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Computer Science Department

MS - Computer Science

The Master of Science in Computer Science degree provides greater depth in computer science for more advanced positions in industry or teaching at the community college level. Check the Department website for details at http://www.sjsu.edu/cs/programs/mscs.

Admissions Requirements

University Admissions

Applicants must submit a complete graduate application by applying through the CSU Cal State Apply system at calstate.edu/apply and meet all the university admission requirements. Applicants apply separately to the department to obtain admission into the Computer Science program. See the GAPE Graduate Admissions website and this Catalog for general information about graduate admissions at SJSU.

Applicants from countries in which the native language is not English must achieve a minimum English-language proficiency test score as indicated on the Graduate Program Test Requirements webpage at GAPE. For TOEFL Requirements, see the Policies and Procedures section, Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Information in this Catalog.

Requirements for Admission to Classified Standing

To enter this program with classified standing, a student must meet the minimum requirements for admission to the Graduate Division. In addition, entering students are expected to have a bachelor's degree in computer science or its equivalent, e.g., a degree presenting at least the breadth and depth of the SJSU BS, Computer Science program. An applicant holding a recent bachelor's degree in Computer Science from an ABET-accredited university will normally meet the course requirements for admission to the MSCS program.

Requirements for Admission to Conditionally Classified Standing

Applicants who meet the minimum requirements for admission to the Graduate Division but lack other prerequisite course knowledge can be admitted in conditionally classified status if there is sufficient space in the program to accommodate them. Conditionally classified students will be required to complete undergraduate coursework to attain Classified standing. The individual admission notification will explain required terms and conditions for attaining Classified standing.

Transfer of Courses into the Major

Students may transfer nine credits into the program from coursework completed in the SJSU Computer Science Department. A maximum of 6 units may be from courses outside the SJSU Computer Science Department. All transfer credit must fulfill MS, Computer Science program requirements and be approved by the Graduate Coordinator.

Requirements for Advancement to Graduate Candidacy

The University requires that all graduate students complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) as a condition for advancement to candidacy. The Computer Science Department policy is that students should complete the GWAR requirement (usually by taking CS 200W) in their first year in the MS program and must complete it two semesters before graduation. Please refer to the SJSU catalog section titled "Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement" for details. For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations website at www.sjsu.edu/gape.

Requirements for Graduation

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, GPA, and culminating experience requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements section of the Graduate Policies and Procedures.

Culminating Experience

Students choose a Plan A (Thesis) or Plan B (Written Project) option as their program culminating experience.

Plan A (Thesis)

After being admitted to candidacy, the student choosing the thesis option must obtain a thesis director from among the tenured or tenure-track faculty of the Computer Science Department who then becomes his or her advisor. Before work can begin, the thesis topic must be approved by a three-member committee consisting of the thesis director, another professor from the CS Department, and a third member who is an expert in the field, selected by the thesis director and approved by the Department Chairperson. The candidate should register for the CS 297, Preparation for Writing Project or Thesis before the final semester, and take CS 299, Master's Thesis in the final semester of the program. Students who do not finish the thesis in that semester enroll in the 1290R for subsequent semesters until it is completed. Upon completion of the thesis, the candidate must pass a comprehensive oral examination in the area of his or her thesis and conducted by the thesis committee. The thesis must also meet university requirements as stipulated in this catalog and in the SJSU Master's Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Guidelines.

Plan B (Written Project)

After being admitted to candidacy, the student must obtain a project director from the Computer Science Department who then becomes his or her advisor. Before work can begin, the project topic must be approved by a three-member committee consisting of the project director, another professor from the CS Department, and a third member who is an expert in the field, selected by the thesis director and approved by the Department Chairperson. The candidate should register for the CS 297, Preparation for Writing Project or Thesis before the final semester, and take the CS 298, Master's Writing Project in the final semester of the program. Students who do not finish the project in that semester enroll in the 1290R for subsequent semesters until it is completed. Upon completion of the project, the candidate must pass an oral examination in the area of his or her project conducted by the project committee.


Course Requirements

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For information on the GWAR, please see http://info.sjsu.edu/gcw.html.
This requirement is satisfied by taking CS 200W
Requirements of the Masters33
Core Courses21
CS 200W. Graduate Technical WritingGWAR3
Foundations3
Choose one of the following Foundations courses:
CS 252. Advanced Programming Language Principles3
CS 254. Theory of Computation3
CS 255. Design and Analysis of Algorithms3
CS 262. Randomized Algorithms and Applications3
MATH 279A. Graph Theory3
Architecture3
Choose one of the following Architecture courses:
CS 247. Advanced Computer Architecture3
CS 258. Computer Communication Systems3
CS 259. Advanced Parallel Processing3
CS 268. Topics in Wireless Mobile Networking3
Systems Software3
Choose one of the following Systems Software courses:
CS 218. Topics in Cloud Computing3
CS 249. Distributed Computing3
CS 253. Advanced Compiler Design3
CS 257. Database System Principles3
CS 267. Topics in Database Systems3
Specialty Courses9
Select nine units of 200-level Computer Science courses from the Foundations, Architecture or Systems Software classes above or from the following list:
CS 216. Geometric Modeling3
CS 223. Bioinformatics3
CS 243A. Advanced Numerical Analysis3
CS 243B. Advanced Topics in Numerical Analysis3
CS 256. Topics in Artificial Intelligence3
CS 265. Cryptography and Computer Security3
CS 266. Topics in Information Security3
CS 271. Topics in Machine Learning3
CS 274. Topics in XML and Web Intelligence3
CS 286. Advanced Topics in Computer Science3
Variable topic courses may be repeated for up to 6 units.
Electives6
Select 6 units of permissible elective courses from the department list. Courses not on the list must be approved in advance by a graduate coordinator.
Electives may include three units from:
CS 180. Individual Studies1-3
CS 280. Graduate Individual Studies1-3
Culminating Experience6
Complete one option (Plan A or Plan B)
Plan A (Thesis)6
CS 297. Preparation for Writing Project or Thesis3
CS 299. Master's Thesis3
Comprehensive Oral Examination
Plan B (Project)6
CS 297. Preparation for Writing Project or Thesis3
CS 298. Master's Writing Project3
Comprehensive Oral Examination

Total Units:33

No more than 6 units may be taken from outside the Department of Computer Science.

Elective courses must be planned in consultation with a CS Graduate Advisor or your CS Thesis or CS Writing Project advisor.

Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student must have achieved minimum candidacy and SJSU cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 in order to graduate.