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M.S. in Computer Science

The M.S. degree in Computer Science emphasizes practical aspects of the field.  Our graduates have good understanding of the software process and its challenges, good understanding of computers systems and its parts, and be exposed to a wide range of technologies.  They will also be prepared for team work, independent research, and technical reporting and presentations.   Students may enroll in our program on a part-time basis.

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Admission Information
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Complete List of Courses (5000+ are Graduate)

Entry Requirements

Applicants must meet the general graduate admission requirements of the Graduate School, described in the UMSL catalog. Students are considered for admission to the graduate program in Computer Science only after they have formally applied for admission through the Graduate SchoolApplications may be completed on-line.  Additional Requirements are listed below.

Applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree, preferably in computer science or in a related area. Applicants with bachelor’s degrees outside of computer science must demonstrate significant proficiency in computer science by showing competence (proving related academic or professional experience, or taking a test) in the following areas. Courses in parenthesis are UMSL courses that can be used to fulfill the requirement.

  1. Programming skills in C or C++ and Java (CMP SCI 1250 or 2250 and 2261)

  2. Proficiency with Object-Oriented concepts and terminology (CMP SCI 2261)

  3. Proficiency with dynamic data structures (CMP SCI 2250)

  4. Proficiency with computer organization, architecture, or assembly level programming (CMP SCI 2700)

  5. Proficiency with design and time/space analysis of algorithms (CMP SCI 3130)

  6. Familiarity with Unix/Linux/OSX and with command-line scripting with tools (CMP SCI 2750)

Students must also have satisfactorily completed mathematics courses equivalent to the following UMSL courses:

  1. Two semesters of calculus (MATH 1800 and MATH 1900)

  2. A course in elementary linear algebra (MATH 2450)

  3. A course in discrete mathematics (MATH 3000)

  4. An elementary course in probability or statistics (MATH 1320)

A student missing some of the above requirements may be admitted on restricted status if there is strong supportive evidence in other areas. The student will have to take the missing courses, or otherwise demonstrate proficiency. Special regulations of the Graduate School that apply to students on restricted status are described in the UMSL Bulletin.

Degree Program

Candidates for the M.S. degree in Computer Science must complete 30 hours of course work, subject to the Graduate School regulations. Of these, at least 18 hours must be numbered 5000 or above, with at least one course numbered 6000 or above, chosen with the prior approval of the Graduate Director. All courses numbered below 5000 must be completed with grades of at least B-. Outside computer science, up to 6 hours of related course work is allowed upon permission of the Graduate Director.

Students must receive credit in all areas of the following core requirements.

1) Operating SystemsCMP SCI 4760

2) Programming LanguagesCMP SCI 4250

3) Computer SystemsCMP SCI 5700

4) Software DevelopmentCMP SCI 5500

5) Advanced Data Structures and AlgorithmsCMP SCI 5130

Waiving or substituting for a specific requirement can be done on the basis of prior coursework but it will not reduce the total hours required for the degree.

Additionally, students must attend at least five different seminars or colloquium presentations in the department.

Thesis Option: Students may choose to write an M.S. thesis written under the direction of a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. A thesis is not, however, required for this degree. A student who wishes to write a thesis should enroll in 6 hours of CS 6900, Thesis (Note: at most 6 hours can be accumulated for CS 5880 and CS 6900). Students writing an M.S. thesis must defend their thesis in an oral exam administered by a committee of three department members which includes the thesis director.

For further information about our Graduate Degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science, financial aid, and the regulations of the Graduate School, see our page on advanced degrees.