Jun 07, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Computer Science, M.S.

Degree Requirements

Within five years of admission, students must earn a minimum of 30 credit hours with the thesis option, 33 credit hours with the non-thesis option. 

Students must satisfy the GPA and course requirements for their field of specialty.

Each student must complete either a thesis or a scholarly paper. 

  • The thesis option requires a minimum of eight graduate-level courses (24 credit hours) and six credit hours of thesis (CMSC 799). The thesis must be defended with an oral exam and accepted with the approval of the student’s master’s thesis committee.
  • The non-thesis option requires a minimum of 10 graduate-level courses (30 credit hours) and three credit hours of CMSC 698 research project work resulting in a scholarly paper that must be approved by the advisor and read by another faculty member.


Students must earn a “B” or better grade in these three courses.

Additional Courses

Students who choose the thesis option must take these three courses, six credits of CMSC 799: Master’s Thesis Research, and at least 15 additional course credits, to make a total of 30 credits.

Students who choose the non-thesis option must take these three courses, and at least 24 additional credits, to make a total of 33 credits.

Unless approved by the graduate director, each student is allowed to take a maximum of six credits of courses outside the department. These courses must be at the graduate level and be approved by the student’s advisor and the graduate program director prior to registration.

M.S. Thesis Option

Any CMSC graduate student may undertake a master’s thesis, supervised by a faculty member thesis advisor. Upon completion of the thesis research, the thesis must be defended in a public presentation.

Transfer Credits

No more than six credits may be transferred from another university or from UMBC as a non-degree student. Credit transfer must be approved by the graduate program director.