Oct 02, 2023  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science, M.S.C.S.

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Degree Information

Priority Admission Application Deadlines: http://www.grad.usf.edu/majors

Minimum Total Hours: 30 thesis; 30 non-thesis
Level: Masters
CIP Code: 11.0701
Dept. Code: ESB
Major/College Codes: ECC EN
Approved: 1960

Also offered as an Accelerated Major

Contact Information

College: Engineering
Department: Computer Science and Engineering

Contact Information: http://www.grad.usf.edu/majors

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers a thesis and non-thesis option for the degree of Master of Science in Computer Science (M.S.C.S.) The thesis option requires students to pursue a more concentrated range of topics. The non-thesis option offers students some experience in many areas of computer science. There is considerable freedom in the choice of the courses.

The breadth of subjects which are part of computer science together with the immense diversity of its applications, make it imperative that students in the Master’s major maintain close contact with the Graduate Director, or, if choosing the thesis option, with their major professor in order to achieve a coherent plan of study directed towards a specific goal. In particular, election of courses should only be made with prior consultation and approval of the Major Professor or the Graduate Director.

Major Research Areas:
An excellent selection of courses and laboratories support graduate studies in algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, computer architecture, graphics, networks, computer vision, distributed systems, embedded systems, expert systems, formal verification, image processing, pattern recognition, robotics, databases, software engineering, computer security, compilers, programming languages, and VLSI design and CAD.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • The GRE is required for all Ph.D. and M.S. applicants. The median GRE scores of recently admitted students include 770 on the Quantitative portion and a Verbal Total of 450.For GRE tests taken after August 1, we require a minimum of 161 on the Quantitative portion (81st percentile) and a minimum of 150 (44th percentile) on the Verbal. If a candidate is admitted to the M.S. major and later decides to join the Ph.D. major, the GRE requirement must be met by the candidate as part of the application process. The GRE will be waived for M.S. degree applicants with an undergraduate degree from an ABET-accredited United States university.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Statement of purpose.
  • The applicant must also have mathematical preparation equivalent to that obtained from courses in Calculus through Differential Equations; knowledge of computer science and computer engineering, including logic design, computer architecture, data structure, operating systems and algorithms. The majority of students accepted to the Major possess an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or Mathematics. However, students who hold an undergraduate degree in a related field are encouraged to apply.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum hours: 30 hours

Core Requirements: (9 Credit Hours)

Successful completion of three core graduate-level courses is required.


With prior permission from the Graduate Director, students can take a maximum of 3 hours of Independent Study or Internship, a maximum of 3 hours of one-hour seminar courses, and up to one graduate level course (3 credit hours) outside of the department.

Thesis option students must select at least 15 hours and non-thesis option students must select at least 21 hours from the list of available graduate elective courses below in consultation with the Graduate Director or individual advisor. . Non-thesis students need to take a minimum of 6a credits from the list of electives that are software related:

Thesis Option:

The thesis option requires the completion of 24 credit hours of CSE graduate-level courses (9 credit hours of core courses and 15 hours of electives) and 6 credit hours of thesis in computer science related problems, as determined by the Major Professor and documented in the Plan of Work. At least 16 credit hours must be at the 6000 level.

Non-Thesis Option:

The non-thesis option requires 30 credit hours, with 9 credit hours of core courses and 21 hours of graduate level electives. At least 16 credit hours must be at the 6000 level. At least 6 hours of electives should be taken from the list of electives that are software related in the following topic areas: advanced algorithms, compilers, databases, parallel computing and distributed systems, computer security, data mining, machine learning, programming languages, or software engineering, as determined by the Graduate Director and documented in the Plan of Work.

Comprehensive Exam

For students taking the thesis option, the requirement for a comprehensive exam is satisfied by the successful completion of the thesis. For non-thesis option students, the requirement for a comprehensive exam is satisfied by the successful completion of a comprehensive exam that students will take in the semester prior to the semester in which the students ntends to graduate.

Graduation Requirements:

For the thesis option, students must defend and pass the thesis and have a GPA of 3.00 or better. Non-Thesis Option students must pass the Comprehensive Exam, obtain a letter “B” or better in the core graduate courses and have a GPA of 3.00 or better. No Grade below “C” will be accepted in a graduate major. If a student’s average falls below 3.00, the student will be placed on probation.

Accelerated Major

Also available as an Accelerated Majors  

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