​Master of Science in Computer Science

Washington University in St. Louis' Master's of Science in Computer Science is directed toward students with a computer science background who are looking for a program and coursework that is software-focused. Students can select either a pure course option program or incorporate a project or a thesis.

All students pursuing a Master's of Science in Computer Science must have previously completed (as documented by their undergraduate transcript), successfully tested out of or complete at the start of their program both CSE 501N: Programming Concepts and Practice, and CSE 502N: Fundamentals of Computer Science.

Course Option

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering's course option requires 30 units of graduate credit. Students must follow the general degree requirements listed below and complete the breadth requirements.

Thesis Option

The thesis option requires students to complete 24 units of graduate credit in addition to six units of CSE 599: Master's Research. Students must follow the general degree requirements listed below, but are exempt from the breadth requirements. See Project and Thesis Guidelines for more information.

Project Option

The project option requires 24 units of graduate credit in addition to six units of CSE 598: Master's Project. Students pursuing the project option may opt to take 27 units of graduate courses and only three units of CSE 598 with advisor approval. Students must also follow the general degree requirements listed below. See Project and Thesis Guidelines for more information.

General Degree Requirements

  • Breadth requirements (required of the course and project options), which include:

    • one 500-level Theoretical Computer Science (T) course
    • one 500-level Software Systems (S) course
    • one 500-level Machine (M) course or one 500-level Applications (A) course
  • 18 of the 30 units must be departmental courses at the 500-level or above.

  • With departmental approval, up to 12 units may be taken from outside of the department. Such approval shall be contingent on the credits being suitably technical graduate-level content. To count more than six units from outside the CSE department, an appropriate justification for the additional increment shall be provided by the advisor and student. Departmental approval shall be evaluated with increasing stringency for each additional increment.

  • Up to nine units of 400-level courses can count for graduate credit.

  • None of the 30 units may be taken as independent study (i.e., CSE 400 or CSE 500).

  • Courses with an "N" designation do not count toward the master's degree.

  • All courses must be taken for a grade of C- or better.

  • As per engineering school guidelines, students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.70.


contact Us

Chris Gill
Master's Program Director
314-935-7538
Jolley Hall, Room 518

Graduate Program Coordinator
314-935-6132
Jolley Hall, Room 304