CS Master’s Program

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Today’s industry demands computer scientists with deep skill sets and an ability to remain always on the cutting edge. Graduates of our MSE program have both, due to their exposure to world-class research and their individualized, specialized training. A graduate degree in Computer Science from Hopkins not only will significantly improve not only the types of jobs for which you are qualified, but also your earning potential.

We are a research-centered computer science department, so the very latest research findings and techniques inform every facet of our comprehensive and flexible graduate program. For instance, MSE students can choose a program that features coursework exclusively. Courses are not strictly textbook based. Often, instructors who know the subject intimately and are deeply involved in research craft their courses to reflect the latest available knowledge and techniques. This ensures our students keep pace with an ever-changing field.

Other MSE students may opt for a program that features a research project in place of two courses. Through this project, they learn how to work independently on a difficult problem and they gain valuable knowledge from this hands-on experience. Students may approach any faculty member with ideas for these projects or can select from different options offered by faculty members.

Regardless of which option you choose, an advanced degree from the Department of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University will significantly enhance your career possibilities. Our graduates are always in high demand. The requirements for the MSE degree can be found in the online university catalog.

Please visit our Graduate Admissions Information page for information about available graduate degrees and the application process.

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OLD REQUIREMENTS: Prior to Fall 2019, Computer Science MSE students were formerly required to include 2 Analysis, 2 Applications, and 2 Systems courses in their coursework.

NEW REQUIREMENTS:  Starting Fall 2019, Computer Science MSE and PhD students will be required to include 1 Theory, 1 Applications, 1 Systems, 1 Software, and 1 Reasoning course in their coursework. These 5 new designators reflect the breadth of approaches in CS today. By taking at least one course of each type, students will accumulate a broadly useful set of perspectives and tools. Every graduate course in the department has been given a single designator, and the department consistently offers a choice of several courses with each designator. A current listing of courses with area designators is provided on the CS departmental website.

UNCHANGED REQUIREMENTS:  Course selections must be approved by the student’s academic advisor. The total number of required courses remains at 8, although note that within that total, the number of elective courses has increased from 2 to 3. The elective courses can be courses from any JHU department, including Computer Science. Students also remain able to fulfill requirements by transferring graduate credit from another institution, with departmental approval. In addition to these 8 required courses, a graduate student must elect one of the following options in order to complete the MSE degree requirements:

  • 2 additional (graduate-level) courses in Computer Science, approved by their CS advisor.
  • An original, faculty-approved master’s essay, submitted to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library.
  • A faculty-supervised research project including an approved project report that will be made publicly available.  For students enrolled in the PhD program, a PhD qualifying project may be used to meet this requirement.


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