MS in Computer Science

While an advanced degree in computer science isn’t necessary to “work with computers,” there is intense demand for computer professionals in many fields where a deeper and principled understanding of computer and information systems is needed. Areas of opportunity range from developing rich applications integrated with a database back end, to interoperability of software with complex network infrastructure, to consulting opportunities involving optimization of client software and hardware. With the Master of Science, students become professionals with knowledge of the underlying principles of the main areas of computer and information systems and theory, and hands-on experience that allows them to participate in the development of new systems. Upon graduation, when confronted with a new problem, students will have sufficient facility with basic techniques and methods to research the technical literature in search of a solution or to devise new algorithmic methods. 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.

Learning Outcomes

Students will possess a broad mastery of in-depth knowledge of computer science, across theory, software, systems, and applications.

Course Requirements

Eight semester courses (32 credits) approved for graduate study are required. Course requirements include 5 breadth courses, with at least one in each of the following areas:

  • Theory
  • Systems
  • Software
  • Applications

For a full list of approved courses, see the department website.

Among the grades received for the five breadth courses, the number of grades of B– must not be greater than the number of grades of B+ or higher. No grade lower than B– may be used for graduate credit. A minimum grade of B– is required in nonbreadth courses.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.

Master’s Project

While not required, MS candidates may complete a master’s project or thesis. Projects are carried out with the approval of, and under the supervision of, a faculty member. A master’s project can be expanded into a master’s thesis, which requires two faculty readers.