Computer Science

Major: Computer Science
Degree Awarded: Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 45.0 
Co-op Option: Available for full-time, on-campus master's-level students
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 11.0701
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 11-3021; 15-1111; 15-1131; 15-1132; 15-1199

About the Program

The Department of Computer Science in the College of Computing & Informatics houses research groups actively conducting research on a wide range of topics in Computer Science including artificial intelligence, algorithms, computer vision and graphics, programming languages, networks, privacy and security, high-performance computing, software engineering, computer algebra, and algorithms. The department emphasizes both interdisciplinary and applied research and is supported by major federal research grants from the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as well as by private sources.

The Master of Science in Computer Science program is designed to provide breadth of understanding in the core topics of computer science, in-depth advanced material, and a range of topics in the research areas of the faculty. A balance of theory and practice is presented, preparing students to perform cutting-edge research as well as training students to become practicing computer scientists or software engineers in business, industry, or government. A thesis option is available to prepare students for doctoral studies or other research-oriented career paths.

The program provides room for electives outside of Computer Science in an area which the student wishes to apply their computing skills and from the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Computer Science (for those with an insufficient Computer Science background).

A graduate co-op is available; for more information, visit the Steinbright Career Development Center's website.

Additional Information

For more information about the Master of Science in Computer Science degree program, including admission requirements, visit the College of Computing & Informatics website.

Master of Science in Computer Science

Students must complete a minimum of 45.0 graduate credits for the MS degree. 

Core Requirements
Students must take 1 course from each pair
CS 500Fundamentals of Databases3.0
or CS 510 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
CS 521Data Structures and Algorithms I3.0
or CS 525 Theory of Computation
CS 530Developing User Interfaces3.0
or CS 540 High Performance Computing
CS 536Computer Graphics3.0
or CS 583 Introduction to Computer Vision
CS 543Operating Systems3.0
or CS 544 Computer Networks
CS 550Programming Languages3.0
or SE 575 Software Design
Major Electives15.0
Students must take an additional 5 CS-related courses from the following categories
From the courses listed below, excluding any courses taken to fulfill a core requirement and spanning at least 2 categories
Data Structures and Algorithms I (Core Candidate)
Data Structures and Algorithms II
Theory of Computation (Core Candidate)
Algorithmic Game Theory
Advanced Data Structure and Algorithms
Approximation Algorithms
Computational Geometry
Intelligent Systems
Fundamentals of Databases (Core Candidate)
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (Core Candidate)
Robot Laboratory
Advanced Artificial Intelligence
Game Artificial Intelligence
Knowledge-based Agents
Machine Learning
Deep Learning
Data Analysis at Scale
Responsible Data Analysis
Programming Systems
Programming Languages (Core Candidate)
Program Generation and Optimization
Reverse Software Engineering
Parallel Programming
Software Design (Core Candidate)
Software Reliability and Testing
Software Architecture
Security Engineering
Computer Systems
Operating Systems (Core Candidate)
Computer Networks (Core Candidate)
Advanced Operating Systems
Network Security
Distributed Systems Software
Vision and Graphics
Computer Graphics (Core Candidate)
Interactive Computer Graphics
Game Engine Programming
Introduction to Computer Vision (Core Candidate)
Advanced Computer Vision
Advanced Computer Graphics
Developing User Interfaces (Core Candidate)
High Performance Computing (Core Candidate)
Applied Symbolic Computation
Cognitive Systems
Computer Algebra I
Computer Algebra II
From MSSE Core Courses
Software Design
Software Reliability and Testing
Requirements Engineering and Management
Software Project Management
From the following MSDS Core Courses
Data Acquisition and Pre-Processing
Data Analysis and Interpretation
Additional Graduate-Level Courses12.0
4 additional graduate level courses are required, which could be:
Up to 6 credits for the thesis option
Up to 2 CS Independent Studies
Additional approriate graduate level Computer Science, Software Engineering, Data Science or Artificial Intelligence courses, consulting with your advisor courses
Up to 2 appropriate graduate-level computing-related courses outside of Computer Science, Software Engineering, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence approved by the College
From the core courses from the CS-PBC
Introduction to Programming
Data Structures and Algorithms
Systems Basics
Introduction to Software Design
Total Credits45.0

Sample Plan of Study (MSCS)

First Year
Core Courses6.0Core Courses6.0Core Courses6.0Major Electives6.0
 6 6 6 6
Second Year
Major Electives6.0Major Elective3.0Electives6.0Elective3.0
 6 6 6 3
Total Credits 45

Note: Second Year Summer is less than the 4.5-credit minimum required (considered half-time status) of graduate programs to be considered financial aid eligible. As a result, aid will not be disbursed to students this term.

Dual Degree Opportunities

Graduate students already enrolled in a master's degree program at Drexel have the opportunity, through the dual master's program, to work simultaneously on two CCI master's degrees and to receive both upon graduation. To be eligible, graduate students must be currently working on their first CCI master's degree when requesting admission to the second CCI master's degree. They must obtain approval from the graduate advisors of both programs and work out a plan of study encompassing coursework and/or research (thesis) credits for both degrees.

Some courses may be used to satisfy requirements in both degrees, reducing the total number of courses taken, according to Drexel’s Dual MS Degree Policy. The dual degree for MSCS students is only available to on-campus students. Please contact your advisor for more information on program requirements as some CCI master's degree combinations may require additional prerequisites.

The dual master's student must complete the Change of Curriculum and Status form and obtain approvals from both graduate advisors. Final approval is granted by the Graduate College. The student is then registered in both majors simultaneously. Upon graduation, the student must file two Application for Degree forms.

3675 Market Street

In March 2019, the College of Computing & Informatics relocated to 3675 Market. For the first time in the College's history, all CCI faculty, students and professional staff are housed under one roof. Occupying two floors in the brand new uCity Square building, CCI's new home offers state-of-the-art technology in our classrooms, labs, meeting areas and collaboration spaces. 3675 Market offers Class A laboratory, office, coworking, and convening spaces. In fall 2019, the College opened a third floor which will include additional offices, classrooms, innovative research labs, and a maker space. Located at the intersection of Market Street and 37th Street, 3675 Market will act as a physical nexus, bridging academic campuses and medical centers to the east and south, the commercial corridors along Market Street and Chestnut Street, and the residential communities to the north and west.

The uCity Square building offers:

  • Speculative lab/office space
  • World-class facilities operated by CIC
  • Café/restaurant on-site
  • Quorum, a two-story, 15K SF convening space and conference center
  • Adjacent to future public square
  • Access to Science Center’s nationally renowned business acceleration and technology commercialization programs

Drexel University Libraries

Drexel University Libraries is a learning enterprise, advancing the University’s academic mission through serving as educators, supporting education and research, collaborating with researchers, and fostering intentional learning outside of the classroom. Drexel University Libraries engages with Drexel communities through three physical locations, including W. W. Hagerty Library,  Queen Lane Library, and the Library Learning Terrace, as well as a vibrant online presence which sees, on average, over 8,000 visits per day. In the W.W. Hagerty Library location, College of Computing & Informatics students have access to private study rooms and nearly half a million books, periodicals, DVDs, videos and University Archives. All fields of inquiry are covered, including: library and information science, computer science, software engineering, health informatics, information systems, and computing technology. Resources are available online at or in-person at W. W. Hagerty Library.

The Libraries also make available laptop and desktop PC and Mac computers, printers and scanners, spaces for quiet work or group projects and designated 24/7 spaces. Librarians and library staff—including a liaison librarian for computing and informatics—are available for individual research consultations and to answer questions about materials or services.

CCI Commons

Located on the 10th floor of 3675 Market Street, the CCI Commons is an open lab and collaborative work environment for students. It features desktop computers, a wireless/laptop area, free black and white printing, and more collaborative space for its students. Students have access to 3675 Market's fully equipped conference room with 42” displays and videoconferencing capabilities. The CCI Commons provides technical support to students, faculty, and professional staff. In addition, the staff provides audio-visual support for all presentation classrooms within 3675 Market. Use of the CCI Commons is reserved for all students taking CCI courses.

The computers for general use are Microsoft Windows and Macintosh OSX machines with appropriate applications which include the Microsoft Office suite, various database management systems, modeling tools, and statistical analysis software. Library related resources may be accessed at the CCI Commons and through the W.W. Hagerty Library. The College is a member of the Rational SEED Program which provides cutting-edge software development and project management software for usage in the CCI Commons and CCI classrooms. The College is also a member of the Microsoft Academic Alliance known also as “DreamSpark” that allows students free access to a wide array of Microsoft software titles and operating systems.

The CCI Commons, student labs, and classrooms have access to networked databases, print and file resources within the College, and the Internet via the University’s network. Email accounts, Internet and BannerWeb access are available through the Office of Information Resources and Technology.

CCI Learning Center

The CCI Learning Center (CLC), located in 3675 Market Street's CCI Commons student computer lab, provides consulting and other learning resources for students taking computer science classes. The CLC is staffed by graduate and undergraduate computer science students from the College of Computing & Informatics.

The CLC and CCI Commons serve as a central hub for small group work, student meetings, and TA assistance. 

Research Laboratories

The College houses multiple research labs, led by CCI faculty, in 3675 Market Street including: the Drexel Health and Risk Communication Lab, Interactive Systems for Healthcare, Socio-Technical Studies Group, Intelligent Information & Knowledge Computing Research Lab, Evidence-based Decision Making Lab, Applied Symbolic Computation Laboratory (ASYM), High Performance Computing Laboratory (SPIRAL), Drexel Research on Play (RePlay) Laboratory, Software Engineering Research Group (SERG), Social Computing Research Group, Vision and Cognition Laboratory (VisCog) and the Vision and Graphics Laboratory. For more information on these laboratories, please visit the College’s research web page.

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