The Master of Science in Computer Science allows students to further their understanding of computer science while focusing on its applications in video game and simulation software development. Geared toward professional software engineers and candidates with a B.S. in Computer Science or a related field, this program provides the knowledge and skills to produce cutting-edge software technology in a demanding professional environment. Students have the option of enrolling in this program full time for two years or enrolling part time and spreading their course load over four years.

Full-Time and Part-Time Options

Students have the option of enrolling in this program full-time for two years, or enrolling part-time and spreading their course load over four years. View the Recommended Sequence of Courses for both programs.

Admissions Information

The ideal candidate for the Master of Science in Computer Science program will have either a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or a related field, or a more general degree and a strong background in professional game development. Read more about applying to the MSCS program.



Degree Completion Options

Students in the Master of Science in Computer Science program may choose from three different tracks of study to complete their degree: the Research Thesis track, the Project Thesis track, and the Extra Coursework track.

Research Thesis

This course of study is designed for students who wish to develop analytical research skills and make an original contribution to the field of computer simulation. Students who choose the Research Thesis track must identify an area of interest within computer science. Then, they will conduct a survey of the literature on existing techniques and algorithms related to this field, propose an innovative approach to the problem they have identified, develop a theory and prototypes, and write and defend a thesis.

Project Thesis

Students who choose this course of study will focus on the practical application of existing computer science theories through game software creation. The Project Thesis requires students to analyze and compare algorithms that approach a specific problem related to game creation in unique ways. Then, students must write a thesis based on their findings and successfully implement a solution themselves in a game project.

Extra Coursework

This track allows students to take two additional electives at the graduate level in place of the Master’s Thesis classes. Following the completion of these courses, students must satisfactorily complete a comprehensive exam that tests their knowledge of both broad computer science topics — such as algorithms, data structures, and computer graphics — and a specific area of concentration chosen by the student.

Topics Covered

The curriculum of the Master of Science in Computer Science program covers the following subjects, depending on the student’s interests and chosen degree completion track:

  • Mathematics and physics, including implicit curves and surfaces, theory and applications of quaternions, computational geometry, fuzzy logic and sets, number theory, and cryptography.
  • Advanced computer science, including advanced animation and modeling algorithms, advanced rendering techniques, artificial intelligence, game engine design, physically-based modeling algorithms, and ray tracing.
  • Game creation, including advanced game design, documentation, project management, marketing, networking, streaming media testing, and working with external contractors.

Career Outlook

Graduates of this program are prepared to pursue a number of intermediate-level roles in a professional game company, including:

  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Game Graphics Programmer
  • Engine and Tools Programmer
  • Artificial Intelligence Programmer
  • Networking Programmer
  • Solutions Architect
  • Gameplay Programmer
  • Audio Programmer
  • Web Developer

Alumni and Student Success

Students in the MSCS program have created innovative and sophisticated 3D game software, written award-winning papers based on cutting-edge research in computer science theory, and found employment at some of the industry's top game companies.

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