(cohorts beginning prior to Fall 2020)

To complete the Master of Science in Computer Science degree, students must present 30 credits satisfying the requirements listed below, yielding at least a B average and include no more than two C grades. In addition to the coursework, a student must write and submit an Essay or Thesis according to the provided guidelines.

Program Course Requirements:
M.S. Students must complete 30 credits (10 courses) divided as follows:

  • Two courses (6 credits) from category A with a grade of B or better
  • Two courses (6 credits) from category B with a grade of B or better
  • Four courses (12 credits) from the union of categories A and B
    • a. For the thesis option the 704/705/706 credits can count as two of these four courses
  • Two courses (6 credits) each of at least 3 credits that can include:
    • a. Graduate CS courses and seminars
    • b. Undergraduate courses that are accepted for graduate credit
    • c. Approved courses in other departments

Please note that NO Independent study credits (601/602) CAN count for the course requirement for MS students.

Courses that are relevant to the graduate program in Computer Science may also be taken in the following Rutgers programs:

  • Applied Mathematics, Biomedical Engineering, Cognitive Sciences, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Linguistics, Mathematics, Operations Research, Philosophy, Psychology, and Statistics.


A list of approved courses from these departments.


Students may also take courses of special interest to them at Princeton University (Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Philosophy), in accordance with a cooperative arrangement between Rutgers and Princeton.

Students may register for internships/CPT using the zero-credit course 16:198:844 "Research Internship".

Essay/Thesis Requirements:

In addition to the coursework requirements for the M.S. degree that are established by the School of Graduate Studies, the student must choose either the Essay Option or Thesis Option as described below. The essay or thesis must be written in English (except that some portion may require a computer language, with English documentation), it must be the student's own work, and it must demonstrate the student's facility for expository writing.

Essay Option:

  • The student must write and submit an expository paper in a field of computer science that was covered in the student's course work. It may be a paper written as part of a course in computer science, or it may be based on such a course. The essay "must" be appropriately formatted and contain: Title, Author(s), Abstract, and References. A paper that has previously been submitted for a course must have received a grade of B or higher. A paper with multiple authors may only be submitted by one student with written permission of the co-authors. Corresponding presentation slides are required with all essay submissions. When relevant, a video and documentation or user's manual are recommended but not required. No extra credit is given for the preparation of the essay. The essay must be approved by a member of the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Computer Science followed by the M.S. Director.

Thesis Option:

  • The student must write a Master's Thesis and must register for exactly six credits of 198:704-706. Upon initial registration, the student is required to provide the M.S. Director with written confirmation from the faculty member agreeing to supervise their thesis.
  • The Master's Thesis must be a written account of a critical and scholarly investigation in an area of computer science. It may represent: (a) a piece of independent research (extensions and improvements of work in a given part of the field are acceptable at a level of novelty which is less than that required for a doctoral thesis); (b) a work of synthesis that gives new significance and insight to previously-known results; or (c) an important constructive contribution to the development of a computer application. The thesis may not be a digest of known results from the literature, a summary of a published report, company classified or government classified material, or dependent for its background on other non-available reports. The thesis topic should be chosen by mutual agreement between the student and their faculty supervisor. The thesis must be approved by the student's thesis committee. The committee consists of the thesis supervisor and two other faculty members who are determined in consultation with the thesis supervisor. The advisor and members of the thesis committee must be members of the Graduate Faculty in Computer Science.
  • In addition to submitting a copy of the completed Master's Thesis to the M.S. Director, the student is required to follow all thesis formatting, content, and submission guidelines from the School of Graduate Studies.

Degree Completion Processing:

There are several forms that must be filled out and submitted by the appropriate deadlines in order for the student who has fulfilled the above requirements to receive a Master's Degree. It is the student's responsibility that all necessary paperwork be completed on time. Information and forms can be obtained from the M.S. Administrative Assistant