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Engineering  |  School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering

Computer science
(MCS, MS, PhD)  

A graduate degree is the next step in your journey to become a great leader, innovator, entrepreneur, and/or educator in your community and world. ASU offers multiple graduate degrees in computer science, allowing you to have the graduate experience that best suits your talents and needs.

Computer science degrees have proven essential to recent graduates of Arizona State University: graduate employment rates are more than 90 percent employment for alumni after achieving a computer science master’s degree at ASU.

Computer Science, Ph.D.: The doctoral degree in computer science prepares students to undertake fundamental and applied research in computer science, preparing them to apply their studies in the world of academia, governmental policy and/or the industrial sector. The Ph.D. in computer science is available for students of high ability who seek to develop and implement their own research studies. The interdisciplinary strength of the program is enhanced by the opportunity for students to have a concentration in arts, media and engineering, and cybersecurity. Outstanding students with an undergraduate degree outside of Computer Science will be considered for admission and are encouraged to apply.

Computer Science, Ph.D. Catalog Program

Computer Science, MS: The Master of Science in computer science is a research-oriented degree, ideal for students with undergraduate education in computer science or related studies. This degree features advanced course work and a strong emphasis on student research. The M.S. program provides numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary study. Within this degree, students can concentrate their studies in the following areas: arts, media and engineering, and cybersecurity.

Computer Science, MS Catalog Program

Computer Science, MCS: The Master of Computer Science program is designed for students with undergraduate degrees in computing or related areas who are seeking to expand their knowledge of the computer science field through the completion of a project portfolio. This program reflects the dual nature of computer science as both a scientific and engineering discipline by placing emphasis on both theory and practical applications. Students seeking their MCS submit a portfolio that compiles projects completed in three courses during their computer science studies. The MCS provides an opportunity for students employed in industry to receive advanced training in computer science. A concentration in cybersecurity is offered with the M.C.S.

Computer Science MCS Catalog Program

Computer Science, MCS Online: The Master of Computer Science program is designed for students with undergraduate degrees in computing or related areas who are seeking to expand their knowledge of the computer science field through the completion of a project portfolio. This program reflects the dual nature of computer science as both a scientific and engineering discipline by placing emphasis on both theory and practical applications. Students seeking their MCS submit a portfolio that compiles projects completed in three courses during their computer science studies. The MCS provides an opportunity for students employed in industry to receive advanced training in computer science.

Computer Science, MCS Online Catalog Program

Graduate admissions

Deadline dates

Program Fall semester Spring semester
Computer Science December 1 (MS or MCS) or
December 31 (Ph.D.)
August 1 (Ph.D. and MS or MCS)

See ASU Online for next start date (MCS Online)

 

Admission requirements

For questions regarding supplemental materials, such as letters of recommendation requirements or your statement of purpose, contact your programs advisor at cidse.advising@asu.edu. For questions regarding the online graduate application or the status of documents, please contact Graduate Admissions.

Application requirements

Begin by visiting the Graduate Admissions website and completing the Graduate Admissions application and paying the application fee. The fee is nonrefundable and the application will not be processed until the fee is received.

In addition to completing the ASU Graduate Admissions application, the following materials must also be submitted to complete your application package:*

U.S. Residents:

  • One set of official transcripts from every college and university attended, including ASU, unless the student graduated from ASU
  • Official GRE test scores.** Click here for the average GRE scores for applicants. The ASU institution code is: 4007. If a department code is required use: 000.
  • Three letters of recommendation^
  • Statement of purpose

International Applicants:

  • Academic credentials (all international records must be submitted in the original language accompanied by an official English translation). If you have attended a U.S. institution, one set of official transcripts from every college and university attended, except ASU.
  • Official GRE General test scores taken within the last five years.** Click here for the average GRE scores for applicants. The ASU institution code is: 4007. If a department code is required use: 000.
  • Official TOEFL score, taken within the last two years (please see ASU’s English Proficiency requirements). The TOEFL score must be valid on the first day of class for the term the student is applying for. CIDSE requires that TOEFL scores must be above 575 (paper), or 90 (iBT). We also accept IELTS with a minimum overall band scores of 7.0 or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) with a minimum score of 65 or higher. Please see the Graduate Admissions website for TOEFL deadline dates. The ASU institution code is: 4007. If a department code is required use: 000.
  • Three letters of recommendation^
  • Statement of purpose

The required materials should be mailed to:

If sending by stamped mail:
Admission Services Applicant Processing
Arizona State University
PO Box 871004
Tempe, AZ 85287-1004
If sending by FedEx, DHL or UPS:
Arizona State University
Admission Services Applicant Processing
1150 East University Drive Building C, Room 226
Tempe, AZ 85281

Please include the document reference number on all materials sent. Applications are not evaluated until all required documents have been received.

*If a student wishes to be considered for both the M.S. and M.C.S. programs, or for both the master’s and Ph.D. programs, the student is required to submit two separate applications and to pay two application fees. This fee is nonrefundable and cannot be deferred.

**For students seeking a Masters in Computer Science, the GRE is not required by students who have graduated from ASU’s undergraduate B.S. in Computer Science or the B.S.E. in Computer Systems Engineering degree programs. The GRE is not required for students applying to the MCS Online program. Students applying to the MCS Tempe campus program still need to submit GRE scores because of the option to convert to the MS thesis program.

^Letters of Recommendation are optional for students applying to the MCS Online program and the Computer Engineering MS program.

Calculus and GPA requirements

Knowledge in calculus is required to be successful in a CIDSE Gradate Program. Below you will find the calculus courses that must be completed with a grade of  ‘C’ or better prior to applying to the program.

Computer Science         CALC 1 & 2 (CALC 3 is recommended)

Below are the minimum GPA requirements for the CIDSE Graduate Programs. This GPA is calculated from the last 60 hours of the undergraduate degree. Students who are applying to a Ph.D. following a master’s degree must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 for the last degree awarded.

Computer Science Ph.D.          3.5 or higher

Computer Science Master          3.25 or higher

Deficiency courses

Please see below for a list of the current Deficiency Courses required for admission. A flowchart showing the progression of coursework is also available  At the time of application there should be no more than three deficiency courses pending.

Computer Science Deficiency Flowchart