May 16, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science, M.S.

Graduate Program Director: Ahmad Pahlavan Tafti

Associate Professors: Boothe, Briggs, MacLeod; Assistant Professors: Tafti; Adjunct Faculty: Bantz, El-Taha, Houser, Viles

The Master of Science in Computer Science program is designed to provide the student with a thorough knowledge of the concepts, theory, and practice of Computer Science as well as develop the student’s ability to critically analyze solutions to problems and to make sound professional decisions. Students will be prepared for positions of responsibility and expertise. Graduates may assume positions involving such diverse activities as the design, implementation, and testing of software products; the development of new hardware technology; and the analysis, construction, and management of large-scale computer systems; the quantitative analysis of large data sets for modeling and decision making. Graduates will possess a good foundation for further study in Computer Science.

Program Requirements

All master’s candidates must complete a minimum of 30 credits, which must include at least 18 credits of graduate-level Computer Science courses, excluding COS 598 - Internship . Students must also take either a six-credit master’s thesis, COS 698 , or a three-credit master’s project, COS 696 , and an additional graduate course in Computer Science. At most two approved 400-level Computer Science courses can be used to fulfill the remaining credit requirements. At most two courses from other departments may be used toward the graduate degree. The Computer Science faculty must approve these courses in advance. Courses taken previously to meet other degree requirements cannot be used toward the graduate degree.

For each of the following two listed areas, if a student does not have the equivalent of one of the course options given, then the student must take one course and may use it toward fulfillment of the degree requirements.


The culminating work in the M.S. program must take one of the following two forms:

  1. COS 698 - Master’s Thesis : the student works on research under the supervision of a thesis committee composed of faculty members.
  2. COS 696 - Master’s Project : the student works on an application of Computer Science. This project could be in the form of application software, a report on a problem, or design of an application. The project may be the solution of a problem at the student’s place of employment. In this case, a representative of the employer may serve as an additional committee member.

The first option requires a committee of at least three members. The second option requires a committee of at least one faculty member. Both options require that a project proposal addressing a topic in the student’s chosen track be approved by the committee. They also require a written final summary document describing the results of the project. This document must be approved by the committee and published according to Departmental guidelines. Oral presentation of the completed project is encouraged.

To ensure that the degree candidate’s studies are focused and lead to a deeper knowledge in an area, the student must take at least four courses from an approved collection addressing an area of emphasis:

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics
  2. Software Development
  3. Student-Designed Area

For details of the collections associated with the area of emphasis and the process of obtaining approval of a student-designed area, see Departmental guidelines.