Master of Science
The MS program, through course-work and thesis options, lets students strengthen their foundational education, prepare for technical careers in industry, or prepare for advanced study at the doctoral level. The department’s faculty work in the areas of algorithms, artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, computer and network security, database systems, data mining, distributed algorithms, distributed systems, information assurance, information retrieval, machine learning, natural language processing, networking, non-standard parallel computing, and parallel algorithms.
October 1, 2019 (final deadline for spring 2020 admission)
January 1, 2020 (preferred deadline for fall 2020 admission)
March 1, 2020 (final deadline for fall 2020 admission)
Graduate Program Manager
E: gpm at cs dot georgetown dot edu
Applicants to the Master of Science program must have a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, information systems, electrical engineering, or a closely related field from an accredited academic institution. Candidates must have taken undergraduate courses on programming, data structures, hardware, architecture, algorithms, and mathematics, such as discrete mathematics, calculus, linear algebra, probability, and statistics. Prospective applicants who lack the requisite background will be considered for admission only after they have successfully completed preparatory courses in computer science and mathematics. Applicants must have a grade-point average of at least 3.0 in their undergraduate studies.
Applicants to the MS program must apply online. Applicants are required to upload to the application system unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Do not send electronic or paper copies of your transcripts before receiving an offer of admission. Review the unofficial transcript requirements for additional details and FAQs. In addition, applicants must provide the following documents:
- resume/cv uploaded to online application
- research statement (academic statement of purpose) uploaded to online application
- three letters of recommendation, via the online application, from individuals who can comment authoritatively on the applicant’s academic, intellectual, and scholarly ability and potential in computer science
- official GRE scores (code: 5244)*
- official TOEFL (code: 5244) or IELTS scores, if necessary**
*All applicants regardless of their qualifications must submit official GRE scores; scores for the subject test in computer science are not required. **Please take note of the Graduate School’s application procedures and requirements checklist, and our answers to frequently asked questions.
We do provide merit-based scholarships for Master’s students. These provide support for student tuition, typically ranging from one course to three courses. Different research and teaching assistantships may be available to Master’s students, but we make decisions regarding assistantships only after students have been in the program for at least one semester.
Students elect to complete the requirements of the degree by taking ten courses (30 credits) or by taking eight courses (24 credits) and writing a thesis. All students must take Algorithms (COSC-540) and Architecture (COSC-520). Students pursuing the course-work option take a total of eight electives to complete the degree. A generic schedule for a full-time student pursuing the course-work option appears in Table 1, which leads to a number of possible courses of study.
Note: The information on this page is intended for prospective students. Current students should refer to the Graduate Program Handbook for requirements, procedures, and policies.
Table 1: Hypothetical Schedule for Full-time, Course-work Option.
Students may choose as an elective any course numbered 400 or higher, but at least five of these classes must be numbered 500 or higher. The department regularly offers introductory or advanced electives in the areas of artificial intelligence, computer and network security, cryptography, database systems, data mining, information assurance, information retrieval, and machine learning.
Students may also elect to substitute up to two courses from another department for similarly numbered electives, provided that the courses support the student’s plan of study and have been approved by the student’s faculty advisor. We have prepared a list of approved external electives, and students may petition for the use of other courses as external electives.
Students choosing to write a thesis complete similar requirements, but substitute Graduate Thesis Research (COSC-999) for two electives numbered 400 or higher. That is, such students complete the core requirements, and take six electives numbered 400 or higher, for a total of twenty-four credit hours. Students selecting the thesis option must be in good academic standing when beginning the thesis. A hypothetical schedule for a full-time student pursuing the thesis option appears in Table 2.
Table 2: Hypothetical Schedule for Full-time, Thesis Option.
If you have questions about the program requirements or application process, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.