M.S. Degree

The Master of Science degree permits graduate students the flexibility in defining specialized interdisciplinary fields that meet their professional needs. It is also available to undergraduate Computer Science majors through the Concurrent BS/MS Degree Program.

Please click here to learn more about the BS/MS program.

The Department offers MS in CS degree as follows: (as of Fall 2016)

 -          Traditional MS degree with following two options:

  • Thesis Option
  • Non-Thesis Option

-          Professional MS degree with following two options:

  • DSE sub plan option
  • Course based option


Difference in requirements between Traditional Vs Professional MS degree


Traditional MS Degree

Professional MS Degree

While earning the traditional MS degree in CS, students can choose between Option 1: Thesis Option or Option II: Non-thesis option (10 courses option). Students need to complete 24 course credits and 6 thesis credits under option 1. Under option 2 they have to complete 30 course credits.

While earning professional MS degree in CS, students can choose between Option 1: the DSE sub-plan or Option II; General (course based option). While earning professional MS degree in CS, students cannot opt for the Thesis option.

Breadth Requirement: All students must earn a B or better (not a B-) in at least one CSCI 5000-level course (not 6000 or higher) in FOUR of these nine areas (this does not include area 0) listed at http://www.colorado.edu/cs/graduates/msme-breadth-requirement

Breadth Requirement: All students must earn a B or better (not a B-) in at least one CSCI 5000-level course (not 6000 or higher) in THREE of these nine areas (this does not include area 0) listed at http://www.colorado.edu/cs/graduates/msme-breadth-requirement

Grade Requirement: All students must earn at least a B (not a B-) or better in their breadth courses. They need to earn at least a C or better in the remaining courses, as long as their cumulative GPA is 3.0 or better.

Grade requirement: All students under DSE sub plan must earn at least a B (not a B-) or better grade in their breadth courses and sub plan core and general courses listed at http://www.colorado.edu/cs/graduates/master-science-computer-science-data-science-engineering-dse-sub-plan . They need to earn at least a C or better in the remaining courses as long as their cumulative GPA is 3.0 or better.

Students in options II can take the remaining SEVEN courses from any areas but have to get a grade of C or better in these remaining courses, as long as their cumulative GPA is 3.0 or above.

Distance Courses: Traditional MS degree students may take as many as THREE distance courses throughout their MS career.

Distance Courses: There is no limit on the number of distance courses a professional MS student may take.

Non-CS Courses: All traditional MS degree students may take as many as TWO non-CS courses throughout their MS career. Students have to petition the Graduate Committee to take any non-CS courses and count towards their degree.

Non-CS Courses: All professional MS degree students may take as many as FOUR non-CS courses throughout their MS career. Students have to petition the Graduate Committee to take any non-CS courses and count towards their degree.

Thesis Option: Thesis option is available for traditional MS students.

Thesis Option: Thesis option is not available for professional MS students.

Funding Opportunities: Traditional MS students are eligible for an hourly appointment, fellowship, TA, RA, GA or GPTI opportunities.

Funding Opportunities: Students enrolled in Professional Master’s Degrees are eligible for an hourly appointment or fellowship, but are not eligible for TA, RA, GA or GPTI roles with a tuition waiver.

Time Limit: Students get FOUR years to complete their degree requirements.

Time Limit: Students get FOUR years to complete their degree requirements.

Total Credits Requirement: 30 credits are required to graduate.

Total Credits Requirement: 30 credits are required to graduate.

Tuition:  Tuition rates are available at https://bursar.colorado.edu/tuition-fees/tuition-and-fees-rate-sheets/ , please check the amount listed under “Engineering” column.

Tuition:  Tuition rates are available at https://bursar.colorado.edu/tuition-fees/tuition-and-fees-rate-sheets/ , please check the amount listed under “Engineering” column.

Switching between the two options: Students may switch between the traditional and professional MS degree options for academic reasons on a case by case basis via petition to the Graduate Committee.

Switching between the two options: Students may switch between the traditional and professional MS degree options for academic reasons on a case by case basis via petition to the Graduate Committee.