Master of Computer Science

Top 5 in nation for best online programs including a Master in Computer Science, as ranked by U.S. World & News Report

The Master of Computer Science (MCS) degree program from Arizona State University provides high-quality computer science instruction combined with real-world experience through applied projects. You’ll gain a deep understanding of cutting-edge topics like AI, cybersecurity, the blockchain, and big data while you develop interpersonal skills that help you succeed in any organization.

This degree is delivered 100% online, providing the flexibility for you to learn on your own schedule. When you finish the program, you’ll earn the same degree as students who study on campus.

Learn how to:

  • Perform accurate analysis of computers, computational processes, and information transfer systems
  • Leverage cloud platforms to increase productivity and effectiveness
  • Address problems in automated planning and scheduling, natural language processing, multi-agent systems, and the semantic web
  • Design, build, and protect secure systems that contain private information
  • Improve software reliability and network security
  • Invent next-generation computer systems such as biomedical information systems, search engines, or package distribution systems

This program is ideal for:

  • Individuals with an undergraduate degree in computer science looking to advance their skill set for better career opportunities or compensation
  • Individuals who may not have an undergraduate degree in computer science, but have a strong foundational understanding of computer science, and are looking to formalize knowledge.

Ranked in the Top 5 for graduate job placement by The Wall Street Journal, a Master of Computer Science from ASU gives you the edge you need to launch a new career or move ahead in your current organization.

Tuition:

Tuition for the complete degree program is $15,000 ($1,500/course).

ASU has many financial aid options. Financial support is available in the form of scholarships, grants, federal work-study, loans and outside resources. Almost everyone, regardless of income, can qualify for some form of financial aid. In fact, more than 70 percent of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year.

Learn about the different types of financial aid available

Need Help Finding Scholarships?

Coursera has partnered with Scholly, a scholarship matching platform, to enable applicants to easily find and apply for scholarships. We are offering 6 months free access to Scholly for a limited number of applicants. Please note that this is a limited offer and not all registrants will qualify.

Please share a little bit about yourself here. We’ll be reviewing forms and selecting applicants based on interest. If selected, you will receive an access code to Scholly within a week.

Contact:

If you have any questions, please contact ASU Online Graduate Program Recruitment Services at 1-844-353-7953 or mcsenrollment@asu.edu.

ASU MCS Recent Webinar:

Watch and learn more about
• The new prerequisite knowledge courses
• Why you should pursue a Master of Computer Science
• The application and admissions process
• Frequently Asked Questions
Watch Webinar

ASU MCS Upcoming Webinar + Live Q&A:

Join us on Thursday, July 11 at 9:00 am Arizona Time for a live webinar on the Master of Computer Science program to learn more about the program and admissions process, hear what other students are asking, and get answers to any questions you might have.
Sign Up

AT A GLANCE

  • 18-36 months
    Avg. 20 hours per week
  • 10 courses
  • $15,000 (total cost)
    Total Cost
  • Completely online

Start your application

The next cohort starts on August 22nd, 2019.

Early Admission Deadline:

June 7th, 2019

When you apply, ASU will make a decision within 2-4 weeks. Once you’re accepted, you can start open courses right away!


Final Deadline:

July 26th, 2019

Three start dates each year (Spring, Summer, and Fall)

Want to learn more before applying?

After answering a few short questions, we’ll be able to help you find out if you’re qualified to apply and give you more information about the degree program.

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Academics

To earn your MCS, you will complete a total of 30 credit hours (10 courses) in advanced computer science topics. Choose from areas of focus such as AI, Software Engineering, Cloud Computing, Big Data, and Cybersecurity. You’ll also create a project portfolio that you’ll use to showcase your experience to prospective employers.

  • 10 courses
  • 18-36 months
    Avg. 20 hours per week

Some of the projects you'll do...

Design a Visual Analytics System

Explore and reason with data in this project by designing and building a visual analytics system for analyzing visitor data to a fictional theme park.

Build a Deep Learning Architecture

Design and build a deep neural network of many layers in this project, creating a network that can learn to recognize image categories from a given dataset.

Build a Movie Database

Demonstrate your ability to design and build a seven-table movie database from scratch in this project; you’ll also create applications to work on top of the database.

Implement a K-Means Algorithm and Its Variants

Create and build a clustering algorithm that can group the input collection of documents into a desired number of clusters in this project.

The degree experience is...

ONLINE LEARNING
ONLINE LEARNING

The same kind of courses you’ll find on campus, with the flexibility to learn when and where you want.

INTERACTIVE
INTERACTIVE

Collaborate with a global network of classmates, instructors, and alumni.

ENGAGING
ENGAGING

Innovative courses with lectures from some of the world’s best instructors and hands-on projects.

CAREER-FOCUSED
CAREER-FOCUSED

Practical courses designed to help you master skills that you can start applying to your career right away.

When you graduate, you’ll be able to:

  • Success

    Design, build, and protect secure systems that contain private information

  • Success

    Address problems in automated planning and scheduling, natural language processing, multi-agent systems, and the semantic web

  • Success

    Leverage cloud platforms to increase productivity and effectiveness

  • Success

    Perform accurate analysis of computers, computational processes, and information transfer systems

  • Success

    Improve software reliability and network security

  • Success

    Invent next-generation computer systems such as biomedical information systems, search engines, or package distribution systems

Admissions

Requirements:

GPA
A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (3.25 recommended) in the last 60 credit hours (last two years) of a four year undergraduate degree. If your degree was completed in the U.S., it must be from a regionally accredited university.
Don’t yet meet these requirements? Learn more about the MCS Pathway.

Math
Two (2) semesters of advanced math in Calculus I and Calculus II, and a background in Discrete Math. Students with an undergraduate degree in a STEM field have likely completed the math requirement.

Prerequisite Knowledge
Demonstrated knowledge on official transcripts of the topics below. Computer Organization and Assembly Language Programming and Data Structures and Algorithms must be completed at time of admission.

  • Computer Organization and Assembly Language Programming (CSE 230):
    Register-level computer organization. Instruction set architecture. Assembly language. Processor organization and design. Memory organization. IO programming. Exception/interrupt handling.

  • Data Structures and Algorithms (CSE 310):
    Advanced data structures and algorithms, including stacks, queues, trees (B, B+, AVL), and graphs. Searching for graphs, hashing, external sorting.

  • Operating Systems (CSE 330):
    Operating system structure and services, processor scheduling, concurrent processes, synchronization techniques, memory management, virtual memory, input/output, storage management, and file systems.

  • Principles of Programming Languages OR Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science:
    Principles of Programming Languages (CSE 340) — Formal syntactic and semantic descriptions, compilation and implementation issues, and theoretical foundations for several programming paradigms. Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science (CSE 355) — Introduces formal language theory and automata, Turing machines, decidability/undecidability, recursive function theory, and complexity theory.

Don’t yet meet these requirements? You can take four short self-paced non-credit courses offered through ASU’s Continuing and Professional Education that demonstrate knowledge of these topics. To successfully pass, you must complete each course with a final score of 80 or more.

To begin, enroll in your courses here.

English Proficiency (if applicable)
If all college degrees are from a country outside the U.S., you may need to demonstrate English Proficiency. Learn more about the ways you can demonstrate English Proficiency here. Note that the MCS degree requires higher English proficiency scores, which are listed below.

  • TOEFL: 575 paper-based / 90 Internet-based
  • IELTS (Academic version): 7
  • PTE: 65

Don’t yet meet this requirement? If you complete the Pathway, you will have demonstrated English Proficiency.

Additional Requirements

  • Official Transcripts from all postsecondary institutions you have attended
  • Statement of Purpose or Resume
  • Optional: Up to three (3) letters of recommendation

Application Process

Start your application here.

How to complete an application

  • Submit online application and pay application fee.
  • Send official transcripts to ASU’s Graduate Admission Services.
    • Scanned copies and/or transcripts sent by email will not be accepted.
    • It is recommended to have your ASU student ID marked on the envelope of the transcripts.
  • You can upload unofficial transcripts as part of your application. All unofficial transcripts must be submitted as one document. Unofficial transcripts are only accepted when uploaded directly in the application.
    • If you are admitted to the university, you will be required to send official transcripts to the university.
  • If you earned your degree from an international institution, please include an attested copy of your degree certificate.
  • If you are completing the ASU Continuing and Professional Education self-paced non-credit courses that satisfy the prerequisite knowledge requirement, you must download and attach your certificates of completion with a score of 80 or better in the supplemental section of your application.
  • If needed, send proof of English proficiency, as instructed here (including exemption rules).
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen but are living in the U.S., send a copy of your U.S. visa to gograd@asu.edu
  • If you are based outside of the US “Select JN” under Visa

For any questions, please call us toll-free at 1-844-353-7953 or email mcsenrollment@asu.edu

Start your application

The next cohort starts on August 22nd, 2019.

Early Admission Deadline:

June 7th, 2019

When you apply, ASU will make a decision within 2-4 weeks. Once you’re accepted, you can start open courses right away!


Final Deadline:

July 26th, 2019

Three start dates each year (Spring, Summer, and Fall)

About Arizona State University

ASU’s Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering believes that engineering is more than a discipline — it’s a mindset, a way of looking at the world. Students in the Fulton Schools of Engineering are part of a community of problem solvers, people who are passionate about designing and making innovative and entrepreneurial solutions. Our community has grown to over 21,000 students from all 50 states and Puerto Rico and 135 countries.

The Fulton Schools of Engineering are comprised of six schools, including the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering (CIDSE). CIDSE is a community of faculty, staff, and students encompassing the disciplines of computer science, computer systems engineering, engineering management, industrial engineering, informatics, and software engineering. CIDSE’s mission is to benefit society through excellence in education, use-inspired research from basic to translational, and leadership in service to the profession and community.

#1

Ranked for Innovation by US News and World Report

Top 10

Ranked in the U.S. for employability by Times Higher Ed

#5

Ranked by the WSJ for producing the best-qualified graduates

Ready to start your application?

The next cohort starts on August 22nd, 2019

Early Admission Deadline:

June 7th, 2019

When you apply, ASU will make a decision within 2-4 weeks. Once you’re accepted, you can start open courses right away!


Final Deadline:

July 26th, 2019

Want to learn more before applying?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Students who complete the program will earn a Master of Computer Science degree - the exact same Master of Computer Science degree that is earned on campus.

  • Students may tailor their degree through electives to focus on a variety of in-demand computer science topics, including AI, cloud computing, IoT, and machine learning.

  • No, the GRE is not required for admission.

  • Graduate Admissions will only accept OFFICIAL documents. Do not send anything unofficial to the Graduate Admissions Office, as the processing of your application will be delayed. Applications will be released to the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering once all official documents are received. Please send all materials directly to Graduate Admissions.

  • The number of transfer credits allowed for Masters students varies by program and is subject to review and approval. Please review the handbook for your program regarding how many transfer credits are permitted.

  • The School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering does not admit students on a conditional basis.

  • An option to determine and address academic deficiencies will be in place by spring 2019.

  • Prerequisites/deficiencies do not need to be taken from ASU.

  • If students have professional or personal experience in these areas, they can complete a Computer Science Proficiency Exam to demonstrate proficiency in computer science topics. To take the exam, please submit your information above and make this request to your assigned advisor so they can set you up.

  • No, we do not offer academic credit for work experience in the field.

  • The total cost of this degree will be $15,000, or $1,500 per 3-credit course. There are no textbooks required for the courses.

  • No. You need to pay tuition when you enroll in each individual course. That means you’ll only pay for your courses as you take them. There is also a payment plan available at https://students.asu.edu/paymentplan.

  • Completing Coursera courses alone does not waive a deficiency, but completing the course and working through the material can be an excellent way to prepare for the ETS test, which determines if there are topics a student is deficient in. Certain ETS test scores will satisfy deficiencies. More details on the ETS test will be available for Spring 2019.

  • Completion of Open Courses and/or Specializations on the Coursera platform by itself will not earn graduate credits from the university toward the degree. You must be registered in Arizona State University credit-bearing coursework to earn graduate credit.

  • The MCS degree does not currently provide concentrations online. As part of the program offering, you can select courses in an area of interest like Big Data, AI, Cybersecurity, etc.

  • Arizona State University recommends 3 hours of study for every hour spent in class.

    Full-time students enrolled in 9 credit hours per semester will spend an average of 25-27 hours of study time each week. Part-time students enrolled in 6 credit hours per semester will spend an average of 20 hours of study time.

    Full time students can complete the program within 1.5 years. Part time students can expect to take one course per session with an average completion of 2.5 years (assuming students take the summer sessions off).

  • As of now, no. However in the future, a student may be able to complete the program in an accelerated fashion.

  • We plan to announce details on the program page in the coming months: https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/graduate/computer-science-mcs

  • No, letters of recommendation are optional.

  • You will need to submit a new application to transfer your credits. If accepted, you can transfer up to 12 credits between programs from the online program to the same on-campus program, as long as your grades are "B" or better.

    Additionally, you will need to submit a GRE score and 3 letters of recommendations for the MCS on-ground application.

  • Your diploma and transcript will not indicate that the degree was completed online. It will appear identically to the diploma and transcript of a student who completes his or her studies on campus. The onground and online programs have the same courses, same syllabi taught by the same faculty.

  • We understand that many applicants have IT experience. To reduce the barriers to entry, ASU is providing applicants an option to prove their computer fundamental understanding through a series of short, non-credit courses of which each will have a proctored exam. Passing the proctored exam will provide completion of the prerequisite.

  • No. Academic credit cannot be given for work experience in the field. Work experience will not clear prerequisite knowledge. However, if students have professional or personal experience in these areas, they can demonstrate proficiency in computer science topics through short, non-credit computer science courses offered by ASU.

  • Completing Coursera courses alone does not waive a prerequisite, but completing the course and working through the material can be an excellent way to prepare for the exam in the ASU offered non-credit computer science courses.

  • The statement of purpose should include your reasons for undertaking graduate work and an explanation of your academic interests, including their relation to your professional goals. There is no specific length for a statement of purpose. A resume will be accepted as a personal statement. Students are welcome to submit a resume or a personal statement or both.

  • No. You can take courses in any order. However, you must take at least one Applications, at least one Systems, and at least one Foundations course as part of the graduation requirements. You can pick seven courses from any area.

Frequently Asked Questions for International Students

  • As the courses are taught in English, it is required that students prove that they have a strong grasp of the language. Requirements for English proficiency can be found here.

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a benefit tied into an F1 visa status only. As such, students will need pre-existing work authorization in order to hold an internship. Pre-existing work authorization is based on certain visa categories. See more here.

  • We have a conversion rubric that we use depending on the country of origin for the transcript.

  • We require all international applicants from a country whose native language is not English or applicants whose undergraduate degree was not at a U.S institution to provide the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores. The MCS program use as 575 (paper-based) or 90 (internet-based) TOEFL or 7 for IELTS as minimum expectations for admission. You can learn more here

  • ASU has partnered with Flywire to provide a payment option for students to send international payments by wire transfer. See the International Wire Transfer Payments section on this page: https://students.asu.edu/paymentoptions

  • A student must have the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree to be eligible to apply for a graduate program. Students who have a three-year bachelor’s degree can take one year of a master’s program in their home country to be equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.

  • The cost of the online degree has been lowered to make it affordable. There are limited scholarships available at https://scholarships.asu.edu/.

  • 1.For countries where only one original document is issued (such as India), the student cann mail us the original with a SASE and note to return the copy to them. We will make a copy of the original and return. We only recommend this as last resort.

    For students in AZ, they can bring their original doc to the admissions counter in SSV M-F (M 8-4, T-F 8-5) on Tempe campus and we will view the document to determine authenticity, make a copy of the original and provide the original back to the student.

    For students in India, they can mail Poonam, our admissions team member in India, who can review the doc and make a copy and stamp as official. https://international.asu.edu/undergrad

    Mumbai Bandra Kurla Complex - Kalina Level 2 Raheja Centre Point 294 CST Road Near Mumbai University, Off Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai, 400 098 T: +91 22 67078700 ATTN: Poonam Venkatesh

    2.Provide an attestation from the issuing institution or Ministry of Education. Usually this is in the form of a copy of the transcript with a stamp indicating it is an attested true copy of the original. The stamp would be the seal of the office doing the attestation along with the signature of the authorizing authority. You can submit this to us once received. It does not need to come directly from the entity doing the attestation.
    NOTE: We don’t accept a notarized copy.

    3.Credentials from India and China can be sent to ASU electronically through our parchment feed. Applicants from Chinese institutions can request and submit official transcripts directly through CHESICC. Requests are processed by CHESICC and will be sent electronically to Arizona State University admissions office. You will not need to submit a paper copy of your transcript. Go here to get started. Applicants from institutions in India can request and submit official transcripts directly through TrueCopy Credentials. Requests are processed by Truecopy Credentials and will be sent electronically to the Arizona State University admissions office. You will not need to submit a paper copy of your transcript. Go here to get started.

Coursera does not grant credit, and does not represent that any institution other than the degree granting institution will recognize the credit or credential awarded by the institution; the decision to grant, accept, or transfer credit is subject to the sole and absolute discretion of an educational institution.