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 their 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 their 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
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

Specializations

Computational Perception and Robotics

Core Courses
Algorithms: Pick one (1) of:3
Computability, Algorithms, and Complexity
Introduction to Graduate Algorithms
Computational Complexity Theory
Design and Analysis of Algorithms
Approximation Algorithms
Randomized Algorithms
Computational Science and Engineering 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
Computational Photography
Introduction to Computer Vision GR
3D Reconstruction and Mapping in Computer Vision, Robotics, and Augmented Reality
Computational Perception
Cyber Physical Design and Analysis
Machine Learning for Robotics
Natural Language
Special Topics (Multiview Geometry in Computer Vision)
Robotics
Autonomous Robotics
Autonomous Multi-Robot Systems
Human-Robot Interaction
Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Robotics
Interactive Robot Learning
Robot Intelligence: Planning
Total Credit Hours15

Computer Graphics

Core Courses
CS 6491Foundations of Computer Graphics3
CS 6505Computability, Algorithms, and Complexity3
or CS 6515 Introduction to Graduate Algorithms
Electives: select three (3) of:9
Video Game Design and Programming
Computational Photography
Introduction to Computer Vision GR
Visualization Methods for Science and Engineering
Geometric Modeling
Advanced Image Synthesis
3D Complexity Techniques for Graphics, Modeling, and Animation
Simulation of Biological Systems
Computer Animation
Virtual Environments
Total Credit Hours15

Computing Systems

Core Courses
CS 6505Computability, Algorithms, and Complexity3
or CS 6515 Introduction to Graduate Algorithms
And, pick two (2) of:6
Advanced Operating Systems
Design and Implementation of Compilers
Computer Networks
High-Performance Computer Architecture
Software Development Process
Programming Language Design
Database Systems Concepts and Design
Electives: pick three (3) of: 1,29
Introduction to Information Security
Graduate Introduction to Operating Systems
Big Data Systems and Analytics
Real-Time System Concepts and Implementation
Secure Computer Systems
Applied Cryptography
Network Security
Intro to Cyber-Physical Systems Security
Embedded Software Optimizations
Software Architecture and Design
Advanced Topics in Software Analysis and Testing
Intro Enterprise Comput.
Database System Implementation
Design and Analysis of Algorithms
Advanced Internet Computing Systems and Applications
Distributed Computing
Internetworking Architectures and Protocols
Networked Applications and Services
Network Science: Methods and Applications
Advanced Topics in Microarchitecture and organization of high-performance processors.
Reliability and Security in Computer Architecture
Theoretical Foundations of Cryptography
Special Topics (Foundations of Programming Languages)
High Performance Computing
Total Credit Hours18

High-Performance Computing

Core Courses
CSE 6140Computational Science and Engineering Algorithms3
CSE 6220High Performance Computing3
Electives
Pick three (3) of:9
Multicore Computing: Concurrency and Parallelism on the Desktop
High-Performance Parallel Computing: Tools and Applications
High Performance Parallel Computing: Tools and Applications
Design and Implementation of Compilers
High-Performance Computer Architecture
Special Topics (Parallel Numerical Algorithms)
Special Topics
Parallel and Distributed Simulation
Special Topics (Hot Topics in Parallel Computing)
Total Credit Hours15

Human-Centered Computing

Core Courses
CS 6451Introduction to Human-Centered Computing3
CS 6452Prototyping Interactive Systems3
CS 7455Issues in Human-Centered Computing3
Electives
Pick two (2) of:6
User Interface Design and Evaluation
Principles of User Interface Software
Educational Technology: Conceptual Foundations
Computational Journalism
Design of Online Communities
Social Computing
Introduction to Computer Vision GR
Artificial Intelligence
Human-Computer Interaction
Introduction to Cognitive Science
Information Visualization
Collaborative Computing
Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing
Advanced Computer Vision
Modeling and Design
Knowledge-Based AI
Case-Based Reasoning
Natural Language
Philosophy of Cognition
Cognitive Models of Science and Technology
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 of User Interface Software3
CS 6750Human-Computer Interaction3
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
Software Requirements Analysis and Specification
User Interface Design and Evaluation
Video Game Design and Programming
Educational Technology: Conceptual Foundations
Computational Journalism
Design of Online Communities
Introduction to Cognitive Science
Educational Technology: Design and Evaluation
Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
Cognitive Modeling
Sub-area: Interactive technology
Design of Design Environments
Mixed Reality Experience Design
Information Visualization
Collaborative Computing
Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing
Total Credit Hours15

Interactive Intelligence

Core Courses
Take one (1) of:3
Software Development Process
Advanced Topics in Software Engineering
Computability, Algorithms, and Complexity
Introduction to Graduate Algorithms
Take two (2) of:6
Artificial Intelligence
Case-Based Reasoning
Knowledge-Based AI
Machine Learning
Electives
Pick two (2) courses from:6
Interaction
Information to Health Informatics
Educational Technology: Conceptual Foundations
Computational Journalism
Computational Social Science
AI, Ethics, and Society
Human-Computer Interaction
Game Artificial Intelligence
AI Storytelling in Virtual Worlds
Natural Language
Special Topics (Advanced Game AI )
Cognition
Introduction to Cognitive Science
Modeling and Design
Special Topics (Computational Creativity)
Total Credit Hours15

Machine Learning

Core Courses
Algorithms
Pick one (1) of:3
Computability, Algorithms, and Complexity
Introduction to Graduate Algorithms
Computational Complexity Theory
Design and Analysis of Algorithms
Graph Algorithms
Approximation Algorithms
Randomized Algorithms
Computational Science and Engineering Algorithms
Pick one (1) of:3
Machine Learning
Computational Data Analysis: Learning, Mining, and Computation
Electives
Pick three (3) of:9
Big Data Systems and Analytics
Introduction to Computer Vision GR
AI, Ethics, and Society
Markov Chain Monte Carlo Algorithms
Spectral Algorithms and Representations
Theoretical Foundations of Machine Learning
Pattern Recognition
Introduction to Behavioral Imaging
Reinforcement Learning and Decision Making
Deep Learning
Machine Learning for Robotics
Machine Learning for Trading
Natural Language
Special Topics (Probabilistic Graph Models)
Web Search and Text Mining
Data and Visual Analytics
Big Data Analytics for Healthcare
Computational Statistics
Introduction to Theory and Practice of Bayesian Statistics
Stochastic Optimization
Total Credit Hours15

Modeling and Simulations

Core Courses
CSE 6730Modeling and Simulation: Foundations and Implementation3
Pick one (1) of:3
High Performance Computing
Simulation
Introduction to Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations
Electives
Pick three (3) of:9
High Performance Computing
Parallel and Distributed Simulation
Special Topics (Quantum Information, Computation, and Simulation)
Modeling, Simulation and Military Gaming
Simulation
Introduction to Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations
Total Credit Hours15

Scientific Computing

Core Courses
CSE/MATH 6643Numerical Linear Algebra3
Pick one (1) of:3
Iterative Methods for Systems of Equations
Introduction to Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations
Electives
Pick three (3) of:9
High-Performance Parallel Computing: Tools and Applications
Special Topics (Parallel Numerical Algorithms)
Computational Science and Engineering Algorithms
High Performance Computing
Iterative Methods for Systems of Equations
Special Topics (Algorithms for Medical Imaging and Inverse Problems)
Special Topics (Computational Chemistry)
Introduction to Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations
Total Credit Hours15

Social Computing

Core Courses
Pick one (1) of:3
Design of Online Communities
Social Computing
Pick one (1) of:3
Computational Journalism
Computational Social Science
Collaborative Computing
Electives
Pick three (3) classes including additional classes from above and:9
Secure Computer Systems
Computer Networks
Principles of User Interface Software
Computability, Algorithms, and Complexity
Introduction to Graduate Algorithms
Advanced Internet Computing Systems and Applications
Human-Computer Interaction
Distributed Computing
Networked Applications and Services
Information Visualization
Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
Natural Language
Special Topics in Cognitive Science (Cognition and Culture)
Total Credit Hours15

Visual Analytics

Core Courses
CS 7450Information Visualization3
Pick one (1) of:
Computational Data Analysis: Learning, Mining, and Computation
Data and Visual Analytics
Electives
Pick three (3) from:9
Principles of User Interface Software
Computational Journalism
Visualization Methods for Science and Engineering
Human-Computer Interaction
Introduction to Cognitive Science
Human-Centered Data Analysis
Data and 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.