M.S. Program

The Computer Science M.S. program provides students with two options to deepen their understanding of computer science topics: the coursework option and the thesis option.

The M.S. coursework option is a professionally oriented master’s degree program which provides advanced knowledge and experience beyond the level of a B.S. in computer science. It prepares students for a technical career in industry or government.

The M.S. thesis option is a research oriented master’s degree program which exposes students to current research methods and topics and prepares them for a research career in industry or to pursue a Ph.D.

Program Admissions

The M.S. program accepts applications annually to begin study in either the Fall or Spring semester.

Information about the application process may be found below or by visiting our FAQ for Prospective Students. Answers to questions not found on these pages may be directed to gpm@cs.georgetown.edu.

Application Timeline

Applications are accepted online beginning in mid-July. Visit the Graduate School application page to begin an application.

Applications for Spring program start
Final submission deadline: October 1

The admissions committee begins reviewing applications after the deadline and notifies admitted students in early November.

Applications for Fall start
Priority submission deadline: January 15
Final submission deadline: April 1

The admissions committee begins reviewing applications after the priority deadline. Generally, applications received before March 1 will receive an admission decision by April 1.

Admission Requirements

Successful M.S. applications will hold a B.S. in computer science or a closely-related field or will have significant coursework or professional experience in computer science. A background in computer science topics including data structures and algorithms, hardware and architecture, and computer programming; as well as mathematics including discrete mathematics, probability and statistics, linear algebra, and calculus are expected.

All applicants must meet the requirements specified by the Graduate School in theirĀ application FAQ. Additionally, our program requires a TOEFL score of at least 90 or an IELTS score of at least 7.0 to apply.

M.S. Program Requirements and Milestones

The M.S. program offers two tracks for completion: the coursework option and the thesis option. All M.S. students are initially admitted under the coursework option but may elect the thesis option by selecting an M.S. thesis adviser.

The information below is an overview of these requirements. The official requirements, procedures, and policies are kept in theĀ Graduate Student Handbook.

M.S. Coursework Option

Students electing the M.S. coursework option must complete 30 credits (10 courses) at the graduate level. The coursework includes taking a graduate-level algorithms course as well as a course chosen from the “systems” set detailed on this page.

Students typically complete the M.S. coursework option in two years; the timeline below is based on a typical two-year course of study. Note: Georgetown considers 9 credits (3 courses) to be a full-time course load for enrollment and visa purposes.

YearSemesterCourses
11Core Algorithms course
Core Systems course OR elective course
Elective course
2Elective course OR core systems course
Elective course
Elective course
23Elective course
Elective course
Elective course
4Elective course

M.S. Thesis Option

Students electing the M.S. thesis option must complete 24 credits (8 courses) at the graduate level. The coursework includes a graduate-level algorithms course as well as a course chosen from the “systems” set detailed on this page. In addition, M.S. thesis students must write and defend a master’s thesis containing novel research.

Students typically complete the M.S. thesis option in two years; the timeline below is based on a typical two-year course of study.

YearSemesterCourses
11Core Algorithms course
Core Systems course OR elective course
Elective course
2Elective course OR core systems course
Elective course
Elective course
23Elective course
Elective course
Written thesis proposal
4Thesis research
Final thesis defense

Elective Coursework

M.S. students may select as their elective coursework any CS course taught at the graduate level. The department regularly offers courses across multiple disciplines of computer science theory, computer and network security, and data management and processing.

Students may also elect to take up to two external electives as part of their coursework, subject to the approval of the department graduate committee. These external electives may be chosen from graduate-level courses in other departments at Georgetown or may be taken at other D.C. area universities as part of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.