Master of Science in Computer Science

The program for the Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) prepares students for more highly productive careers in industry. Graduates receive the MSCS for completing one of three options in the program as described in this section. Students may apply to the program if they possess a bachelor's degree in computer science from an accredited institution. Students without a bachelor's degree in computer science are encouraged to apply as well, with the understanding that they will be required to complete remedial coursework appropriate to their background in addition to the requirements of the MSCS degree. All applicants are evaluated according to their prior academic record, scores on the Graduate Record Examination, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation. Applicants are selected for fall semester admission only. The application deadline is February 1. However, all applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible because the selection process may begin well before the deadline.

Students entering the program must demonstrate a core competency in computing equivalent to undergraduate-level courses in the following areas:

  • systems, design and analysis of algorithms,
  • formal languages and automata theory,
  • databases,
  • networking and communications,
  • computer architecture, and
  • human-computer interaction.

This requirement can be satisfied by having taken undergraduate courses as a part of an undergraduate degree, taking remedial courses in the MS CS program, or by examination. Students may specialize in areas of their choice. Every student must complete at least one specialization as a part of his or her degree program. The current eleven specialization areas are:

  • Computer Graphics, Computing Systems

  • High-Performance Computing, Human-Computer Interaction

  • Interactive Intelligence

  • Machine Learning

  • Modeling and Simulations

  • Scientific Computing

  • Social Computing

  • Visual Analytics.

A student who is enrolled in another graduate program of the Institute may pursue an MSCS while that student is also pursuing his or her degree in the other major. To be granted permission to pursue the MSCS, a student must submit to the MS program coordinator of the College of Computing the material required for admission to the MSCS program. This includes transcripts, letters of recommendation, and GRE General Test. If the student is approved by the College to pursue the MSCS, the student will be notified in writing. At no time will a student outside the College be allowed to pursue a concurrent degree without prior permission of the MS program coordinator of the College of Computing.

A student enrolled in the MS degree program in computer science who wishes to be admitted to the PhD program in computer science should apply via the same process as external students. It is expected that such a student will have at least two letters of recommendation from College of Computing faculty.

For more information about the MS CS program, visit www.cc.gatech.edu.

Program of Study

The College's master's degree requirements supplement the Institute's master's requirements listed in this catalog:

  • Students must achieve a grade-point average of at least 3.0 to graduate, and no course grades below C will count toward graduation. Students must take all master's degree coursework on a letter-grade basis.
  • Undergraduate courses required for the BSCS degree may not be used toward the MSCS degree. In addition, no graduate credit will be given for 3000 level courses or lower-level courses.  
  • No course may be used to satisfy the requirements of two degrees. In addition, no graduate credit will be given for CS courses with a number lower than 4140.
  • A maximum of 6 hours may be taken at the 4000-level and/or with a subject code other than CS or CSE. See exceptions under the Project and Thesis options below.
  • The maximum total credit hours of Special Problems (CS or CSE 89xx) that may be applied toward the MSCS degree is 3. These courses must be within the CoC.
  • There is no maximum number of Special Topics (CS or CSE 88xx) courses that may be used towards the degree.
  • Each student must complete the requirements for one specialization. Click here for specialization requirements.
  • Students may choose from one of three options in pursuing the MSCS degree, including:
Course Option

This option requires the student to complete 30 hours of coursework.

Total Course Credit Hours (no MS project or thesis hours)30
CS and CSE (minimum 24 credit hours)24
CS and CSE 6000-8000 Level Courses (minimum 24 credit hours)24
6000/8000 Level Courses (minimum 24 credit hours)24
Project Option

This option requires the student to complete 21 credit hours of coursework and a 9 credit hour project. The project requires approval by a faculty advisor and the MS program coordinator in the semester prior to its inception.

Total Coursework Credit Hours21
MSCS Project hours (CS 6999)9
Total Credit Hours30
CS and CSE Courses (minimum of 15 credit hours) 115
CS and CSE 6000-8000 Level Courses (minimum of 15 credit hours) 115
1

May not include MS project or thesis hours.

Thesis Option

This option requires the student to complete 18 credit hours of coursework and a 12 credit hour thesis. The thesis process is defined elsewhere in this catalog.

Total Coursework Credit Hours18
MS Thesis Credit Hours 212
Total Credit Hours30
CS and CSE Courses (minimum of 15 credit hours) 115
CS and CSE 6000-8000 Level Courses (minimum of 15 credit hours) 115
1

 May not include MS project or thesis hours.

2

The student must obtain advance approval of the thesis proposal by the faculty advisor and MSCS coordinator. See your academic advisor for more information about the thesis process.

Specializations

Computational Perception and Robotics

Core Courses
Algorithms: Pick one (1) of:3
Computability&Algorithms
Computational Complexity
Design& Analy-Algorithms
Approximation Algorithms
Randomized Algorithms
Comp Sci&Engr Algorithms
And, pick one (1) of:3
Artificial Intelligence
Machine Learning
Electives
Pick three (3) courses from Perception and Robotics, with at least one from each:9
Perception
Comp. Photography
Computer Vision
3D Reconstruction
Computational Perception
Natural Language
Special Topics (Multiview Geometry in Computer Vision)
Robotics
Autonomous Robotics
Multi-Robot Systems
Human-Robot Interaction
Robot Intelli: Planning
Special Topics (Artificial Intelligence for Robotics)
Total Credit Hours15

Computer Graphics

Core Courses
CS 6491Computer Graphics3
CS 6505Computability&Algorithms3
Electives: select three (3) of:9
Video Game Design
Comp. Photography
Computer Vision
Visual Meth-Sci & Engr
Geometric Modeling
Adv Image Synthesis
3D Complexity
Simulation of Biology
Computer Animation
Virtual Environments
Total Credit Hours15

Computing Systems

Core Courses
CS 6505Computability&Algorithms3
And, pick two (2) of:6
Adv Operating Systems
Compiler Design
Computer Networks
High Perform Comput Arch
Software Dev Process
Programming Languages
DB Sys Concepts& Design
Electives: pick three (3) of:9
Intro To Info Security
Graduate Intro to OS
Big Data Sys & Analytics
Real-Time Systems
Secure Computer Systems
Applied Cryptography
Network Security
Intro Cyber Phys Sys Sec
Embedded Software Opt.
Software Arch & Design
Software Analysis & Test
Intro Enterprise Comput.
Database System Implemnt
Design& Analy-Algorithms
Advance Internet Comput
Distributed Computing
Internet Arch& Protocols
Networked Apps&Services
Network Science
Adv. Microarchitecture
Reliable Secure Comparch
Theory of Cryptography
Special Topics (Foundations of Programming Languages)
High Perform Computing
Total Credit Hours18

High-Performance Computing

Core Courses
CSE 6140Comp Sci&Engr Algorithms3
CSE 6220High Perform Computing3
Electives
Pick three (3) of:9
Multicore Computing
High Perf Parallel Comp
High Perf Parallel Comp
Compiler Design
High Perform Comput Arch
Special Topics (Parallel Numerical Algorithms)
Special Topics
Parallel&Distributed Sim
Special Topics (Hot Topics in Parallel Computing)
Total Credit Hours15

Human-Centered Computing

Core Courses
CS 6451Human-Centered Computing3
CS 6452Prototyping Interact Sys3
CS 7455Issues/Human-Center Comp3
Electives
Pick two (2) of:6
User Interface Dsgn&Eval
Principles-UI Software
Educ Tech-Foundations
Computational Journalism
Online Communities
Social Computing
Computer Vision
Artificial Intelligence
Human-Computer Interact
Intro-Cognitive Science
Inform Visualization
Collaborative Computing
Ubiquitous Computing
Advanced Computer Vision
Modeling and Design
Knowledge-Based AI
Case-Based Reasoning
Natural Language
Phil of Cognition
Cognitive Model Sci&Tech
Cognitive Modeling
Special Topics (Computational Creativity)
Special Topics (Expressive AI)
Special Topics (Game AI)
Special Topics (Human Robot Interaction)
Special Topics (Computers, Communications & International Development)
Special Topics (Computational Social Science)
Total Credit Hours15

Human-Computer Interaction

Core Courses
CS 6456Principles-UI Software3
CS 6750Human-Computer Interact3
Electives
Pick three (3) from the two sub-areas below, including one from each sub-area:9
Sub-area: Design and evaluation concepts
Principles of Design
Requirements Analysis
User Interface Dsgn&Eval
Educ Tech-Foundations
Computational Journalism
Online Communities
Intro-Cognitive Science
Edu Tech-Design and Eval
Comp Collaborative Learn
Cognitive Modeling
Sub-area: Interactive technology
Design of Environments
Mixed Reality Design
Inform Visualization
Collaborative Computing
Ubiquitous Computing
Total Credit Hours15

Interactive Intelligence

Core Courses
Take one (1) of:3
Software Dev Process
Adv Software Engineering
Computability&Algorithms
Take two (2) of:6
Artificial Intelligence
Case-Based Reasoning
Knowledge-Based AI
Machine Learning
Electives
Pick two (2) courses from:6
Interaction
Intro Health Informatics
Educ Tech-Foundations
Computational Journalism
Comp Social Science
Human-Computer Interact
Game AI
AI Storytell In Vir Wrld
Natural Language
Special Topics (Advanced Game AI )
Cognition
Intro-Cognitive Science
Modeling and Design
Special Topics (Computational Creativity)
Total Credit Hours15

Machine Learning

Core Courses
Algorithms
Pick one (1) of:3
Computability&Algorithms
Computational Complexity
Design& Analy-Algorithms
Graph Algorithm
Approximation Algorithms
Randomized Algorithms
Comp Sci&Engr Algorithms
Pick one (1) of:3
Machine Learning
Computational Data Analy
Electives
Pick three (3) of:9
Big Data Sys & Analytics
Computer Vision
Markov Chain Monte Carlo
Spectral Algorithms
Machine Learning Theory
Pattern Recognition
Behavioral Imaging
Reinforcement Learning
Deep Learning
Mach Learn For Trading
Natural Language
Special Topics (Probabilistic Graph Models)
Web Search & Text Mining
Data & Visual Analytics
Big Data Health
Computational Statistics
Bayesian Statistics
Stochastic Optimization
Total Credit Hours15

Modeling and Simulations

Core Courses
CSE 6730Model&Sim:Found&Implemen3
Pick one (1) of:3
High Perform Computing
Simulation
Num Meth-Part Diff Eqns
Electives
Pick three (3) of:9
High Perform Computing
Parallel&Distributed Sim
Special Topics (Quantum Information, Computation, and Simulation)
Mod, Sim&Military Gaming
Simulation
Num Meth-Part Diff Eqns
Total Credit Hours15

Scientific Computing

Core Courses
CSE/MATH 6643Numerical Linear Algebra3
Pick one (1) of:3
Iterative Meth-Sys Eqns
Num Meth-Part Diff Eqns
Electives
Pick three (3) of:9
High Perf Parallel Comp
Special Topics (Parallel Numerical Algorithms)
Comp Sci&Engr Algorithms
High Perform Computing
Iterative Meth-Sys Eqns
Special Topics (Algorithms for Medical Imaging and Inverse Problems)
Special Topics (Computational Chemistry)
Num Meth-Part Diff Eqns
Total Credit Hours15

Social Computing

Core Courses
Pick one (1) of:3
Online Communities
Social Computing
Pick one (1) of:3
Computational Journalism
Comp Social Science
Collaborative Computing
Electives
Pick three (3) classes including additional classes from above and:9
Secure Computer Systems
Computer Networks
Principles-UI Software
Computability&Algorithms
Advance Internet Comput
Human-Computer Interact
Distributed Computing
Networked Apps&Services
Networked Apps&Services
Inform Visualization
Comp Collaborative Learn
Natural Language
Spec Top-Cognitive Sci (Cognition and Culture)
Total Credit Hours15

Visual Analytics

Core Courses
CS 7450Inform Visualization3
Pick one (1) of:
Computational Data Analy
Data & Visual Analytics
Electives
Pick three (3) from:9
Principles-UI Software
Computational Journalism
Visual Meth-Sci & Engr
Human-Computer Interact
Intro-Cognitive Science
Data & Visual Analytics
Special Topics (Visual Data Analytics)
Total Credit Hours12

The Master of Science in Computer Science is also offered online.

For more information, visit: Online Master of Science in Computer Science.