Master's Degree Requirements

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Science in Computer Science program requires a satisfactory Graduate Record Examination score. Applicant must meet the following requirements:

  1. have completed CSCI 1170, 2170, 3080, 3110, 3130, and 3240 or equivalent of each course;
  2. have completed MATH 1910 and 2050 or equivalent of each course.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee;
  2. submit official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
  3. submit official transcripts showing a GPA in previous academic work.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Computer Science offers two options: the Thesis Option and the Non-Thesis Option. Students pursuing either option must meet the following requirements:

  1. complete CSCI 5700 if he or she did not complete CSCI 4700 or an equivalent course as an undergraduate;
  2. complete CSCI 5560 if he or she did not complete CSCI 4560 or an equivalent course as an undergraduate;
  3. complete CSCI 6620 as part of their required 30 hours (Thesis option) or 36 hours (Non-Thesis option).

Thesis Option (30 hours)
The Master of Science in Computer Science requires a completion of 30 hours of graduate coursework in the thesis option. Up to 3 hours in CSCI 6640 may be included in the 30 hours. Students must present an oral defense of the thesis. A minimum of 21 hours must be at the 6000 level.

Non-thesis Option (36 hours)
The Master of Science in Computer Science requires completion of 36 hours of graduate coursework in the non-thesis option. Candidates must successfully complete a comprehensive examination. Credit for CSCI 6640 may not be included in the 36 hours. A minimum of 24 hours must be at the 6000 level.

A student already holding a master's degree from MTSU may complete a second master's degree in Computer Science by satisfying either of the above options with a minimum of 27 semester hours. A minimum of 18 hours must be at the 6000 level.

With the approval of the Computer Science graduate faculty, a maximum of 12 semester hours of residence credit (maximum of 6 in Computer Science) may be transferred from another institution and applied to the master's degree.

Program Notes

Candidate must

  1. complete at least 24 semester hours of graduate computer science courses at MTSU;
  2. file a degree plan with the College of Graduate Studies prior to the completion of 21 graduate credit hours;
  3. take all courses in the Computer Science Department with the following possible exceptions:
    1. with the prior approval of the Computer Science graduate faculty, a maximum of 6 hours of cognate courses may come from departments other than Computer Science.
    2. with the approval of the candidate's graduate advisor, a single minor up to 12 semester hours may be included. Such a minor must also be approved by the department offering the minor.
  4. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which candidate intends to graduate.

Comprehensive Examination

Scheduling. Comprehensive examinations will be offered three times a year during the weeks scheduled by the College of Graduate Studies. Normally a student will take the exam in the semester of graduation. A student must have filed his/her intent to graduate form prior to signing up for the exam. Each student must sign up in the Computer Science office (KOM 306) at least three weeks prior to the scheduled exam date.

Content. Each student will be tested over the content of three 6000-level computer science courses which s/he has completed or is enrolled in. The student will designate which three courses as a part of signing up for the exam. If the student is currently enrolled in one of the courses, then s/he is responsible for the entire content of the course.

Format. The format of each exam is at the discretion of the instructor.

Grading. Each instructor will report a Pass or Fail grade. A student must pass all three sections in order to pass the exam.

Repeated exam. The comprehensive exam may be taken at most two times. If a student fails the exam the first time, the graduate faculty will determine whether or not the student must repeat the entire exam or just a portion of it.

College of Graduate Studies Regulations

Academic Standards: An average of 3.00 on graduate work done at MTSU is required. No grade lower than B- will be accepted toward a graduate degree. A graduate student failing to attain a 3.00 GPA for the current semester enrolled will be issued an academic warning even if the cumulative GPA is 3.00 or above. A graduate student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.00 is placed on probation. A student who fails to attain a 3.00 GPA during the next term enrolled will be suspended.

Time Limitation: Students have six years from date of admission to a degree program to complete the requirements for a master's degree.

Second Master's Degree from MTSU: An individual who has received one master's degree from MTSU may obtain a second master's degree with a minimum of 27 semester hours earned at MTSU. No transfer work is accepted towards the second master's. All 27 semester hours must be earned after the first master's degree has been conferred.

Student Load: Nine semester hours is considered a full-time load academically in the fall and spring semesters. Six semester hours is considered full-time in a summer session, provided both terms are attended. The recommended maximum graduate credit which a student may earn in the summer is nine semester hours.


Candidacy Form: In consultation with his/her advisor, each student must file a formal outline of the degree program prior to completion of 24 graduate hours. This program is filed on a Candidacy Form procured from the Graduate Office or on-line. No degree-seeking student will be permitted to register for more than 24 semester hours unless an approved Candidacy Form is on file. The Candidacy Form requires the approval of the major professor, the minor professor (if a minor has been chosen), and the graduate dean or graduate analyst.

Change in Candidacy Form: Changes in degree programs are permitted upon proper filing and approval of a Change in Candidacy Form that may be procured from the Computer Science Office or the Graduate Office.

Intent to Graduate: An Intent to Graduate Form, procured from the Graduate Office, must be filed by the student no later than the first week of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. Information concerning graduation fees will be mailed to the student.

Comprehensive Examination: A thesis-option student's thesis defense constitutes the comprehensive examination for the student. Non-thesis students must pass a comprehensive examination as described above.

Placement Office

Graduate students should register with the Career and Employment Center early in their last year at MTSU. Many employers schedule annual campus interviews for Computer Science students. MTSU's Career and Employment Center offers an outstanding service for providing assistance in securing career positions. It also provides assistance in preparing resumes and in learning successful interviewing techniques.