CS@Mines Bridge

Enhance Your Career

A Computer Science Master’s degree can provide you with financial benefits, job opportunities, and career fulfillment. CS@Mines Bridge provides a direct path to a CS Master’s degree for students of any undergraduate discipline.  You’ll join a cohort with other CS@Mines Bridge students to learn with a supportive community of engaged peers.  We work closely with a consortium of other successful colleges and universities to develop best practices and specific, measurable outcomes. 

Start with the fundamentals. Completing rigorous undergraduate CS courses will prepare you for Master’s coursework. These courses can be completed in 2-3 semesters of full-time enrollment (or 4 semesters for a less heavy load or part-time).

Expand your knowledge. Continue to the MS as a full-time or part-time student. The MS can be completed in 2-3 additional semesters of full-time enrollment (or may be extended for a less heavy load or part-time).

What You’ll Experience

  • Learn foundational technical skills and computing principles from renowned faculty at a world-class research institution.
  • Flexibility through a mix of online and in-person coursework.
  • Complete hands-on projects with real-world applications.
  • Learn to ask compelling questions, work productively in teams, and communicate your ideas effectively.
  • Full access to student and career services offered by Colorado School of Mines.


Average starting salary for CS MS graduates in 2020-21


CS MS graduates with positive outcomes in 2020-21

Program Details

how & when to apply

Apply through the Graduate Admissions website. In the Academic Pursuit section of your application, select CS@Mines Bridge as your major. Your application will default to undergraduate since you are considered an undergraduate student your first year in the program. Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, from an accredited institution in an area of study that is not Computer Science. In addition to the application form, these materials are required:

  • One (1) official transcript from all current and previous institutions (unofficial transcripts can be used for the review process)
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation. Current Mines undergraduates are not required to submit letters of recommendation.
  • Graduate Record Examination* (GRE) scores are currently waived for CS Grad applicants. 
  • Statement of Goals: The purpose of the statement of goals (or personal statement) is to introduce yourself to the Graduate Admissions Review Committee. In the statement, you should address professional and personal goals, as well as why Colorado School of Mines would be the best place to achieve those goals.
  • Resume/curriculum vitae (CV)
  • A non-refundable application fee is required of all applicants. Please note: Our online application will only accept fees paid by credit or debit card.

CS@Mines Bridge students will be offered provisional admission to the MS Non-Thesis degree. After completing the foundational courses, students will be fully admitted to the MS Non-Thesis degree.

Application Deadlines

CS@Mines Bridge accepts applications for Fall terms. Our application deadlines are March 1 and July 1 and you should expect an admission decision approximately 3-6 weeks after the application deadline. With that being said, we strongly encourage you to apply for the March 1 deadline.

Term Priority/International Domestic
Fall March 1 July 1

* If you have little to no programming experience, you MUST apply by the March 1 deadline. Incoming students may need to take additional courses/assessments before the Fall term. Please feel free to apply to the July 1 deadline if you have previous programming experience.

See details on the Graduate Admissions deadlines website.

Degree requirements
CS@Mines Bridge Coursework

CS@Mines Bridge is designed for those without a background in CS as a direct path to a CS Master’s degree. You learn the fundamentals in approximately two semesters, and then complete the Master’s coursework in approximately two semesters. The Bridge requires 25 credit hours and is completed during the student’s 1st year at Mines. The Master’s degree requires 30 additional credit hours and can be started during the student’s 1st year at Mines and completed during the 2nd year at Mines (if student is enrolled at Mines full-time).

These courses are pre-requisites to the MS curriculum.

  • CSCI 195: Bridge Seminar Course
  • CSCI 200: Foundational Programming Concepts & Design 
  • CSCI 210: Systems Programming
  • CSCI 220: Data Structures & Algorithms
  • CSCI 306: Software Engineering
  • CSCI 341: Computer Organization
  • CSCI 358: Discrete Mathematics
  • CSCI 406: Algorithms
  • CSCI 442: Operating Systems
Master’s Degree

The CS MS Non-Thesis degree requires 30 credit hours and has two possible tracks:

  • MS Non-Thesis Coursework: Requires 30 credit hours of coursework.
  • MS Non-Thesis Project: Requires 24 credit hours of coursework and 6 credit hours of project work. Project deliverables are a report and presentation to a committee of two CS faculty including the student’s advisor.
Required courses for all MS tracks:
  • CSCI 561: Theory of Computation (offered every fall)
  • CSCI 564: Advanced Computer Architecture (offered every spring)

The remaining credits are completed as detailed in the CS Graduate Catalog. All MS students are allowed to complete up to 6 elective credits outside the CS department to customize the degree to your interests and goals.

Math Background

All incoming Bridge students are expected to have a basic level of knowledge in algebra and calculus. Your transcripts will be evaluated at the time of admission to determine if you will need extra math courses before you take your Bridge courses.

Academic Standing

CS@Mines Bridge students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher throughout the entirety of the program. Additionally, you may only use courses with a grade of “B” or better toward your Bridge courses, and a grade of “C” or better toward the graduate program. Failure to uphold these requirements will result in academic probation and possible removal from the program.

Cost, Scholarships, & Aid

See the Financial Aid website for information on cost of attendance and paying for courses.

Mines Scholarships

CS@Mines offers several scholarships each year to CS@Mines Bridge students completing their foundational courses. Applicants will be emailed a separate scholarship application to be considered for these awards. We appreciate the support of CS@Mines faculty and industry partners for the ability to provide these scholarships.


The C-MAPP program is designed to improve relationships between industry and computer science at Mines, while also providing opportunities that will help Mines computing students ‘mapp’ their careers. C-MAPP Partners have a professional interest in the well being of computing at Mines. C-MAPP is a program for companies that are interested in (1) giving back, (2) helping the students at Mines, (3) networking with the students at Mines, and/or (4) increasing diversity in computing. CS@Mines Bridge students are eligible to apply for C-MAPP Scholarships.


Will I be considered an undergraduate or a graduate student in the Bridge program?

  • The short answer is both! For your first semester or year of the Bridge program, you will be considered an undergraduate student since you will be taking primarily undergraduate “Bridge” courses. You will be considered a graduate student as soon as you are taking at least 2 courses toward your graduate degree (i.e., 500-level or above).  

How will this affect my financial aid? 

  • CS Bridge students are considered Undergraduate, seeking a 2nd Bachelor’s Degree. At the time of completion of the Bridge courses, they will then be admitted to the Graduate program. While classified as an undergraduate student, they are billed at the undergraduate rate. Bridge students must complete the FAFSA at studentaid.gov, then select they are a 5th year/other undergraduate, seeking a second bachelor’s degree. They are eligible to receive senior undergraduate loans for one calendar year. The senior loan allocation for an independent student is $12,500 for the year and for dependent students it is $7,500. Once a student begins taking graduate courses toward their degree, they will be eligible for graduate financial aid, and they can complete their FAFSA accordingly. 

How much experience do I need for the Bridge program? 

  • Depending on your level of programming experience, we recommend getting some general programming under your belt. We strongly recommend taking some open-source programming courses. We particularly enjoy Coursera, Udemy, and Khan Academy

If I took some computer science courses in my undergraduate degree, can I get some Bridge courses? 

  • Yes, many of our Bridge students (but not all) enter the program with some coding and/or math courses from their undergraduate degree. We will evaluate your transcripts at the time of admission to determine if you can have any Bridge courses waived. 

I saw there are two deadlines for the application: March 1 and July 1. Which deadline should I follow? 

  • We always encourage applicants to apply to our early March 1 deadline. This will benefit you in a few ways:
    • Our priority Bridge scholarship deadline is June 15. This means you will have to apply to the program, be accepted into the program, and let us know you will be attending, and apply to our scholarship before June 15 to be eligible. 
    • Submitting your application early ensures you have time to think about your admission decision. It also gives you time to plan for the upcoming semester. 
    • Lastly, applying and receiving acceptance early ensures you can reserve your spot in the program. The Bridge program is becoming increasingly popular, and we would hate to fill up before you have the chance to join us. 

How does the Bridge scholarship application work? 

  • After you are admitted to the Bridge program, you will receive an email from us with the scholarship application. We typically release the Bridge scholarship application 1 month prior to the priority scholarship deadline (June 15). 

Can I enter the Bridge program in the Spring? 

  • Currently, we do not offer Spring admission for the Bridge program. All students must enter in the Fall term. 

Should I get a Master’s degree or will a coding bootcamp be better? 


I think the Bridge program was perfect for me. Coming from a mechanical engineering background, the classes that are required really help you set a solid foundation in computer science. The part that I really liked was that after the required courses, you have free range to explore what topics/classes interest you in CS.

I currently have a job lined up with a software development company (Tyler Tech) as a full-stack software engineer.

For any prospective Bridge student, my advice would be just to do it. If you have discovered a love for computer science or want to change career fields, I highly recommend the Bridge program. I could not be happier with my choice and am so thankful to the Mines CS Department for allowing me to be part of this amazing program.

Matthew (Matty) Armendariz

BS Mechanical Engineering, MS Computer Science