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Computer Science, MS

Offered in: CHICAGO

The graduate degree in Computer Science is designed for individuals who want to upgrade the knowledge they already have in the field of computer science or those who desire a career change into one of these sought-after fields. With the wide selection of courses, this degree may be shaped as a professional master’s degree as well as a step in pursuing a doctoral degree.


Graduate students will be continued in the program if they satisfactorily complete the prerequisite courses listed below with grades of C or higher and with a B average in the computing courses, as well as any courses required of international students by the English Language Program. It is possible to make up any deficiencies after being admitted as a graduate student, but no credit toward the degree will be given for meeting these requirements. Students may enroll in prerequisite courses and certain graduate-level courses concurrently, provided the particular prerequisites for those graduate courses have been satisfied.


To earn the MS in computer science, students must complete all prerequisites and at least 33 semester hours of course work, including three required courses, three seminars, and one 400-level CST elective. Courses must be chosen in consultation with an advisor. CST 401, 402, and 408 are required.

Any courses that were taken as part of the undergraduate program may not be repeated for graduate credit. Because of the rapidly changing nature of this field of study, computing courses taken more than six years ago cannot be counted towards degree requirements unless the student has been continuously registered during the timeframe in question (excluding summers).

Students may fulfill the capstone requirement either by completing a master’s thesis/project or by taking a comprehensive examination. Students who elect to complete a thesis or project must select a faculty mentor and register for CST 485 in their second-to-last semester. During the last semester, they must register for either CST490 Thesis or CST499 Project.

Prerequisite courses

One course in mathematics equivalent to the Roosevelt course listed below.
  MATH 245 Discrete Structures .....3
Three courses in computer science equivalent to the Roosevelt courses listed below.
  CST 150 Computer Science I .....3
  CST 250 Computer Science II .....3
  CST 280 Computer Science III: Data Structures .....3

Requirements: 11 CST courses

1. Two required courses (6 semester hours)
  CST 408 Advanced Algorithms .....3
  CST 486 Information Retrieval .....3
2. Three seminars (9 semester hours) chosen from the list below.
  CST 411 Seminar in Artificial Intelligence .....3
  CST 412 Seminar in Theory of Computation .....3
  CST 413 Seminar on Information in Society .....3
  CST 455 Graduate Seminar in Computer Science .....3
3. Four 400-level elective courses (12 semester hours) chosen from the list below.
  CST 401 Web Search .....3
  CST 402 Cloud Computing .....3
  CST 405 Algorithm Design .....3
  CST 410 Formal Languages & Automata .....3
  CST 415 Parallel Systems & High-Performance Computing .....3
  CST 421 Data Mining .....3
  CST 423 Cooperation and Competition .....3
  CST 427 Combinatorics .....3
  CST 428 Linear Programming .....3
  CST 444 OOP & the .NET Framework .....3
  CST 450 Boolean Algebra & Switching Theory .....3
  CST 451 Bioinformatics .....3
  CST 466 Cryptography .....3
  CST 467 Web-based Data Applications .....3
  CST 471 Distributed Databases .....3
  CST 472 Programming Languages .....3
  CST 475 Computer Forensics .....3
  CST 476 Distributed Applications .....3
  CST 478 Pattern Recognition .....3
  CST 482 Computer Graphics .....3
4. One CST open elective (3 semester hours) chosen from the list below.
  CST 485 Thesis/Project Research OR .....3
  CST 4xx Elective .....3
5. Capstone or comprehensive exam (3 semester hours)*
  CST 490 Thesis OR .....3
  CST 499 Project OR .....3
  CST 4xx One additional elective from section 3 above .....3

*Students may choose to take CST 485 Research in Section 4 above in their second-to-last semester and either CST 490 Thesis or 499 Project with the same faculty mentor in their last semester as their capstone, or take two elective CST courses and the comprehensive exam in their last semester. The comprehensive exam includes questions from each course in the student's curriculum, though not all questions must be answered to pass the exam. The CST department can provide more information on this capstone option. Students must notify the department chair of their intent to sit for the comprehensive exam at the beginning of their final semester.

A student who has not completed a thesis or other final project must maintain continued registration during fall and spring semesters until completion of the project by registering for the appropriate zero-credit course (course number followed by “Y“). Students who have not maintained continuous registration for thesis or other final project will be required to register for all intervening fall and spring semesters prior to graduation.