Graduate Program

Graduate Program Overview

CS@Mines graduate degrees will prepare you for careers in industry, government, or academia. You’ll experience academic rigor and depth while addressing real-world problems. Choose the degree that fits your needs with online and in-person options.

  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Master of Science – Thesis, Non-Thesis Project, or Non-Thesis Coursework
  • Post-Baccalaureate Professional Computer Science Certificate
  • Graduate Certificate in CyberSecurity for Cyber Physical Systems
  • Graduate Certificate in Data Science – Foundations
  • Graduate Certificate in Data Science – Computer Science

Combined Program

CS@Mines offers a combined BS/MS degree program for Mines undergraduates which allows students to complete an MS in just one additional year. This provides an expedited graduate school application process and allows students to begin graduate coursework while still finishing their Mines undergraduate degree requirements. Learn more about the BS+MS in Computer Science.

CS@Mines Bridge

CS@Mines Bridge provides a direct path to a CS Master’s degree for non-CS majors. Students in the CS@Mines Bridge cohort will complete foundational undergraduate courses in one year to prepare for Master’s level coursework. Learn more about CS@Mines Bridge through our website or flyer

Online Certificates in CS

Our new online (or in-person) certificates offer flexible ways to advance your career.

CS Research Areas

  • Algorithmic Robotics
  • Applied Algorithms
  • Augmented Reality
  • CS For All
  • Cybersecurity
  • High Performance Computing
  • Machine Learning
  • Networked Systems

In many cases, individual projects span multiple research areas.

Learn more about faculty research areas


Positive outcomes for CS MS & PhD graduates in 2018-19


Average salary of a CS MS graduate in 2018-19


Employers attend Mines Career Day annually

Meet CS@Mines Alumni

Graduate Program Details

Application & Admission

Read the application requirements and apply on the Graduate Admissions website. The CS department accepts applications for Fall and Spring semesters. Applicants must meet the posted admission deadlines to be considered for admission.

Certificate Admission
Post-Baccalaureate Professional Computer Science Certificate

Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, from an accredited institution in an area of study that is not Computer Science.

Graduate Certificate in CyberSecurity for Cyber Physical Systems

The minimum requirements for admission to the Graduate Certificate in CyberSecurity for Cyber Physical Systems are:

  • Undergraduate-level knowledge on data structures, computer organization, algorithms, and operating systems.
  • Undergraduate-level knowledge on statistics and discrete mathematics.
  • Undergraduate-level skills on the Linux operating system and shell scripts.
  • Undergraduate-level programming skills in languages such as C, C++, Python, Java, JavaScript, and HTML/CSS.
Graduate Certificate in Data Science – Foundations

Applicants must have completed the following courses, or their equivalents, with a B- or better:CSCI261 and CSCI262 Data Structures, MATH332 Linear Algebra and MATH334 Introduction to Probability.

Graduate Certificate in Data Science – Computer Science

Applicants must have completed the following courses, or their equivalents, with a B- or better:  CSCI261 and CSCI262 Data Structures, MATH213 Calculus III and MATH332 Linear Algebra.  MATH530 Statistical Methods I, will serve as the MATH201 Probability and Statistics prerequisite for the two machine learning courses of the certificate (CSCI470/DSCI470 Introduction to Machine Learning and CSCI575/DSCI575 Machine Learning).

MS & PhD Admission

We strongly encourage you to meet the Fall admission priority deadline of January 5 if you are applying to a thesis-based degree and seeking funding. Fall admission and funding decisions are typically determined by mid-February. The minimum requirements for admission to the MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science are:

  • A baccalaureate degree. The strongest applicants will have a grade-point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  • Completion of two semesters of calculus, and computer science courses in programming concepts, data structures, computer organization, software engineering and discrete math.
  • Students planning an MS in CS will be required to complete (or show knowledge of) the following foundational courses in CS. Students who have not completed these courses are eligible for admission to the non-thesis MS degree, with the option to switch to a thesis-based MS after completing them. The CS@Mines Bridge program is designed as a direct path to a CS MS degree in which students will complete these pre-requisites in just 2 semesters.
    • CSCI 261: Programming Concepts
    • CSCI 262: Data Structures
    • CSCI 306: Software Engineering
    • CSCI 341: Computer Organization
    • CSCI 358: Discrete Mathematics
  • Competitive Graduate Record Examination scores (verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing), with a minimum quantitative reasoning score of 151 or higher (or 650 on the old scale). Applicants who have graduated with a math, science, or engineering degree from Mines within the past five years are not required to submit GRE scores.
  • For the PhD program, prior research experience is desired but not required.

The CS Graduate Committee may require that an admitted student take undergraduate remedial coursework to overcome technical deficiencies. The committee will decide whether to recommend regular or provisional admission.

Certificate Programs (Online & In-Person options)

All certificate courses can be taken online or in-person. Additional information on Computer Science degree requirements, including a list of all CS graduate courses, can be found in the CS Graduate Catalog. Additional information on Data Science certificates can be found in the DS Graduate Catalog.

Post-Baccalaureate Professional Computer Science Certificate

This certificate is intended for non-CS majors to gain foundational skills in Computer Science. The program requires 15 credit hours, consisting of five online or in-person undergraduate-level courses:

  • CSCI 261: Programming Concepts
  • CSCI 262: Data Structures
  • CSCI 303: Introduction to Data Science
  • CSCI 306: Software Engineering
  • CSCI 406: Algorithms
Graduate Certificate in CyberSecurity for Cyber Physical Systems

The program requires 12 credit hours, consisting of four online or in-person graduate-level courses:

  • CSCI 560: Fundamentals of Computer Networks
  • CSCI 574: Theory of Cryptography
  • CSCI 585: Information Security Privacy
  • CSCI 587: Cyber Physical Systems Security
Graduate Certificate in Data Science – Foundations

This Certificate focuses on the foundational concepts in statistics and computer science that support the explosion of new methods for interpreting data in its many forms. The Certificate balances an introduction to data science with teaching basic skills in applying methods in statistics and machine learning to analyze data. The program requires 12 credit hours, consisting of four online or in-person courses:

  • DSCI 403/CSCI303: Introduction to Data Science
  • DSCI/CSCI 470: Introduction to Machine Learning
  • DSCI/CSCI 530: Statistical Methods I
  • DCSI/CSCI 560: Introduction to Key Statistical Learning Methods I
Graduate Certificate in Data Science – Computer Science

This Certificate focuses on data science concepts within computer science (e.g., computational techniques and machine learning) plus prerequisite knowledge (e.g., probability and regression). The aim of this certificate is to help students develop an essential skill set in data analytics, including (1) deriving predictive insights by applying advanced statistics, modeling, and programming skills, (2) acquiring in-depth knowledge of machine learning and computational techniques, and (3) unearthing important questions and intelligence for a range of industries, from product design to finance. The program requires 12 credit hours, consisting of four online or in-person courses:

  • DSCI 403/CSCI303: Introduction to Data Science
  • DSCI/CSCI 470: Introduction to Machine Learning
  • DSCI/CSCI 530: Statistical Methods I
  • DSCI/CSCI 575: Machine Learning
MS Degree

The master’s program is designed to prepare candidates for careers in industry or government or for further study at the PhD level. Additional information on Computer Science degree requirements, including a list of all CS graduate courses, can be found in the CS Graduate Catalog.

The CS MS degree requires 30 credit hours and has three possible tracks: Non-Thesis Coursework, Non-Thesis Project, and Thesis:

  • 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.
  • MS-Thesis: Requires 21 credit hours of coursework and 9 credit hours of thesis research leading to an acceptable Master’s thesis, which includes a thesis and presentation to a committee of three CS faculty including the student’s advisor.

Mines undergraduates may earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) and a Master of Science (MS) degree simultaneously through the Combined Degree BS + MS degree. Under the Combined Program, students may double count two courses (CSCI406 and CSCI442, or one of these and one additional CSCI 400-level course) toward both degrees with grades of B- or better. If double counting, only 24 additional credit hours are needed to complete the MS degree.

  • CSCI 406: Algorithms (offered every semester)
  • CSCI 442: Operating Systems (offered every semester)
  • 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. Non-Thesis students must complete at least 12 credits of CSCI 500-level courses.

PhD Degree

The PhD degree in Computer Science requires 72 credit hours of course work and research credits. Students who have previously completed a BS and/or and MS are eligible to apply to the PhD program. Additional information on Computer Science degree requirements, including a list of all CS graduate courses, can be found in the CS Graduate Catalog.

The following five courses are required of all students. Students who have taken equivalent courses at another institution may satisfy these requirements by transfer.

  • CSCI406 Algorithms (offered every semester)
  • CSCI442 Operating Systems (offered every semester)
  • CSCI561 Theory of Computation (offered every fall)
  • CSCI564 Advanced Computer Architecture (offered every spring)
  • SYGN502 Introduction to Research Ethics

Students in the PhD program will be required to pass a qualifying examination, thesis proposal, and dissertation defense. More details can be found in the CS Graduate Catalog.

Student Resources

Need help or have questions? Contact the CS Graduate Program Manager at or 303-273-3658.


  • CS Graduate Program CANVAS page: All current students have access to this one-stop resource for advising and policy questions. The CANVAS page consolidates links to resources from across Mines and contains lots of helpful information!
  • Graduate Student Listserv:  All current students are subscribed to the CS Graduate Student Listserv – Watch for important messages from the department!
  • Mailboxes: All enrolled thesis-based graduate students have a mailbox in BB W350.

The Center of Academic Services and Advising provides links to valuable resources related to time management & productivity, the importance of sleep, stress management, test anxiety, focus aids and more. Check out the tools & strategies on this resource page to help you be academically successful!


The Academic Calendar provides important deadline information enforced by Mines.


The Career Center provides many valuable resources to students including: job searching support and strategies, choosing a career path, career day(s), cover letter, resume, and mock interview services, recruiting events, and graduation check-out requirements. ALL students should connect with the Career Center and explore the the valuable resources and services this office provides.


The Office of Graduate Studies provides additional student services and academic support, from recruitment to graduation. Check out the Quick Reference Guide for important information regarding your Advisor and Thesis Committee, Degree Audit, Admission to Candidacy, and more! The Forms website contains important forms which you will need to reference throughout your academic career at Mines.


CS graduate seminars are typically held on Thursdays at 4:00pm. Watch for email announcements. All graduate students are EXPECTED to attend graduate seminars hosted by the CS Department.


The Graduate Catalog provides academic policies and program requirements. This is an important resource for all students.

Cost, Scholarships, & Aid

See the Graduate Admissions website for information on cost of attendance and paying for graduate school, including a list of external graduate fellowships.

CS Teaching & Research Assistantships

In some cases CS will be able to provide financial support for full-time graduate students in the form of a Teaching (TA) or Research (RA) Assistantship. The amount and financial support conditions when applicable will be clearly specified in your acceptance letter. Normally, financial support is not offered to provisionally accepted students or non-thesis MS students. If a non-thesis MS student decides to switch to the thesis option, they may become eligible for financial support.


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 students may be eligible to apply for C-MAPP Scholarships.

Graduate Student Government Grants & Fellowships

The Graduate Student Government recognizes that a fundamental way in which it can support graduate students is through various grant/fellowship programs to promote research, travel, and graduate life. Mines students may apply for the Meeting Attendee Travel Grant, Presenter Travel Grant, Family Assistance Grant, Lecture Series Grant, and Graduate Continuance Fellowship.


CS@Mines does not endorse any of the following, manage the content, or comment on the following funding providers:


Since 1981, EPA’s NCER has managed the AAAS Science and Engineering Fellows Program, in cooperation with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The fellowship program is designed to provide an opportunity to learn first-hand how scientific and technological information is used in environmental policy-making; to provide a unique public policy learning experience; to demonstrate the value of science, technology, and economics in addressing societal problems; and to make practical contributions to the more effective use of scientific and technical knowledge in the programs of the U.S. government. Fellows will work in offices throughout the EPA on projects of mutual interest to the Fellows and the hosting offices. Applications are accepted by AAAS in the fall of each year. Must hold a doctoral level degree and be a US Citizen. Engineering disciplines (applicants with a MS in engineering and three or more years of professional experience also qualify.


Today, women remain a distinct minority in science and engineering, representing approximately 10 percent of professionals in these fields. The Amelia Earhart Fellowship program helps talented women, pursuing advanced studies in the typically male-dominated fields of aerospace-related sciences and engineering, achieve their educational goals. The Fellowship enables these women to invest in state-of-the-art computers to conduct their research, purchase expensive books and resource materials, and participate in specialized studies around the globe.


GEM’s fellowship programs span the entire recruitment, retention, and professional development spectrum. GEM’s principal activity is the provision of graduate fellowships at the MS and Ph.D. levels coupled with paid summer internships. GEM also offers programming on the importance of graduate school and tools for access and successful matriculation.


The IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards Program is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. These include: computer science and engineering (including cyber security, cloud, and mobile computing), electrical and mechanical engineering, physical sciences (including chemistry, material sciences, and physics), mathematical sciences (including analytics of massive scale data with uncertainty, operations research, and optimization), public sector and business sciences (including urban policy and analytics, social technologies, learning systems and natural language understanding), and service science, management, and engineering (SSME).


IEEE offers a variety of scholarships, grants, and fellowships for IEEE Student members. Submit a project or paper for consideration and have the opportunity to win and gain peer recognition for your effort. Terms and conditions may apply.


NASA is an investment in America’s future. Our activities contribute to the achievement of the Nation’s science and technology goals and priorities, one of which is “Educational Excellence: We involve the education community in our endeavors to inspire America’s students, create learning opportunities, and enlighten inquisitive minds.” NASA uses its unique resources to support educational excellence for all. This vision guides all NASA activities and programs, and guides the unique contribution that our Education Program provides to America’s education community.


As a means of increasing the number of U.S. citizens and nationals trained in science and engineering disciplines of military importance, the Department of Defense (DoD) plans to award approximately 200 new three-year graduate fellowships in April 2014, subject to the availability of funds. The DoD will offer these fellowships to individuals who have demonstrated the ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering


The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. The NSF welcomes applications from all qualified students and strongly encourages under-represented populations, including women, under-represented racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities, to apply for this fellowship.


SAE offers a wide variety of awards, scholarships, loans and internships for engineering students and faculty through the SAE Foundation. Programs are available for every phase of a student’s engineering education.


The SMART Program aims to increase the number of scientists and engineers in the DoD. The program is particularly interested in supporting individuals that demonstrate an aptitude and interest in conducting theoretical and applied research. As such, the program primarily targets “hand-on-the-bench” researchers and engineers. Individuals applying to the program should have a strong interest in working for the DoD as a civilian research scientist or engineer.


The Society of Women Engineers strives to advance and honor the contributions of women at all stages of their careers as well as recognize the successes of SWE members and individuals who enhance the engineering profession through contributions to industry, education and the community.