Master of Science in Computer Science
Our graduate program teaches you to understand the complexity of computing in the real-world context that it is being used.
Our graduate students come from all corners of the globe to pursue a wide range of research topics and work in many application areas within other disciplines. Graduate students are expected to participate actively in their own training, to build a foundation of knowledge in computer science from course work and independent study, to identify interesting problems for their own research, and to contribute to the progress of their fellow students as well as to the science.
The MS degree requires 30 credits of formal course work. The 30 credits include a total of 24 credits plus an MS thesis, CS 2000; or 27 credits plus an MS project, CS 2910. Your course of study must include one course from each of the following foundation areas:
Theory and Algorithms
- CS 2150 – DESIGN & ANALYSIS OF ALGORITHMS or
- CS 2110 – THEORY OF COMPUTATION or
- CS 1510 – ALGORITHM DESIGN or
- CS 1511 – INTRODUCTION TO THEORY OF COMPUTATION
Architecture and Compilers
- CS 2410 – COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE or
- CS 2210 – COMPILER DESIGN
Operating Systems and Networks
- CS 2510 – COMPUTER OPERATING SYSTEMS or
- CS 2520 – WIDE AREA NETWORKS
Artificial Intelligence and Database Systems
- CS 2710 – FOUNDTNS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLGNC or
- CS 2550 – PRINCIPLES OF DATABASE SYSTEMS
At least twelve (thesis option) or fifteen (project option) additional credits of graduate (2100-level or higher) CS courses. These cannot include independent study courses, thesis project or research courses.
All coursework must be completed with an overall grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better.
The MSCS must be completed within four calendar years of your initial registration for graduate studies. This limit applies to all students, whether full-time or part-time.
At the time of enrollment, you must hold a BS degree. Transitional students with demonstrated computing aptitude, as evidenced by outstanding grades in at least four of the required computer science courses noted below, may be considered for admission to the graduate program. Applicants must have completed courses in the following areas (the corresponding Pitt course numbers are indicated):
In Computer Science, one course in each of:
- Intermediate Programming (CS 0401)
- Discrete Structures (CS 0441)
- Data Structures (CS 0445)
- Computer Organization and Assembly Language(CS 0447)
- Algorithm Design/Computation Theory (CS 1510/CS 1511)
- Programming Language for Web Applications/Structured Programming Languages (CS 1520/CS 1621)
- Operating Systems/Systems Software (CS 1550/CS 1651)
In Mathematics, the following:
- A two-course calculus sequence (MATH 0220, MATH 0230)
- A course in linear algebra (MATH 1180 or MATH 0280)
- A course in probability and statistics, requiring calculus as prerequisite (STAT 1151, STAT 1152)
Letters of Recommendation
Identify and seek the recommendations of three individuals (e.g., professors, employers) who are in a position to evaluate your academic performance or your potential for graduate study. Two recommenders must be professors, preferably those with PhDs.
Only scanned copies of official transcripts will be accepted and processed at the application stage.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
You are required to submit a recent score (within five years of the date of application) on the Graduate Record Examination as part of your admission credentials. Scores on all three sections (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) of the General Section should be submitted. There is no minimum score requirement.
Other Required Documents
Please include the following with your online application:
- Resume; and
- Statement of Intent of no more than 500 words outlining your career goals
Your resume and Statement of Intent should reflect and highlight relevant work experience.
For International Applicants
Graduate students must possess sufficient knowledge of English to participate successfully in graduate study. International applicants must submit either the TOEFL or the IELTS (taken within two years of the date of application). A minimum score of 90 (at least a score of 22 in each section) on the TOEFL or a minimum result of Band 7.0 (with at least a 6.5 in each section) on the IELTS is required.
For more information, see our Graduate Admission FAQ.