Computer Science- Master of Science in Computer Science

For information, contact:
Director of Graduate Programs
Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering
205 Benton Hall, 513-529-0340


The mission of the Master of Science in Computer Science program is to prepare students for computing professions that require research, invention, and advanced or specialized knowledge. This includes possible pursuit of a PhD in computer science. Students (who are expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a closely related field) shall complete and document work on independent research with a faculty advisor and study advanced topics in computer science. The advanced coursework and experience in research and invention prepares students for work at the cutting edge of computer science.

Admission and Application Requirements

Applicants for admission into the MSCS program should hold at least the equivalent of a minor in Computer Science or Software Engineering. It is preferred that applicants hold a bachelor's degree in one of these fields or another that is closely related. Specifically, successful applicants to our program should have mastered the following undergraduate topics:

  • Imperative and/or functional programming
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Basic algorithms and/or complexity
  • Computer organization and architecture
  • Concurrent and/or parallel programming
  • Software development methods and tools
  • Differential and integral calculus
  • Probability and statistics
  • Discrete mathematics or linear algebra

Applicants are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • Undergraduate GPA: Equivalent of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  • Proof of English Proficiency Minimum Scores (when required)
    • TOEFL IBT: 80+, 100+ is preferred
    • IELTS Overall ≥ 6.5
    • PTE ≥ 54
  • GRE: Quantitative score 60th percentile or higher. Preferred: Verbal score 35th percentile or higher and Analytical writing score 25th percentile or higher.

GRE requirements may be waived for international applicants for reasons of financial hardship or difficulties associated with reaching testing locations. Applicants who wish to have the GRE requirement waived should explicitly state reasons in the final paragraph of their statement of purpose. Waivers are generally granted based on country of residence.

Applicants are ranked for admission based on these criteria as well as recommendation letters, a statement of purpose, and interview results.

Combined Bachelor/Master's Program

Undergraduate students may apply to participate in the combined bachelors/master’s program. This program allows the student to pursue a master’s degree in an accelerated manner while simultaneously completing a bachelor’s degree. Students admitted to the combined degree program may count six to nine credit hours of their graduate coursework towards their bachelor's degree. This enables them to complete their degrees in an accelerated fashion. With an undergraduate major in computer science or software engineering, it is possible for students to complete the combined program in five years.

Admission to the combined program requires a GPA of 3.25 or higher after earning a minimum of 64 credit hours. Please contact the department for more information. 

Program Requirements

(32 semester hours)

The total course of instruction includes a minimum of 32 credit hours. Students must complete both research and advanced coursework requirements. The research requirement includes four hours of formal coursework related to research and a minimum of seven hours of thesis research. The coursework requirement includes 21 hours of graduate level coursework in both theoretical and applied areas. All students in the program are expected to attend Thesis proposal and defense presentations as well as other research presentations while enrolled in the program.

Research Requirement (11 credit hours minimum)

The research requirement includes four hours of structured preparation of students to conduct, evaluate, and document Computer Science research followed by a minimum of seven credit hours of thesis research. All students must write and successfully defend a Master's Thesis in order to graduate from the program.

  • CSE 610J MSCS Graduate Student Research Seminar(1)
  • CSE 601 Computer Science Research Methods (3)
  • Seven credit hours of CSE 700 Research for Master's Thesis (7)

Students must be successful in formally proposing and presenting a research problem in order to pass CSE 601.

Coursework Requirement (21 credit hours )

Students must complete 21 hours of graduate-level course work. The acceptable courses for fulfilling this requirement are categorized as “Theory” and “Application.”

  • Students must complete at least two courses from both the “Theory” and “Application” categories. Completed 400 level versions of 500 level courses may be used to satisfy this requirement if a grade of B or higher was received in the course. Undergraduate 400 level courses will not be counted towards the required total of 21 hours of graduate level coursework.
  • Students must complete at least three courses (nine hours) that are at or above the 600 level.
  • Students must earn a grade of ‘C’ or higher in all courses taken to meet degree requirements.
Theory Category

Courses that emphasize proofs and theoretical techniques.

CSE 564Algorithms3
CSE 565Comparative Programming Languages3
CSE 567Computer and Network Security3
CSE 570Special Topics3
CSE 573Automata, Formal Languages, and Computability3
CSE 574Compiler Design3
CSE 585Advanced Database Systems3
CSE 586Introduction to Artificial Intelligence3
CSE 615Mathematical Modeling3
CSE 621Foundations of Software Engineering3
CSE 627Machine Learning3
CSE 631Ontologies for Semantic Web3
CSE 650Special Topics in Computer Science Theory3
CSE 664Advanced Algorithms3
CSE 667Cryptography3
CSE 690Graduate Research3
Application Category

Courses that emphasize systems and programming.

CSE 543High Performance Computing & Parallel Programming3
CSE 551Web Services and Service Oriented Architectures3
CSE 565Comparative Programming Languages3
CSE 567Computer and Network Security3
CSE 570Special Topics3
CSE 571Simulation3
CSE 574Compiler Design3
CSE 585Advanced Database Systems3
CSE 586Introduction to Artificial Intelligence3
CSE 587Game Design and Implementation3
CSE 616Simulation of Physical Systems3
CSE 617Advanced Networks3
CSE 618Graphics for Simulation and Virtual Environments3
CSE 620Special Topics in Computer Science Applications3
CSE 621Foundations of Software Engineering3
CSE 627Machine Learning3
CSE 631Ontologies for Semantic Web3
CSE 690Graduate Research3
Additional Graduate Courses

Graduate level courses chosen in consultation with the student's research advisor may be counted towards the coursework requirements for the degree if approved by the department Graduate Director.

Seminar Requirement

CSE 611Computer Science Seminar Attendance Requirement0

Required seminar attendance as nonparticipant for graduate students during each fall and spring semester in which they are enrolled as full time students. Attendance must be verified at a designated number of approved events each semester. Approved events include proposal and defense presentations, and presentations by faculty search candidates.