Masters of Science in Computer Science Catalog (2017)


Priority Admission Application Deadlines:
Fall: February 15
Spring: October 15
Summer: No admit

International applicant deadlines

Minimum Total Hours: 30 thesis; 30 non-thesis
Level: Masters
CIP Code: 11.0701
Dept. Code: ESB
Major/College Codes: ECC EN
Approved: 1960

Also offered as an Accelerated Degree Program:
Computer Engineering (BSCP) / Computer Science (MSCS)


College: Engineering
Department: Computer Science and Engineering
Contact Information


The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers a thesis and non-thesis option for the degree of Master of Science in Computer Science (M.S.C.S.) The thesis option requires students to pursue a more concentrated range of topics. The non-thesis option offers students some experience in many areas of computer science. There is considerable freedom in the choice of the courses.

The breadth of subjects which are part of computer science together with the immense diversity of its applications, make it imperative that students in the Master's major maintain close contact with the Graduate Director, or, if choosing the thesis option, with their major professor in order to achieve a coherent plan of study directed towards a specific goal. In particular, election of courses should only be made with prior consultation and approval of the Major Professor or the Graduate Director.

Major Research Areas:
An excellent selection of courses and laboratories support graduate studies in algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, computer architecture, graphics, networks, computer vision, distributed systems, embedded systems, expert systems, formal verification, image processing, pattern recognition, robotics, databases, software engineering, computer security, compilers, programming languages, and VLSI design and CAD.


Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.


Total Minimum hours: 30 hours

Successful completion of three core graduate-level courses is requiered
Core Requirements 9 hours
COP 6611 Operating Systems 3
EEL 6764 Principles of Computer Architecture 3
COT 6405 Introduction to the Theory of Algorithms 3


Thesis option students must select at least 15 hours and non-thesis option students must select at least 21 hours from the list of available graduate elective courses below in consultation with the Graduate Director or individual advisor. Non-thesis students need to take a minimum of 6 credits from the list of electives that are software related: 

CAP 5400 Digital Image Processing 3
CDA 5416 Computer System Verification 3
CAP 5625 Introduction to Artifical Intelligence  3
CAP 5771 Data Mining 3
EEL 5771 Introduction to Computer Graphics I 3
CNT 6215 Computer Networks 3
CAP 6415 Computer Vision 3
CAP 6455 Advanced Robotic Systems  3
CAP 6615 Neural Networks 3
COP 6621 Programming Languages and Translation  3
EEL 6706 Testing and Fault Tolerance in Digital Systems 3
CAP 6736 Geometric Modeling 3
CIS 6930 Special Topics  1-5
CIS 6940 Graduate Instruction Methods 1-4
CIS 6946 Internships/Practicums/Clinical Practice 0-3

With prior permission from the Graduate Director, students can take a maximum of 3 hours of Independent Study or Internship, a maximum of 3 hours of one-hour seminar courses, and up to one graduate level course (3 credit hours) outside of the department.

Thesis Option:

CIS 6971 Thesis: Master's 2-19

The thesis option requires the completion of 24 credit hours of CSE graduate-level courses (9 credit hours of core courses and 15 hours of electives) and 6 credit hours of thesis in computer science related problems, as determined by the Major Professor and documented in the Plan of Work. At least 16 credit hours must be at the 6000 level.

Non-Thesis Option:
The non-thesis option requires 30 credit hours, with 9 credit hours of core courses and 21 hours of graduate level electives. At least 16 credit hours must be at the 6000 level. At least 6 hours of electives should be taken from the list of electives that are software related in the following topic areas: advanced algorithms, compilers, databases, parallel computing and distributed systems, computer security, data mining, machine learning, programming languages, or software engineering, as determined by the Graduate Director and documented in the Plan of Work.

Comprehensive Exam
For students taking the thesis option, the requirement for a comprehensive exam is satisfied by the successful completion of the thesis. For non-thesis option students, the requirement for a comprehensive exam is satisfied by the successful completion of a comprehensive exam that students will take in the semester prior to the semester in which the students intends to graduate.

Graduation Requirements:
For the thesis option, students must defend and pass the thesis and have a GPA of 3.00 or better. Non-Thesis Option students must pass the Comprehensive Exam, obtain a letter "B" or better in the core graduate courses and have a GPA of 3.00 or better. No Grade below "C" will be accepted in a graduate major. If a student's average falls below 3.00, the student will be placed on probation.

See USF Course Inventory