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A Master’s degree in Computer Science is an ideal choice for a student who enjoys math and problem-solving.

Program highlights:

  • We are a highly interactive, highly ranked, research intensive department that cares deeply about its students and their future.
  • Students are provided extensive opportunities to make connections between research and practice and to experience interactive teaching and learning.
  • Our faculty are experts in their fields of study and many are nationally known for their contributions within the scientific community.
A Note From the Department Head

"Based on government statistics, 63% of all STEM jobs in the United States are computer science related jobs, and there are four jobs available for every graduate in computer science. These are stoning numbers that highlight the importance of computer science discipline in the US and world and its defining effect on economic growth."

"Considering the sharply increasing demand in computer science, since 2010, computer science and engineering department has made it possible to combine Mississippi State top-tier reputation with the flexibility of online study through our online MS in Computer Science. Our rigorous curriculum for this online degree is based on CSE’s on-campus degree, ensuring the elite quality of this program."

"You will be able to take classes in a flexible format that gives you the ability to pursue your educational goals in the manner most consistent with your career goals. The Master’s degree you receive at the end of your studies will be indistinguishable from its on-campus counterpart."

–Dr. Shahram Rahimi, Department Head and Professor

Program Structure

The Computer Science MS is a 31-credit hour program. This program offers two concentrations for students to choose from: General or Research. For more information pertaining to program requirements, please review the Graduate Handbook.

For the General Concentration MS program, the program of study requires 31 graduate credit hours:

  • 4 hours (1 course + seminar) in the CS Core (Seminar & Theory)
  • 9 hours (3 courses) in the Breadth Requirement
  • (Optional) 3 hours of Directed Project (CSE 8080)
  • 15–18 free hours (5–6 courses)

For more information about the CS Core and Breadth Requirements for this program of study, please visit the General Concentration program page.


For the Research Concentration MS program, the program of study requires 31 graduate credit hours:

  • 4 hours (1 course + seminar) in the CS Core (Seminar & Theory)
  • 9 hours (3 courses) in the Breadth Requirement
  • (Optional) 3 hours of Directed Project (CSE 8080)
  • 15–18 free hours (5–6 courses)

For more information about the CS Core and Breadth Requirements for this program of study, please visit the Research Concentration program page.

Research Opportunities

Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) is a research-intensive department with faculty who are world class researchers. CSE’s research expenditure in 2018 was about $10M, which is one of the highest in the nation. We encourage both on-campus and online students to participate in our many research opportunities.

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning and Soft Computing
  • Computer Systems including Security and Networks
  • Computational Sciences including High Performance Computing and Bioinformatics
  • Graphics and Visualization including Visual Data Science and Augmented Reality
  • Human Centered Computing including Robotics
  • Software Engineering

Admissions Requirements

Students seeking full admission into this program should apply as a classified student. Non-degree seeking students wishing to take classes offered through the Online program should apply as an Unclassified student.

Applications for the degree programs are reviewed two times a year. The application deadlines for those semesters are as follows:

  • Spring Enrollments need applications by November 1
  • Fall Enrollments need applications by June 1

An applicant for admission to graduate study must hold a bachelor's degree from a fully recognized four-year educational institution that has unconditional accreditation with appropriate regional accrediting agencies. They must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School and the Computer Science program.

A student who wishes to study graduate Computer Science must have the ability to develop and analyze software for their study. Understanding the interface between computer hardware and software is required as is some mathematical fluency:

  • Two semesters programming with some Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)
  • Data Structures
  • Operating Systems Fundamentals
  • Basic Computing Theory
  • Mathematics for Computer Science

Regular admission to graduate study in the program requires a minimum grade point average (last four semesters of undergraduate work) of 3.00/4.00. When a student is deficient in one of the criteria cited, the student's application, nevertheless, may be considered for admission based on the strength of other materials contained in the student's application.

    The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores are NOT required for entry into this program.


    Attention International Students

    International students are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and score greater than 550. Detailed information regarding international applications can be found in the Graduate Catalog. Questions regarding international applications can be addressed to the Office of the Graduate School at gradapps@grad.msstate.edu.

    • ETS is providing home testing for the TOEFL iBT test, and MSU is encouraging students to take advantage of this testing option. For those students applying who have taken the TOEFL within five years of the semester they plan to enroll and are unable to access the TOEFL iBT test from home, we will accept your previous test scores.

    Admission Options

    Domestic/International Classified Admissions

    1. Submit online application. You will choose Master of Science in Computer Science as your Program of Study and Online Education as your campus.
    2. Statement of Purpose
    3. Three letters of recommendation
      • You will be asked to submit three names and three email addresses of individuals you are using as references. Once you click submit, these individuals will be sent an email from MSU, which will provide a link to an online form for completing their recommendations.
    4. One official transcript showing bachelor’s degree or progress toward degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
    5. One official transcript showing ALL work after bachelor’s degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
      • Electronic transcripts should be sent to: gradapps@grad.msstate.edu Mississippi State University, Graduate School. Only one copy of an electronic transcript is required.
      • Paper Transcripts Address (USPS):
        Mississippi State University
        The Office of the Graduate School
        P.O. Box G
        Mississippi State, MS 39762
      • Physical Street Address (for DHL, Fed Ex, UPS, DHS, etc.):
        Mississippi State University
        The Office of the Graduate School
        175 President Circle
        116 Allen Hall
        Mississippi State, MS 39762
    6. Payment of $60 non-refundable application processing fee for domestic students.
      Payment of $80 non-refundable application processing fee for international students.
    7. Once you are admitted, you will receive an email with complete instructions on registering for classes and contacting your advisor

    Courses

    CSE 8011 Graduate Seminar (Core: Seminar)
    One hour seminar. Reports on recent advances and problems in computer science by guest speakers, faculty, and students; student participation, general discussion.


    CSE 8833 Algorithms (Core: Graduate Theory)
    (Prerequisites: CSE 4833/6833) Three hours lecture. Advanced techniques for designing and analyzing algorithms, advanced data structures, case studies, NP-completeness including reductions, approximation algorithms.


    CSE 6633 Artificial Intelligence (Primary Specialization, Introduction)
    (Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in CSE 2383 and CSE 2813) Three hours lecture. Study of the computer in context with human thought processes. Heuristic programming; search programming; search strategies; knowledge representation; natural language understanding; perception; learning.


    CSE 8673 Machine Learning (Primary Specialization, Advanced)
    (Prerequisite: CSE 4633/6633) Three hours lecture. Introduction to machine learning, including computational learning theory, major approaches to machine learning, evaluation of models, and current research.


    CSE 6413 Principles of Computer Graphics (Secondary Specialization, Introduction)
    (Prerequisites: MA 3113 and grade of C or better in CSE 2383) Three hours lecture. Graphics hardware; algorithms, graphics primitives, windowing and clipping , transformations,3D graphics, shading, hidden surfaces; standards.


    CSE 8990 Special Topics: Data Visualization in R (Secondary Specialization)
    Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years).


    CSE 8990 Special Topics: Markov Methods (Additional Hours)
    Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years).


    CSE 6663 Human-Human-Computer Interaction (Additional Hours)
    (Prerequisite: Junior class standing or consent of instructor) Three hours lecture. Conceptual models formed by users, aspects of computer systems which affect users, interface design and evaluation, and examples and critiques of specific interfaces.


    CSE 6503 Database Management Systems (Additional Hours)
    (Prerequisites: CSE 2383 and CSE 2813, both with a grade of C or better) Three hours lecture. Modern database models; basic database management concepts; query languages; database design through normalization; advanced database models; extensive development experience in a team environment.


    CSE 8080 Directed Project (Additional Hours)
    Hours and credits to be arranged. An individual professional project open only to candidates for the Master of Science degree (project option). Formal written and oral project reports are required.

    See More

    Accessing Online Courses

    Accessing Course Videos

    Online students will have access to course videos within 24 hours of the on campus course completion. Students should visit Engage to access the course videos. Instructions for viewing the recordings and downloading the recordings are offered below.


    View Videos

    Instructions for viewing course videos, use our course video viewing instructions.


    Download Videos

    Instructions for downloading videos, use our video download instructions.


    Viewing Classes Live

    To view the class live, distance students will need to go to http://it.engr.msstate.edu/distance/player/?id=buildingroom and make sure they change "?id=buildingroom" to the correct room for their class (i.e. http://it.engr.msstate.edu/distance/player/?id=walker304).

    If you experience technical difficulties or have any questions regarding the recording or format of our lecture capture, please contact:

    IT Support & Staff
    Bagley College of Engineering
    Mississippi State University
    distance-support@engr.msstate.edu
    662.325.7794


    Accessing Course Information

    Course information may be accessible through Canvas (NetID and Net Password login required). If you do not find course information within Canvas please refer to the course videos (links listed above) for information from your professor regarding the class. Within Canvas clicking on the title for a course will take you to the default course view. On the left, there will be a toolbar with options selected by the professor – these may be Assignments, Announcements, Grades, Web Links, or any combination of a wide variety of utilities. These will be different for each class. If you experience technical difficulties or have any questions regarding Canvas, please contact the Center for Distance Education’s Technical Assistance.


    Contact Information

    Photo of Daphne Knox

    Daphne Knox

    Online Education

    • Coordinator
    TJ Jankun Kelly Headshot

    Dr. T.J Jankun-Kelly

    Computer Science and Engineering

    • Graduate Coordinator
    Photo of Tamra Swann

    Tamra Swann

    Engineering

    • Distance Education Coordinator