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Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science

Overview of Degree

The Master of Science degree in Computer Science at The University of Georgia is a comprehensive program of study intended to give qualified and motivated students a thorough foundation in the theory, methodology, and techniques of CS. Students who successfully complete this program of study will have a grasp of the principles and foundations of CS. They will be prepared to pursue higher academic goals, including the PhD degree. They will obtain skills and experience in up-to-date approaches to analysis, design, implementation, validation, and documentation of computer software and hardware. With these skills they will be well-qualified for technical, professional, or managerial positions in government, business, industry, and education. Prospective students are advised to consult The University of Georgia Graduate Bulletin for institutional information and requirements.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general policies set forth in the Graduate Bulletin, the following departmental policies:

  1. A baccalaureate degree is required, preferably with a major in CS or an allied discipline. Students with insufficient background in CS must take undergraduate CS courses to remedy the deficiencies (in addition to their graduate program). A sufficient background in CS must include at least the following courses (or equivalent):

    MATH 2200, 2200L Analytic Geometry and Calculus
    MATH 2210, 2210L Integral Calculus
    CSCI 1301, 1301L Intro to Computing and Programming (alt. CSCI 7010)
    CSCI 1302 Software Development
    CSCI 1730 Systems Programming
    CSCI/MATH 2610 Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science
    CSCI 2670 Introduction to Theory of Computing
    CSCI 2720 Data Structures

    Admission to the program is selective; students with a record of academic excellence have a better chance of acceptance. Students with exceptionally strong undergraduate records may apply for admission prior to fulfilling all of the requirements.

  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores are required for admission consideration. The Subject Test in Computer Science must be taken before completing the M.S. degree. Though not required for admission, the Subject Test in CSe could strengthen an application for admission.

  3. Three letters of recommendation are required, preferably written by university professors familiar with the student's academic work and potential. If the student has work experience, one letter may be from their supervisor. Letters should be sent directly from the letter writer or signed on the back of the envelope.

  4. A one-page personal statement outlining the student's background, achievements, and future goals is required.

Graduate School Requirements

Additional requirements are specified by the Graduate School (application fee, general application forms, all transcripts, etc.). Please see the University of Georgia Bulletin for further information. Detailed admissions information may be found at Graduate School Admissions. Printed information may be obtained by contacting the
Office of Graduate Admissions
Room 534 Boyd Graduate Studies Research Center
The University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602-7402
phone: 706-542-1787
fax: 706-542-3219
Applications are processed on a year round basis. Students can be admitted for either semester (Fall or Spring). Please visit the Graduate School for application submission deadlines.

Summary of Basic Degree Requirements

Program of Study

The program of study consists of at least 31 semester hours of resident graduate coursework. (Typically, full-time students take 9 to 14 hours per semester.) This includes
  1. at least 15 hours of core courses at the 6000-level,
  2. at least 12 hours of CSCI 8000-level coursework,
  3. at least 1 hour of CSCI 8990 Research Seminar,
  4. at least 3 hours of CSCI 7300 Master's Thesis.

Core Curriculum

The core curriculum consists of 15 semester hours. At least one course from each of the following four groups must be taken:

Group 1: Theory
  CSCI 6470 Algorithms
  CSCI 6610 Automata and Formal Languages
Group 2: Software Design
  CSCI 6050 Software Engineering
  CSCI 6370 Database Management
  CSCI 6570 Compilers
Group 3: System Design
  CSCI 6720 Computer Architecture and Organization
  CSCI 6730 Operating Systems
  CSCI 6760 Computer Networks: Technology and Application
Group 4: Applications
  Any 6000-level CSCI course except
  6300, 6345, 6390, 6950, courses in groups 1-3.

Advanced Coursework

Students must take at least 12 hours of coursework at the 8000-level. This includes all CSCI 8000-level courses except CSCI 8990. A repeatable 8000-level course may be listed at most once in the program of study.

Research Seminar

Students must take 1 hour of CSCI 8990 Research Seminar, in which they must attend weekly meetings of a research seminar and give presentations. Examples of such seminars are the Theory Seminar (CATS) and the Systems Seminar (RATS).

Master's Examination

The student must pass the written master's exam, covering the core areas. It is given twice each year. Students have at most two attempts to pass the exam. This normally serves as the written portion of the master's final examination.

Master's Thesis

The thesis is a report of the student's investigations under the supervision of their major professor. The thesis must demonstrate competent style and organization and communicate technical knowledge. It must demonstrate mastery of a particular area of CS, and it often includes original research. The candidate must register for CSCI 7300 Master's Thesis for at least 3 hours of credit while working on the thesis.

Non-Departmental Requirements

Non-departmental requirements are set forth by the Graduate School (see the Graduate Bulletin). They concern residence, time limits, programs of study, acceptance of transfer credits, admission to candidacy, minimum GPAs, thesis, and final examination.

Thesis Defense

The thesis defense, an oral examination conducted by the student's advisory committee, constitutes the second part of the master's final examination.


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