We welcome students with a variety of backgrounds to consider our M.S. program in Information and Computer Sciences. However, the quality of our program and the value of your degree depends upon each student achieving a high level of technical expertise. Therefore, our M.S. program is structured so that all graduate students have or will master the essential technical background of an undergraduate major in computer science, in addition to their advanced training for the graduate degree. This web page summarizes just the coursework requirements for our M.S. program. Please consult our other web pages for additional requirements for admission to our program and successful completion of our degree program.

The coursework structure for the ICS M.S. degree has three components:

  1. Coursework for admission as an ICS classified graduate student.
  2. Coursework for undergraduate deficiency removal.
  3. Coursework for M.S. degree. 

Coursework for admission

To be admitted as a classified graduate student, you must obtain preparation equivalent to ICS 311, plus one additional 300-level course, plus one year of calculus. (See brief course descriptions for ICS and Math.) When the prerequisites are taken into account, however, the actual ICS coursework required from an applicant with no prior computer science background is as follows: 

Course Prerequisites Description
ICS 101 None Basic computer literacy (word processors, spreadsheets, email, web pages, etc.)
ICS 111 101 (or computer literacy) Intro to programming I
ICS 211 111, or consent Intro to programming II
ICS 311 211 and 241, or consent Algorithms and Data Structures
ICS 3??   Another 300-level course
MATH 241   Calculus I
MATH 242   Calculus II


Coursework for undergraduate deficiency removal

To assure that all M.S. degree recipients have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of computer science, as well as the advanced training appropriate to an M.S. degree, we evaluate the prior educational and professional experiences of all entering classified graduate students for technical preparation equivalent to the following. Any deficiencies must be made up through undergraduate coursework.

Course Description
ICS 141 Discrete Math
ICS 312 Machine-level/Systems Programming
ICS 313 Programming Language Theory
ICS 321 Databases
ICS 331 Logic Design and Microprocessors
ICS 4?? Five 400-level courses in computer science


Coursework for M.S. degree

The coursework required for the M.S. degree consists of 31 credits, typically arranged as follows:

Course Description
6 “regular” ICS 600-level courses 18 credits of courses labeled 600-692, not including 690. 12 of these credits must be for 1 course in each of 4 areas, as described here
2 ICS or “related” 600-level courses 6 credits of either additional 600-level ICS courses or of graduate-level courses in a related discipline, such as LIS, MIS or EE.  Students doing a Plan A may opt to replace one of these two courses with 3 credits of ICS 700.
ICS 690 Seminar in Computer Science
Capstone Six credits of ICS 700 for Plan A or ICS 699 for Plan B, applied to the development of a single capstone project in either case.