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  • Online MS in Computer Science

    Master of Science in Computer Science

    Drexel University’s accredited online Master of Science in Computer Science (MS) offers career-oriented course work that places equal emphasis on theory and practice to prepare you for work on the cutting edge of technology. The program fosters an in-depth understanding of core and advanced topics, teaching you how to use the latest tools to model and solve real world problems. The curriculum provides a solid foundation and training for practicing computational scientists, computer specialists and software engineers looking to advance their careers in business, industry or government.

    Faculty interests and expertise include: applied algorithms and data structures, artificial intelligence and intelligent systems, cognitive modeling, computer graphics, computer science education, computer vision, distributed systems, high performance computing, human-computer interaction, networking and security, scientific computation, and software engineering.

    Drexel University is ranked 15th for best online graduate computer information technology programs in 2019 by U.S. News and World Report.

    Learn more about the 4 fastest growing jobs in the field.

    Why Earn Your MS in Computer Science: Career & Salary Data

    Students who earn an MS in Computer Science may move into senior roles as software engineers or developers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for software developers is projected to increase 17% by 2024 (faster than the average growth rate of 7%). The median wage for Software Developers is $102,280 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

    MS in Computer Science Program Features

    • Rigorous study in computer science with courses covering topics essential for today's practicing professional
    • An experienced faculty comprised of successful computer science professionals recognized nationally for their professional achievements and scholarly work
    • A highly interactive curriculum designed to challenge and engage, yet remain flexible and convenient for busy working professionals
    • Electives may be chosen from courses in Electrical Engineering, Information Science and Technology, and other Drexel departments to diversify your skill set

    The Difference Between Computer Science and Software Engineering

    While programs in computer science and software engineering cover many of the same core skills, picking the right one will depend on your specific needs. Typically, students looking for a curriculum that takes a broader focus on the theoretical and practical areas of computer science are best suited for a computer science degree, while those with an interest on design, development and testing software systems should look at a degree in systems engineering. Learn more about computer science vs software engineering degrees.

    Related Programs

    This program is also available as a Graduate Minor.
    State restrictions may apply to some programs.


    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    General Requirements

    You must complete a minimum of 45 graduate credits for the MS degree. At the beginning of your studies, you'll submit a plan of study form with your Graduate Advisor. Significant changes to the plan of study should be discussed with the Graduate Advisor.

    Precore Classes

    Precore classes are graduate level courses, but are not considered graduate level CS courses. These courses only count towards the degree requirement listed below as free electives with approval from the Graduate Coordinator. Precore courses are intended for those without adequate CS background. The material in these courses is considered prerequisite knowledge for all other graduate CS courses.

    • CS 520 Foundations of Computer Science
    • CS 571 Programming Tools and Environments

    You may transfer up to 9 approved credits (3 courses) into the program.

    Core Requirements 18.0
    One course marked "Core Candidate" from each of the 6 categories below. There are 2 Core Candidate courses in each category.  
    CS 521
    Data Structures and Algorithms I (Core Candidate)  
    CS 522
    Data Structures and Algorithms II  
    CS 525
    Theory of Computation (Core Candidate)  
    CS 618
    Algorithmic Game Theory  
    CS 620
    Advanced Data Structure and Algorithms  
    CS 621
    Approximation Algorithms  
    CS 623
    Computational Geometry  
    Intelligent Systems
    CS 500
    Fundamentals of Databases  
    CS 510
    Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (Core Candidate)  
    CS 511
    Robot Laboratory  
    CS 610
    Advanced Artificial Intelligence  
    CS 611
    Game Artificial Intelligence  
    CS 612
    Knowledge-Based Agents  
    CS 613
    Machine Learning  
    CS 615
    Deep Learning  
    CS 660
    Data Analysis at Scale  
    CS 661
    Responsible Data Analysis  
    Programming Systems
    CS 550
    Programming Languages (Core Candidate)  
    CS 650
    Program Generation and Optimization  
    CS 675
    Reverse Software Engineering  
    CS 676
    Parallel Programming  
    SE 575
    Software Design (Core Candidate)  
    SE 576
    Software Reliability and Testing  
    SE 577
    Software Architecture  
    SE 578
    Security Engineering  
    Computer Systems
    CS 543
    Operating Systems (Core Candidate)  
    CS 544
    Computer Networks (Core Candidate)  
    CS 643
    Advanced Operating Systems  
    CS 645
    Network Security  
    CS 647
    Distributed Systems Software  
    Vision and Graphics
    CS 536
    Computer Graphics (Core Candidate)  
    CS 537
    Interactive Computer Graphics  
    CS 558
    Game Engine Programming  
    CS 583
    Introduction to Computer Vision (Core Candidate)  
    CS 634
    Advanced Computer Vision  
    CS 636
    Advanced Computer Graphics  
    CS 530
    Developing User Interfaces (Core Candidate)  
    CS 540
    High Performance Computing (Core Candidate)  
    CS 567
    Applied Symbolic Computation  
    CS 590
    CS 630
    Cognitive Systems  
    CS 668
    Computer Algebra I  
    CS 669
    Computer Algebra II  
    Breadth Requirements 9.0
    An additional 3 courses from the remaining courses above, spanning at least 2 of the listed categories.  
    Depth Requirements 6.0
    At least 2 600- or 700-level Computer Science (CS) courses beyond the breadth requirement. The CS 690 Independent Study course may be taken if approved by the College.  
    Additional Graduate-Level Courses 6.0
    Two additional graduate level courses are required. These courses are typically 600- or 700-level Computer Science (CS) courses. Graduate courses may be taken from outside the department, if on the list of approved external courses, and may include CS 690 Independent Study (CS I599, CS I699, CS I799) and CS 997 Research in Computer Science, if approved by the College.  
    Other courses, such as intermediate 500-level and special topics, may also qualify for fulfilling this requirement. You must check with your advisor, and have these courses approved by the College. Any course offered by another department that is not on the list of approved external courses must be approved by the College, or it will not count towards the degree.  
    Thesis or Non-Thesis Option 6.0
    Thesis Option
    Usually students pursuing a Master's Thesis will first do 3.0 research credits (CS I599, CS I699, CS I799 or C997) to obtain background knowledge required by the thesis topic. It is your responsibility to find a thesis supervisor.
    CS 898
    Master's Thesis  
    Non-thesis Option
    The non-thesis option requires 2 additional 600- or 700-level Computer Science (CS) courses taken in place of the 6.0 thesis credits.
    Total Credits 45.0

    View Course Descriptions

    Admissions Criteria

    • A four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution.
      • Those without a prior degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or Math (plus programming) may have to take additional prerequisites before pursuing advanced computer science courses.
    • A GPA of 3.0 or higher, in a completed degree program, bachelor's or above
      • If any other graduate work has been completed, the average GPA must be at least 3.0
    • Your academic background should closely match the program's pre-requisites

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
    • Scores from the General Aptitude Test of the GRE
      • Scores in the 50th percentile or above in all three sections are sought
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
    • One letter of recommendation, two suggested (academic, professional, or both)
    • A 500 word essay on why you wish to pursue the program
    • Resume
    • Additional requirements for International Students


    The tuition rate for the academic year 2020-2021 is $1342 per credit.

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations
      • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
      • These rates apply only to fully online courses. Hybrid or on-campus courses may have different rates.
      • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
      • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
      • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
      • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.


    Academic Calendar

    2020-2021 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2020

    September 21, 2020

    December 5, 2020

    December 7, 2020

    December 12, 2020

    Winter 2021

    January 4, 2021

    March 13, 2021

    March 15, 2021

    March 20, 2021

    Spring 2021

    March 29, 2021

    June 5, 2021

    June 7, 2021

    June 12, 2021

    Summer 2021

    June 21, 2021

    August 28, 2021

    August 30, 2021

    September 4, 2021

    Apply today for the Online MS in Computer Science

    Apply now to begin your application for obtaining a Drexel degree online!


    Previously enrolled at Drexel? Learn more about readmission.

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