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M.S. in Computer Science

The M.S. degree in Computer Science emphasizes practical aspects of the field and is appropriate for students pursuing careers in Computer Science. Students may enroll in any of these graduate programs on a part-time basis.


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Admission Information
Assistantship Information
Complete List of Courses (5000+ are Graduate)

Entry Requirements

Applicants must meet the general graduate admission requirements of the Graduate School, described in the UMSL catalog . Students are considered for admission to the graduate program in Computer Science only after they have formally applied for admission through the Graduate School. Applications may be completed on-line or submitted by traditional means. Additional Requirements are listed below.

Applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree, preferably in computer science or in a related area. Applicants with bachelor's degrees outside of computer science must demonstrate significant proficiency in computer science, either by taking the GRE subject area examination or by explicitly showing competence in the following areas. Any area requirement can be satisfied through suitable experience or completed coursework, if approved by the Graduate Director:

  • C programming. (CS 1250 and CS 2250)
  • An object oriented programming language (C++ or Java) (CS 2260)
  • A course in data structures. (CS 2250)
  • A course in assembly language programming, computer architecture, or computer organization. (CS 2700)
  • A course in design and analysis of algorithms. (CS 3130)
  • Programming with UNIX, including shell scripts and tools. (CS 2750)

Students must also have completed mathematics courses equivalent to the following U.M.-St. Louis courses:

A student missing some of the above requirements may be admitted on restricted status if there is a strong supportive evidence in other areas. The student will have to take the missing courses, or demonstrate proficiency to the satisfaction of the Graduate Director. Special regulations of the Graduate School applying to students while they are on restricted status are described in the UM-St. Louis Bulletin.


Degree Program

Candidates for the M.S. degree in Computer Science must complete 30 hours of course work, subject to the Graduate School regulations. Of these, at least 18 hours must be numbered 5000 or above, with at least one course numbered 6000 or above, chosen with the prior approval of the Graduate Director. All courses numbered below 5000 must be completed with grades of at least B-. Outside computer science, up to 6 hours of related course work is allowed upon permission of the Graduate Director.

Students must receive credit in all areas of the following core requirements.

1) Operating Systems: CS 4760

2) Programming Languages: CS 4250

3) Computer Systems: CS 5700

4) Software Development: CS 5500

5) Advanced Data Structures and Algorithms: CS 5130

Waiving or substituting for a specific requirement can be done on the basis of prior coursework but it will not reduce the total hours required for the degree.

Additionally, students must attend at least five different seminars or colloquium presentations in the department.

Thesis Option: Students may choose to write an M.S. thesis written under the direction of a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. A thesis is not, however, required for this degree. A student who wishes to write a thesis should enroll in 6 hours of CS 6900, Thesis (Note: at most 6 hours can be accumulated for CS 5880 and CS 6900). Students writing an M.S. thesis must defend their thesis in an oral exam administered by a committee of three department members which includes the thesis director.

For further information about our Graduate Degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science, financial aid, and the regulations of the Graduate School, see our page on advanced degrees.