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Master’s Degree in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin

Top-10 Ranked Computer Science School

About the program

  • Top-ranked Program: The University’s Department of Computer Science has now made it possible to combine that top-tier reputation with the flexibility of online study through the Master of Science in Computer Science Online.
    • #9 Best Computer Systems Program. U.S. News & World Report, Best Grad School Rankings, 2023
    • #9 Best Theoretical Computer Science Program. U.S. News & World Report, Best Grad School Rankings, 2023
    • #7 Best Programming Language Program. U.S. News & World Report, Best Grad School Rankings, 2023
  • Career Impact: Computer science degree graduates will enjoy access to world-class professors, a professional network of talented peers from across the globe, and a degree that will enable them to pursue some of the most in-demand careers.
  • Flexible and Relevant: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth for careers like software development will grow much faster than other fields, making computer science degree programs a 21st-century necessity. The online master of science track offers classes in a flexible format, giving you the ability to pursue your educational goals in the manner most consistent with your career goals.

About The University of Texas at Austin

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities and six health science centers. Student enrollment exceeded 215,000 in the 2013 academic year. The U. T. System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state’s health care professionals annually. The U. T. System has an annual operating budget of $13.9 billion (FY 2013) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With 89,000 employees, the U. T. System is one of the largest employers in the state.

As the flagship campus of the U. T. System, The University of Texas at Austin is offering a number of showcase courses from some of our most accomplished faculty.

The master’s degree you receive at the end of your studies is among the best online master’s degree programs and will be indistinguishable from its on-campus counterpart (will not say online) at only a fraction of the on-campus program costs.

Our computer science degree graduates will enjoy access to world-class professors, a professional network of talented peers from across the globe, and a degree that will enable them to pursue some of the most in-demand careers.

Start your application today.


The curriculum incorporates foundational coursework that provides a broad understanding of the field. Elective coursework offers training on subject matter that is in high demand within real-world industry. Students can tailor their studies to their own interests in artificial intelligence and machine learning, software systems, algorithms, and programming languages.

This is a 30-hour program with 9 hours of required courses and 21 hours of electives. Elective courses allow students opportunities to explore specializations in areas such as advanced systems design, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Specializations support necessary work in software engineering and other in-demand areas of computer science. Students will practice using programming languages such as Python and C++ to solve computation problems and gain critical skill sets through required core courses and electives.

Required Courses: One class is required from each of the following course categories:

  • Applications: Machine Learning, Reinforcement Learning: Theory and Practice, Deep Learning, Natural language Processing

  • Systems: Advanced Operating Systems, Android Programming, Structured Implementation of Modern Programming Languages, Virtualization, Parallel Systems

  • Theory: Advanced Linear Algebra for Computing, Algorithms: Techniques and Theory, Optimization, Online Learning and Optimization, Automated Logical Reasoning, Quantum Information Science

Elective Courses

  • Planning, Search, and Reasoning Under Uncertainty

  • Case Studies in Machine Learning

Note: Any course from the Required class list can be counted towards Elective hours after required course requirements are met.

  • Course Selections: Virtualization (Fall 2021), Quantum Computing (Spring 2022)
  • Note: Any course can be counted towards Elective hours once the required course requirements are met.
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Application requirements

Please submit the “Request Info” form above to receive additional information on the MSCS program as a whole including detailed resources for your application materials and the admissions process. All materials are due no later than the final application deadline.

Admissions take into consideration the following application materials:

  • Bachelor’s degree (see prerequisites)

  • CV/Resume

  • Statement of Purpose

  • Transcripts from all universities attended

  • TOEFL or IELTS - Required for International Students**

  • GRE scores - Currently Optional*

  • Letter(s) of recommendation (optional)

Important Application Note: Applicants are recommended to start the application process early in order to have all required materials received by the final deadline. Late applications will not be considered.

*GRE Score Requirement: As the world grapples with COVID-19, many students are facing challenges taking the GRE. Submitting GRE scores is optional for admittance consideration for all applicants through Fall 2023.

Please keep in mind:

  • We encourage all applicants to submit your official GRE scores in an effort to bolster your application.

  • If you do not have a relevant or related degree (as clarified above), or have not been in school for over 10 years, a GRE score will assist the Admissions Committee in their review.

**TOEFL or IELTS: The minimum scores considered acceptable for admission by the Graduate School are:

  • TOEFL: 79 on the Internet-based test (iBT)

  • IELTS: An overall band of 6.5 on the Academic Examination

Complete the "Learn More" form above to receive additional information and to assess the full application checklist and details on each application component.

Application Deadlines for January (Spring) 2024

Priority Application Deadline

August 15, 2023

Final Application Deadline

September 15, 2023

*All application materials are due no later than the final deadline.

Frequently asked questions

  • No applicant will be automatically admitted to the online program. All applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee to make certain those admitted have the ability to succeed in the data science master’s degree program.

  • There is no minimum GRE test score, however applicants admitted to the DS graduate program usually have high quantitative and verbal GRE scores and a math background that includes study through some discrete math. If you feel that your test scores are not valid indicators of your ability, you should explain your concerns in your statement of purpose.

  • GIAC MyStatus: This is the status check site for the Graduate International Admissions Center (GIAC). GIAC verifies application information, test scores, residency and admissions GPA calculations/equivalencies. If you have questions about the information your MyStatus page, please contact GIAC.

  • All GRE/TOEFL scores, transcripts, CV’s, personal statement and recommendation letters (if submitting), must be submitted by the application deadline.

  • You can apply for both programs but you must fill out two separate applications and upload documents to both systems. You can find information about applying to the traditional master’s degree program here

  • For GRE and TOEFL scores, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) institution code for UT-Austin is 6882. It is not necessary to use a department code. There is no institutional code for the IELTS examination. For IELTS scores, have an official paper score report sent to the Graduate and International Admissions Center.

  • Yes, the TOEFL or the IELTS is required for international applicants. International applicants who are from a qualifying country are exempt from this requirement. Additionally, applicants are exempt from the requirement if they possess a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution or a qualifying country. The requirement is not waived for applicants who have earned a master’s – but not a bachelor’s – degree from a similar institution.

  • A foreign credential evaluation is not required. If a transcript is written in a language other than English, a complete and official English translation must be uploaded together with the original transcript.

  • Through the ApplyTexas system, you will be given the opportunity to submit three recommenders and provide contact information. The system will send an email to your recommenders directing them to a website where they may complete the process. In addition, your MyStatus portal offers a self-service feature you can use to resend the request email to your recommenders, if necessary. Use it to supply an alternate email address if your recommender’s spam filter blocks the original request or has removed the link. You can also add a new recommender or revise your right-to-view status from “retained” to “waived” through MyStatus.

  • The degree requirements will consist of ten online courses total or 30 credit hours. Online students will take a combination of foundational coursework and elective options. Through completion of the foundational coursework, students will gain a broad understanding of the field. As courses continue to be added to the program, students will also have significant elective flexibility to pursue a course of study best tailored to their professional aspirations.

  • Master of Science in Computer Science.

  • 30 credit hours, which equals 10 courses.

  • The program can be completed in 1.5-3 years and the curriculum is highly flexible. Students may participate in this program on a part-time or full-time basis. They will have up to six years to complete their program of work.

  • US-based students in Option III programs are eligible only for federal guaranteed loans and some private sector loans. The Office of Financial Aid can advise Option III students on availability of these loans and required procedures for applying. Please contact Financial Aid. Please note students taking 3 hours are not aid eligible. Please note that with Option III programs students are not eligible for grant loans.

  • Students in Option III programs are not eligible for Hinson-Hazelwood Act Exemptions (for Texas ex-servicemen and their children), but may be eligible for GI Bill benefits. Please direct questions to and or Eligibility requirements can be found here:

  • Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the course of the program. If a student drops below 3.0, he or she will have one semester to bring up the GPA. If the student fails to do this, they will be dismissed from the program.

  • A student may take up to five courses each semester. The online master’s degree program courses are of comparable rigor to the traditional courses. For working professionals we recommend taking one to two courses per semester.

  • Students are admitted in the fall and spring semesters. Students can start taking classes in the semester they apply for.

  • The program will follow the timeline of the traditional semester. The university calendar can be found here

  • Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this program: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this program in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

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