Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science

The Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science is directed toward students with a computer science background who are looking for a program and courses that are more focused on software. This can be either a pure course option program, or it can incorporate either a project or a thesis. If a student chooses a degree option that incorporates a research experience, this MS degree may provide a solid stepping stone to future doctoral studies. All students in the MS in Computer Science program must have previously completed (as documented by their undergraduate transcript), successfully test to place out of, or complete at the start of their program the following courses: CSE 501N Introduction to Computer Science and CSE 502N Data Structures and Algorithms (or equivalent courses offered at other institutions).

Course Option

This option requires 30 units of graduate credit. Students must also follow the general degree requirements listed below and complete the breadth requirements.

Thesis/Project Option

The thesis and project options require 24 units of graduate credit in addition to 6 units of either thesis or project courses (CSE 599 or CSE 598, respectively). Students pursuing the project option may opt to take 27 units of graduate courses and only 3 units of CSE 598, with advisor approval. Students must also follow the general degree requirements listed below. Thesis students are exempt from the breadth requirements.

General Degree Requirements

  • Breadth requirements include one departmental course from each of the following categories: Theory (T), Software Systems (S), and either Machines (M) or Applications (A). These courses must be at the 500 level or above.
  • 18 of the 30 required units must be CSE departmental courses at the 500 level or above.
  • Students may count up to 6 units of course work taken outside the CSE department toward their degree. Out-of-department courses must be individually reviewed and approved by the department to ensure that they offer suitably technical graduate-level content. No more than 6 out-of-department units may be counted except in extraordinary circumstances, and no more than 12 units may be counted in any case.
  • Up to 12 units of 400-level courses can count for graduate credit.
  • None of of the 30 units may be taken as independent study (i.e., CSE 400 or CSE 500).
  • Courses with an "N" designation do not count toward the master's degree.
  • All 30 units required for the degree must be taken for a grade (i.e., not pass/fail), and the grade received in each course must be C- or better.
  • Per School of Engineering guidelines, students must maintain a grade-point average of at least 2.70.

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