? Can I be a part-time student?

MS degree requires 10 courses (30 credits) and you may finish this program within 4 semesters or longer, up to six years. You may choose a course load that best fits your schedule. 

Q. Is there a time limit to complete this program?

A. The credit longevity of the MS degree is six years. You may take as long as six years to complete this program.

Q: What is the course scheduling time? Do I need to be on Campus for exams?

A. Online courses do not have fixed meeting times, you may choose the time to study based on your personal schedule. You are not required to be on campus to take an exam.

Q: How is the online course material delivered?

A: Depending on the instructor, the course is delivered using a combination of some of the following methods: assigned reading materials, pre-recorded video lectures, interactive textbook, discussion board, assignments, projects, etc. 

Q: Does this program admit people that are not traditionally trained in CS? Are there prerequisite classes for non-CS majors?

A: Students from other disciplines may apply to this program. Some prerequisite CS undergraduate courses are needed to prepare for the program.   

For students with a BS degree in fields other than Computer Science or Computer Engineering, we offer an online preparatory program consisting of four courses in computer science fundamentals. This preparatory program is fully online and may be finished within one year. Learn more about the preparatory program

Q: Is there a pathway leading to this program for people who have not been officially admitted into this program?

Yes, there are two ways you may prepare yourself for this program before official admission.

You may take pre-requisite courses (see also preparatory program)  or graduate-level CIS online courses as a non-degree student.  The graduate-level CIS courses (maximum six-credits) taken as a non-degree student may be counted towards your CIS MS degree after you are accepted into this program. 

You are also encouraged to apply to the Computer Science Graduate Certificate Program, which does not require a GRE score. After completing five courses, you will earn a CS certificate. Those five courses may be counted toward your CS MS degree after you are accepted into the MS program.

Q. I have a BA but not a BS. Am I eligible to take the preparatory program? If I am, what is the process?

A: There may be additional challenges for BA degree holders due to the lack of a Math & Science background. However, you are certainly welcome to try this preparatory program. The suggestion is to start slowly by taking only one course to begin with.

Q. Do I need to apply for the preparatory program first and then apply for the online MS in CS or both at the same time?

A: You do not need to apply for the preparatory program. After finishing the 4 courses in this preparatory program, you may apply to the MS program.

Q: Can a student in the online MS program take regular on-site courses?

A: Yes, a student in the online MS program may take on-site UMD courses, with regular on-site course tuitions and fees.   If the student is residing in the U.S. on a visa, his/her visa status must allow him/her to take such a course.  UMassD will not issue an I-20 for an international student in the online program to attend UMD merely to take an on-site course. Such a student should confirm with CIS department that the course he/she plans to take would indeed count toward MS degree requirements.  

Q: What is the requirement of programming skills?

A. Being proficient in either C++ or Java is required for the MS program. You can either take courses or conduct a self-study.

Q: Is a GRE required for applying to the online MS program?

A: GRE is required for all online MS program applicants. Exceptions may be made in rare cases, but this needs to be decided by the committee. In the meantime, you may consider the Computer Science Graduate Certificate‌ Program that does not require GRE scores. The GRE requirement for online MS program application is waived for students successfully completing the UMass Dartmouth Computer Science Certificate. Alternatively, you may take up to two CS graduate-level courses. The GRE score requirement will be waived if you achieve grades B+ or better in two CS graduate-level courses. You may do so as non-degree student.

Q: Do I have to be in the United States to apply for the classes?

A: No, the online Computer Science MS program does not require students to be physically present in the United States.  

Q: What are the documents I will need to apply for the online CS Master program?

Required application materials are described at Graduate Studies - Program-specific requirements

To begin the application process: Graduate Application

Q: What is the application deadline?

A: The deadline of application to the online MS program is Aug 1 for the fall semester, and Nov 15 for the spring semester.  


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