Computer Science MS

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College : Engineering and Computer Science Degree :MS
Department : Computer Science Option : Thesis, Nonthesis
Program Websites :


The Master of Science in Computer Science program produces graduates with a high level of competency in understanding, applying, and enunciating the modern concepts, principles, methods, and theories necessary for the design and implementation of computing systems.


The Computer Science MS program offers both a thesis and nonthesis option with each option requiring a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. At least half of these hours must be at the 6000 level. Both options require 12 credit hours of required core courses and thesis students must take 12 credit hours of electives and a minimum of 6 credit hours of thesis. Nonthesis students must take 18 credit hours of electives and complete a culminating experience as determined by the program’s graduate committee. Students must receive a 3.0 GPA or higher in all courses.
Total Credit Hours Required:
30 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree


An undergraduate degree in Computer Science is desirable but not required. Applicants without a strong undergraduate background in Computer Science must demonstrate an understanding of the material covered in the following upper-division undergraduate courses:

  • EEL 4768C Computer Architecture
  • COP 4020 Programming Languages I
  • COP 4600 Operating Systems
  • COT 4210 Discrete Computational Structures

Required Courses—12 Credit Hours

  • CDA 5106 Advanced Computer Architecture I (3 credit hours)
  • COT 5405 Design and Analysis of Algorithms (3 credit hours)
  • Any approved pair of Computer Science courses from a single research area that includes at least one 6000-level course (6 credit hours)

Examples of approved pairs include (but not limited to):

  • Operating Systems (OS) area (COP 5611 and COP 6614)
  • Computer Graphics area (CAP 5725 and CAP 6701)
  • Machine Learning area (CAP 5610 or CAP 5512 and CAP 6616 or CAP 6545)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) area (CAP 5636 and CAP 6640 or CAP 6676)
  • Computer Vision area (CAP 5415 and CAP 6411 or CAP 6412 or CAP 6419 or CAP 6835)
  • Parallel Architecture area (CDA 5110 and CDA 6107)
  • Network area (CNT 5008 and CNT 6707)
  • Software Engineering area (CEN 5016 and CEN 6081)
  • Database area (COP 5711 and COP 6731), etc.

The above list is only meant to provide some examples and is not comprehensive.

Elective Courses—12 Credit Hours

All students, both thesis and nonthesis, are required to complete 12 credit hours of electives that are selected after consultation with the student's adviser. 

  • Electives (12 credit hours)

At least half of the credit hours of both thesis and nonthesis students must be at the 6000 level. Furthermore, at least two 6000-level Computer Science formal courses (6 credit hours) must be taught by EECS faculty, exclusive of independent study and directed research and a total of 24 credit hours of formal courses must be earned exclusive of thesis. Approval may be granted for no more than 6 credit hours of electives to be taken outside of Computer Science, and such approval must occur prior to taking these outside courses.

Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours

  • XXX 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours; prefix determined by disciplinary area of your thesis adviser, e.g., CAP, CDA, CEN, COP or COT 6971)

Six credits of thesis are required with the professor who directs the student's thesis. The thesis experience is expected to span two semesters. Thesis students who are full-time must continue to enroll in 3 credit hours of thesis course work until the thesis requirement is satisfied, even if it goes beyond the minimum of 6 credit hours of thesis. Students are required to prepare and defend a formal thesis in accordance with university requirements. 

Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours

The nonthesis option requires at least 6 additional credit hours of electives beyond the 12 credit hours of electives described above. 

  • Electives (6 credit hours)

In addition, nonthesis students are required to engage in a culminating experience as determined by the program’s graduate committee. Students in the nonthesis option may not take more than 6 credit hours of independent study (6908) and/or directed research (XXX 6918).

Equipment Fee

Students in the Computer Science MS program pay a $34 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $17 per semester.

Independent Learning

The Independent Learning Requirement is met by successful completion of a master's thesis or an approved set of research-based classes for nonthesis students.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

The College of Engineering and Computer Science strongly encourages prospective applicants to request a free pre-screening ( of their qualifications prior to submitting an online application for graduate admission. However, a pre-screening is not required; rather, it is offered as a courtesy to all prospective applicants before they commit to submitting a complete online application and paying an application processing fee.

Admissions decisions are made on the basis of a complete online application only, and not on the basis of any pre-screening. Prospective applicants who are encouraged to apply to their intended graduate program based on the information provided for their pre-screening are not assured of admission or financial assistance when they submit a complete online application. Although it is possible, it is not likely, that prospective applicants who are discouraged from formally applying to a graduate program at the pre-screening stage will be admitted if they elect to submit a complete online application anyway.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
  • Resume
  • Letters of recommendation (encouraged but not required)

Faculty members may choose to conduct face-to-face or telephone interviews before accepting an applicant into their research program.

An undergraduate degree in Computer Science is desirable but not required. Applicants without a strong undergraduate background in Computer Science must demonstrate an understanding of the material covered in upper-division undergraduate courses listed under the Articulation Section of the Curriculum Information.  Applicants may choose to demonstrate their knowledge of these courses by taking these courses as non-degree seeking and scoring "B" or better in all of them. 

Application Deadlines

All application materials must be submitted by the appropriate deadline listed below.

Computer Science MS *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15Jul 15Dec 1


International Applicants Jan 15Jan 15Jul 1


International Transfer Applicants Jan 15Mar 1Sep 1


*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.