MS Computer Science - Degree Requirements

Pre-Requisite Courses and Background

  • Computing Fundamentals
  • Computer Organization (Machine Structures)
  • Object Oriented Programming
  • Data Structures
  • Discrete Math
  • Calculus
  • Statistics/Probability

The need for completion of pre-requisite coursework is determined in consultation with the Graduate Admissions Office and the program coordinator.

Program Requirements
The M.S. in Computer Science consists of 33 credit hours. Three must include:

Area Courses: (12 credit hours)

Depth Courses: (9-12 credit hours)

General Electives: (6 credit hours)

Thesis/Project: (3-6 credit hours)

Area Courses (12 credit hours)
Complete one course in each of the following four areas:

Software Engineering

  • CS 510 Programming Languages
  • CS 511 Formal Methods
  • CS 512 Software Engineering
  • CS 518 Special Topics in Software Engineering

Systems & Architectures

  • CS 520 Computer Architecture
  • CS 521 Operating Systems
  • CS 522 Computer Networks
  • CS 523 Parallel Computing
  • CS 524 Distributed Systems
  • CS 528 Selected Topics in Systems

Algorithms & Theory

  • CS 530 Algorithms & Complexity
  • CS 531 Automata, Computability and Formal Languages
  • CS 532 Cryptography and Data Security
  • CS 538 Special Topics in Algorithms

Artificial Intelligence & Modeling

  • CS 540 Artificial Intelligence
  • CS 541 Databases
  • CS 542 Machine Learning
  • CS 543 Systems Theory
  • CS 548 Special Topics in AI and Modeling

Depth Courses (9-12 credit hours)
Complete two additional courses from one of the four areas above and one additional course from a different area. A fourth course from any area is required if a project is elected instead of a thesis.
Note: Computer Science graduate courses that are not assigned to one of the areas above (e.g., bridge courses (CS 500, CS 502, CS 503, CS 505), CSC 507, CS 598, CS 599) cannot be applied to the depth requirement.

General Electives (6 credit hours)
Two graduate courses selected from:
(a) graduate computer and information science courses (with the CS prefix) other than bridge courses (not CS 500, CS 502, CS 503, or CS 505)
(b) other graduate courses that are pre-approved by the CS Department via the submission of an Academic Petition (each petition shall include the student’s justification and supporting documentation (syllabus, catalog description, etc.) for accepting the relevant course; the CS Department will consider each petition on a case-by-case basis.

Thesis/Project (3-6 credit hours)
CS 598 Project (3 credits) OR
CS 599 Thesis (6 credits)
Guidelines and requirements for the project or thesis are provided to students by their faculty adviser.

Degree Requirements Overview & Program Notes

  • Unless otherwise noted, all graduate courses are 3 credit hours.
  • All students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to graduate.
  • Over the course of their studies, students can only apply two “C” grades in courses taken toward the degree.
  • Students may transfer up to six credit hours, if applicable, from another graduate program.  Note: All transfer courses must be approved by the CS Dept; courses are usually submitted for transfer consideration prior to matriculation.
  • Students may repeat at most two courses in which a “C” grade or less was received.
  • Students must maintain continuous registration, equal to or greater than one credit while working on their final thesis or project. Once an MS Computer Science student has taken 3 credits of CS 598 or 6 credits of CS 599, they may maintain continuous registration by enrolling in CMT 600. This may be taken for up to six semesters, at which time it is expected that all program requirements will have been met. Students must be registered at SUNY Polytechnic Institute during the term they intend to graduate.


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