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Graduate Bulletin Homepage |College of Computing & Information | Computer Science Master of Science Degree Program

Master of Science in Computer Science Degree

Program Leading to the Master of Science Degree

The Master of Science program provides a solid foundation in computer science theory and practice that gives preparation for a career in computing or for further graduate study and research leading to a doctoral degree. Students should refer to the departmental graduate handbook and to their faculty advisor to plan a program of study according to their interests.

Program of Study and Research

The master's degree requires a minimum of 32 credits, of which at least 26 must be taken from the Computer Science Department at the University at Albany, SUNY. The M.S. program, excluding undergraduate deficiency subjects, typically takes two full years.

  1. A proficiency examination in Discrete Mathematics is given at the beginning of the first semester of graduate study. Students who fail this examination are required to pass a departmentally approved remedial program.
  2. Computer Science core (11 credits): CSI 500, CSI 503, and CSI 518. A 3.0 average must be attained in these three courses. Full-time students are expected to complete these courses in the first year, or as soon as possible if undergraduate deficiencies are being made up.
  3. Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive examination based on the core computer science subjects. This examination should be taken as soon as possible after completing the core courses.
  4. Computer Science breadth: At least 9 credits from departmentally approved areas of specialization including at least 3 credits from systems, 3 credits from theory, and 3 credits from applications.
  5. Elective subjects (6-9 credits): Computer Science courses or courses in other academic departments as approved by the department. Approval of non-departmental electives is based on the individual student's overall academic program and preparation.
  6. Master's project or thesis (3-6 credits): Satisfactory completion of any Master's Project course (CSI 68X). The project includes the design and implementation of a computer program of significant scope, unless this is waived by the project faculty supervisor for a student who has sufficient programming experience. The project must include a written report. CSI 699 may be submitted in lieu of CSI 68X with departmental approval.

Admission to Formal Candidacy for Master's Degree

The student is admitted to formal candidacy for the master's degree upon a) the completion of the three core computer science courses with at least a 3.0 average, b) the removal of all undergraduate deficiencies, and c) the satisfactory completion of the comprehensive examination. The academic status of students who do not achieve candidacy by the third semester of full time study will be reviewed. Failure in the proficiency examination in Discrete Mathematics is considered to be an undergraduate deficiency that must be removed before admission to candidacy.

Requirements for Admission

Open to students holding a baccalaureate degree with at least a minor or its equivalent in computer science or mathematics or a combination thereof. Full-time admission is ordinarily valid only for the fall semester.

Students whose preparation in undergraduate mathematics or computer science is deficient are required to take undergraduate courses during the first year of graduate study as specified by the department.

Scores from the aptitude portion of the Graduate Record Examination are required from all applicants.


Last updated on 11/5/2008