Online Master's Degree in Computer Science

Learn how earning an online master's degree can advance your computer science career. Find out the classes offered and the topics and skills taught in these kinds of programs. Schools offering Computer Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn a Master's Degree in Computer Science Online?

Master's degree programs in computer science are available on traditional college campuses and in distance-learning formats. This is a 2-year course of study that could prepare you for a doctoral degree program or for research positions in computer science. Online degree programs commonly have the same curriculum and experienced faculty members as on-campus programs. While schools do offer this program completely online, there are institutions that offer the program in a hybrid format. In these cases, you would complete some computer science courses online and take others on campus. Computer science is a highly technical course of study, but most schools do not require that students purchase any additional software or hardware to participate in online master's degree programs.

Learning Environment Traditional classroom, fully online, and hybrid programs available
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree in a related field, GRE scores, and possibly a personal statement
Common Courses Distributed systems, robotics, programming abstractions, computer systems, interactive computer graphics

What Are the Admissions Requirements?

To be considered for admission, you need at least a bachelor's degree. Because this course of study expands upon undergraduate computer science programs, it's beneficial to hold a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, such as software engineering or hardware engineering. Other requirements include letters of recommendation and adequate scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). You should also expect to submit a personal statement outlining your computer science background and the goals you hope to accomplish during your tenure.

What Classes Could I Take?

The coursework typically combines advanced theoretical training in computer science with training in professional research skills. Some schools will allow you to choose a specialization, such as real-world computing, security, artificial intelligence or software theory. Other concentration areas could include database systems, human-computer interaction and theoretical computer science. This course of study usually culminates in a thesis or comprehensive exam. The following are examples of classes you might find in the curriculum:

  • Computer systems
  • Cryptography methods and design
  • Interactive computer graphics
  • Distributed systems
  • Computer and network security
  • Robotics
  • Object-oriented systems design
  • Programming abstractions

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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