Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science and Engineering (Ph.D. Specialization in Computer Science)
Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS)
The CSIT Department has a graduate program in computer science which leads to the Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science and Engineering (Specialization in Computer Science) and the Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) degree. The programs are offered at the University of the District of Columbia's Van Ness (main) campus. Both the programs are tailored to meet the needs of traditional domestic and international students as well as working professionals in the greater Washington DC area. The program emphasizes a practitioner-oriented curriculum which includes advanced algorithms, network security, artificial intelligence, computer graphics, image processing, software systems, and database. For the MSCS degree program, it offers a thesis option and a non-thesis option. The doctoral program only provides a thesis option.
All students (US and international) must submit the following documents if they wish to be considered for admission into the MSCS Program and the Ph.D. program :
- Completed/signed application form
- Non-refundable application fee given in the application form
- Official transcripts from each college or university attended
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Basic test scores
- Two professional references
For the Ph.D. program, please refer to the webiste at https://www.udc.edu/seas/phd-in-computer-science-and-engineering/phd-apply/
Please check the university website for detail at https://www.udc.edu/admissions/graduate/
International students must also submit TOEFL [Test of English as a Foreign Language] scores and test scores on the advanced portion of the GRE [Graduate Record Examination] as part of their application. It is the policy of the graduate admissions committee in the CSIT department to carefully consider every applicant's previous academic and professional qualifications, test scores and achievements before an admission decision is made. Students admitted into the graduate program may start either in the fall semester or the spring semester.
Applicants accepted for graduate study will be informed in writing, at the time of admission, whether they need to enroll in background courses and/or prerequisites requiring completion before commencing their graduate studies. Each student admitted into the program will be assigned a graduate advisor and the student is responsible for discussing any special needs they may have with their adviser. Please note that, unless otherwise stipulated, every course in the MSCS program carries 3 credits.
Graduation Requirements (for the MSCS program)
MSCS Graduation Requirements:
In order to obtain the MSCS degree, students must successfully complete a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours (10 courses) in computer science with a grade of B or better in each of the courses. Students receiving grades lower than a B in any course will have to retake the course and obtain a grade of at least a B. Students must complete all program requirements within six years of their initial enrolment in the program.
The program offers a thesis option and a non-thesis option. Students in both options must take at least four graduate computer science (CS) core courses (12-cr hours). Students who wish to write a thesis take four graduate CS electives (12-cr hours) and sign up for 6 thesis credits (counts as two graduate electives) whereas students in the non-thesis option must take six graduate (18-cr hours) CS electives. One of these six electives can be CSCI 599 Master's Project.
Students in the thesis option must find a thesis advisor in the department based on their interests in order to comply with the thesis submission requirements of the UDC Graduate School.
Students in the non-thesis option, but wishing to do a special project as part of their Master's program (CSCI-599), need to find a faculty member (project supervisor).
Qualified students with little education in computer science at the undergraduate level can be accepted into the program based on the graduate faculty's decision; however, such students must successfully complete a sequence of background or migration courses with a grade of B or better before they can enroll in the regular graduate CS courses. No credit will be given for these background courses toward the MSCS degree.
Frequently Asked Questions (for the MSCS program)
**You can find frequently asked questions & answers. However, you should check the university catalog or directly contact graduate program director.
How do I apply for MSCS program?
Application instruction can be found in the university catalog. Please check the website at http://www.udc.edu/admissions/graduate_students
How the application materials are reviewed and how decisions for admission will be
Applications will be reviewed and discussed by graduate committee members before
decision of admission is made. The committee's recommendation will be forwarded to
the Admission's office. Final admission's letter is issued by the Admission's office.
Do I need TOFEL score? What is the minimum score?
International students whose native language is one other than English must take the Test
of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), www.TOEFL.org. This requirement will be
waived upon the submission of an official college transcript evidencing the successful
completion of two college-level English courses at an accredited American college or
A minimum score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
1) Paper and
Pencil Test - 550;
2) Computer-Based Test - 213;
3) Internet-Based Test - 79; degree earned
in an accredited American college or university.
Do I need GRE? What is the minimum score?
Yes. As part of university admission requirements, you must take the Graduate Record
Examination (GRE) as well as GRE Analytical Writing Subtest as a requirement of
admission. The minimal acceptable score is a 4.0. Students failing to meet the respective
criterion score may be admitted conditionally. If admitted conditionally, a student must
enroll in and pass (with a grade of B or better) the University's graduate writing
proficiency course during their first semester of enrollment.
Can I apply before taking TOFEL and/or GRE?
Yes, you can submit your application without official score. However, your application
will not be approved before your application package is completed.
What if I do not have a BS degree in Computer Science?
You can still apply for MSCS program. However, when you are admitted and enroll, you
are required to take background courses in CS before you can take other classes.
What are the application deadlines?
University Deadlines for Fall Admission:
- International students: Mid-May
- Otherwise: Mid-June
Can I apply for summer term admission?
Currently we only offer master's project and thesis credits in the summer. And these are
for students who have already taken some courses. If you are an international student and
need to enroll during the summer, please contact us.
Is there assistantship? And how do I apply for one?
Please refer to the assistantship information.
Am I qualified for financial aid? And how do I apply for one?
Please refer to the university catalog.
What the job placement is like after graduation?
Some of our past students are working professionals at the time of enrollment. For the
ones that were fulltime students they received job offers before or upon graduation or
continue to pursue higher degree. Washington DC metro area is one the areas in the
nation with high employment rate.