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M.S. Program in Computer Science

Note: The description below is for general informational purposes only. For current requirements please refer to the latest  Graduate Handbook. 

The M.S. program is designed primarily to train students with professional goals in business, industry, or government, requiring a detailed knowledge of computer science concepts and applications. The program concentrates primarily on applied computer science, emphasizing programming, software development, computer systems, and applications with appropriate theoretical background. Each student is given the experience of working on one or more projects involving analysis, design, evaluation, and/or implementation. 

Students in the M.S. degree program choose between three options:

  1. Basic Project Option
    In this option, the students receive a broad coverage of Computer Science with at least one project-oriented coursework. The student must take 3 credits of CSE 522 (Basic Project in Computer Science) as a part of his/her graduation requirement.

  2. Advanced Project Option
    In this option, the student undertakes a more involved, two-semester long project under the guidance of a faculty advisor. The student must take 3+3 credits of the two-semester long sequence of CSE 523/524 (Advanced Project in Computer Science I and II) as a part of his/her graduation requirement. 

  3. Thesis Option
    In this option, the student performs a research project under the guidance of a faculty advisor (usually 2–3 semester long), and writes a dissertation. The student must take 6–9 credits of CSE 599 (M.S. Thesis) as a part of their graduation requirement.

Regardless of the chosen option, the students are required to complete a minimum of 31 graduate credits in the Computer Science Department with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The actual course requirements depend somewhat on the option chosen. Generally speaking, Advanced Project and Thesis Options provide more flexibility for course choices relative to the Basic Project Option. 

The required 31 credits must satisfy the following requirements.

  1. Breadth Requirement 

    All students must satisfy the M.S. breadth requirement regardless of the chosen option. This requirement is satisfied by taking 4 courses out of designated groups of courses. For specifics, please refer to the latest Graduate Handbook. 

  2. M.S. Project or Thesis (3, 6, or 9 credits)

    This requirement depends on the chosen option. This requirement can be satisfied by taking 3 credits of CSE 522 (Basic Project Option), 6 credits of the CSE 523/524 course sequence (Advanced Project Option), or 6–9 credits of CSE 599 (Thesis Option).

  3. Computer Science Graduate Courses

    The remaining credits can be satisfied by taking Computer Science graduate courses at the CSE5xx and CSE6xx levels. However, not all courses count in the same way and there are several restrictions.  For specifics, please refer to the latest Graduate Handbook. Normally courses outside Computer Science Department do not apply unless specifically approved by the Graduate Program Director. Such approval requires concurrence by the student's project/thesis advisor. Undergraduate courses may count with prior approval, but only if taken as CSE587. For specifics, please refer to the latest Graduate Handbook. 

 List of CSE 522 Courses for the Basic Project Option
 Frequently Asked Questions