Master of Science


(Requirements Effective Fall 2010)

The Computer Science Department at Colorado State University offers a program of study leading to the Master of Science Degree in Computer Science. Possible areas of emphasis are detailed on our Research Page.

Entrance Requirements

All Applicants are expected to have the academic preparation necessary to do graduate level work in computer science at the time of admission. This preparation consists in possessing the following:

At this university CS160, CS161, CS200, CS253, CS270, CS320, CS314, CS370, MATH160, MATH161, MATH229, and STAT301 or STAT315 cover prerequisite Computer Science and Mathematics course work.

Undergraduate course work is the usual method of obtaining and demonstrating these requirements. Some beginning graduate courses require additional background, e.g. in mathematics or digital hardware design.

Competence to do graduate work in computer science must be demonstrated in one or more of the following ways:


Admission Procedures

An application checklist can be found by clicking the link here.

Once the Department receives a complete application, the admissions committee reviews the application and promptly notifies the applicant of their decision.

Students may be admitted for fall or spring semesters.


Financial Support and Fees

All admissible applicants will be considered for a teaching or research assistantship on a competitive basis. Assistantships carry a monthly stipend for half-time duties. Summer support may be available.

More information on financial aid and assistantships can be found by clicking the link here.


Regulations for the M.S. Degree

In addition to the University imposed requirements for the Master of Science degree, the Department requires the following:

A minimum of 35 credit hours beyond the B.S. degree, including up to 7 thesis credits. Course credits outside of the CS department must be approved in advance by the graduate committee to count toward this requirement.

Course Requirements:

  1. Exactly 2 credit hours of CS692 (BMAC). Satisfactory performance requires at least 70% attendance in all lecture given each semester. If required by a student's committee, a student will prepare and present a seminar.
  2. 3 credit hours (500 level or higher) outside of the CS department (See restrictions below).
  3. 4 regular credit hours at the 600 level within the CS department. CS692, CS695, CS696 and CS699 may not be used to satisfy this requirement.
  4. 4 credit hours at the 500 level in each of the three course groups (12 credit hours total; see course groups and restrictions below).
  5. In addition to requirement #1-#4 above, students need a minimum of 14 more credit hours. Up to 7 of these may be thesis credits. The remaining credits must be regular credit hours at the 400-level or above within the CS department, or 500-level or in another department. (See restrictions below). 500-level independent study projects are acceptable, if approved by the graduate committee.

Additional Requirements:

Additional Restrictions:

Course groups

To encourage breadth, courses are grouped into three groups as follows:

Group I (AI & Theory):

Group II (Systems):

Group III (Software Engineering & Information Assurance):

Students should obtain and review the University requirements for the Master of Science program upon entering graduate study. Each M.S. candidate is responsible for adherence to all Colorado State University regulations for graduate study.

Entering graduate students are assigned a temporary advisor. The University requires that after two semesters of study or 12 credit hours earned, a graduate student will have selected an advisory committee (an advisor, one or two additional Computer Science faculty members, and one faculty member from another department) and will have planned a program of study approved by the advisory committee. This involves submitting a completed Graduate School GS-6 form to the Graduate School with appropriate departmental signatures. Graduate School forms may be found here.

Each student must pass an oral final examination whose content centers on (but is not limited to) the student's thesis. This examination is open to Department faculty and graduate students. Students must also submit a Report of Final Examination Results form to the Graduate School. These must be completed by the Graduate School deadline in the semester the student will receive the M.S. degree.

A student must supply the Graduate School with two copies of the thesis as approved by the advisory committee.

The Graduate School reviews all graduate students each semester to assure that satisfactory progress is being made toward completing degree requirements. A grade below C or a semester GPA below 3.0 is unsatisfactory progress. Satisfactory progress toward completion of thesis is also required. The Graduate Committee will make recommendations to students not making satisfactory progress to rectify any problems. Continued unsatisfactory performance constitutes grounds for dismissal from the M.S. program.

Other Information:

Graduate Application Checklist

For more information e-mail: gradinfo@cs.colostate.edu