Master of Science in Computer Science

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.

400-level Courses: As stipulated by the Mines Graduate School, students may apply toward graduate degree requirements a maximum of nine (9.0) credits of department-approved 400-level course work.