Masters of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) Catalog


Priority Admission Application Deadlines

Fall: February 15
Spring: October 15
Summer: No admit

International Students in the U.S.

Fall: February 15
Spring: October 15
Summer: No admit

International Students Outside the U.S.

Fall: January 15
Spring: September 15
Summer: No admit

Minimum Total Hours: 30 thesis; 30 non‐thesis
Program Level: Masters
CIP Code: 11.0701
Dept. Code: ESB
Program (Major/College): ECC EN
Approved: 1960


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 (MSCS) 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 program maintain close contact with the Graduate Program 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 Program Director.


Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.

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 listed below.

  • The GRE is required for all PhD and MS applicants. The median GRE scores of recently admitted students include 770 on the Quantitative portion and a Verbal Total of 450. For GRE tests taken after August 1, we require a minimum of 161 on the Quantitative portion (81 percentile) and a minimum of 150 (44 percentile) on the Verbal. If a candidate is admitted to the MS program and later decides to join the PhD program, the GRE requirement must be met by the candidate as part of the application process. The GRE will be waived for M.S. degree applicants with an undergraduate degree from an ABET‐accredited United States university.
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of "B" (or equivalent) for all coursework completed during the last two years of undergraduate program.
  • Submission of TOEFL scores with an Internet‐based score of 79 or higher for applicants from non‐English
  • speaking countries. If consideration of an assistantship is desired, the speaking score component of the
  • TOEFL must be 26 or above, The TOEFL requirements may be waived if the applicant meets one of the following conditions:
    • Has scored 500 or higher on the GRE Verbal Test, (Old Scores) or 153 with the New GRE scoring.
    • Has earned a college degree at a U.S. institution of higher learning.
    • Has earned a college degree from an institution whose language of instruction is English, (must be noted on the transcript).
    • Has scored 6.5 on International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation.
  • Statement of purpose.
  • The applicant must also have mathematical preparation equivalent to that obtained from courses in Calculus through Differential Equations; knowledge of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, including logic design, computer architecture, data structure, operating systems and algorithms. The majority of students accepted to the Program possess an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or Mathematics. However, students who hold an undergraduate degree in a related field are encouraged to apply


Total Minimum Hours: 30 hours
Core Requirements Hours: 9 hours
Successful completion of three core (3) graduate‐level courses is required. For non‐thesis option, students must make a grade of "B" or higher in these core courses.

COP 6611 Operating Systems 3
COT 6405 Introduction to the Theory of Algorithms 3
EEL 6764 Principles of Computer Architecture 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 Program Director or individual advisor.

CAP 5400 Digital Image Processing 3
CAP 5625 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 3
CAP 5682 Expert and Intelligent Systems 3
CAP 5771 Data Mining 3
CAP 6415 Computer Vision 3
CAP 6455 Advanced Robotic Systems 3
CAP 6615 Neural Networks 3
CAP 6736 Geometric Modeling 3
CDA 5416 Introduction to Computer‐Aided Verification 3
COP 6621 Programming Languages and Translation 3
CNT 6215 Computer Networks 3
EEL 5771 Introduction to Computer Graphics 3
EEL 6706 Testing and Fault Tolerance in Digital Systems 3
EEL 6766 Advanced Computer Architecture 3
CIS 6900 Independent Study 1-19
CIS 6930 Special Topics 1-5
CIS 6940 Graduate Instruction Methods 1-4
CIS 6946 Internships/Practicums/Clinical Practice 0-3

Thesis Option

CIS 6971 Thesis: Master's 2-19

The thesis option requires the completion of 24 credit hours of CSE graduate‐level courses (nine (9) credit hours of core courses and 15 hours of electives) and six (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. With prior permission from the Graduate Program Director, students can take a maximum of three (3) hours of Independent Study or Internship, a maximum of three (3) hours of one‐hour seminar courses, and up to one (1) graduate level course (three (3) credit hours) outside of the Department.

Non-Thesis Option

The non‐thesis option requires 30 credit hours, with nine (9) credit hours of core courses and 21 hours of electives. At least 16 credit hours must be at the 6000 level. At least six (6) hours of electives should be 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 Program Director and documented in the Plan of Work. With prior permission from the Graduate Program Director, students can take a maximum of 3 hours of Independent Study or Internship, a maximum of three (3) hours of one‐hour seminar courses, and up to one (1) graduate level course (3 credit hours) outside of the Department.

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 obtain a letter "B" or better in the core graduate courses and have a GPA of 3.00 or better.

See USF Course Inventory