Background

The Master of Science (MS) degree is intended for students who want to pursue careers in computer science at the highest levels of the practice. In general, students with an MS degree receive higher starting salaries and quicker advancement than students with BS degrees. Some companies prefer to hire students with MS degrees. The MS degree also qualifies students to be hired as faculty members at some community colleges and smaller four-year colleges, or to work as adjunct instructors at larger institutions of higher learning. Completion of an MS degree, particularly on the thesis track, is good preparation for pursuit of a PhD degree as well.

In order to understand the requirements for the MS degree it is important to understand how the MS program is administered by the University. In particular, to earn an MS degree, a student must satisfy the requirements of

  • the Graduate School
  • the College of Engineering
  • the Gianforte School of Computing

The Graduate School sets the minimum standards and requirements for admission to the MS program and completion of the MS degree from MSU regardless of the College or Department in which the degree is earned. The College of Engineering may impose additional standards and requirements, but cannot lessen the requirements established by The Graduate School. Similarly, the Gianforte School of Computing may impose additional standards and requirements, but cannot lessen those of the College of Engineering or The Graduate School. All prospective and current students are therefore required to become intimately familiar with the standards and requirements imposed by each of these entities.

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