The Master of Science in Computer Science is a broad-based degree offering students
strong problem-solving, communication, and team skills to design, implement, and document
computer software systems. The program is known for sending well-prepared students
into a lucrative job market. MTSU graduates are valued by employers ranging from tech
titans such as Google to area companies. Employment in the field is projected to grow
at a rate of 15 percent through 2022, double the average rate of all occupations.
Students, who choose from thesis and non-thesis options, are able to concentrate in
specific areas or begin preparation for Ph.D. work. Master’s students also gain experience
working with systems administration and helping create apps for the university. There
are additional opportunities through professional organizations. Well-equipped computer
labs are available extensive hours and also provide 24/7 remote software access. Video-conference
attendance is possible in some classes. A limited number of graduate assistantships
Google taps MTSU computer science for new hires
Computer Science M.S. graduates Nathan Reale, Matt Houglum (pictured), and Anthony
Mills are the latest MTSU alumni hired by Web giant Google. Houglum and a student
team developed an Android mobile app to provide students easy access to a wide variety
of university information, while Mills and Reale helped create an online Schedule
Planner to assist with class planning. They also had systems administration responsibilities
as grad students, experience that sold Google recruiters on him, Houglum says. “It
is very difficult to get hired at Google, and the fact that a major company like Google
is hiring our students is indicative of the quality of the education being offered,”
department chair Chrisila Pettey says. Reale and Mills are working at Google headquarters
outside San Francisco, while Houglum is an enterprise technical solutions engineer
at the Seattle operations center. All three also earned bachelor's degrees from MTSU.
Reale applied the day after Google employee and MTSU alum Micah Chasteen spoke to
the Association for Computing Machinery student chapter. “Google was my dream job
from high school through college,” Reale says.
Student works on Greek papyrus research at Oxford
Master’s candidate Alex Williams (B.S., Computer Science) landed a job at the University
of Oxford in England a year before his scheduled 2015 graduation, programming with
a research team identifying ancient Greek papyrus fragments. Williams created a version
of BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool), which is used in computational biology
with genetic/DNA sequences, to align Ancient Greek papyrus fragments to known manuscript
texts. His Greek-BLAST adaptation helps dramatically accelerate the tedious process
of manual identification of a timeframe from days, months, or years, into minutes.
"Students are usually given the option to study what interests them. Had I not been
given these options, I would be weeks behind in my work here at Oxford," Williams
says. "I'm only halfway through the program and I've already got the best job imaginable."
He also had two undergraduate internships at Oak Ridge National Laboratory while at
MTSU. His research there focused on finding new attributes in mammograms that could
be used in an automated fashion by software to detect early signs of breast cancer.
MTSU College of Graduate Studies
MTSU | The University of Opportunities
Computer science graduates with an advanced degree should enjoy excellent job prospects,
with businesses reporting difficulty in finding highly skilled employees in the field.
Computer scientists are problem-solvers who teach themselves new technologies and
are able to work individually and in teams. They write programs ranging from mobile
apps to complex databases to websites to high-performance scientific computing and
more. Possible positions with this degree include
- Computer programmer
- Applications or systems software developer
- Database administrator
- Web developer
- Computer systems analyst
- Information security analyst
- Computer systems administrator
- Computer and information research scientist
Employers of MTSU alumni include
- Arnold Engineering Development Center
- Buzz Wireless
- Caterpillar Financial
- Decision Source
- Gibson Guitar
- Harris Corporation
- Ingram Digital Group
- Japanese American National Museum
- Mercury Intermedia
- Northrop Grumman
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Passport Health
- Riptide Software
- Schneider Electric
- State of Tennessee
- Vanderbilt University
The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Computer Science is offered with a thesis and
a non-thesis option.
With approval, a maximum of 6 hours of cognate courses may come from departments other
than Computer Science, or a single minor up to 12 semester hours may be included.
The following is required of applicants for unconditional admission to the M.S. program:
- An overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale.
- A demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in English (International students
must present acceptable TOEFL scores).
- A satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score (verbal and quantitative score
of at least 150 each). Applicants with a 3.3 or higher undergraduate GPA on all CSCI
courses taken at MTSU (which must include at least 15 upper division CSCI hours) are
not required to submit a GRE score for admission to the graduate program.
- Completion of CSCI 1170, 2170, 3080, 3110, 3130, 3160, and 3250 or equivalent of each
- Completion of MATH 1910 (Calculus I) and 2050 (Probability and Statistics) or equivalent
of each course.
Qualified students who lack background in computer science may be granted conditional
admission to complete the prerequisite courses with a 2.67 (B-) or higher.
A student already holding a master's degree from MTSU may complete a second master's
degree in Computer Science with a minimum of 27 semester hours (at least 18 hours
at the 6000 level).
A minor in Computer Science is also available at the graduate level.
For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.
MTSU's Computer Science Department offers a Bachelor of Science degree with two options,
the professional concentration program, accredited by the Computing Accreditation
Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org, and the business applications concentration (not accredited).
MTSU students may also choose to minor in Computer Science.
Computer Science, M.S.
Dr. Zhijiang Dong, Program Director
The Department of Computer Science offers the Master of Science with a major in Computer Science and a minor at the graduate level. The department also offers courses and participates in the Ph.D. in Computational and Data Science.
Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.
Students with or without computer science background are welcomed to apply. Applicants must provide evidence to demonstrate that they have potential to be successful in our graduate program. Applicants must complete the following undergraduate courses before or during the study in our graduate program:
- CSCI 1170, 2170, 3080, 3110, 3130, and 3240 or equivalent of each course;
- MATH 1910 and 2050 or equivalent of each course
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
- submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
- submit official transcripts showing an acceptable GPA in previous academic work.
- The GRE is waived for all applicants to the Master's program; however, applicants with either a weak computer science background or an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or lower are encouraged to submit GRE scores.
- International applicants should check with the Office of International Affairs for the requirement of proof of English proficiency.
The Master of Science in Computer Science requires completion of 30-36 semester hours (thesis option) or 36 hours (non-thesis option).
Two options are available: The thesis option and the non-thesis option. Students pursuing either option must meet the following requirements:
- complete CSCI 5700 if CSCI 4700 or an equivalent course not completed as an undergraduate;
- complete CSCI 5560 if CSCI 4560 or an equivalent course not completed as an undergraduate;
- complete CSCI 6620 as part of the required 30-36 hours (thesis option) or 36 hours (non-thesis option).
Curriculum: Computer Science
The following illustrates the coursework requirements. In addition, a maximum of 9 hours of thesis research may be required to fulfill degree requirements.
Candidate must complete 30-36 (thesis option) or 36 (non-thesis option) hours in the following curriculum. Prior approval from the graduate advisor is required if a candidate wants to pursue more than minimum hours.
Thesis Option (30-36 hours)
The Master of Science in Computer Science requires completion of at least 30 hours of graduate coursework in the thesis option. A minimum of 27 hours of coursework (excluding CSCI 6640) is required. A minimum of 3 hours, but not more than 9 hours of CSCI 6640 must be taken for this option. Students must present an oral defense of the thesis. A minimum of 21 hours must be at the 6000 level.
Non-thesis Option (36 hours)
The Master of Science in Computer Science requires completion of 36 hours of graduate coursework in the non-thesis option. Candidates must successfully complete a comprehensive examination. Credit for CSCI 6640 may not be included in the 36 hours. A minimum of 24 hours must be at the 6000 level.
A student already holding a master's degree from MTSU may complete a second master's degree in Computer Science by satisfying either of the above options with a minimum of 27 semester hours. A minimum of 18 hours must be at the 6000 level.
With the approval of the Computer Science graduate faculty, a maximum of 12 semester hours of residence credit (maximum of 6 in Computer Science) may be transferred from another institution and applied to the master's degree.
- complete at least 24 semester hours of graduate computer science courses at MTSU;
- take all courses in the Computer Science Department with the following possible exceptions:
- with the prior approval of the Computer Science graduate faculty, a maximum of 6 hours of cognate courses may come from departments other than Computer Science;
- with the approval of the candidate's graduate advisor, a single minor up to 12 semester hours may be included. Such a minor must also be approved by the department offering the minor.
Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.
CSCI Document Templates
Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance
This program is available .
For More Information or Explore Your Options
Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program OR work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.
The Online Advantage
With over 25 years of experience in online teaching and learning, MTSU Online offers students access to innovative, high-quality programs. Designed with students in mind, our courses allow maximum flexibility for those unable to participate in person.
Resources and services for online students are available from MTSU Online or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.