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Explore online master of science in computer science programs

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Why earn a master of computer science degree online?

Increase opportunities for career advancement

Having a master’s degree can open the door to more advanced and specialized roles, which can increase your earning potential and help you stand out from other candidates.

Gain in-depth technical skills and knowledge

Deepen your expertise in areas like artificial intelligence, data science, cybersecurity, and more, preparing you for challenging and rewarding roles or projects in the future.

Contribute to a rapidly growing field

Computer science graduates are needed in many exciting, transformative industries. You could use your skills to predict disease outbreaks with AI or use data structures to create a navigation app — and so much more.

Browse master’s in computer science online programs

Master’s in computer science degree requirements

While admission requirements vary by program and institution, applicants will generally be required to have earned a bachelor’s degree in a field related to their program of choice from a regionally accredited institution. In some cases, a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution may also be considered.

Applicants are usually expected to have maintained a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 or higher in their undergraduate education.

Various application materials will also be required. In addition to the online application itself, you may also be required to submit items like a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, transcripts, test scores, and an application fee. The best way to learn about the specific requirements of a master’s in computer science program is to visit the program’s admissions page or request information from the university.

How to apply

Applying for an online master’s degree in computer science can be completed right at your keyboard. Browse online master’s programs to begin the application process for your program of choice. 

It is important to note that most programs recommend applying as early as possible to ensure all required materials are received on time and to qualify for any applicable scholarships or fee waivers.

Curriculum

In many cases, your courses will be taught by the same experienced faculty who teach in the university’s on-campus master’s program in computer science. You no longer need to sacrifice quality for convenience — today’s online degree programs allow for personalized, rigorous education to help you reach your goals. 

Your M.S in computer science curriculum will vary depending on the program you will choose but will typically require 30 credit hours consisting of foundational courses and electives. Some programs may offer concentrations or specialty tracks to further customize learning computer science for your specific interests. Most programs will take between 18 to 36 months to complete.

Example courses

Courses in a computer science master’s program could include: 

  • Deep learning

  • Machine learning

  • Algorithms 

  • Optimization

  • Automated logical reasoning

  • Advanced operating systems

  • Virtualization

  • Implementation of programming languages

Master’s in computer science jobs

Careers in the computer science field are as varied as your interests.Footnote 1 Certain roles only require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, while others require a master’s degree in a related field.

Here are a few examples of popular careers in computer science:

  • Computer and information research scientist

  • Computer network architect

  • Computer programmer

  • Database administrator and architect

  • Information security analyst

  • Software developer

  • Web developer

In need of a skills boost to stand out from other candidates in these occupations? Explore coding boot camps to rise above the rest.

Computer science job outlook

Computer science jobs are on track to grow 21% from 2021 to 2031,Footnote 2 much faster than the average for all occupations. Salaries also are higher than many other fields, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that the median annual salary for computer science careers was $97,430 in May 2021. In comparison, the median wage for all occupations was reported at $45,760.Footnote 3

Frequently asked questions

A master’s in computer science is an advanced degree program in which you will gain in-depth knowledge and expertise in areas such as algorithms, data structures, artificial intelligence, software engineering, and more.

Graduates of master’s programs in computer science can customize their careers to specific interests and often contribute to cutting-edge research and innovation in their field. This specialized expertise can lead to higher salaries, advanced roles, and fulfilling projects.

Program length will vary by university, as well as whether you plan to complete your degree on a full- or part-time basis. Typically, programs take 18 to 36 months to complete, but some accelerated programs might be completed in as little as 12 to 18 months.

While it may take longer to complete your degree, it is possible to continue working while pursuing an online master’s in computer science. Many programs offer part-time options and live classes outside of traditional working hours. Be cognizant of your course load and how it balances with your professional and personal obligations.

The average tuition for an online master’s in computer science can vary widely depending on the university as well as requirements within the program. Many programs have tuition that ranges from $10,000 to $60,000, but financial aid and scholarships are often available to learners. Research the program you are interested in for exact tuition and additional fees.

Just like you have unique career goals and interests, each program has characteristics that make it different from the next. Research online programs to find the best fit for your educational goals.

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