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Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS)

 32 credit hours

The Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) is designed to prepare you for a Ph.D. program or a research/development career in the computer science industry. In the MSCS program you can choose to complete a Master’s Thesis, Master’s Project, or coursework-only. The MSCS degree does not offer specializations, and MSCS students are not allowed to apply CS Professional courses toward graduation. There is no master’s comprehensive exam.

You can complete the MSCS program, if your bachelor degree is in computer science, in four semesters or in three semesters plus two summer semesters. It may require extra time to make up prerequisite undergraduate coursework if you do not have a bachelor's degree in computer science.

Graduate CS classes are offered during the day and evening. Both day-only and evening-only student schedules can be accommodated. Students can complete an MSCS through IIT Online: Classes can be taken entirely through on-demand Internet, without ever visiting the Illinios Tech campus.

In general, for admission into the MSCS program, you need a bachelor's degree (not necessarily in computer science) and submit a transcript, GRE and possibly TOEFL scores. For more information about this program, contact Dennis Hood.

» Differences Between the MSCS and MCS Programs

» Admission


Program Requirements 

» Prerequisite Undergraduate Coursework


» Required Core Courses

Degree Requirements

Completing the Master of Science in CS degree program requires:

  • A minimum of 32 credit hours, approved by an advisor.
  • A GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 in the plan of study.

Coursework used to meet degree program requirements must be listed in your Program of Study. This program of study must be approved before completing 9 credit hours of graduate study and must meet the following restrictions:

  • It must include at least one course in each of the core areas of Systems and Programming and at least two courses in the core area of Theory.
  • At least 20 of the total credit hours must be in CS, from the Illinois Tech CS department (no transfer courses), at the 500-level or above. CS Professional courses cannot be used on the program of study
  • The remaining 12 credit hours may include CS courses (at the 400-level or above) and transfer credit for coursework from other Illinois Tech departments or for CS courses from other universities.
  • At most 6 of the total credit hours can come from "short", accelerated courses.
  • Co-terminal students can share 9 credits of coursework with their bachelor's studies. (See details.)
  • Credit hour limitations apply to the optional Master's Thesis or Master's Project.
  • Interprofessional Projects (IPROs) and undergradutate prerequisite courses (CS 201, 401, 402, and 403) cannot be applied toward the credit hour requirement.
  • All other relevant university and college requirements (such as time limits to graduate) must be met.

» Master's Thesis/Project


» Program of Study

Practical Training

  • International master's students (students on F-1 visas) may be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) while studying for a degree and Optional Practical Training (OPT) after completion of a degree. Information and forms are available from the Career Management Center (CMC) and the International Center.
  • The CS department is firm on the requirements of a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 to be eligible for a CPT or OPT.  Should you not meet this criterion you should consult with the International Center to discuss yuor options.  Note that a GPA falling below 3.0 will cause eligibility for a CPT to be revoked, even if permission forms have already been signed.
  • You must complete 18 credit hours of coursework to be eligible for a CPT.  In addition, the CS department requires second degree and transfer students to complete at least 9 credits of Illinois Tech CS coursework before they can be eligible for a CPT.

» Non-Degree Graduate Students

Last modified 3/6/2018

2018-03-06: emphasize 3.0 GPA needed for OPT signature, added suggestion to contact international center. 2017-12-28: Can't use transfer courses as part of 20 credit requirement; 2017-10-23: link to co-terminal pgm;2017-04-12: "Plan" of study, not "Program" of study. 2016-07-23: Replaced Vida Winans with Dennis Hood; 9/17/2013