Master’s in Computer Science (M.S.) Program
Elevate your career options and opportunities with a master’s degree in computer science, whether you’re pursuing further education or planning to enter the workforce as a developer or researcher.
Prepare for a Ph.D. program or boost your career by earning your master’s degree in computer science.
Looking for a distinctive education in the tech space to prepare yourself for a Ph.D. or other advanced degree? Illinois Institute of Technology’s Master’s in Computer Science program is ideal for you. We offer you options such as completing a master’s thesis, which will help prepare you for the rigors of a Ph.D. program. You can even earn your master’s in computer science without a CS undergrad degree.
If you’re looking to elevate your computer science career, advance into leadership, or change your career path, Illinois Tech’s master’s in computer science program offers you options to customize your degree program to best meet your needs and your career goals. You can tailor your computer science master’s program by choosing from a master’s thesis, a master’s project, or a coursework-only program.
You can earn your master’s degree in computer science in just two years online, through a hybrid program, or on our high-tech campus, in close proximity to Chicago’s thriving tech industry. Our affordable and innovative computer science master’s program is within your reach—and your budget.
By choosing Illinois Tech’s master’s degree in computer science, you’ll enjoy a number of advantages, including:
- Gain professional expertise through Illinois Tech’s Elevate program. This one-of-a-kind program guarantees hands-on experiences—including research projects, internships, study away, competitions, short courses, and more—as well as personalized academic and career mentorship, all in pursuit of ensuring that our students graduate with career-readiness.
- Customize your computer science master’s degree program to meet your needs. Study full-time or part-time, online, or on campus—or choose a hybrid format to complete your degree. Then choose from a thesis option, a major project, or a coursework-only option.
- Live and learn in the heart of Chicago. Home to a growing technology industry, a thriving hacking community, and a hive of startup activity, Chicago offers you endless options for food, events, culture, and adventures.
- Earn a high-value, affordable master’s degree in computer science. We’re rated an educational best value by The Princeton Review, Forbes, Time, and Money magazine, and ranked third in the nation for upward mobility among highly selective private colleges by Opportunity Insights.
- Learn from leading experts and accomplished researchers. Our faculty act as mentors and encourage students to join them in pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, big data, cloud computing, manufacturing, and more.
With your master’s degree in computer science from Illinois Tech, you can pursue additional educational opportunities or elevate your career path in the tech industry.
Many of our computer science master’s program graduates go on to pursue Ph.D. programs at leading institutions across the country, including Northwestern University, Columbia University, Boston University, and others.
Our graduates who enter the workforce immediately have accepted career opportunities at companies such as Accenture, Google, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Apple in positions such as:
- Data systems designer
- Program developer
- Security systems designer
- Master data analyst
- Operations manager
Disclaimer for prospective students, please read.
Curriculum for our master’s degree in computer science program
As a student at Illinois Tech, you’ll complete core courses that are organized into three categories of computer science: programming, systems, and theory. Through your coursework, you’ll gain knowledge and expertise in such areas as computer graphics, animation, database organization, computer and internet architecture, and other advanced computer science topics in courses, including:
- Topics in Computer Graphics
- Advanced Database Organization
- Advanced Computer Architecture
- Theory of Computation
Admissions requirements for our master’s degree in computer science program
Admission requirements for our master’s in computer science program are the same for all program formats offered. A bachelor’s degree is required, but you can earn your master’s in computer science without a CS undergrad degree.
Admission requirements include:
- A bachelor’s degree with an overall grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Minimum GRE scores of 300 (quantitative + verbal) and 3.0 (analytic writing)
- TOEFL/PTE/IELTS scores are required from applicants who earned their bachelor’s degree at an institution in which English was not the primary instructional language
- Applicants whose bachelor’s degree is not in computer science may have to take prerequisite undergraduate courses for credit hours that will not apply to their master’s degree
Why Choose Illinois Tech’s Master’s in Computer Science Program?
Illinois Tech’s master’s in computer science program offers you:
- A customizable degree to fit your needs and goals
- The opportunity to live and learn in Chicago
- Guaranteed hands-on experiences through Elevate
- An affordable degree that is highly valued by employers
- A personalized mentored education with expert faculty
- A master’s in computer science without a CS undergrad degree
Scholarships and Financial Aid for Our Master’s Degree in Computer Science Students
We work hard to make an Illinois Tech education affordable and accessible. Learn more about graduate scholarships and financial aid, including:
- Graduate Pathway Scholarship: All students admitted to a master’s program at Illinois Tech are automatically considered for a merit-based scholarship at the time of admission.
- Graduate Assistantships: Assistantships are offered through academic departments and colleges with a focus on research and teaching. Graduate assistants receive partial tuition remission and a monthly stipend, along with assessment, teaching, or research experience.
- Graduate Research Funding: Individual faculty members may have research grants that can be used to help fund student research efforts.
Compare the Master of Science and Professional Master’s in Computer Science Programs
The Master of Science in Computer Science (M.S. CS) and Professional Master of Computer Science (M.A.S. CS) degree programs are similar, but slightly different.
- The admission criteria are slightly stricter for the M.S. CS program
- The GRE may be waived for some M.A.S. CS applicants
- Applicants not admitted to the M.S. CS program are automatically considered for admission to the M.A.S. CS program
Both degree programs offer nearly all computer science courses. As shown below, the programs differ somewhat in admission policy, credit hours, and core course requirements, in addition to the availability of the master’s thesis option, professional specializations, and courses.
|Program||Master of Science in CS (M.S. CS)||Master of CS (M.A.S. CS)|
|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 is right for me?
Both programs prepare you for a career as a working professional in computer science. The M.S. CS program is slightly more theoretically oriented, as it requires one more core theory course than the M.A.S. CS program. Specializations and computer science professional courses are available only through the M.A.S. CS program. If you plan to continue studying for a Ph.D., you should consider writing a master’s thesis, which is offered only as part of the M.S. CS program.
If you’re still not sure which program is right for you, we suggest applying to the M.S. CS program. If you’re accepted, it’s easy to change to the M.A.S. CS program later. If you’re not accepted to the M.S. CS program, you’ll automatically be considered for the M.A.S. CS program.
Bo Zhu found a way to hold down a full-time job and earn perfect marks in a master’s degree program from Illinois Tech, which led to a promotion.Bo Zhu (M.S. CS ’21)