Oct 04, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Computer Science, M.S.

Graduate Program Director: Ahmad Pahlavan Tafti

Associate Professors: Boothe, MacLeod; Assistant Professor: 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 advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning models; 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. Courses in other departments may be used towards the graduate degree if they are approved by the Computer Science faculty in advance. Courses taken previously to meet other degree requirements cannot be used toward the graduate degree.

For each of the following two areas, if a student does not have the equivalent of the needed courses, then the student must take courses to address the deficiency. The courses taken may be used towards the degree and toward fulfillment of the degree requirements.

1. Complete the following courses in the computer systems and theory area:

  • COS 457: Database Systems or COS 558 : Database Systems 
  • COS 485: Design of Computing Algorithms or COS 582 : Design and Analysis of Computing Algorithms

2. Complete either:

  • COS 420: Object-Oriented Design
  • COS 430: Software Engineering 


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.