Arizona State University


Who is the Master of Computer Science degree for:

Ranked in the Top 10 for Online Graduate Engineering Programs by U.S. News and World Report, a Master of Computer Science from ASU gives you the edge needed to launch a new career or advance in your current organization.

This program is ideal for:

  • Candidates with an undergraduate degree in computer science looking to advance their career
  • Candidates without an undergraduate degree in computer science, but have a strong foundational understanding of computer science, looking to formalize their knowledge.

Application Deadlines:

Spring 2021
Spring A - Start date: January 11, 2021
Application Deadline: December 14, 2020
Spring B - Start date: March 15, 2021
Application Deadline: February 15, 2021

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

Questions? Contact ASU Online Graduate Program Recruitment Services at 1-844-353-7953 or

Application Process

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (3.25 recommended) in the last 60 credit hours (last two (2) years) of a four (4) year undergraduate degree. Degrees in the U.S. must come from a regionally accredited university.

Don’t yet meet these requirements? Learn more about the MCS Pathway.

Two (2) semesters of advanced math in Calculus I and Calculus II, and a background course 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 (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.

If you don’t have these topics on your transcript but have a strong understanding of them, you can take the prerequisite knowledge exams. If you complete the exams with the grade outlined in the respective syllabi, you will satisfy that prerequisite knowledge requirement. To access these exams and the accompanying refresher courses, click here.

English Proficiency (if applicable)
If all college degrees are from a country outside the U.S., you may need to demonstrate English Proficiency.

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

Learn more about demonstrating English Proficiency. Note that the MCS degree requires higher English proficiency scores than required for general international graduate admission.
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

How to complete an application

  • Start your application for ASU MCS, or for the ASU MCS in Cybersecurity, for the ASU MCS in Big Data.
  • 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.
    • Please 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 the certificate.
  • If you are completing the 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 in other ways to demonstrate English proficiency (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
  • 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

MCS Pathway

The Pathway offers you an opportunity to establish a high Graduate GPA in order to meet admission requirements. This is also a great option if you are interested in taking a few MCS courses.

Through the Pathway, you choose and complete any three 500-level (3) courses (such as the three courses that make up the MasterTrack™ Certificate in Big Data or three courses from the MasterTrack™ Certificate in AI and Machine Learning) that are part of the MCS degree program as a non-degree student. If you complete all three courses with a 3.00 GPA on the first attempt within a year, you have demonstrated the ability to succeed in the subject matter and can apply to the degree program using this new GPA. The courses you complete in the pathway with a B or better will apply towards the MCS degree, once admitted.

Additionally, students who complete nine (9) graduate credits with a “B” or better, do not need to demonstrate English Proficiency. So if you successfully complete the Pathway, you will have satisfied the English Proficiency requirement.

Participating in any of the MasterTrack Certificate programs (Big Data, AI and Machine Learning, Cybersecurity, or Software Engineering) will provide you the same online learning experience as taking the MCS degree program on Coursera. You’ll get to know what it’s like being an online student learning at the master’s level with live expert instruction and feedback combined with interactive team-based learning.

Class Profile

  • Some of the most common job titles from admitted students: Software Engineer, Software Developer, Technical Product Manager, Machine Learning Engineer, Data Analyst, Application Architect, and Project Manager.
  • Average age of admitted students: 31
  • Top 3 countries: United States (84%), India (3%), Canada (2%)
  • 20% female / 80% male


Tuition for the complete degree program is $15,000 ($1,500/course). Consisting of 10 classes for a total of 30 credit hours, the term length for each class is 7.5 weeks.

You won’t be billed upfront for the whole degree. Instead, you’ll pay tuition for courses as you go. If conflicts arise and you need to take a term off, you won’t be charged during that term.

For a sample tuition payment schedule, see the “Program Length” section on the Academics page.

Financial Aid

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% of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year.

Learn about the different types of financial aid available.

Financial Resources

To learn more about financing your degree visit the Degrees Financial Resources Hub.

Tuition Reimbursement
Seek tuition reimbursement through your employer. Connect with your manager or HR department to see what’s available to you as an employee.

Payment Plans
All students are eligible for university payment plans to break up tuition into monthly payments. Learn more.

Student Loans
Student loans are available to fund remaining program costs. Learn more about student loan options.

Student Loan Options for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents
Non-need-based loan funding can cover expenses associated with your degree. Please note that a student's total financial aid (scholarships, fellowships, and all education loans) cannot exceed the financial aid budget for the academic year.

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program is available to all U.S. Citizens and permanent residents who meet basic federal requirements (i.e. student has never defaulted on a Federal loan, is not currently involved in filing bankruptcy, registered for Selective Service etc). Students can choose to borrow either Federal Direct Graduate PLUS or private student loan funds to supplement the Unsubsidized Loan annual maximum of $20,500. Research private education loan lenders to determine which option is best for you.

To apply for federal student loans, complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at

Affording College

Explore available financial aid and scholarship opportunities. ASU offers a Cost Calculator, Budget Worksheet, and Scholarship Search to make the college planning process easier.

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.

We encourage you to investigate whether this degree meets your academic and/or professional needs before applying.