Master of Science in Computer Science

Mission statement

The mission of the M.S. program at the Department of Computer Science at Wayne State University is to instill in our students a strong theoretical background in computer science, to expose them to the various rich disciplines in computer science, and to develop an appreciation for state of the art research. Students build their theoretical background via our core courses of algorithms and automata. Furthermore, students are able to broaden their perspectives by choosing courses from a variety of computer science disciplines including artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, computer game design, computer graphics, computer networking, computer vision, data mining, database management systems, parallel and distributed systems, real-time and embedded systems, and software engineering. Finally, our graduate seminars invite experts from across the country giving our students a taste for state-of-the-art research. By the end of our program, our students are well-equipped and able to pursue further Ph.D. studies as well as careers in industry, government, and other organizations.

Program learning objectives

  1. An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution, and produce a corresponding implementation.
  2. An ability to understand the fundamental questions relevant to the state of research in a selected sub-discipline as presented in CSC 7000 level courses.
  3. An ability to advance the field in the core subject areas through the production of new software, algorithms, and models as documented in peer-reviewed publications in the field.
  4. The ability to pursue lifelong learning activities, which will allow them to successfully adapt to evolving technologies throughout their professional careers.

Overview

The Department of Computer Science awards the degree of Master of Science with a major in computer science. The degree is distinguished on the basis of relative diversity and concentration of curricula. The Master of Science degree is granted to students who pursue a more concentrated cluster of topics leading to a master's thesis.

The great variety of subjects that are part of computer science, together with the immense diversity of their applications, makes it imperative that students in the master's program maintain close contact with their advisors to achieve a coherent plan of study directed toward a specific goal. In particular, elections of courses should be made with prior consultation and the approval of the student's advisor.

Admission to these programs is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. In addition, applicants are expected to have attained a level of scholarship in the baccalaureate program equal to a grade point average of 3.0 or better, including adequate preparation in computer science and supporting courses in mathematics. Normally, the entering student will be expected to have fulfilled the equivalent of the requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree at Wayne State University and to satisfy any deficiencies by successfully completing necessary course work, before becoming a candidate for an advanced degree. Required for admission are three letters of recommendation from faculty members of accredited colleges or universities and a statement of approximately 300 words describing the applicant's academic and professional goals.

Students planning to pursue some of the more technical courses may find it necessary to have additional preparation in mathematics and/or computer science. The student should make a careful examination of the prerequisites for advanced courses in his/her areas of special interest before seeking admission. Prerequisite course work, which is required as a condition of admission, must be completed prior to electing graduate courses.

Upon admission, each student is assigned an advisor for guidance and direction in meeting degree requirements and academic goals. As the student's interests in computer science become more refined, a change in advisor may be appropriate; forms for this purpose are available from the department office. Such a change should be done before submitting the Plan of Work.

Admission information

Master of Science degree applicants is expected to have attained a level of scholarship in the baccalaureate program equal to a grade point average of 3.0 or better, including adequate preparation in computer science and supporting courses in mathematics (see below for prerequisite requirements).

Ph.D. applicants should possess a bachelor's or master's degree with a major in computer science or a related field. In addition, applicants are expected to have attained a level of scholarship equal to a 3.3 grade point average or better in the most recent degree, including adequate preparation in computer science and supporting courses in mathematics.

Please complete a Ph.D. application by February 17th to ensure admissions and funding consideration for the Fall semester.

All applicants should use the following checklist:

  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended.
  • Up to three letters of recommendation
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test results are not required for MS applicants.  However, GRE test results are recommended for MS applicants who completed their undergraduate degrees at non-ABET accredited schools.
  • A statement of approximately 300 words describing the applicant's academic and professional goals.
  • Identify as many as three computer science faculty with whom you wish to work.
  • International applicants must meet the Graduate School's minimum English proficiency requirements.
  • All supporting documents are uploaded onto the online Graduate School application

Prerequisite coursework

Students who do not have adequate background in computer science should complete the course work listed below before consideration for admission into the graduate program. It is recommended that these students apply for undergraduate admission as a second major. Graduate courses taken while in this program will not transfer to the master's or Ph.D. program. Some courses may be waived by the Graduate Program Director, if the student demonstrates sufficient background knowledge in the subject.

View course descriptions

  • CSC 1100 Problem Solving and Programming (4 Credits)
  • CSC 1500 Fundamental Structures in Computer Science (4 Credits)
  • CSC 2110 Computer Science I (4 Credits)
  • CSC 2200 Computer Science II (4 Credits)
  • CSC 3100 Computer Architecture and Organization (4 Credits)
  • CSC 3110 Algorithm Design and Analysis (3 Credits)
  • CSC 4420 Computer Operating Systems (4 Credits)
  • CSC 4500 Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science (3 Credits)
  • MAT 2010 Calculus I (4 Credits)
  • MAT 2020 Calculus II (4 Credits)
  • MAT 2250 Elementary Linear Algebra (3 Credits)
  • BE 2100 Basic Engineering III: Probability and Statistics in Engineering (3 Credits)

Areas of research

Computer and network systems

  • Networking and distributed systems
  • Computer security
  • Parallel and cloud computing
  • Real-time systems
  • Software engineering

Information and intelligent systems

  • Databases
  • Machine learning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Pattern recognition
  • Computer graphics and visualization
  • Bioinformatics
  • Health informatics

The Master of Science degree is offered under either Plan A or Plan C.

Plan A requires thirty credits and includes eight credits for the completion of a thesis. A thesis is a technical paper describing the original creative work of the author. The master's thesis work is directed by the student's advisor together with a committee of at least two additional faculty members. All committee members must read and approve the thesis, after which time it must be presented at a public session prior to final acceptance. The thesis must conform to the Graduate School's specifications on format and presentation.

Plan C requires thirty credits in course work. There is no thesis required for the Plan C Master's degree.

View the full course requirements for Plan A, Plan C, AI concentration and AD concentration.

Questions