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:
- 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
- Davis, CADavis, CA
University of California - Davis
In order to encourage interdisciplinary research among its faculty and graduate students, the University of California, Davis administers many of its...
- Winston-Salem, NCWinston-Salem, NC
Wake Forest University
The program is designed to accommodate students seeking either a terminal master’s degree or preparation for PhD work at another institution.
- West Chester, PAWest Chester, PA
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
This comp-sci program provides the intellectual and practical tools needed for pursuing a career or doctoral work in this field.
- Staten Island, NYStaten Island, NY
City University of New York (CUNY) College of Staten Island
The program is designed to provide advanced education in this expanding discipline.
- Brownsville, TXBrownsville, TX
University of Texas At Brownsville
The College of Science, Mathematics and Technology offers the Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (M.S.I.S.) degree with a concentration in...
- Denton, TXDenton, TX
University of North Texas
Where will your graduate studies take you in the future? Will you break new ground in artificial intelligence, computer security or something entirely new? The University of North Texas can give you the tools you'll need.
- Denton, TX
- Iowa City, IAIowa City, IA
University of Iowa
Our Master of Computer Science program requires 32 semester hours to complete and includes one theory course, one systems course, six additional CS gr...
Master of Science in Computer Science is for individuals with backgrounds and experience who wish to extend their understanding and competency in comp...
- Omaha, NEOmaha, NE
University of Nebraska at Omaha
- Detroit, MIDetroit, MI
University of Detroit Mercy
This is a 33 credit hour program designed to prepare students for doctoral study or positions in industry orgovernment service in computer related are...
- New Orleans, LANew Orleans, LA
University of New Orleans
Software Engineering, Operating Systems, VLSI, Computer Architecture...
- Southborough, MASouthborough, MA
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
WPI's .NET Software Development Certificate Program covers both database concepts and .NET programming. It features modules on MS SQL Server 2000 Ente...
- Cheney, WACheney, WA
Eastern Washington University
Quarterly admittance; Statement of purpose; Self-evaluation; two (2) recommendations (one from Computer Science Instructor).
- Center Valley, PACenter Valley, PA
- Charleston, SCCharleston, SC
College of Charleston
- Burlington, VTBurlington, VT
University of Vermont
Our graduate programs aim to teach students how to extend the frontiers of computer science knowledge. We promote interdisciplinary research involving...
- East Stroudsburg, PAEast Stroudsburg, PA
East Stroudsburg University
- Seattle, WASeattle, WA
City University of Seattle
The Web Programming in E-Commerce emphasis provides foundation training in the information technology field with focuses on advanced training in serve...
- Williamsburg, VAWilliamsburg, VA
College of William and Mary
The Department of Computer Science in the nation's second oldest university has 15 full-time faculty with research interests in established computer s...