MS, Computer Science

Study Format On Campus
Program Length 36 credits*, 2 years


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The Master of Science in Computer Science graduate program is designed to prepare students for immediate entry into the nation’s professional workforce in computer science. The program will help provide advanced quality graduate studies, in the areas of critical importance and great demands (such as Software Engineering, Database, Website Development, Computer Networking, Cyber Security, Big Data, Cloud Computing and Mobile Application Development), to the citizens of the Illinois, the nation and the world.

Program Objectives

The program will enable students to attain, by the time of graduation:

  • An ability to apply mathematical foundations, algorithmic principles, and computer science theory in the modeling and design, implementation and evaluation of software systems, processes, components, or programs of varying complexity in a way that meets the desired needs and demonstrates comprehension of the tradeoffs involved in design choices 
  • An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution
  • An ability to function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal
  • An understanding of professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities
  • An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • An ability to analyze the local and global impact of computing on individuals, organizations, and society
  • Recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in continued professional development
  • An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practice

Typical career paths for graduates

Just about every career field is in need of qualified computer science experts. That includes the public, private, government, non-profit and education sectors, including:

• Software Engineer
• Systems Administrator
• Systems Engineer
• Project Manager
• Software Developer
• Network Engineer
• Java Developer
• Database Administrator
• Business Analyst
• Computer Programmer
• .NET Developer
• Web Developer

Admission and Degree Requirements

Program Planning:  Once admitted to the program, students should schedule a meeting with their faculty advisor to determine if prerequisite coursework is needed, and to complete a program plan which outlines each semester of their graduate program. The outcome of this faculty advising session approves registration and enrollment into the Computer Science program. 

  • Meet all graduate admission requirements (domestic or international) for acceptance to the Computer Science program
    International applicants with a “3+2” Master’s degree will be evaluated as equivalent to a 4-year Bachelor’s degree
  • Candidates may transfer up to 9 semester hours of Computer Science graduate coursework from other regionally accredited degree-granting universities, upon approval of faculty advisor
  • To be considered for Standard Admission, candidates must demonstrate relevance of their bachelor’s degree (background) to the Computer Science curriculum (see Prerequisite background) and satisfy one of the following:
    • Undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.85 or above
    • Official GRE test scores
  • To be considered for Probationary Admission, one or more of the following conditions may exist:
    • A cumulative GPA between 2.25 and 2.84 (on a 4.0 scale)
    • Credentials/documents that raise cause for reservation for admission
      Note: Students admitted with Probation Status must earn a minimum 3.0 GPA in graduate coursework within their first semester of enrollment to continue in the program.
  • Provisional admission is offered to U.S. residents and citizens (only) when credentials generally satisfy full admission requirements but need to satisfy additional admission requirements to complete their file.  All admission requirements must be satisfied by the end of the candidate’s first semester of enrollment to continue in the program.
    Note: Provisional admission does not apply to international students. All international students must be fully admitted to be eligible to start a graduate program.
  • Candidates should demonstrate proficiency in the following prerequisite areas:
    • C++ or Java
    • Data Structures
    • Operating Systems
    • Computer Architecture
  • Note: If the faculty advisor determines that the candidate is deficient in the above prerequisite areas, he/she will assign the candidate to complete and pass CUC undergraduate deficiency courses and earn a grade of C or higher while being enrolled in the Computer Science graduate program. These courses will remain undergraduate credit and will not apply to the graduate degree. The deficiency courses are:
    • CSC-2410 Computer Science I
    • CSC-2510 Computer Science II
    • CSC-3420 Data Structure and Algorithms
    • CSC-4450 Operating Systems
    • CSC-2710 Computer Organization and Architecture
  • International applicants with a “3+2” Master’s degree will be evaluated as equivalent to a 4-year Bachelor’s degree.
  • Graduation eligibility requires completion of the 36 hours of coursework with a minimum earned cumulative GPA of 3.00 

International Student Program Duration 

International students enrolled in the MS, Computer Science, are eligible for a two-year STEM extension, renewable for a maximum duration of three years.

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