You are here: Admissions & Course Requirements

Admissions at a Glance

Fall priority admission: February 15
Spring priority admission: November 1
Summer admission
Required materials
Application and fee
Statement of purpose
Transcripts. *Prerequisites: Appropriate undergraduate coursework in computer science.
2 letters of recommendation
GRE scores

Please see details below and at College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Admissions.

Admissions and Program Requirements MS in Computer Science

The MS program in Computer Science at American University provides a strong foundational and practical basis to both computer science and non-computer science majors (who have successfully completed a minimum of three pre-requisite courses in Computer Science). Every student in the MS program will complete a common core course curriculum followed by a more personalized program of studies. During the personalized phase of the program, the students are offered the opportunity to select one of three tracks according to their personal preference: the Applied Computer Science track, the Game and Computational Media track and the Data Science track. In addition, they can choose to pursue a research course by selecting the thesis option or a more practical course by selecting either a single or two separate capstone projects or a combination of capstone project and internship. Our program is open to both full-time and part-time students and to students of other or non-scientific backgrounds seeking a change in their educational path or a career switch.

Admission to the Program

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for admission, applicants must have completed at least three computer science courses equivalent to American University's CSC-280, CSC- 281, and CSC-340. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required. Students entering the MS program without the appropriate background will be expected to take certain undergraduate courses as prerequisite work. Formal admission to the program requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale); a grade of B or higher in the three prerequisite classes; and departmental approval.

See all graduate admissions requirements.

See how to apply.

Degree Requirements

  • 30 credit hours of approved graduate work
  • Tracks: Applied Computer Science, Game and Computational Media, Data Science
  • Capstone Experience: Thesis or non-thesis option

Thesis Option: 6 credits of CSC-797 Master's Thesis Research and an oral defense of thesis.

Non-thesis Option: CSC-694 Capstone Project 6 credits OR CSC-694 Capstone Project 3 credits and CSC-691 Internship 3 credits.

All coursework for the thesis or non-thesis option must be completed with grades of B or better.

Course Requirements

Core (15 credit hours)

CSC-621 Design and Organization of Programming Languages (3)

CSC-632 Introduction to Simulation and Modeling

CSC-640: Computer System Organization and Programming (3)

CSC-650 Software Engineering (3)

CSC-668 Artificial Intelligence (3)

Capstone Experience (6 credits)

Complete one of the following:

Thesis Option (6 credits)

*CSC-797 Master's Thesis Research (1-6) (6 credit hours required)


Non-thesis Option (6 credits)

One of the following:
* Capstone Projects (CSC-694) 3-6 Credits (6 credits required) [Student can do two different Capstone Projects]
* Capstone Project (CSC-694) 3 Credits (3 credits required) AND CSC-691 Internship 3 credits (3 credits required)

Tracks (9 credits)

Complete one of the following tracks:

Applied Computer Science (9 credits)

9 credit hours from the following:
CSC-620 Algorithms and Data Structures (3)
CSC-634 Database Management Systems (3)
CSC-636 advanced database management systems (3) CSC-643 Object-Oriented Analysis and Design (3)
CSC-644 Object-Oriented Programming (3)
CSC-645 Operating Systems (3)
CSC-646 Introduction to Computer Networks (3)
CSC-650 Software Engineering (3)
CSC-660 Tools of Scientific Computing (3)
CSC-670 Game Programming (3)
CSC-676 Computer Vision (3)
CSC-680 Introduction to Data Mining (3)
Other graduate-level course as approved by graduate advisor

Game and Computational Media (9 credits)

9 credit hours from the following:
CSC-654 User Interface Analysis and Design
CSC-670: Game Programming (3)
CSC-676: Computer Vision (3)
GAME-601: Game Design and Art Production Pipeline (3) GAME-625: Advanced Game Development (3)
Other graduate-level course as approved by graduate advisor

Data Science (9 credits)

9 credit hours from the following:
CSC-676: Computer Vision (3)
CSC-680: Introduction to Data Mining (3)
STAT 613: Data Science (3)
STAT-627: Statistical Machine Learning (3)
ITEC-620: Business Insights through Analytics (3)
ITEC-621: Predictive Analytics (3)
ITEC-670: Database and Big Data (3)
Other graduate-level course as approved by graduate advisor