Computer Science: MS
This department offers graduate students an extensive education in many areas in computer science. Its faculty members are engaged in research and cutting-edge advancements in computer science, and they teach a high percentage of courses in the department, giving graduate students individual attention. Students who graduate with advanced degrees in computer science have high job placement, and as computers are so crucial to nearly every industry, continued growth in computer science careers is expected in the future. Additionally, the MS in computer science at USU is the only graduate degree in computer science offered via distance education and available through evening classes, allowing working professionals to obtain a master’s degree.
There are four areas of research focus for graduate students and faculty within the department:
- Artificial Intelligence: A complicated and broad field in computer science, AI deals with the development of systems (hardware and/or software) that in some way exhibit intelligent behavior. The four main categories of AI research are: systems that can think like humans; systems that can act like humans; systems that can think rationally; and systems that can act rationally.
- Bioinformatics: Bioinformatics utilizes computers and computer-based algorithms to aid in the analysis of biological information. Research in this area involves the development of machine learning algorithms to solve specific bioinformatics problems, including identification of protein functional sites, gene finding, and more.
- Distributed, Parallel, and Concurrent Computing: This area deals with the development of multiple processors and computers to achieve fast and efficient applications. Multiple processors are used in projects such as coordinating space shuttles and other major operations.
- Software Systems: This is a broad area of computer science that covers every aspect of software development, with the goal to create more sophisticated, reliable, and secure software.
USU Computer Science Department:
MS and MCS Program of Study Requirements
Computer Science- MS
Master's Degree Plan Option(s)
Students can receive the MS by pursuing one of three options:
- In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis.
- The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.
- A third option, Plan C, does not involve a thesis or a defense meeting and is comprised of coursework only.
Apply to Utah State University Graduate School
Students from any undergraduate background are welcome to apply; however, to be considered, applicants must have extensive experience in computing, programming experience in C++, and a course in data structures and algorithms, as well as a working grasp of calculus and statistics.
- Complete the online application
- Pay the application fee
- Score at or above the 80th percentile on the quantitative section of the GRE
- Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
- Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
- Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation
- International students have additional admissions requirements.
The department offers a limited number of assistantships, both teaching and research, each year. These are competitive assistantships awarded to highly qualified students.
A variety of funding opportunities are available, including fellowships, scholarships, tuition awards, and travel support. Additionally, students may be eligible for subsidized health insurance through qualifying assistantships.
This degree is offered through Utah State University Regional Campuses and follows the USU Regional Campus tuition schedule. See Tuition & Payment for more information.
Careers in computer science can be categorized into the following four areas:
Software development (software systems)
- Business applications
- Game development
- Web programming
- Scientific computing
Finding and creating new uses for computers (AI, parallel computing, or bioinformatics)
- Searching for cancer and other disease treatments
- Automating medical images such as mammograms
- Autonomous vehicles for use in agriculture and more
Solving computer problems (AI, parallel computing, or bioinformatics)
- Research in computer theory
- Creating more effective algorithms
Managing computer systems (software systems or parallel computing specializations)
- This can be done for a wide variety of industries and companies
The following degrees are available on the USU Eastern Price and Blanding Campuses:
Use the USU Degree finder to search all degrees available throughout the Utah State University system.