Master of Computer Science: Software Engineering Degree Overview
Master's degree programs in computer science are typically completed in two years, requiring advanced coursework and research. Individuals are accepted to these programs based largely on their undergraduate performance.
Master of Computer Science
A master's degree program in computer science can train students in the development of new computer systems or the altering of existing ones to solve complex problems. These skills can be applied to many computer specialties, including security or database administration. Many programs offer concentration areas, including software engineering. Some schools offer this degree online.
In addition to the computer science coursework, master's programs may include research courses, especially if a student is pursuing a thesis option. Supporting coursework in computer ethics and theory are typically required. Some programs may allow students to design their curriculum with the help of a faculty advisor.
Computer science master's programs require individuals to have completed a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering or a related major. Additionally, applicants may have to meet standards for grade point average and scores on the Graduate Record Examination. Extracurricular activities, like undergraduate research projects, may also help.
Programs typically include advanced coursework in programming languages and computer systems. Some computer science programs allow students to select whether they wish to pursue a thesis option or complete additional coursework and pass a comprehensive exam. The following list displays topics that may appear in a computer science master's program.
- Artificial intelligence
- Software management
- Software architecture
- Computer modeling
- Software engineering
Popular Career Options
Due to the growth of technology and data, individuals with a degree in computer science may find work in a variety of industries. Many computer science professionals work for industries in research and development or computer systems design, or work for the federal government. Some possible career options include:
- Control system scientist
- Scientific programmer analyst
- Software engineering manager
- Data scientist
Some computer science positions may require a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), including the actual title of computer scientist. Typically, a Ph.D. in computer science involves the continuation of previous undergraduate or graduate research that results in a doctoral dissertation. While earning their Ph.D., students typically complete comprehensive exams, advanced coursework and student teaching.
Professional certifications in major versions of software or programming languages, such as UNIX or Java, may also be useful to aspiring computer scientists. These certifications typically involve passing an exam.
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