Dr. Yaser Jararweh teaching in COLH 345 SP19

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, for those not currently employed full time, an internship. 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.


A summary of the curriculum requirements for the Master of Science in Computer Science degree is below:

Requirements Credit hours Notes
Core Courses 12 Must cover 4 areas
Advanced Courses 3 Build on core areas
Computing Ethics 3 May be waived by examination
Internship 3 Prior work experience may be used
Electives 9 Must be at the 500 level or higher

Core Courses

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

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 do an internship, typically taken during the summer term. A student with prior, relevant work experience may receive credit, in lieu of an internship. To receive credit for prior experience, the student must submit an academic reflection that addresses the skills, knowledge, techniques, and design principles related to computer science that they acquired in his or her work, and create 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 Services to assist in finding internships.

Computing Ethics

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. Up to three (or six if Computing Ethics is waived) credits of 500-level courses may be taken outside the program with departmental approval.


The graduate director assists all MSCS students with Graduate School procedures, and answers questions about courses and requirements.


There are no comprehensive examinations required for the MSCS degree.

QPA Requirements

All students are required to have at least at 3.0 Quality Point Average (QPA) for graduation.

Combined BS/MS Degrees Program

Qualified undergraduate students in computer science can enroll in 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 normal two years. 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 mscs@duq.edu.