Master of Science

The M.S. 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 and teach 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.

Application Deadlines

January 15, 2020 (preferred deadline for fall 2020 admission)
March 1, 2020 (final deadline for fall 2020 admission)
Apply Online

Contact

Graduate Program Manager
E: gpm at cs dot georgetown dot edu

Admission Requirements

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. Applicants must have a grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in their undergraduate studies.

Applicants to the M.S. program must apply online. Applicants are required to upload to the application system copies of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Visit our How to Apply page for additional details and FAQs. Do not send electronic or paper copies of your transcripts before receiving an offer of admission. 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 our answers to frequently asked questions.

Financial Aid

The Department expects Master’s students to finance their education. However, we do offer merit-based scholarships to exceptional applicants. These provide support for student tuition, typically ranging from one course to three courses.  A varying number of research and teaching assistant positions may be available to Master’s students, but only after students have been in the program for at least one semester and decisions are not made until that time.

Degree Requirements

Students elect to complete the requirements of the M.S. degree by taking ten courses (30 credits) or by taking eight courses (24 credits) and writing a thesis. Students pursuing the course-work option take two core courses plus eight electives to complete the degree. A generic schedule for a full-time student pursuing the course-work option appears in Table 1.

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.
FallSpring
Year 1Core Algorithms courseGraduate Elective
Core Systems course Graduate Elective
Graduate ElectiveGraduate Elective
Year 2Graduate ElectiveGraduate Elective
Graduate Elective
Graduate Elective

Students may choose as an elective any CS 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 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 Director of Graduate Studies. We have prepared a list of approved external electives, and students may petition for the use of other courses as external electives.

Thesis Option

Students choosing to write a thesis complete similar requirements, but substitute Graduate Thesis Research (COSC-999) for two electives. Thesis students complete the two core courses, take no more than one elective numbered 400–499, and take at least five electives numbered 500 or higher, for a total of eight courses (24 credits). Students interested in pursuing the thesis option must be in good academic standing when beginning the thesis and have identified a thesis advisor within the Department. A generic schedule for a full-time student pursuing the thesis option appears in Table 2.

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 2. Hypothetical Schedule for Full-time, Thesis Research Option.
FallSpring
Year 1Core Algorithms courseGraduate Elective
Core Systems courseGraduate Elective
Graduate ElectiveGraduate Elective
Year 2Graduate ElectiveThesis Research (section 01)
Graduate Elective
Thesis Research (section 03)

If you have questions about the application process, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.