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Computer science alumnus at coffee shop

Computer & Information Science M.S.

Offered by: Department of Computer & Information Science In addition to teaching fundamentals, the Master of Science degree program emphasizes research in network security, databases, bioinformatics, biometrics, and distributed computing.

Why choose this program?

Whether you're a returning professional or preparing for a doctoral program, our modern M.S. Computer Science degree will equip you with the tools to protect the integrity of your network and data while understanding the application of modern computer science, statistics, and mathematics in supporting biomedical science industries.

From genome mapping to environmental health analysis and drug design, these exploding fields require qualified understanding of biological questions and powerful analytical tools to solve them. 

Learn to deliver essential services that customers and employees demand with an integrated discipline of computing fundamentals and bioinformatics.

Our unique training is directly supported by Indiana's advancement in the field of health and life sciences. Indiana is ranked #4 in the nation for life sciences communities and the 9th largest life sciences employment in the United States.

Degree requirements

To receive the Master of Science Degree: 

  • the applicant must be admitted as a graduate student without provisions and  complete 30 semester-credit hours of study in CSCI courses numbered 500 or above
  •  In addition, there is a "core"/required course component which must be satisfied as part of the 30 credit hour program; these requirements are listed below, and differ according to semester of initial admission.
    • "Core" Course Requirement (for those admitted before the Fall 2013 semester) 
      • At least 6 of the 30 required hours must be from the following Core Courses: CSC1 503, Operating Systems; CSCI 504, Concepts in Computer Organization; CSCI 565, Programming Languages; CSCI 580, Algorithm Design, Analysis and Implementation.
    • New Required Course Guidelines (effective beginning with those admitted for the Fall 2013 semester)
      • Of the 30 required hours, students must select 1 course each from 4 different "foundational" categories for a total of 12 credit hours. There are 6 categories from which to select the 4, as listed below:
        1. Networking and Security -- CSCI 53600, CSCI 55500
        2. Databases and Intelligent Systems -- CSCI 54100, CSCI 54900, CSCI 57300
        3. Visualization and Graphics -- CSCI 55000, CSCI 55200, CSCI 55700*
        4. Software Engineering -- CSCI 50600, CSCI 50700, CSCI 59000 (Software Quality Assurance)
        5. Theory -- CSCI 52000, CSCI 56500, CSCI 58000
        6. Systems -- CSCI 50200, CSCI 50300, CSCI 50400, CSCI 53700
          • *If this course was taken as CSCI 59000 prior to permanent course number assignment, it will still count toward the requirement.

Existing M.S. students may choose to continue in the current requirements, or may officially switch to the new requirements by submitted a petition to the department's Graduate Committee.

Program Options

The department offers two options for study in the Master of Science Program. Both options are administered according to the policies established by the department and Purdue University. For details on procedures, see Purdue University's Policies and Procedures Manual for Administering Graduate Student Programs.

M.S. Program: Research Option

The objective of the Research Program is to develop a general knowledge of computer science, deep in a specific area, and an ability to do independent research. 

The student learns research techniques by working in close cooperation with a faculty member while doing the thesis research. This program requires 6-9 credit hours of thesis work and at least 21 hours of graduate level course work.

The Graduate Program offers a wide selection of courses from which the individual chooses, in consultation with the graduate advisor, in order to acquire the background necessary for doing the thesis research. 

The individual includes a sufficient number of courses to complete the remainder of his or her 30-credit program beyond the two core courses and the six to nine credit hours of thesis. These are identified on the formal Plan of Study, which the Graduate Program Committee must approve.

M.S. Program: Applied Option

The objective of the Applied Program is to develop in the student skills and knowledge of the computer science fundamentals and an ability to apply these to practical problems. The student has two options in the applied program, the project option and the course option.

For project students, a project is completed, usually from her or his work environment or internship, or a faculty member' s work. Its objective is to provide an integrative experience by applying to a complex problem of a practical nature the theory and skills learned in the course work.

The objective of the course work is to provide breadth of knowledge to the professional as well as specialized knowledge in the areas that the project will require. The graduate of this program is prepared to adapt and respond quickly to the employer' s specialized requirements. 

The Applied Program, project option, requires three - six credits of work in a Project Course and at least 24 hours of additional graduate course credit. 

The Project normally involves at least two semesters of intensive work. The student carries out the project under the supervision of a faculty member. It is highly recommended that there also be a mentor from the sponsoring organization in cases that the project has a non academic sponsor.

The course only option requires no thesis or project, and is comprised of thirty (30) credit hours of course work successfully completed, including at least one course from each of four out of six foundational areas.

MS Program Overview | Admissions Courses | Research Areas | Financial Support

What it's like being a CS major, according to Zach Reynolds

Zachary Reynolds M.S. Student, Computer Science