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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

    Drexel University offers a variety of Graduate Minors that can be added to any master's degree program.
    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.

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

    Core Requirements
    Choose one course from each pair:
    CS 500 Fundamentals of Databases 3.0
    or CS 510 or Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
    CS 521 Data Structures and Algorithms I 3.0
    or CS 525 or Theory of Computation
    CS 530 Developing User Interfaces 3.0
    or CS 540 or High Performance Computing
    CS 536 Computer Graphics 3.0
    or CS 583 or Introduction to Computer Vision
    CS 543 Operating Systems 3.0
    or CS 544 or Computer Networks
    CS 550 Programming Languages 3.0
    or SE 575 or Software Design
    Major Electives 15.0
    Choose an additional five CS-related courses from the following categories, excluding any courses taken to fulfill a core requirement. Courses must include at least two categories.
    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 (Core Candidate)
    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
    From MSSE Core Courses
    SE 575
    Software Design
    SE 576
    Software Reliability and Testing
    SE 627
    Requirements Engineering and Management
    SE 638
    Software Project Management
    From the following Data Science Core Courses
    DSCI 511
    Data Acquisition and Pre-Processing
    DSCI 521
    Data Analysis and Interpretation
    Additional Graduate-Level Courses 12.0
    Four additional graduate level courses are required, which could be:
    Up to 6 credits for the thesis option
    Up to 2 CS Independent Studies
    Additional approriate graduate level Computer Science, Software Engineering, Data Science, or Artificial Intelligence courses
    Up to 2 appropriate graduate-level computing-related courses outside of Computer Science, Software Engineering, Data Science, and Artificial Intelligence
    From the core courses comprising the CS-PBC
    CS 501
    Introduction to Programming
    CS 502
    Data Structures and Algorithms
    CS 503
    Systems Basics
    CS 504
    Introduction to Software Design
    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 related STEM degree plus work experience equal to Drexel's Graduate Certificate in Computer Science Foundations 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

    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
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
    • One letter of recommendation required, two suggested (academic, professional, or both)
    • Essay/Statement of Purpose
      • In approximately 500 words, describe what professional goals you hope to achieve, how an advanced degree facilitates that success and anything else you want the Admissions Review Board to know about you
    • Resume
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores (five years old or less) are recommended, but not required for international students and domestic students with a GPA below 3.0
    • Additional requirements for International Students


    The tuition rate for the academic year 2024-2025 is $1438 per credit.

    For the academic year 2024-2025, students enrolled in an online graduate academic program will be charged a graduate online program fee of $125 per year.

    • 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.
      • 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

    2023-2024 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2023

    September 26, 2023

    December 9, 2023

    December 11, 2023

    December 16, 2023

    Winter 2024

    January 8, 2024

    March 16, 2024

    March 18, 2024

    March 23, 2024

    Spring 2024

    April 1, 2024

    June 8, 2024

    June 10, 2024

    June 15, 2024

    Summer 2024

    June 24, 2024

    August 31, 2024

    September 3, 2024

    September 7, 2024


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