Computer Science Graduate Programs | Computer Science Grad School
Computer Science Graduate Programs prepare graduates to conduct research, design, innovate and develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software. Computer Science is actually a pretty broad academic discipline spanning both the theoretical and practical aspects of the field. If you are analytical and science-minded, why not leverage your skills with a Computer Science Grad School Degree?
As we live in the digital age, computer and technology occupations are growing faster than other fields[i] - is a graduate degree necessary? According to the Bureau of labor Statistics, for technically complex jobs, a master’s degree may be required[ii], and most jobs for computer research scientists require a Ph.D. in Computer Science or a related field[iii]. Whether you are interested in computational theory, computer graphics, computer programming or the project management aspects of computer information and technology, there are various degrees to choose from and many reasons to build on your undergraduate education.
Computer Science Graduate Programs: Basics
Computer Science Graduate Programs are offered as Masters and Doctorate Degrees. Typically, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science prepares students academically for Masters Programs in Computer Science (MPCS). Although students may continue the academic path they began as an undergraduate with a more specific type of computer science grad degree. Graduates interested in a PhD in Computer Science usually complete a thesis as the PhD is geared to aspiring professors, research scientists and development[iv].
Types of Computer Science Graduate Programs
In addition to degree level, there are different types of computer science degrees depending on whether you are interested in research and academia or advanced technical knowledge and applied skills in areas that might include:
- Artificial intelligence
- Computer systems security
- Computational mathematics
- Data mining
- Software engineering
- Applied computer science
- Mobile Application Development
- Cloud computing
- Networks and architectures
- Big data, data analytics
- High performance computing
- Computer graphics or computer music
- Biomedical applications
FACT: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer programmers and computer systems analysts with Masters degrees had a higher wage premium than those with a Bachelor’s Degree[v]
Masters Programs in Computer Science
Masters Programs in Computer Science (MPCS) are usually offered as Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Computer Science. Some schools may even offer a joint MS/MBA as a way for students to combine their interests in computer technology with business management and leadership courses. Ultimately, the MPCS you choose should reflect your career aspirations. If your goal is to potentially move up into IT management, an MBA may be preferred since you learn budgeting, marketing and management in addition to computer-related courses. [vi] On the other hand, a master of science or, the technical computer science route, offers different graduate level options that are going to provide specialized skills for your niche field, and this is what many employers today are looking for.
DID YOU KNOW? Firms with large databases may prefer applicants who have a master’s degree focusing on database management, either in computer science, information systems or information technology.[vii]
PhD in Computer Science Grad School
Similar to Masters programs, doctorate degrees in Computer Science are commonly offered as Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Computer Science or Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in Computer Science degrees. Computer and Information scientists work in data mining, robotics and design new computer programming languages, in addition to being qualified for advanced research and teaching roles.[viii]
Things to Look for in a Computer Science Graduate Program
Searching for Computer Science Graduate Degrees can feel daunting. You read about rankings for schools, wonder how much in debt you might get, and whether the degree will ultimately pay off. While these are important issues, there are a few other considerations that may be at play or even help you make a decision.
What Type of Computer Science Program is Right for You?
Since computer science encompasses a broad array of subfields, prospective students should try to select a Computer Science Graduate Program that specializes in the area that is most compelling to research or that specializes in the type of computer science degree you want to earn. Often graduate schools receive specific faculty research grants, or is known for theory over machine learning. Take the time to look into the inherent strengths and faculty of each graduate program.
If you have decided to look for a graduate school with an on-campus Computer Science Graduate Program, location may be important. Can you relocate? Is there an accredited university nearby? Are you hoping to study abroad? Use the navigation menu to find grad schools by city, state or country.
If you have decided to earn a graduate degree in computer science but cannot commute or relocate, you might consider an online degree. These are either fully online where you access all your courses through web-based systems or partially online (hybrid) where some on campus visits are required. Some Computer Science Graduate Programs may include computer labs or courses that explore the human interaction with computers. In cases where online study has its limitations, a hybrid program may make sense. In any event, use your preferences to refine your search.
Accreditation may be offered at the institutional level by the U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation or at nationally recognized regional agencies.
Take the Next Step Toward Computer Science Grad School
While most of the computer and technology fields require a Bachelor’s degree as entry-level qualifications, if your own ambitions are to acquire more advanced knowledge, open the door to possible upward mobility or the prospect of higher wages, start to review some options for Computer Science Graduate Programs. Among the sponsored listings are Master of Science in Computer Science, Master of Business Administration – Applied Computer Science, Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration –Applied Computer Science and Doctor of Computer Science Executive format, but these are only a few. Requesting more information from each school should help you to identify some of the factors mentioned here, give you some food for thought, and assist you in finding the appropriate degree to align with your ambitions.
Sources[i] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm |[iv] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm |[v] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm#STEM |[vi] bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm |[vii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/database-administrators.htm |[viii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm
NCU’s PhD-level Computer Science specialization calls on students to research the design and function of computers from the inside out, providing an inside understanding of the foundational technology of any information system.
Roger Williams University
This cutting edge program is offered fully online and is available to students with or without formal technical background.
The Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program provides students with background and insights into the key mathematical and computer science issues involved in the analysis of massive data sets. Professionals with this expertise can work on beh...
- Fairfield, CTFairfield, CT
Sacred Heart University
Sacred Heart University offers both a variety of Graduate Certificates and a Master of Science degree in this traditional track.
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
The Professional Science Master’s degree in Computer and Systems Security (PSM–C&S Security) is offered within the College of Engineering Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, ranked 98 in the nation.
- Teaneck, NJTeaneck, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Fairleigh Dickinson University's new Master of Science in Computer Engineering is designed to train and educate students to work as computer engineers who understand the design tradeoff and the interdependency between hardware and software in computers,...
- Teaneck, NJ
Colorado Technical University
Pursue an MS in Computer Science-general concentration. 2017 is the third year that CTU’s online Master of Science in Computer Science degree programs were ranked among the Best Online Programs by U.S. News & World Report.1...
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Greenwood Village, CO
Colorado State University
Master of Computer Science (M.C.S.)
The Master of Computer Science is an online, coursework-only professional degree available to students anywhere in the world.
University of Colorado - Boulder
While many CU-Boulder computer science alumni are employed with some of the world’s most recognizable computer science firms, increasingly more are entering into the aerospace industry, financial services, and national...
- Huntsville, TXHuntsville, TX
Sam Houston State University
Gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art facilities and partnerships on high-profile, sensitive, and classified projects.
- Huntsville, TX
- Bremen, GermanyBremen, Germany
Jacobs University Bremen
Data engineering is an emerging profession concerned with big data approaches to data acquisition, data management and data analysis. The MSc program offers a profound insight into the methods and technologies of this rapidly growing area...
- San Luis Obispo, CASan Luis Obispo, CA
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
The MS program in Computer Science offers students the opportunity to prepare for careers in several areas of emphasis...
- New Brunswick, NJNew Brunswick, NJ
Rutgers University of New Jersey
Program focuses on the latest systems, tools, and algorithms to store, retrieve, process, analyze, visualize, and synthesize large data sets.
College of Saint Rose
The Computer Science department offers a graduate certificate program in Internet programming available exclusively online.
- Milwaukee, WIMilwaukee, WI
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
- Tacoma, WATacoma, WA
University of Washington - Tacoma Campus
- Enschede, NetherlandsEnschede, Netherlands
University of Twente
The University of Twente is a university with a strong international outlook. We have placed the strengthening of international contacts and exchanges...
- Park Forest, ILPark Forest, IL
Governors State University
- Darmstadt, GermanyDarmstadt, Germany
Darmstadt University of Technology
- New Haven, CTNew Haven, CT
Virtual Global University
Business Informatics is a very successful approach from Central Europe to solve today's business challenges, based on computers, networks and informat...
- Danbury, CTDanbury, CT
Western Connecticut State University
- Victoria, BCVictoria, BC
University of Victoria
The Department offers programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science.