The Computer Science Department offers three different master’s options for students who have completed (or will complete) a bachelor’s degree and want to extend their training in computer science. Our largest program is the M.S. in Computer Science, which allows students with undergraduate degrees in computer science or another technical field to work with their academic advisor to create their own course of study. We also offer a fifth-year master’s program for current SCS undergraduates, and a 3-2 MBA program with CMU’s Tepper School of Business.
M.S. in Computer Science
The M.S. in Computer Science offers students with a bachelor's degree the opportunity to improve their training with advanced study in computer science. We cater to students with basic analytic skills and a strong aptitude for mathematics, programming, and logical reasoning. You don’t need a bachelor’s degree in computer science specifically for the program, but a technical undergraduate background will set you up for success.
Our program isn’t based on a fixed set of courses. Instead, you’ll construct your own course of study, in consultation with your advisor. The program consists entirely of coursework, and there is generally no research component.
Most students will complete the program in three semesters, but if you’re switching to computer science from another field, you may need an additional semester to fill gaps in your undergraduate training. The M.S. program is distinct from the Ph.D. program in computer science, and master's students will not usually continue into the Ph.D. program and will not receive preferential treatment if they apply.
Fifth Year Master's Program
We designed the Fifth Year Master's Program specifically for students receiving a B.S. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon. The program encourages our very brightest undergraduates to become involved with research that broadens their undergraduate experience. We also want to encourage a select group of students to continue to graduate school by providing them with an additional qualification and period of study beyond their undergraduate degree, resulting in a master’s degree in computer science.
The program usually lasts 12 months, including one normal academic year and one summer. Students will start working on a research project during the summer after their senior year, and continue that project while taking classes during the academic year. Students can only start the Fifth Year Master's program after they have received their B.S. in computer science at CMU.
Students interested in applying to the Fifth Year Master’s Program should do so by the middle of the fall semester of their senior year. Students are admitted based on strong evidence of research potential through close interaction with one or more faculty members — whether in projects, summer jobs or advanced classes. In addition to support from their faculty sponsor, each student should have strong support from other faculty members who believe that the student shows great promise for doing research.
Students interested in earning their bachelor’s degree and MBA in five years may be interested in the Tepper School of Business’s Accelerated MBA program. The program is administered by the Tepper Schoool, and more information is available on their web site.