Master of Computer Science


(Requirements Effective Fall 2016)

The Computer Science Department at Colorado State University offers a program of study leading to the Master of Computer Science Degree. This is a professional, course work only, degree (as opposed to the more research-oriented Master of Science degree). This program may be completed, in whole or in part, by means of online course work offered through the CSU Computer Science Department.


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 at least the following:

At this university CS163/164, CS165, CS220, 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.

The CSU Computer Science Department does not offer these background courses to distance learners. Students may be able to find equivalent online courses elsewhere.


Admission Procedure

Apply to the Computer Science Graduate Program

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.

NOTE ON GRE for MCS applicants: The GRE is strongly recommended for domestic applicants but not required (see note on international candidates below). High GRE scores, especially on the quantitative section may help a student to obtain a more favorable admission recommendation

International MCS Applicants: If you do not have a transcript from a university located in the USA, you must submit GRE scores. A minimum of 75th percentile on the quantitative section is required for your application to be considered.


Requirements for the M.C.S. Degree

The MCS is a course work only degree. No exams or research projects, beyond those required in courses, are required:

Note that most computer science courses carry four credit hours each.

The following rules apply:

Entering graduate students are advised by the standard faculty MCS Advisory Committee. By the end of the second term in the program, each student 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 by clicking on the link here.

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.

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.C.S. program.