Master of Science in Computer Science

The purpose of this program is to prepare students for the Ph.D. program and/or a research/development career in the industry in the field of computer science. Students have the option to pursue thesis research or a project under the guidance of a faculty adviser.


The Master of Science in Computer Science degree program requires a core curriculum of 12 credit hours and 20 credit hours of elective courses. The plan of study must consist of at least 32 credit hours, at least 20 of which must be 500-level CS courses.

Minimum Degree Credits 32
Minimum Core Course Credits 12
Minimum 500-Level CS Credit 20

Degree Options

  • Coursework Only: All degree requirement credit hours come from coursework.
  • Master's Project: Elective credit hours can include up to five credit hours of master's project work (CS 597). A master's project comprises a high-quality paper submitted for publication as an article or as a technical report, or a high-quality piece of software. The software should be of distribution quality, but can be proprietary.
  • Master's Thesis: Elective credit hours can include up to five credit hours of master's thesis work (CS 591). With adviser approval, up to three additional credit hours of CS 591 may be added. A student must successfully defend a thesis to apply CS 591 credit hours toward a degree. Students who complete both a project and a thesis can apply a maximum combined total of eight credit hours of CS 591 and CS 597 toward the degree.

Core Courses

Regardless of the degree option students are required to take four core courses from the three core areas: programming, systems, and theory. The requirement is at least one course from the programming area, at least one course from the systems area, and at least two courses from the theory area.

Programming Core Courses (3)
Select a minimum of one course from the following:3
Topics in Computer Graphics3
Computer Vision3
Advanced Database Organization3
Syntactic Analysis of Programming Languages3
Topics in Compiler Construction3
Parallel and Distributed Processing3
Operating System Design and Implementation3
Cloud Computing3
Systems Core Courses (3)
Select a minimum of one course from the following:3
Computer Networks I: Fundamentals3
Computer Networks II: Network Services3
Wireless Networking3
Advanced Operating Systems3
Analytic Models and Simulation of Computer Systems3
Advanced Computer Architecture3
Software Systems Architectures3
Software-Defined Networking3
Theory Core Courses (6)
Select a minimum of two courses from the following:6
Theory of Computation3
Computational Geometry3
Types and Programming Languages3
Design and Analysis of Algorithms3
Science of Programming3
Combinatorial Optimization3
Game Theory: Algorithms and Applications3
Elective Courses (20)
Select 20 credit hours from the following:20
Research and Thesis of Masters Degree (Master's Thesis)0-5
Reading and Special Problems (Master's Project)0-5
400- or 500-level CS courses
Total Credit Hours32


  • All core courses must be satisfied by courses taken at Illinois Institute of Technology. Courses transferred for credit cannot be used to satisfy core course requirements. Core course credit hours do apply toward the 20-credit hour requirement for CS courses.
  • Elective credit hours may include 400- and 500-level CS courses, certain courses transferred from other departments (pending adviser and departmental approval), and up to six credit hours of accelerated courses. CSP courses, Interprofessional Projects (IPROs), and deficiency courses (CS 201, CS 401, CS 402, and calculus) cannot be included. Consult the computer science department website ( for details.