Master of Science in Computer Science
The Master of Science in Computer Science program is a terminal professional degree program. The degree is based on course work and an internship requirement (which can be satisfied by suitable employment). The program does not require research, a thesis, or comprehensive examinations. The GRE examination is recommended, but not required, for admission. The GRE examination is required for assistantship applications. The program is structured to make it both convenient and productive for students to enroll on a part-time basis. Another convenience is that courses are offered on campus weekday evenings and students have the option to attend class synchronously online.
A summary of the curriculum requirements for the Master of Science in Computer Science degree is below:
|Core Courses||12||Must cover 4 areas|
|Advanced Courses||3||Build on core areas|
|Computing Ethics||3||May be waived by examination|
|Internship||0 to 3||Prior work experience may be used|
|Electives||9 to 12||Must be at the 500 level or higher|
One core course must be taken from each of the following four core areas:
- Advanced Operating Systems and Computer Architecture
- Artificial Intelligence and Data Management Systems
- Networks and Security
- Algorithms and Models of Computation
Advanced courses build on the core courses and provide more depth in the core areas.
A requirement of the program is to gain useful, real-world experience applying the tools and concepts acquired in the course of study. A student without prior, relevant work experience is required to complete an internship or employment experience, typically during the summer term. A student with prior, relevant work experience 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 his or her 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 are able to use Handshake through the Center for Career Development as one of the tools in finding internships.
The Computing Ethics course will examine ethical frameworks in depth and stress professional ethics of the field as developed by professional societies. Students who have taken an undergraduate course in Computing Ethics, or those who have studied the material on their own, may opt to take a placement examination in lieu of taking the Computing Ethics course.
The Computer Science electives must be at the 500 or above level. If a core area has been satisfied, any additional course taken in that core area may be counted as an elective. Up to three (or six if Computing Ethics is waived) credits of 500-level courses may be taken 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 cross-registration.
The graduate director assists all MSCS students with questions about courses and program requirements. The director will also guide students to other Duquesne offices for answers to questions outside the scope of the program itself.
There are no comprehensive examinations required for the MSCS degree.
All students are required to have an overall 3.0 Quality Point Average (QPA) for the program in order to graduate. Students with a lower QPA after earning 30 credits will need to take additional coursework in order to attempt to improve their QPA.
Combined BS/MS Degrees Program
Qualified undergraduate students in computer science can apply for a combined BS/MS degrees program after they have earned at least 60 credits toward their undergraduate degree. Under this program, students can potentially earn a Master's of Science in Computer Science degree with one year of study after completing their Bachelor's, rather than the two or more years that might otherwise be required. An MSCS degree can provide significant economic value. For instance, a recent report showed that the 2019 average starting salaries for graduates holding master's degrees in computer science were $13,927 more than the averages for those with only bachelor's degrees. And this is only the average difference in the first year of what could be a long career.
Students interested in the combined degrees program in computer science are encouraged to contact the MSCS Graduate Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.