United States 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:
- Computer engineering
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning
- 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.
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...
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Cyber Security degree program offers the opportunity for students skilled in technology and security-based fields to move into a specialized career in cyber security.
- Colorado Springs, COColorado Springs, CO
Colorado Technical University
This program was developed through the collaborative efforts of computer science professionals and academics with the goal of providing knowledge that can be of value in real-world organizations.
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Greenwood Village, CO
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
New School, The
Parsons’ Master of Science in Data Visualization is a multidisciplinary program in which students develop skills bringing together visual design, computer science, statistical analysis, and ethical considerations of data analysis and representation...
- 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.
Roger Williams University
This cutting edge program is offered fully online and is available to students with or without formal technical background.
- Rochester, NYRochester, NY
Rochester Institute of Technology
The master of science degree in computer engineering provides students with a highly specialized knowledge in computer engineering, strengthening their ability to successfully formulate solutions to current technical problems, and offering a significan...
- Rochester, NY
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of San Francisco
An M.S. in Computer Science for software development in the heart of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
- San Luis Obispo, CASan Luis Obispo, CA
California State University, Cal Poly
The MS program in Computer Science offers students the opportunity to prepare for careers in several areas of emphasis...
University of Louisville
Advance your career with a Master of Science in Computer Science degree 100% online...
- 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
- Pomona, NJPomona, NJ
Computational or data scientists develop solutions for gathering, cleaning, archiving, analyzing and visualizing data for the purposes of making informed decisions. ...
- 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.
- 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.
- Durham, NHDurham, NH
University of New Hampshire
Students acquire the specific skills required for careers in industry, government and academia.
- Glassboro, NJGlassboro, NJ
Provides individuals with the opportunity to acquire an excellent graduate level education in Computer Science.
- Bemidji, MNBemidji, MN
Bemidji State University
- Las Cruces, NMLas Cruces, NM
New Mexico State University
The Department of Computer Science offers graduate study that leads to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
American College of Computer and Information Sciences
The M.S. program provides a fundamental understanding of theoretical and applied computer science, which will allow the student to begin exploring spe...