Computer Science

As a master’s student in computer science, you will be in a professional degree program that will prepare you for a career in the field, through intensive coursework and the department’s internship requirement—one that can be satisfied by suitable employment.

Immersed in challenging, advanced coursework, you will become well versed in topics such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, algorithms, database systems and computer networks. You also will have opportunities to conduct independent as well as student-faculty research and develop software applications and systems through individual and team projects—projects that will become a valuable addition to your portfolio while clearly demonstrating your skills to future employers.

The list of forward-looking careers for which you will be prepared include:

  • Application developer
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Software engineer
  • Web developer, front-end and/or back-end
  • Project manager
  • Software systems developer
  • Database designer/administrator
  • Computer network architect
  • Information security analyst
  • Computer programmer

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1.5 years

Required Credit Hours


“I was able to use my computer science expertise both professionally and academically thanks to the MSCS program. The academics at Duquesne are outstanding; with their guidance, students can succeed.”

—Nida Malik

International Students

If you do not have an approved waiver of language testing, regular admission to the MSCS program requires language scores of 80 TOEFL (iBT), 6.5 IELTS or 105 Duolingo English. Also note that we offer a Pathway Program for students who need to improve their English language skills but want to take some computer science coursework at the same time. Pathway can last up to three semesters, and the GRE is not required.

Once you successfully complete the Pathway Program, you will be directly admitted to the MSCS program with 6 graduate credits earned toward your degree. The Pathway Program requires applicants to have earned iBT (TOEFL) test scores of at least 60, IELTS scores of at least 5.5 or Duolingo scores of at least 85 prior to starting the program and to have an appropriate background in computer science.

For all applicants, there is no fee for the initial online application. But you may need to pay a fee to a third party in order to submit supporting materials, such as international credit evaluations and satisfactory test scores on the TOEFL for non-English language speakers.

Program Features

The computer science M.S. degree offers:

  • Convenience: All courses offered evenings.
  • Courses taught by accessible and experienced Ph.D. faculty with deep knowledge of the field.
  • 30 credit hours that can be completed in 1.5 years.
  • Ability to obtain a degree without the requirement of comprehensive examinations.
  • Potential to participate in faculty research projects, publish findings and present work nationally and internationally.
  • Languages and tools used in courses will vary, but might include C/C++, C#, Python, Java, JavaScript, Ruby, Prolog, Scheme, MATLAB, Maple, NASM, SQL, NoSQL, HTML, CSS, XML, NodeJS, Docker, git, Eclipse and Visual Studio.
  • Competitive tuition.

B.S./M.S. Accelerated Program

Qualified undergraduate students in computer science can apply for our combined B.S./M.S. degree program after they have earned at least 60 credits toward their undergraduate degree. Under this program, you can potentially earn an M.S. in computer science with one year of study after completing your bachelor's, rather than the two or more years that might otherwise be required.

To earn both the B.S. and M.S. degrees, you must earn at least 150 credits, 30 of which must be graduate (500-level or above) credits fulfilling requirements of the master's in computer science program. No more than 15 of these 30 graduate credits can be taken while you are an undergraduate.

As an undergraduate student enrolled in the combined-degrees program, you’ll also enjoy the following advantages:

  • Automatic approval for enrolling in computer science graduate courses, as long as the course prerequisites are met.
  • Provisional graduate admission before completion of the undergraduate degree (this becomes regular admission once the B.S. is earned, assuming that the entrance QPA requirements listed below are maintained).
  • Freedom from concern during your senior year with graduate school applications and admission decisions.


Application Requirements

Students must complete Duquesne's online application, including submission of an updated resume.  

Application submission deadlines:

  • Fall admission: July 1
  • Spring admission: December 1
  • Graduate assistantship: February 1 for assistantships beginning in the fall (currently, assistantships only begin in the fall).

Applicants should be sure to indicate on their application that they are requesting an assistantship and provide GRE general exam scores.

Students should submit official transcripts from previous educational institutions. These educational institutions should send the transcripts directly to Duquesne University. 

Students must submit two letters of recommendation, at least one of which should be from a reference who can comment meaningfully on your prior academic performance.

A personal statement of at most 500 words that explains why you are applying to the Computational Mathematics and Statistics program and provides any other information you wish the admissions committee to have.

GRE scores are recommended for admission and required for assistantship applications (the Duquesne school code is 2196 and the department code is 0402).

Program Requirements

One core course must be taken from each of the following four core areas:

  • COSC 510 or 511 Advanced Operating Systems and Computer Architecture
  • COSC 512 or 513 Artificial Intelligence and Data Management Systems
  • COSC 514 or 515 Networks and Security
  • COSC 516 or 517 Algorithms and Models of Computation
Advanced courses build on the core courses and provide more depth in the core areas.
  • COSC 521 Automated Theorem Proving
  • COSC 522 Data Compression
  • COSC 523 Machine Learning
  • COSC 524 Natural Language Processing
  • COSC 525 String Processing
  • COSC 560 Algorithms/Graph Theory
A requirement of the program is to gain useful, real-world experience applying the tools and concepts acquired in the course of study.

If you have no prior, relevant work experience, you will be required to complete an internship or employment experience, typically during the summer term.

If you have prior, relevant work experience, you may satisfy the internship requirement by submitting suitable materials. These materials include an academic reflection that addresses the skills, knowledge, techniques and design principles related to computer science acquired in your work, along with a portfolio of related work projects, including design documents, programs and documentation as appropriate, which demonstrate a mastery of these areas.

All Duquesne students have access to
Handshake through the Center for Career Development as one of the tools in finding internships.
The computer science electives must be at the 500 level or above. If a core area has been satisfied, any additional course taken in that core area may be counted as an elective.

Yu may take up to six credits of 500-level courses outside the program with departmental approval. These credits may be earned at Duquesne or at other approved institutions, including at Carnegie Mellon or the University of Pittsburgh through
  • COSC 530 Web-based Systems
  • COSC 531 Parallel and Distributed Computing
  • COSC 532 Data Visualization
  • COSC 533 Compilers
  • COSC 535 Theory of Programming Languages
  • CPMA 551 Digital Image Processing
  • CPMA 565 Numerical Methods
  • CPMA 566 Operations Research
  • CPMA 573 Statistical Computing
You must have a 4-year bachelor's degree, or a 3-year degree followed by a master's, in computer science or closely related field covering material at least equivalent to Duquesne University's undergraduate majors-level courses in operating systems, algorithms and their prerequisites.

We also expect a first course in calculus, such as Calculus I or a business calculus course.
    • Applications from students who have completed only a 3-year undergraduate degree without a master's degree will not be considered.
    • If you have not completed all of the appropriate coursework, you might be admitted provisionally, but if so you will be required to satisfactorily complete missing foundational courses as specified above before taking any graduate courses. This foundational coursework will not count toward the necessary graduate credits.
  • The GRE examination is not required for admission but is recommended for all applicants and is required for applicants wishing to be considered for an assistantship.


About the Master's in Computer Science

Duquesne does not charge a fee for graduate applications.  However, if you wish to be considered for an assistantship, the GRE general exam is required, and if you are an international applicant, you might need transcript evaluation and/or English language testing. We are unable to waive any fees that might be charged by third parties for such services.
Language testing waivers can be granted for a variety of reasons, such as having earned a post-secondary degree from an accredited university entirely in English.

See the 
English Profficiency Requirements webpage for details.
An MSCS student must enroll in at least 6 credits (typically 2 three-credit courses) in a semester to be considered full-time for that semester.
For 2022-23, the MSCS tuition is $1,054 per credit, and students must earn a total of at least 30 credits to complete the program.

Note that the current MSCS tuition rate is approximately 25% less than the typical program in Duquesne's Graduate School of Liberal Arts. There is also a one-time $125 fee for new international students. Estimates for other expenses, such as health insurance and living expenses, can be found at our
admissions page.
See the previous answer regarding the discounted tuition rate for MSCS courses relative to most other liberal arts programs. For spring 2023, no financial assistance is expected to be available. 

For fall 2023, we hope to be able to offer one teaching assistantship which would include some level of tuition remission and a stipend. To be considered for a teaching assistantship, an applicant should indicate their interest in response to the appropriate question in the application system and submit GRE general exam scores.

Students are also encouraged to consider possible 
external sources of financial assistance.
Although the MSCS program requires all students to complete an appropriate internship (or provide evidence of prior relevant work experience), we do not arrange internships. Duquesne's Center for Career Development does support students seeking internships by providing access to the Handshake employment-search system, hosting job and internship fairs, leading resume and interview skills workshops, etc.
The MSCS program is designed with employed students in mind.  All program courses are scheduled to meet from 6 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. Eastern time. You have at least six years to complete the program, so you can potentially earn your degree even when completing only two courses most years and taking a leave for a semester or two.
Generally speaking, we expect students to attend class in person. However, we will consider requests for remote accommodation on a case-by-case basis.
Admitted students can request a deferral of their admission for a variety of reasons. Note that this request should be submitted at least 10 business days before the original entry date and that you will need to pay an enrollment deposit before a deferral will be granted.
Each application to the MSCS program is reviewed by a faculty committee that sends its recommendation to the dean of liberal arts for a final decision. Therefore, no one person can answer the question of whether an application will be accepted. The only way to obtain an answer to this question is to submit a full application through the application system for review.

That said, if an application shows very little or no background in computer science, it is unlikely that the applicant will be admitted to the MSCS program, even provisionally.
We aim to communicate decisions to applicants within three weeks of the completed application reaching the faculty admission committee. However, at times we have received many applications in a short period of time. Such a situation might lead to slighly longer response times.
Before beginning the MSCS program, students must have successfully competed either a four-year or a three-year degree and a master's degree. Therefore, we will not consider applications from students who expect to have completed only a three-year degree by the semester for which they are applying.
Pittsburgh offers a wide variety of housing options. The University's Office of Commuter Affairs maintains an off-campus housing information page.
For help with the application process, see help and contact information within the Duquesne application system, or contact gradadmissionsFREEDUQUESNE.
For visa or other immigration questions/concerns, visit the immigration portal or contact immigrationFREEDUQUESNE.
For general international applicant questions, visit the international admissions website or contact intladmissionsFREEDUQUESNE.
Visit the Pathway for Computer Science website for course roadmaps based on your English language test scores. For detailed information on English as a Second Language courses, see the ESL website or contact eslFREEDUQUESNE.
For information about the MSCS program requirements, courses and related issues, browse the MSCS web site, or contact the program director using the information in the left sidebar of this page.

Student Funding

Outstanding applicants may qualify for a limited number of graduate assistantships.

  • Graduate assistantships provide full or partial tuition remission and a stipend.
  • Teaching assistants primarily lead undergraduate labs and tutor undergraduate students. If it is mutually agreeable, they might also have full responsibility for teaching an introductory course.
  • Research assistantships may be available subject to grant funding.

Applications that include an assistantship request will be considered for the fall term only and must be submitted by February 1. Note that to be considered for an assistantship, GRE general exam scores are required.

All students are required to have either relevant job experience or an internship before completing their degrees. Duquesne's location in the heart of Pittsburgh, the demand for students with the skill sets we teach and the many local employers who have Duquesne alumni as employees all facilitate placements. The internship requirement can be met through either paid or volunteer internships. All Duquesne students are able to use Handshake through the Center for Career Services to assist in finding internships.