Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Master's in Computer Science Program

The college offers concentrations in Data Science,  Security, and Field Experience which meet all of the regular non-thesis master's degree requirements. The requirements for the Concentrations in Data Science and Security emphasize data science and security related courses. The Field Experience emphasizes internship skill development applied to project based courses.

All master's program students are expected to have a solid undergraduate background in computer science. If you are unsure of your background, you should consult master's advisor, Elizabeth Parolski, for course options.

MS Course Requirements are explained in greater detail here.

Master's students are required to:

  • Complete 30-course credits meeting the Course Requirements
  • Satisfy 4 Core Requirements (at least one from each area)
    • Take one Theory, one Systems, one Machine Learning, and one from any area, and earn a B or higher in each core class.
  • Satisfy 12 credits, or 4 courses, of 600-level or higher courses. 

The Master's in Computer Science degree is a non-thesis degree, however, students interested in research are encouraged to participate in independent study research after their first semester of coursework. In addition, the MS program offers a Master's Project 6 credit research opportunity. This is a project that involves working with two professors on a research project or paper. The Master's Project frequently spans two academic semesters. 

There is a great deal of information about the MS on the MS Advising page as well.

Sample Schedule

Our MS degree in Amherst usually takes two years (four semesters) to complete. We recommend the following distribution of courses for the four semesters:






500 CS level course 
500 CS level course 

500 OR 600 level course 


NOTE: If you have been in industry for a year or more or were not a computer science major, consider taking a Math or Statistics course to help refresh your math skill.

*International students must be registered for 9 credits to fulfill full-time visa requirements

*Many domestic students will take two classes each semester, as they are not required to meet a specific credit threshold. 

500 level course 
600-level course 

500 OR 600 level course 

Internship (optional)

*CPT approval requires students to be enrolled in two consecutive semesters before applying; an exception is only for field experience concentration.


500 level course 
600-level course 

500 OR 600 level course 


600-level course 

*International students are permitted one final semester of less than 9 credits


Your background and the available course offerings may cause you to shift from this model.  Each student is unique and different and each schedule will look very different. This list is intended only as a guide. We strongly recommend that students take no more than three graduate-level classes in any semester.  Additionally, students starting their MS are encouraged to take ONLY ONE 600-level class, in their first semester

International Students

International students should consider a Curricular Practical Training during the first summer following the completion of two academic semesters. See the CICS CPT Process

campus Employment

Effective with the cohort entering in Fall 2016, students in terminal master's programs in the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences are ineligible for assistantships in the college or elsewhere on campus. Exceptions can be granted only if supported by the Chair of the Faculty and approved by the Dean of the College, in extraordinary circumstances needed to meet instructional or research needs.

All MS students are eligible to apply for 15-week grader appointments after their first semester. Campus graduate hourly positions are also available, these are positions where students receive a paycheck for hours worked.