Master of Science

The M.S. degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level coursework; up to 10 hours can be transferred from other accredited graduate programs. Each new student is assigned a faculty member to serve as an academic adviser who helps a student select courses and reviews the student's progress until a major professor is selected.

The Master of Science in computer science is available via distance learning.


Must include one course from each of the following areas:

  • Implementation
  • Languages
  • Systems
  • Applied Computer Science
  • Foundations
  • Specialization

Please see guidelines for the Master of Science degree for course details. Students must receive a grade of "B" or better for each course used to satisfy the above requirements.

Program options

Thesis option: Perform original research that culminates in a written thesis; six credit hours of CIS 899 are awarded for the work. This option requires 30 credit hours for a master's degree.

Report option: Undertake a project that culminates in a written report; one credit hour of CIS 897 and two credit hours of CIS 898 are awarded for the work. Project work from CIS 690 can be applied to the project, subject to the approval of the major professor. This option requires 30 credit hours for a master's degree.

Non-thesis/non-report option: Write a major paper, for example, as part of a CIS 8XX course. This option requires 33 credit hours of CIS coursework for a master's degree.

Program of study

The Graduate School requires all graduate students to file a program of study — a formal list of courses the student intends to take to fulfill the degree requirements.

Deadline to submit a program of study:

  • Full-time students – end of second semester
  • Part-time students – upon completion of nine credit hours

Computer science graduate students must submit a program of study checklist along with their program of study. Once your program of study has been filled out and signed by your major professor and supervisory committee members, please submit the checklist to the program coordinator.


Electronic form submissionAll forms must be submitted electronically using the link to the left and must include department advisor, Sheryl Cornell (, as the program advisor. The PDF forms listed below are working copies for the students to use as a guide. The electronic form submission has a time limit. Therefore, students must be prepared with the necessary information before they start.

M.S. advising form (pdf)

M.S. Handbook (pdf)