M.S. in Computer Science

Master of Science Degree in Computer Science

For the M.S. degree in computer science, a minimum of thirty-three (33) hours of graduate work is required. Of these hours, at least 21 must be computer science courses (non-thesis/project) numbered 600 or above. In addition, a student will complete either a thesis (6 hours) or a project (3 hours) in computer science. A comprehensive exam and a 3.0 GPA are required for graduation.

The master's program is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of theoretical and applied computer science that will allow the student to begin exploring special topics and state-of-the-art subjects. It will prepare a student for advanced applications, development, and research positions in the industry or for doctoral-level studies.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the entrance requirements set forth by the Graduate School of The University of Southern Mississippi, the student must be admitted by the departmental admissions committee on a regular or conditional basis. Students must submit scores on the Graduate Record Examination and transcripts of all undergraduate work. During the past year, successful applicants have had a mean GPA of 3.43. Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation by professionals in computer/computational science qualified to assess the student's readiness for graduate study. Letters should be sent to the department. In addition, applicants are encouraged to submit additional information that documents their potential for doing graduate work in computer/computational science. This would include industrial work experience and training and graduate work already completed. Students with minor deficiencies may be granted conditional admission.

For students who do not come from an undergraduate program where the courses clearly equate with the Southern Miss. courses, the graduate admissions committee will review a student's transcripts and decide which, if any, requirements can be met with undergraduate courses. A student will not be granted regular admission to the computer/computational science graduate program until those requirements are met. See the general policies of the Graduate School for further requirements of conditional admission for students.  Credit will NOT be given toward the master's degree for any course taken to absolve deficiencies, meet admission requirements, or fulfill undergraduate prerequisite courses.

The student must select a three-person advisory committee. The chair of this committee must be from the School of Computing (one member may be from outside the School of Computing).

Plan of Study.

Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study Form to the Graduate Studies Office by the end of the first semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study Forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduatestudies. (Click on "Current Students" and then the "Plans of Study" link.)

Program Requirements

  1. Completion of prerequisites. A student applying for admission will normally have a B.S. degree from a computer science or closely related program. Minimum coursework required for admission includes the equivalent of CSC 101, 102, 203, 204, 205, 306, 307, 308, 414, and three courses from among the following: CSC 305, 410, 411, 412, 413, and 415 (see the Southern Miss Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletins for course descriptions) and mathematics through integral calculus, basic probability, discrete math, and linear algebra.
  2. Completion of CSC 513 if the student has not completed CSC 413
  3. Completion of one of the following tracks:
    Track 1:
     a) Completion of 33 hours of graduate coursework to include the following set of core courses: CSC 616, 623, 626 and three courses from among the following: CSC 620, 624, 630, 632, 633 and 638. Students may substitute CSC 620 for CSC 616, in the set of core courses, if they have credit for the equivalent of CSC 415.
     b) Satisfactory completion of a thesis (6 hours credit) or a project (3 hours credit)                                                                   
    Track 2:
  4. Completion of 33 hours of coursework to include the following set of core courses: CSC 726, 730, 733, 738 and three courses from among the following CSC 616, 620, 624, 630, 632.
  5. Satisfactory completion of a final comprehensive examination
  6. 3.0 GPA required for graduation
  7. Continuous enrollment