How do I get a Master's Degree in Computer Science?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen
Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

To receive a master’s degree in computer science you should begin by receiving a four-year degree, such as a bachelor’s degree, in computer science or a closely related field. You will want to apply at any graduate programs you are interested in during your final year of work on your four-year degree, and you should ensure you meet any specific requirements for such programs at that time. Once you have chosen a program to pursue and are accepted into a school, you will likely have to complete two to three years of coursework and may have to prepare a master’s thesis as well. You should also consider an area of specialization to ensure that any school you look at offers a program in that area.

A master’s degree in computer science is a degree typically earned by someone either as a stepping stone toward a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or to have a stronger background in a field he or she wishes to work within. In order to get into a program that offers a master’s degree in computer science, you should consider receiving a four-year degree in a similar computer-related field. You might simply receive a bachelor’s degree in computer science, or an area such as mathematics with a strong background in computers and programming.

During your last year of work on your undergraduate degree, you should research schools you are interested in attending to work on your master’s degree in computer science, and start applying early. You may need to take tests such as the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or other similar exams before being eligible for admittance into schools you are interested in. Once you have been accepted by a postgraduate program, you will then need to complete whatever coursework is required by the school for a master’s degree in computer science.

This will typically take the form of classes providing a solid background in computers, programming, and the mathematics behind computer science, followed by deeper study in a specific area you wish to specialize within. You might consider specializations such as artificial intelligence, computer and network security, or human-computer interaction. Some programs, especially those aimed at preparing you for work on a PhD, may also require that you work on a master’s thesis. This type of work is typically aimed at helping you increase your research and writing abilities to prepare you for the work that will be required to receive a PhD in computer science.

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