Master Degree to Doctorate Degree

The School of Graduate Studies of Rutgers University allows PhD students to acquire a Masters degree en route to achieving their doctorate degree. There are two possible MS degrees that can be pursued.

a)  A Master of Philosophy (M. Phil.) degree is available for Computer Science doctoral students on the basis of the guidelines set forth by the School of Graduate Studies. A main difference between the requirements for a Ph.D. degree and a Master of Philosophy is that a thesis based on original research is not required for the latter. Nevertheless, a prospective student does need a thesis, similar to a Master's thesis. It must be written under the direction of a member of the Computer Science graduate faculty and approved by two additional members of the graduate faculty. An important rule is that all requirements for the M. Phil. must be completed within four years of the student's first registration. An  interested student should read the section on Master of Philosophy in the "Degree Requirements" section of the Bulletin of the School of Graduate Studies for the exact conditions. To receive the M. Phil. in Computer Science, a student must achieve comprehensive mastery of the field and a deep knowledge in one of its areas, and should have a broad working experience with software design and with advanced computer applications.

b) Master of Science: The School of Graduate Studies allows PhD students to pursue the Master of Science degree while working on their doctorates. In the Computer Science department this can be formally initiated ONLY AFTER the student has passed the qualifying exam requirement and begun their PhD  thesis research. The coursework used towards the breadth and depth requirements of the PhD program can be used to simultaneously satisfy the conditions needed to obtain the Master of Science degree.

For students that decide to leave the graduate program before completing their PhD degrees, but want to be awarded an MS degree in recognition of having already satisfied the course requirements and performing original research: the Computer Science department will allow this, but only under the thesis option and requirements for the M.S. degree.