Do you enjoy problem solving? Do you enjoy working with computers and computing systems? Do you want to be able to build software and see it work? Can you picture yourself gaining a further understanding of design methodology?

The master of science in computer science—offered both on campus and online—is the systematic study of computing systems and computation. The program focuses on knowledge related to theories for understanding computing systems as well as methods, design methodologies, algorithms, and tools used in software development. The program also encompasses methods for testing software, method of analysis and verification, knowledge representation and implementation, and ways of understanding what computing can and cannot do. The program is structured for both students and professionals.

Individuals with a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, or who have a bachelor's degree in another area with some experience in software development or who are willing to take some courses to get going are invited to apply for the MSCS. The degree helps you to expand your knowledge and experience in computer science.

ECU Advantage

The small size of our program means students receive individual attention throughout their studies. Job prospects and salary for graduates of the master of science in computer science are very good. All students are required to complete a project or thesis under the direction of a faculty member, and the project or thesis represents an important part of the education.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Nasseh Tabrizi (110-C Science and Technology Building; 252-328-969; tabrizim@ecu.edu)

Applicants to the master of science degree in computer science must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School, have an undergraduate degree in computer science or a related field, be able to demonstrate significant study in computer science, including a study of computer architecture and software design, be proficient programmers in at least one high-level programming language, submit three letters of recommendation, and have satisfactory scores on the general portion of the Graduate Record Examinations. Applicants whose native language is not English must additionally submit a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Second Language (TOEFL).

Each applicant's credentials will be reviewed by the director of graduate studies, who will determine if undergraduate deficiencies are present and, if so, will prescribe a method for their removal and determine a precondition for admission.

Minimum degree requirement is 30 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. Core courses - 12 s.h.:
  • CSCI 6120 - Computer Systems Architecture
  • CSCI 6230 - Software Engineering Foundations
  • CSCI 6420 - Computability and Complexity

  • CSCI 5210 - Operating Systems II or
  • CSCI 5220 - Program Translation
  • An additional 18 s.h. selected from CSCI courses numbered 5000 or above

    Including 3-6 s.h. of thesis or research project. At least 15 s.h. must be in courses numbered 6000 or above. Up to 6 s.h. of the following courses can count toward the 18 hours of CSCI elective courses:

    • SENG 6240 - Software Architecture and Design
    • SENG 6247 - Software Security Engineering
    • SENG 6250 - Software Systems Modeling and Analysis
    • SENG 6255 - Software Requirements Engineering
    • SENG 6270 - Software Verification and Validation
2. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 must be submitted for all graduate courses.

No more than 6 s.h. of course work evaluated as C may be counted toward the degree.

    3. Satisfactory score on a comprehensive examination covering 12 s.h. of course work.
      4. Following successful completion of the comprehensive examination

      The student must design and complete CSCI 6995 or CSCI 7000 under the direction of an advisor. The project or thesis must be successfully defended before the student’s examination committee.

        5. Students must attend at least five research seminars and present at least one research seminar during the course of study.
          For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

          Careers With This Degree

          Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

          • Computer Science
          • Computer and Information Systems Managers
          • Communications, Entertainment and Information
          • Computer and Information Systems Research
          • Computer Software Engineers, Applications
          • Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software
          • Computer Specialists
          • Education and Training
          • Computer Science Teachers, Postsecondary
          • Computer Science

          Career Opportunities

          ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

          NC Tower

          This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

          • Self-employed;
          • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
          • Work outside of North Carolina.

          US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

          This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

          Degree-specific internships

          For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.