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. Passing 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 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. International applicants must additionally submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores. 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. 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 acceptable or reasonable deficiencies in undergraduate course work may be granted conditional admission; these students must take a placement test (administered by the School of Computing) within the first week of their first semester to help the School assess their areas of deficiency. Based on the student's performance, (s)he may be asked to take no more than 4 prerequisite undergraduate (i.e., not to be counted toward graduate degree) courses to absolve the deficiencies. The syllabi and study materials for this placement test can be found at: https://www.usm.edu/computing/placement-test-preparation. In order to be granted regular admission to the computer/computational science graduate program from conditional status, a student must not only fulfill all admission requirements, including prerequisite undergraduate course work, but also meet all relevant conditions established by the Graduate School.

For either thesis or project options, a 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). This committee must be selected by the end of the student’s first semester in the program.

Plan of Study.

Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study Form to the Graduate Studies Office by the end of the second semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study Forms are available online.


Research and Scholarly Integrity Education

All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RSIE policy and training information are found on the Graduate School website. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.

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, 306, 307, 414, and three courses from among the following: CSC 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 the following:
    a) Completion of 33 hours of graduate coursework from CSC 616-695, CSC 510-591. At least 18 credit hours must be at the 600-level, and at most 9 credit hours can be at the 500-level. CSC 691 and 695 can be taken for no more than a total of 6 credit hours each.
    b) Satisfactory completion of a thesis (6 hours credit) or a project (3 hours credit)                                                                
  4. Satisfactory completion of a final comprehensive examination
  5. 3.0 GPA required for graduation
  6. Continuous enrollment - Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this
    Bulletin.