Master's Program (MS)

General Overview of the MS Degree

MS students generally complete the degree in two years. Initially, students are required to begin coursework (see MS Curriculum Sheet) and are welcome to discuss their plans with the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. John Hartman, who is their assigned advisor. An MS planning worksheet allows students to tailor their degree to specific interests and needs. Students generally start with two courses their first semester and average 2.5 graduate courses per semester unless the student has transferred in courses from elsewhere (see CSC Graduate Program Policies).

Students can pursue either a thesis or a non-thesis Master’s. The non-thesis option is designed for students to develop more sophisticated programming, theoretical, and applied skills for working in industry.

The thesis-based master’s degree is designed for students considering research-based careers after their masters, as well as students who want to try out research while considering whether they may continue in a doctoral program. Interested students should talk to relevant faculty about this option before entering into their last year, as they will need to identify a faculty advisor for the thesis. 

Students who successfully complete an MS degree may command a higher salary and positions with more authority and autonomy in industry.

Students should become familiar with the Graduate College Policies and CSC Graduate Program Policies and refer to them throughout the program.  Submission of MS GradPath Forms are required throughout the program starting with the first semester.

Program Fee

The MS in Computer Science program has a $400/semester ($800 annual) program fee. The fee is used to 1) partially fund a career coordinator and 2) to improve spaces and resources for MS in Computer Science students. Students are responsible for paying this fee each semester they are in the program. For more information about the program fee, visit the Academic Administration website. There is limited scholarship funding available to help defer some of the cost for students with financial need.