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Computer Science (M.A.S.)

The Master of Computer Science program provides a conceptual and practical education in computer science by combining a broad core curriculum with a variety of options for study.

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The Master of Computer Science builds advanced computer skills to help you become more competitive and open more career opportunities. It can help computer science professionals currently working in business, government, or industry who want to achieve advanced careers goals. Recent computer science graduates can extend and deepen their knowledge of the field in order to gain a competitive edge in the job market. People without a previous degree in computer science can prepare for a career as a working computer science professional.

Core courses are organized into three categories of computer science: programming, systems, and theory. The degree may be earned strictly through coursework or a master’s project. The Master of Computer Science also offers 10 different specializations, should you choose to pursue one.

Program Overview

The Master of Computer Science builds advanced computer skills to become more competitive in the workforce. Courses are organized into three categories: programming, systems, and theory. The degree may be earned strictly through coursework or a master’s project.

Career Opportunities

The program is designed to advance a professional computer scientist career. Career paths vary depending on the specialization.

  • Network and computer systems administrator
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Computer network architect
  • Software developer
  • Computer and information research scientist
  • Senior database administrator

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, but not necessarily in computer science, with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0. 

Minimum GRE scores of 295 quantitative + verbal, and 2.5 analytic writing, although GRE scores may be waived for applicants with a bachelor's degree from an accredited United States institution with an overall GPA of 3.0/4.0.

Two letters of recommendation are required.

A personal statement must be submitted.

At least one calculus course must have been passed, although applicants who have not done so may take a calculus course at Illinois Tech; this course will not apply to the credit hours of the program.

Transfer students must be in good academic standing at their current institution.

TOEFL/PTE/IELTS scores may be required from some applicants.

Program Specializations

 

Comparison of the Master of Science and Professional Master's of Computer Science

The Master of Science in CS (MSCS) and Professional Master of CS (MCS) degree programs are similar but slightly different.

ADMISSION DIFFERENCES

  • The Admission Criteria are slightly higher for the MSCS than the MCS.
  • The GRE can be waived for some MCS applicants.
  • Applicants rejected for the MSCS program are automatically considered for admission to the MCS program.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The degree programs are similar in that they make nearly all CS courses available. As shown in the table below, they differ somewhat in admission policy; credit hour and core class requirements; and availability of a master's thesis, professional specializations, and courses.

Program Master of Science in CS (MSCS) Master of CS (MCS)
Minimum GRE Composite: 300, AW: 3.0 Composite: 295, AW: 2.5
Credit Hours Required 32 hours 30 hours*
Core Classes Required 4 core classes 3 core classes
Specializations Not available Available, optional
Master's Thesis (CS 591) Available, optional Not available
CS Classes Available CS 401-590, 595, 600-799, 
CS 591, 597
CS 401-590, 595, 600-799, 
CS 597, CSP 5xx

*33 hours for the Business and Finance specializations.

WHICH PROGRAM SHOULD I APPLY TO?

  • Both programs prepare you for a career as a working professional in computer science.
  • The MSCS is slightly more theoretically-oriented, since it requires one more theory core course than the MCS.
  • Specializations and CS Professional courses are only available through the MCS program.
  • If you plan to continue studying for a Ph.D., you should consider writing a Master's Thesis, which is only available under the MSCS program.
  • If you're not sure which program you want, we suggest applying to the MSCS program. If you're accepted, it's easy to change to the MCS program later; if you're rejected for the MSCS program, you'll automatically be considered for the MCS program.