The Master of Science in CS (MSCS) and the Professional Master of CS (MAS-CS or MCS for short) degree programs are similar but slightly different. Both programs prepare students for careers as working professionals in computer science, but for students who intend to continue studying for a Ph.D., the MSCS is generally recommended.
Differences in Program Requirements
The table below contains an overview of the differences in program requirements; for detailed descriptions of the two degree programs, see CS Home page > Professional Master's Programs and Master of Science Programs.
Comparison of MSCS & MAS-CS Degree Programs
||30 (33 for the Business and Finance Specializations)
||For specializations or as electives
Differences in Admission
In addition to the differences above, the admission requirements for the MSCS and MAS-CS are slightly different.
For details, see CS Home page > Admission Requirements - Graduate.
- The Admission Requirements for the MSCS are slightly higher than for the MAS-CS.
- The GRE can be waived for some MAS-CS applicants.
- Applicants for the MSCS program who are rejected are automatically considered for admission to the MAS-CS program.
- For both programs, applicants whose bachelor's degree is not in computer science may be required to take courses that cover the prerequisite undergraduate coursework.
The credits for these courses do not apply toward a degree.
Which Program Should I Apply To?
- Both programs prepare students for careers as working professionals in computer science.
- Only MAS-CS students can select a specialization or take CS Professional courses. (These are both optional.)
- The MSCS is slightly more theoretical than the MAS-CS because it requires one more Theory core course.
- If you plan to continue studying for a Ph.D., you should consider doing a full Master's Thesis, which is available only in the MSCS program.
- An MSCS student can always transfer to the MAS-CS program. For an MAS-CS student to become an MSCS student, a new Graduate Admission application is required.
- If you're not sure which program you want, we suggest applying to the MSCS program. If you're accepted, it's easy to change to the MAS-CS program later; if you're rejected for the MSCS program, you'll automatically be considered for the MAS-CS program.