In a recent BU Educational Technology article, Professor Abbas Attarwala describes how...
The Master’s Program in Computer Science
Meeting the Demand for Professionals with Deep Technical Expertise
With a master’s degree in computer science from BU, you will arm yourself with knowledge of the underlying principles of computer and information systems and theory. Our internationally renowned faculty are as active in their research fields as they are in the classroom. Students quickly gain expertise with basic techniques and methods to research the technical literature in search of a solution—or to devise new methods—when confronted with a challenging design, implementation, or theory problem. Our wide-ranging curriculum offers many opportunities for hands-on experience as well, allowing you to participate in the development of new systems or in the cutting-edge research projects led by our faculty. In addition to our general MS in Computer Science, we offer two specializations: cyber security and data-centric computing.
Beyond the computer science offerings, students are encouraged to tap into the rich array of elective coursework spread throughout the University’s 16 schools and colleges, including the College of Engineering and School of Management. With years of experience, our faculty advisors are especially helpful in steering CS students toward valuable, supplemental classes.
The CS program at Boston University is geared toward students with a CS undergraduate degree, but we also welcome those with equivalent computer training and experience, as well as students with gaps in their CS background but strong academic records overall. Whatever your background, in the Department of Computer Science, you’ll find a dynamic, diverse, and supportive community comprising a first-rate faculty and inspired student body—all located in the culturally and educationally rich city of Boston, Massachusetts, the center of a region with a storied history of technology innovation.
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A total of eight graduate courses (totaling 32 credits) must be completed, including five breadth courses in computer science (with at least one course from each of the four breadth areas).
Students may fulfill their course requirements through a combination of elective graduate courses in computer science, for-credit directed study with a faculty member to pursue research, or graduate courses in other related disciplines in consultation with your academic advisor.
To complete the master’s with a project or thesis option, a master’s project or thesis must be completed in consultation with an academic advisor. Research toward the master’s project or thesis can be taken for credit, by pursuing a directed study with a faculty advisor.
A sample program might consist of the following eight courses:
- CAS CS 530 Algorithms: satisfies the Theory breadth requirement.
- CAS CS 511 Object-Oriented Software Principles Formal Methods: satisfies the Software breadth requirement.
- CAS CS 552 Operating Systems: satisfies the Systems breadth requirement.
- CAS CS 655: Introduction to Computer Networks: second course in the Systems Area.
- CAS CS 660: Introduction to Databases: satisfies the Applications breadth requirement.
- CS 565: Data Mining
- CS 585: Image & Video Computing
- GRS CS 9XX: Directed Study in Large-Scale Data Analysis
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- Information for New Students
- Patent Policy
- University Policies
- Academic Code of Conduct
- Graduation Calendar
- Course Transfer/Equivalence Petition form: [pdf] [ps]
- Advising Sheet for CS Masters
The above five courses meet the CS core breadth requirement of five breadth courses, with at least one course in each subject area (Theory, Software, Systems, and Applications).
The three remaining courses can include two elective courses and one directed study course to complete the master’s project, for example:
Possess a broad mastery of in-depth knowledge of Computer Science, across theory, software, systems, and applications.
How to Apply
Our computer science professors are internationally recognized experts and active researchers, hailing from around the globe.
Graduates of our program have gone on to a variety of rewarding computer science careers. Read some of their stories here.
From cell phone privacy to data mining to image and video computing, our professors and researchers are continually exploring and breaking new ground. See where they’re headed next.
Careers: Next Steps
Our CS Connections program is designed to link students with prospective employers in the computer science and cyber security fields, particularly in the Boston area. We also offer plenty of professional resources, networking events, and the latest job and internship listings.