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Computer Science MS

Master's degree in computer science

The Computer Science MS program gives graduates a broad and deep knowledge of computer science by offering a strong core program with a wide selection of elective courses.

The program maintains a balance between theory, systems, and applications—with an emphasis on software development.

You'll gain the ability and confidence to use your knowledge by working on realistic-scale, graduate-level projects. Your experience will include:

  • work as a member of a team
  • situations where you will be responsible for the entire project, from problem specification to solution
  • independent research
  • presentation of research results in oral and written forms

You will graduate with the knowledge and skills required to develop and design high-quality computer systems and application software—and the ability to follow the rapid changes in the field of computer science.

As a highly-qualified professional, you will be ready to compete for responsible positions in the computer industry, research institutions, government, or to continue your education in a PhD program. 

Starting salary range:
$98,730 - $124,282

National Association of Colleges and Employers) Summer 2021 Salary Survey

The MS in Computer Science prepares graduates to:

  • succeed as leaders at project and enterprise levels
  • pursue PhD studies
  • contribute to the development of computer industry
  • use computer science knowledge to contribute to the advancement of other industries

Learn more: program goals & outcomes

You will arrange an individual graduate program with your advisor during the first semester, subject to approval by your Graduate Committee.

All students complete 3 required computer science courses and a master’s project or thesis course. Combined thesis and project credits cannot exceed 6. Elective courses round out the student’s program.

Learn more: degree requirements

A number of graduate teaching and research assistantships are awarded to qualified students who have been accepted for admission to a degree program and have requested financial assistance.

The research interests of faculty in the Computer & Information Science (CIS) Department are wide-ranging, and include:

  • artificial intelligence
  • autonomous systems
  • bioinformatics
  • computational biology
  • decision support systems
  • distributed computing
  • human-computer interaction
  • internet security
  • mobile robotics
  • machine learning

Learn more: faculty areas of interest

International (F-1) students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees may be eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT). To learn about the eligibility criteria and detailed steps to apply, please review the International Student & Scholar Center (ISSC) OPT page and USCIS resources. F-1 students must consult with the ISSC to apply for STEM OPT.

Changes to Graduate Studies admission requirements

In response to the COVID‐19 pandemic, admission requirements for graduate degree and certificate programs may have changed.
Learn more about changes to requirements

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. (Applicants who do not meet this criterion may also be considered for admission if they can demonstrate convincingly that they have the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree.)

You must demonstrate:

  • ability to write programs in a high-level programming language (such as C, C++, Java)
  • knowledge of computer architecture and operating systems
  • knowledge of software engineering
  • knowledge of mathematical analysis and elements of theoretical foundations of computer science and analysis of algorithms

Apply and submit all required application materials to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Required materials

  • Statement of purpose: minimum 300 words. Indicate your graduate study objectives, research interests and experience, and business or industry experience if applicable. If you are applying for a teaching or research assistantship, include any special skills or experience that would assist in assistantship decisions.
  • Official transcripts: from all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless of whether a credential is earned or not).
  • Official GRE score: sent directly from ETS; copies/scans not accepted.
  • 3 letters of recommendation: from persons in the field of your academic major at the institution most recently attended or from supervisors familiar with your recent job performance.
  • Resume.

International students: official TOEFL or IELTS scores sent directly from ETS or testing agency; copies/scans not accepted. Required of any applicant who did not earn a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited academic institution in the U.S. or accepted English-speaking country.

Deadlines and Test Requirements

Computer Science Faculty

Adnan El-Nasan
Firas Khatib
Gokhan Kul
Hua Fang
Haiping Xu
Iren Valova
Ming Shao
Paul Bergstein
Clinton Rogers
Shelley Zhang
Yi Liu

Study Online

We offer the option to earn your master's degree in a 100% online program. Learn more: MS in Computer Science online

Explore more about Computer Science

Course Catalog

See course schedules and requirements.


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