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Information on Graduate Degree Programs in Computer Science

Majors Overview July 9, 2015

This article talks about graduate degree programs in computer science and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Graduate Programs in Computer Science

The primary focus of graduate degree programs in computer science is on applications of computer programming and computing technology, including software engineering, artificial intelligence, and the development of programming languages. Schools may offer Master of Science in Computer Science (M.S.C.S.) programs in on-campus, online, or hybrid formats. Coursework covered in these programs include computer systems architecture, mathematical theories in probability and complexity, and applications and algorithms. Students take the help of advisors to tailor their coursework and select their areas of specialization. Students in most programs – comprising of about 30-45 credits – need about two years to complete them. Program graduates may find continuing education and certification opportunities through organizations such as Oracle.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, computer science, or a related major. They also require undergraduate coursework in computer programming languages, algorithms, and data structures. Some schools may give preference to applicants with significant professional programming experience.


Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Software Engineering
•Operating systems
•Computational applied logic
•Database and network systems
•Artificial intelligence

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a faster-than-average job growth of 15% has been predicted for computer and information research scientists (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $102,190 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may seek continued education by earning a doctoral degree program in a related field. Alternatively, they can attend classes and certificate programs often conducted by major companies in the field like Sun, Oracle, and Microsoft through a university or college.

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