Master of Science in Computer Science

Dr. Stephen Rainwater, Chair

The Master of Science in Computer Science offers individuals an opportunity to become more competent and productive in a variety of computing environments as computer science professionals and to prepare for further graduate study. The program is oriented toward the design, implementation and application of computer software. The program includes study in the various types of software such as compilers, operating systems, database systems and real-time systems.

The program is designed for graduates of computer science programs as well as baccalaureate graduates in other disciplines. Preparation in computer science will determine the point at which the student will enter this program.

Mission Statement

The Department of Computer Science supports the mission of the College of Engineering and Computer Science through its teaching, research, and service activities. The department is committed to excellence in graduate computer science education and provides students with a strong theoretical foundation, proficiency in programming skills, experience in communications, insight into computer systems security, and training in ethics and professional conduct. In a broad sense, graduate studies provided by the department are intended to increase students' understanding and intellectual maturity in computer science. The curriculum is designed to be responsive to the dynamic requirements of the computer science field and to the needs of the variety of students.

Program Outcomes

Computer science students at the time of graduation are expected to:

  1. possess an enhanced breadth of knowledge in computer science, combined with a depth of knowledge in critical core areas of computing;
  2. possess the skills and knowledge for lifelong learning in computer science;
  3. possess knowledge of the theoretical foundations of computing and have strong practical application experience;
  4. possess and demonstrate oral and written communication skills;
  5. understand and respect the professional standards of ethics expected of a computer scientist and be knowledgeable concerning the history of the computing field;
  6. possess a knowledge of computer security and computer security management;
  7. analyze and compare relative merits of alternative software design, algorithmic approaches, and computer system organization, with respect to a variety of criteria relevant to the task (e. g. efficiency, scalability, security);
  8. implement algorithms in multiple programming languages, on multiple hardware platforms, and in multiple operating system environments.

Master of Science in Computer Science--Total Semester Credit Hours = 36

Admission Requirements

  1. A satisfactory score on the General Test (verbal and quantitative) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  2. A satisfactory grade point average on all prior advanced-level (junior, senior, and graduate) work taken
  3. A demonstrated proficiency in the use of the English language. If a student's verbal score on the General Test of the GRE is below an acceptable minimum, the student must pass an English proficiency test.
  4. An undergraduate major in computer science or course work in computer science including the content of COSC 2315 and COSC 2336 or equivalent
  5. A student may enroll in a maximum of nine graduate credit hours without a satisfactory score on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  6. No more than nine semester credit hours of graduate credit earned prior to acceptance into the program, including transfer credit, may be applied to the MS degree. Students seeking admission to the MS program who have not yet satisfied admission criteria will be considered provisional. Provisional students must earn a grade of "B" or better in all work attempted. A provisional student who earns a grade of "C" or lower will be denied admission to the program.
  7. Approval by the departmental chair

Consideration is also given to one or more of the following: the applicant's demonstrated commitment to his or her chosen field of study, socioeconomic background, first generation college graduate, multilingual proficiency, geographic region of residence, and level of responsibility in other matters including extracurricular activities, employment, community service, and family responsibilities.


In order to take a COSC course numbered 5326 or higher, a student must have satisfactorily completed six hours of calculus, COSC 2315 and COSC 2336 or equivalent

Transfer of Credit

A student may transfer a maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate credit in which a grade of "B" or better has been earned from approved institutions. Transfer credit is subject to the approval of the student's advisor and departmental chair.

Degree Requirements

Candidates for the Master of Science in Computer Science must satisfactorily complete one of the following options:

Option 1—Thesis (36 SCH): This option requires graduate level course work in computer science including 12 semester hours of core courses and 6 hours of thesis.

Option 2- Non-thesis (36 SCH): This option requires 36 hours of graduate-level course work in computer science including core courses and COSC 5380, Research Project (3 hours).

The 12-semester-hour core requirement for the Master of Science in Computer Science is as follows:

COSC 5330: Operating Systems

COSC 5340: Programming Languages

COSC 5350: Data Communication and Networks

COSC 5360: Database Design

All candidates for the computer science degree must also meet the following requirements:

  1. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on all graduate level work taken at UT Tyler. No course with a grade below "C" may be applied toward this degree.
  2. Students must complete each core course (COSC 5330, 5340, 5350, and 5360) with a grade of "B" or better.
  3. Satisfactory performance on a comprehensive written examination. In order to take the comprehensive exam, students must have completed the graduate core (COSC 5330, 5340, 5350, and 5360) with a grade of "B" or better.
  4. Students must successfully complete COSC 5380 or COSC 5395/5396. Students must have completed all of the core courses (COSC 5330, 5340, 5350, and 5360) with a grade of "B" or better in order to register for COSC 5380 or COSC 5395/5396.
  5. All COSC 5380 and COSC 5395/5396 students will have a committee composed of their advisor plus two additional Computer Science faculty members.