Students who have degrees in disciplines other than Computer Science enter the program with a variety of backgrounds. In such cases a student's application is evaluated to determine which foundational courses the student must take in order to gain admittance to the MS program in Computer Science. During the time that the deficiency courses are being made up, a student may be enrolled as a non-degree graduate student. Upon successful completion of the deficiency courses, the student will then be admitted into the regular MS degree program in Computer Science.

Deficiency Courses

Deficiency subjects and their equivalent MSU courses are listed in the following table.

  • CSCI 112, Programming with C, 3 credits
  • CSCI 127, Joy and Beauty of Data, 4 credits
  • CS 132: Basic Data Structures and Algorithms, 4 credits
  • CS 232: Data Structures and Algorithms. 4 credits
  • CSCI 246: Discrete Structures, 3 credits
  • ESOF 322: Software Engineering, 3 credits
  • CSCI 338: Computer Science Theory, 3 credits
  • CSCI 361: Computer Architecture, 3 credits
  • Three CSCI 400 level courses, excluding CSCI 482, 483, 490, 492, 494, 495 and 498
  • M 171: Calculus I, 4 credits
  • M 172: Calculus II, 4 credits
  • M 221: Introduction to Linear Algebra, 3 credits


  • Grades earned in deficiency courses DO count for maintaining satisfactory progress towards the Master's degree. Thus, you must be certain to do well in these classes in order to maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average during each semester and to keep your cumulative grade point average above a 3.0, even while taking deficiency courses.
  • Students who have deficiency courses to make up can begin taking courses at the 400 and 500 level that count towards the MS degree as soon as they complete any prerequisite deficiency courses (that is, a student is not required to wait until completing all deficiency courses before he or she begins to take courses that count towards the MS degree, as long as all prerequisites for such courses have been taken).
  • Students who are required to take deficiency courses must also complete the full requirements for the thesis or courses-only track in addition to competing the deficiency courses.
  • No deficiency course can be listed on the MS Program of Study or used to complete the actual Master's degree.
  • Students may challenge any deficiency course using the MSU's formal challenge procedure. The Math department outlines a more detailed course challenge policy.
  • Students may satisfy CSCI/ESOF deficiency courses by taking a higher level course in the same sequence with instructor's permission and earning at least a B-. For example, a student with a CSCI 338 deficiency may request to take CSCI 538. If the instructor admits the student to CSCI 538 and the student earns at least a B- the department will waive the CSCI 338 deficiency.

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