The M.S. program is designed primarily to train students with professional goals in business, industry, or government, requiring a detailed knowledge of computer science concepts and applications. The program concentrates primarily on applied computer science, emphasizing programming, software development, computer systems, and applications with appropriate theoretical background. Each student is given the experience of working on one or more projects involving analysis, design, evaluation, and/or implementation. The students chooses one of three M.S. options:
1Basic Project Option,
2Advanced Project Option,
The M.S. Degree requires successful completion of at least 31 graduate credits in computer science (subject to certain restrictions to ensure appropriate breadth and depth) with a GPA of at least 3.0. For further details of the M.S. Program, please see the latest edition of the Graduate Handbook.
Customarily, our Master’s program is for two years, but many students finish the program in less than two years. Further, given appropriate academic standing, enrolled MS students will also have the opportunity to participate in what we call the 1+1 program – a two-year curriculum in which second-year students would pursue their studies on the Stony Brook campus in New York.
Students in the M.S. degree program choose between three options:
Basic Project Option
In this option, the students receive a broad coverage of Computer Science with at least one project-oriented coursework. The student must take 3 credits of CSE 522 (Basic Project in Computer Science) as a part of his/her graduation requirement.
Advanced Project Option
In this option, the student undertakes a more involved, two-semester long project under the guidance of a faculty advisor. The student must take 3+3 credits of the two-semester long sequence of CSE 523/524 (Advanced Project in Computer Science I and II) as a part of his/her graduation requirement.
In this option, the student performs a research project under the guidance of a faculty advisor (usually 2–3 semester long), and writes a dissertation. The student must take 6–9 credits of CSE 599 (M.S. Thesis) as a part of their graduation requirement.
Regardless of the chosen option, the students are required to:
- complete a minimum of 31 graduate credits in the Computer Science Department each with a grade of C or better(or S for S/U-graded courses).
- satisfy the M.S. breadth requirement by taking courses covering three designated groups of courses.
- complete a minimum number of graduate-level lecture courses, depending on the chosen project options.
Please refer to the most recent Graduate Handbook for the specifics.
Generally speaking, Advanced Project and Thesis Options provide more flexibility for course choices as the student may have to do a variety of different courses related to their project or thesis topics. The departmental web site has the updated list of graduate courses being offered to help students plan ahead.
1. Breadth Requirement
All students must satisfy the M.S. breadth requirement regardless of the chosen option. The requirement is that the student must take at least one course in each of the following four areas.
CSE 540: Theory of Computation
CSE 548: Algorithms
CSE 541: Logic
CSE 502: Architecture
CSE 506: Operating Systems
CSE 533: Network Programming
CSE 534: Network Fundamentals
3. Software I
CSE 504: Compilers
CSE 526: Programming Languages
CSE 532: Databases
CSE 537: Artificial Intelligence
4. Software II
CSE 508: Network Security
CSE 509: System Security
CSE 528: Graphics
For the purpose of satisfying the M.S. breadth requirement, CSE 522 (Basic Project in Computer Science) will be treated as equivalent to the actual course the student attends. For example, if the student attends CSE 506 (Operating Systems) using the CSE 522 course designator, the student will be considered to have satisfied the breadth requirement in the Systems area. See more about CSE 522 in Section 5.3. of fall 2010 handbook
2. M.S. Project or Thesis (3, 6, or 9 credits)
This requirement depends on the chosen option. This requirement can be satisfied by taking 3 credits of CSE 522 (Basic Project Option), 6 credits of the CSE 523/524 course sequence (Advanced Project Option), or 6–9 credits of CSE 599 (Thesis Option).
3. Computer Science Graduate Courses
The remaining credits can be satisfied by taking Computer Science graduate courses at the CSE 500 and CSE 600 levels with the following restrictions. Note that all restrictions must be satisfied.
At most 2 credits can be counted from all credits accumulated in the following courses: CSE 593 (Independent Study), CSE 698 (Practicum in Teaching), CSE 596 (Internship in Research), 1-credit Seminar courses (CSE 640–661, but not CSE 600) and Special Topics courses.
Advanced Topics courses such as CSE 590/591/592/594/595 and CSE 690-692 can count at most 6 credits overall (i.e., up to 2 such courses).
There are further restrictions for the students in the Basic Project Option. For these students, Advanced Topics courses such as CSE 590/591/592/594/595 and any course in the CSE 600 level can count at most 6 credits overall (i.e., up to 2 such courses).
CSE 587 can be used. But specific restrictions apply. More about this in Graduate Handbook
No credits are counted for the CSE 600 Seminar course.
No credits are counted for courses specifically meant for Ph.D students (such as CSE 696, CSE 699).
Generally speaking, the student in one option cannot use project or thesis courses meant for another option for graduation credits. In other words, use of the courses such as CSE 522,523/524 and 599 are option specific. However, there is some flexibility. More about this in Graduate Handbook
Relevant graduate courses in other departments can be used towards the 31 credits, but if only approved by the Graduate Program Director. To this end, the student must argue the case for taking a particular course by submitting a petition (e.g., arguing that such a course is needed for the student’s project/thesis), which must also be endorsed by the student’s project or thesis advisor. This is only applicable for students in the Advanced Project or Thesis Option. Students in the Basic Project Option cannot use any non-CSE course for graduation credits.