WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE

Master's Degree

MASTER’S DEGREE

Program Overview

Computer Science Graduate Admissions Changes Due to COVID-19 

In recognition of the significant disruptions caused by COVID-19, specifically the challenges of finding a practical testing site and time, the Wake Forest University Computer Science Department will not require GRE scores for the applications for admissions starting in Spring 2021, Fall 2021, or Spring 2022. All applications will be given full consideration without reference to GRE scores. In addition, we will not penalize any applicant for any classes that are taken Pass/Fail instead of a letter grade during the COVID-19 outbreak time period.

 

The department offers a program of study leading to the Master of Science Degree in Computer Science. The program is designed to accommodate students seeking a terminal MS degree or preparing to enter a PhD program.

In addition to the graduate school admission requirements, students entering the graduate program must have completed computer science coursework in the areas of: 1) programming in a modern high-level language, 2) basic computer organization and architecture, 3) data structures and algorithms, and 4) principles of operating systems and networks. Students should also have completed mathematics courses equivalent to: 1) differential and integral calculus including infinite series, 2) discrete mathematics, 3) linear algebra, and 4) probability and statistics.

 

Completion of the MS degree requirements may be fulfilled in one of four ways: 

MS Degree with Thesis

Requires 36 semester hours, including six hours of thesis research (CSC 791,792) and a successfully completed thesis.

MS Degree with a Project

Requires thirty-six semester hours, including three hours of project research (CSC 795), and a successfully completed project.

Coursework Only MS Degree

Requires thirty-six semester hours of coursework.

Joint BS & MS Degree

Requires thirty-three semester hours, including an internship, and it is available to qualified Wake Forest University students. Learn More

The courses CSC 631, 641, 702, and 721 are identified as the core courses for the MS degree and are required of all students.

The remaining hours are then selected from graduate computer science courses. For the thesis, project, and coursework-only options, at least six of the remaining hours must be selected from 700-level courses other than CSC 791, 792, and 795.

Graduate courses may be taken outside of the department to fulfill requirements with prior approval from the graduate program director; however, no more than six such hours may count toward the degree.

Students in the program may apply to participate in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Track in Structural and Computational Biophysics. The specific requirements are found in the Graduate School Bulletin under the courses of instruction. Upon successful completion of this track, a student will earn an MS degree in computer science (thesis option) with a Certificate in Structural and Computational Biophysics. Starting in academic year 2020-2021, students may also apply to participate in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program in Data Science, leading to a Certificate in Data Science.

The courses CSC 631, 641, 702, and 721 are identified as the core courses for the MS degree and are required of all students. The complete requirements for the MS degree may be fulfilled in one of three ways.

The MS degree with thesis requires thirty semester hours including six hours of thesis research (CSC 791, 792) and a successfully completed thesis. The coursework must include the twelve-hour core. The remaining twelve hours are selected from computer science courses with at least six of these hours from 700-level courses other than CSC 791, 792, and 795.

The MS degree with project requires thirty-six semester hours including three hours of project research (CSC 795) and a successfully completed project. The coursework must include the twelve-hour core. The remaining twenty-one hours are selected from computer science courses with at least six of these hours from 700-level courses other than CSC 791, 792, and 795.

For the MS degree without thesis or project, thirty-six semester hours are required. The coursework must include the twelve-hour core. The remaining hours are selected from computer science courses with at least six of these hours from 700-level courses other than CSC 791, 792 and 795.

For the BS & MS five-year program, see requirements below.

With the approval of the graduate adviser, graduate courses may be taken outside of the department to fulfill requirements; however, no more than six such hours may count toward the degree.

Joint BS & MS Five-Year Program

This program allows Wake Forest University undergraduates pursuing a B.S. degree in Computer Science to also complete a M.S. graduate degree in Computer Science with one additional year of study. Admitted students begin computer science graduate coursework during their senior year, complete an approved internship the following summer, and then finish the remaining graduate coursework the following academic year. This program provides a unique combination of computer science graduate coursework and experiential learning in a professional setting, and it is an excellent option for students seeking a more industry-oriented career.

Applicants must be enrolled in and complete the B.S. degree in Computer Science at Wake Forest University. Students must apply for admission before the spring semester of their junior year and only after completing eighteen hours in the major that must include CSC 241 (Computer Systems), CSC 221 (Data Structures and Algorithms I), and one of the following: MST 121 (Linear Algebra I), 205 (Applied Multivariable Mathematics), or 206 (Applied Matrix Algebra). Applicants must have a major and overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.25 or better at the time of application and undergraduate graduation. In addition, applicants must provide three recommendation letters (submitted via the Graduate School), two of which must be from Wake Forest University computer science faculty. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for admission.

In addition to completing the requirements for the B.S. degree in Computer Science (this includes completion with a major and an overall GPA of at least 3.25), the program requires the completion of thirty-three semester hours of graduate coursework. The coursework must include the twelve-hour core consisting of CSC 631 (Software Engineering), 641 (Operating Systems), 702 (Theory of Computation), and 721 (Theory of Algorithms). Given the short duration of this program, the thirty-three hours of graduate coursework will be completed as follows. Admitted students must enroll in at least nine hours of computer science graduate coursework during their senior year. Students must also complete six hours of approved computer science graduate internship coursework during the summer following the completion of their undergraduate degree. The remaining eighteen hours of coursework will be completed during the next academic year and are selected from computer science graduate courses with at least three of these hours from 700-level courses. Note, CSC 791 (Research I), 792 (Research II), and 795 (Project) cannot be used to complete this program.