The Master of Science program in Computer Science (MSCS) prepares graduate students for career-oriented jobs or gaining admission into Ph.D. programs around the world. Its curriculum is designed to ensure that students can study traditional areas of computer science as well as modern research trends in courses taught by active researchers having national and international recognition. The School of Computing has state-of-the-art laboratories for use by its students, who are also actively sought after by local companies through the university's Cooperative Education opportunity. This provides students with invaluable job experience, financial assistance, and contacts for potential full-time jobs after graduation.

The STEM CIP code for the School of Computing's MSCS program is: 11.0701 (Computer Science).

Admission Requirements

The program admits students with a four-year bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or an area related to information technology. Students with four-year bachelor's degrees from other STEM areas with at least one year of university-level engineering mathematics may be admitted with an extra requirement to complete undergraduate background deficiency courses prescribed at the time of admission (such deficiencies cannot exceed 15 credit hours). GRE is not required.

Detailed admission requirements

Degree Requirements

Three options are available to complete the MSCS degree.

  • Thesis option
  • Project option
  • Coursework option

Students in the MS in Computer Science program (including students in the coursework option) are also required to complete an applied learning or research experience to graduate from the program. 

Detailed course requirements Apply to the program

Elective courses

Up to 6 credit hours of non-CS or non-ECE prefixed non-SoC elective courses may be taken by an MSCS student. (Please note, this does not mean that students have to take courses outside the School of Computing, but that they are allowed to take up to 6 credit hours outside "CS'/"ECE" courses.)

Any non-SoC elective course taken at WSU should be numbered 600 or higher, and any elective transferred from another institution should be a graduate-level course that can be counted towards a graduate degree program at that institution. Electives from outside "CS"/"ECE" taken by thesis or project students need to be approved by their faculty advisors, and those taken by coursework students should have significant computer-related or mathematical concepts, as determined by the graduate coordinator.

It is the student's responsibility to check ahead (before enrolling in the course) of time with the graduate coordinator if a planned graduate course will be countable towards their degree. Some examples of acceptable non-SoC electives are:

Click to view non-SoC electives
  • AE 759 - Neural Networks for Systems Modeling and Control (3)
  • DS 850 - Operations Management   (3)
  • IME 724 - Statistical Methods for Engineers (3)
  • IME 731 - Foundations of Optimization (3)
  • IME 761 - Robot Programming and Applications (3)
  • IME 775 - Computer Integrated Manufacturing (3)
  • IME 780AA - Advanced Biocomputing (3)
  • IME 780AN - Big Data Analytics in Engineering   (3)

  • IME 780AP - Neural Networks and Machine Learning   (3)
  • IME 877 - Foundations of Neural Networks (3)
  • MATH 615 - Elementary Number Theory (3)
  • MATH 657 - Optimization Theory (3)
  • ME 637 - Computer-Aided Engineering (3)
  • ME 729 - Computer-Aided Analysis of Mechanical Systems (3)
  • ME 737 - Robotics and Control (3)
  • ME 747 - Microcomputer-Based Mechanical Systems (3)
  • PHYS 616 - Computational Physics Laboratory (2)
  • PHYS 730 - Principles of Computer Modeling (2)
  • PYS 902 - Advanced Research Methods (4)
  • PYS 922 - Seminar in Software Psychology (3)
  • SOC 811 - Advanced Research: Quantitative Methods (3)
  • STAT 701 - Matrix Theory (3)

As stated above, students should consult with their advisors and/or the graduate coordinator prior to registering for a non-SoC elective course, if that course does not appear in the above list.

Filing your plan of study

Soon after completing all background deficiency courses (if any) and 9 credit hours of MSCS degree courses, students should file a plan of study, in which they state their choice of graduating option, major courses, and any non-SoC elective courses. At most, 6 credit hours on this plan of study can be courses with levels below 700. All courses on the plan of study have to be 600-level or higher. The semester in which a successful plan of study was filed determines the catalog year applicable to the student. 

Once a plan of study is received by the school, the graduate coordinator will review it. If the plan is incorrect, the graduate coordinator will correspond with the student. If the plan is accepted by the graduate coordinator, then the SoC will email a signed version to the graduate school (and copy the student). In some rare circumstances, the graduate school may reject plans, and inform the student of the reason.