Computer Science- Master

For information, contact:
Director of Graduate Programs
Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering
205 Benton Hall (513-529-0340)


The Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering offers a master's degree program in computer science to students who hold a bachelor's degree in computer science or a closely related field. Students will complete advanced coursework in computer science, and have the option of pursuing one of three tracks: Academic Track, Industry Track with Research Experience, or the Industry Track. The Academic Track is recommended for students who want grounding in research and intend to pursue doctoral work. In this track you have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member to complete a research-based thesis. The Industry Track with Research Experience is appropriate for students that want a research experience but expect to enter the computing profession upon graduation. Students in this track have the opportunity to complete an independent research project under the direction of a faculty member. The Industry Track is designed for those students who intended to pursue a career in the computing industry. This track offers additional course work to broaden the student's background. Depending upon the student's background and selected track the degree is expected to require one to two years of study.

Admission and Application Requirements

New students are admitted only in the fall semester of the year. Entry into the graduate program requires completion of a bachelor's degree in computer science, or a closely related field. Specifically, successful applicants to our program should have mastered the following undergraduate topics:

  • Imperative and/or functional programming
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Basic algorithms and/or complexity
  • Computer organization and architecture
  • Concurrent and/or parallel programming
  • Software development methods and tools
  • Differential and integral calculus
  • Probability and statistics
  • Discrete mathematics or linear algebra

Successful applicants usually also have:

  • Undergraduate GPA: Equivalent of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  • GRE scores: Verbal, 35th percentile or better. Quantitative, 60th percentile or better. Analytical writing, 25th percentile or better.
  • TOEFL (when required): 80+ internet-based, 100+ preferred.

Applicants are ranked for admission based on these criteria, recommendation letters, and statement of purpose.

Combined Bachelor/Master's Program

Undergraduate students may apply to participate in the combined bachelors/master’s program. This program allows you to pursue a master’s degree in an accelerated manner while pursing your bachelor’s degree. It is a great opportunity to deepen your knowledge and research skills. Please contact the department for more information about the combined program.

Program Requirements

(33 semester hours)

The master's degree curriculum requires the completion of 24 semester hours of core course work. In addition, each student must select a track, and complete the requirements of that track. The total semester hours required for the MCS degree is 33 hours of graduate study and any additional hours needed to satisfy any undergraduate deficiencies.

To successfully complete the program, students must satisfy both our breadth and depth course work requirements to guarantee that they graduate with the requisite computer knowledge. To complete the breadth requirement, satisfy the foundation and breadth requirements shown below. To complete the depth requirement, at least 4 breadth or elective courses must be at the 600 level.

Required courses (18-33 credit hours)

Foundation Courses

You must take the following courses if you do not have equivalent course credit. None of these courses count toward the 24 credit hour graduate-level course work requirement. Also note that if you do not have a course equivalent to CSE 464, Algorithms, you must take CSE 564.

CSE 283 Data Communication and Networks (3)

CSE 381 Operating Systems (3)

CSE 385 Database Systems (3)

CSE 464 Algorithms (3)

MTH 231 Elements of Discrete Mathematics (3)

Breadth Courses

You must pick four of the following courses, including at least one from each of the areas of theory, systems, and applications. Within each area, particular CSE 620 Special Topics offerings may be used if approved by the Graduate Program Director.


CSE 564 Algorithms (3)

CSE 573 Automata, Formal Languages & Computability (3)

CSE 664 Advanced Algorithms (3)


CSE 574 Compiler Design (3)

CSE 617 Advanced Networks (3)


CSE 543 High Performance Computing & Parallel Programming (3)

CSE 586 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (3)

Elective Courses (12 credit hours)

Any courses taken from the breadth courses beyond the required four will count as electives. The remainder of the required 24 credit hours of graduate courses should be selected from the following courses.

CSE 565 Comparative Programming Languages (3)

CSE 570 Special Topics (3)

CSE 571 Simulation (3)

CSE 585 Advanced Database Systems (3)

CSE 615 Mathematical Modeling (3)

CSE 618 Graphics for Simulation and Virtual Environments (3)

CSE 620 Special Topics (3)

CSE 621 Foundations of Software Engineering (3)

CSE 624 Expert Systems (3)

CSE 626 Information Retrieval Systems (3)

CSE 627 Machine Learning (3)

CSE 628 Advanced Simulation (3)

CSE 631 Ontologies for the Semantic Web (3)

CSE 667 Cryptography (3)

CSE 690 Graduate Research (3)

ECE 525 Digital Signal Processing (3)

ECE 553 Communication Systems (3)

ECE 561 Network Performance Analysis (3)

Additional Requirements

CSE 610 Seminar in Computer Science (3)

Program Tracks

You must select, and complete the requirements for, one of the three tracks.

Academic Track

This track is for students that wish to learn how to write for and publish in scholarly journals or conferences. This is the recommended track for students that intend to go on to a Ph.D. program in computer science. To complete this track, the student must write and defend a thesis, and take (in addition to the core requirements):

CSE 700 Research for Master's Thesis (6)

Industry Track with Research Experience

This track is for students that wish to work on a large independent research project supervised by a faculty member, but do not wish to learn scholarly writing and publishing. Students in this track may not use CSE 690 as an elective course. To complete this track, the student must take (in addition to the core requirements):

CSE 690 Graduate Research (6)

All 6 hours of 690 must be taken with a single instructor, and focus on a single research topic or project.

Industry Track

This track is for students that intend to pursue careers in industry, but wish to focus on more advanced coursework instead of research.

Students in this track should take (in addition to the core requirements) two additional elective courses (6 credit hours), and must have at least five breadth or elective courses at the 600 level.

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