Skip To Main Content

The Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) is a research degree. A thesis and final examination (thesis defense) are required. Students who complete the MSCS degree may file a letter of intent requesting admission to the Ph.D. program. This is a STEM program.

Advisory Committee

The student must select an advisory committee chair from the department’s graduate faculty. If a student wishes to have a chair who does not have an appointment with the department, then the committee must have two co-chairs, including one who is a member of the department’s graduate faculty (a committee has either one chair or two co-chairs).

The chair and the student work together to select the remainder of the advisory committee. The advisory committee for the MSCS degree consists of at least three members from the Texas A&M graduate faculty (the chair counts as a member). There must be at least one member from another department and there must be a majority from the department. Note that all faculty members with full joint appointments in the department will be considered as departmental faculty when evaluating the composition of the committee. Faculty who hold courtesy appointments will count as outside members of the committee. The graduate advising office can provide information on which faculty hold joint appointments.

The advisory committee can have supplemental members who are not members of the Texas A&M graduate faculty (and hence do not count when evaluating the composition of the committee). Supplemental members are usually added because they have some special expertise that is relevant to the student’s research topic. Such members are added by “special appointment” requests. Check with the graduate advising office for more information.

After the student and chair agree on a tentative advisory committee, the student will then meet with each prospective committee member to determine whether this committee assignment is agreeable and then file a degree plan.

Degree Plan

The degree plan should be completed by the student in consultation with the chair and the advisory committee. Requirements for the MSCS degree include:

  • At least 18 credit hours of graded computer science and engineering (CSCE) graduate coursework (excluding CSCE 681, 684, 685, 691). 
  • Three breadth CSCE courses, one selected from each of these sets: Theory (627, 629), Systems (605, 611, 613, 614 and 678) and Software (604, 606 and 655). These must be passed with a grade of B or better. These count toward the requirement of 18 hours of graded CSCE graduate coursework. 
  • At most one three-credit 400–level CSCE undergraduate course approved by the graduate advisor. This course does NOT count towards the 18 hours of CSCE graded graduate coursework.
  • At most six credit hours of non-CSCE graded graduate coursework (excluding 681, 684, 685 and 691).
  • Zero credit hour of CSCE 681 (Graduate Seminar).
  • Three to six credit hours of CSCE 691 (Research).
  • Up to three credit hours of CSCE 685 (Directed Studies). The combination of 685 and 691 cannot exceed seven credit hours.
  • A total of at least 30 credit hours.

Courses That Cannot Be Used on Any Degree Plan:

  • In CSCE, we do not allow 601, 602, 603, 705, 706, 707, 708 and 709.
  • In ECEN, we do not allow 714 and 749.
  • In STAT, we do not allow 624 and 654.
  • In MATH, we do not allow 679.
  • Any course that contains material required of our undergraduate computer science (CPSC) or computer engineering majors.

Other Degree Plan Information:

  • Students who have taken 420 cannot use 625 on their degree plan.
  • Students who have taken 410 cannot use 611 on their degree plan. If a student receives an A in 410, they satisfy the Systems breadth requirement for the CPSC degrees.
  • Students who have taken 431 cannot use 606 on their degree plan. A student who receives an A in 431 satisfies the Software breadth requirement for the CPSC degrees.
  • For stacked course: If you have credit for an undergraduate class, you cannot get credit for the graduate class, except via Fast Track. When a graduate and undergraduate course is stacked, graduate students are required to take the graduate course in the stacked pair. If there are seats in the undergraduate section but not in the graduate section, you should contact the graduate advising office to request that seat be reallocated. Reallocation can be requested but will have to be approved. Not all reallocations may be able to be approved.
    • The common stacked pairs are:
      • 410/611 (sometimes)
      • 469/614 (always)
      • 433/627 (always)
      • 452/643 (always)
      • 447/650 (always)
      • 451/652 (always)
      • 401/701 (always)
      • 402/702 (always)
      • 403/703 (always)
      • 413/713 (always)
      • 435/735 (sometimes)
  • Students can receive credit for both courses in an undergrad/grad course pair under Fast Track.
  • A student who receives an A in 411 satisfies the Theory breadth requirement.
  • Students who have taken 420 cannot use 625 on their degree plan. This course is not stacked normally but overlaps by about two-thirds.

CSCE 684 Hours:

  • Any international student, who wishes to go on curricular practical training, must have one credit hour for each semester they are on the internship of CSCE 684 on their degree plan. Any CSCE 684 hours are in addition to the required total credit hours of the degree plan.
  • If you are an international student, we recommend you place at least one credit hour of CSCE 684 on your degree plan when you submit it. This way if you receive an internship offer, you will not be rushing to have 684 added to your degree plan.
  • Domestic students do not need to register when they are on an internship. However, if they are gone for a year without registering, they must apply for a leave-of-absence. Otherwise, they will need to reapply for admission.

For additional information and clarification, please see the graduate catalog and the department’s graduate program webpages.