The Master of Science degree permits graduate students the flexibility in
defining specialized interdisciplinary fields that meet their professional
It is also available to undergraduate Computer Science majors through the
Concurrent BS/MS Degree Program.
The Master of Science degree requirements encompass the following areas:
The Bulletin of the Graduate School gives the general requirements for the
degree of Master of Science in all departments of the University of Colorado.
The following is a description of those requirements which specifically
pertain to students pursuing a course of study leading to the degree of
Master of Science in the Department of Computer Science. It supplements
the requirements in the Bulletin. In all cases not specifically mentioned
below, the general requirements as stated in the Bulletin are understood
The department requires a candidate to complete an approved program of study
consisting of at least 30 semester hours. At least 24 of these 30 hours must be
in Computer Science courses at the 5000 level or above. (Any course which is
cross-listed by Computer Science is considered to be a Computer Science course,
regardless of the department in which the student actually registers.) Up to 6
hours may be taken in courses at the 4000 level or above in other departments
(CSCI 4000 level courses cannot be counted towards a Masters degree),
provided that those courses have "significant Computer Science content" and are
taught by a member of the graduate faculty. The student should file a petition
to allow these credit hours to be counted toward the degree. This petition must
explicitly verify the above requirements and must be approved by the student's
advisor and the Graduate Director of the Computer Science department.
Computer Science Courses are listed in nine areas:
All students must earn a B or better (not a B-)
in at least one 5000-level course (not 6000 or higher)
in four of these nine areas (this does not include area 0).
With the consent of the student's advisor or by petition to the
Graduate Committee, a more advanced course
(at CU) in an area in which basic graduate work was done elsewhere
may be used to satisfy part of this requirement.
Master's students may request a maximum of nine semester hours to be
transferred. All transfer requests must have departmental approval.
Transfer requests can be made with the
Request for Transfer of Credit within CU System
Request for Transfer of Credit.
Courses outside computer science may be appropriate
for a given student's program.
With the approval of an advisor, any courses
at the 4000 level or above
are allowed under this heading if they are taught
by a member of the graduate faculty and are not
cross-listed with Computer Science.
Students will be expected to submit a
plan of study,
in consultation with their departmental advisor, during the
first semester of study. Changes to the plan of study
must be approved by the advisor.
Students who elect to do a thesis receive 6 hours of thesis credit
towards the required 30 hours of coursework. They must also
take an oral comprehensive exam on their thesis work and
submit their thesis to the graduate school for approval.
Students electing the non-thesis option must submit the
Master's Degree Plan Approval
form at the beginning of the semester they plan to graduate.
Master's thesis defense must be scheduled with the Graduate School
at least two weeks before the exam is held by submitting a
Master's Examination or Project Report.
The Graduate School requires that to receive a Master's degree a
student must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 in all courses
taken as a graduate student.
Any student who does not enroll for any course work relevant to
Computer Science in any one semester (summer semesters
supply the Department with a written statement describing the reasons
for such an inactivity and the student's current intentions concerning
work towards the degree.
This statement must be received by the Department by the end of the
eighth week of the semester in question. Failure to do so
will be regarded as evidence of a lack of interest in continuing in the
program. Similarly, any student who does not enroll for any Computer
Science course work for three consecutive semesters (summer semesters
excluded) will be regarded as showing a lack of
interest in continuing in the program. In either case, the student
may be asked to explain to the Department why the student should not be
removed from the degree program, with the Department making the final
decision on the removal.
All requirements for the MS degree must be completed within
four years of the start of course work.
A student who fails the oral thesis defense may retake the failed exam once,
in a later semester. In doing this the student may switch between the thesis
and the nonthesis option of the program. A maximum of two attempts is allowed.
Each graduate student is assigned an initial advisor when they are accepted
into the program. Students consult with their advisor to
plan their course of study. If a student does a master's thesis,
typically they change advisors and use their thesis supervisor
as both academic and thesis advisor.
There are several programs related to the Master of Science degree that may be
of interest. These include the Certificate in Human Language Technology and the
Dual MS/MBA Program.
Certificate in Human Language Technology
Interdisciplinary Certificate in Human Language Technology,
jointly sponsored by the Computer Science Department together with the
Center for Computational Language and EducAtion Research,
and the Departments of
Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering,
Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences,
provides a rich and broad background for students interested in computational
tools for human language processing. The Certificate curriculum covers areas
such as computer speech recognition, natural language processing,
text-based information retrieval, and web-based dialog agents.
This Masters-level certificate accompanies a normal MA or MS degree
in one of the four Human Language Technology disciplines:
- Computer Science
- Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering
- Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
The program is available to currently enrolled CU-Boulder Masters or PhD
students in any of these four fields, including students in the five-year
Concurrent BS/MS Degree Program
in Computer Science.
Interested Computer Science students should contact the HLT Curriculum Committee
member for Computer Science, Professor James Martin.
Dual MS/MBA Program
To support the University's mission of advancing knowledge across disciplines
and in recognition that business education and training has relevance to many
academic fields, the
Leeds School of Business and the
Department of Computer Science endorse a
Dual Degree Program in which both a
Master of Business Administration
and a Master of Science in Computer Science are awarded to those students who
satisfy the requirements.