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Computer Science

UMD Graduate School

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Computer Science is a two-year program that depends upon a solid foundation in mathematics and statistics, computational problem solving, software design and analysis, programming languages, algorithms, data structures, and computer organization and architecture. The program builds upon this foundation to provide depth in specified areas of computer science, with a focus on research and research methods. It provides the necessary foundational studies for graduates planning to pursue either a PhD in computer science or a career as a computer scientist in business or industry.

Admission and Application Requirements

The program is designed for those with undergraduate degrees in either Computer Science or Computer Engineering. Students should have completed the following courses or their equivalents prior to enrollment:

  • CS 3512 (Computer Science Theory)
  • CS 5621 (Architecture) or CS 5651 (Computer Networks)
  • CS 5631 (Operating Systems)

The GRE General Test is required of all applicants; the TOEFL is also required of international students

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 33 credits are required for a degree. The Master of Science in Computer Science is offered under two plans: Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (non-thesis). Plan B involves additional coursework and a project in lieu of the thesis.

Requirements for the completion of the MS in Computer Science are:

  • 16 credits from 8000-level courses in Computer Science
  • 1 credit of CS 8993, Graduate Seminar
  • 6 credits from a specified set of courses outside of computer science (minor or related field)
  • Additional credits, as required for the Plan option.

Additional Requirements for Plan A (Thesis Option)

  • 10 credits of CS 8777 (Thesis)
  • Departmental colloquium, during which the student presents his/her research results
  • The satisfactory completion of an oral examination focusing on the thesis and supporting area(s)

Additional Requirements for Plan B (Project Option)

  • 10 additional credits from courses in Computer Science at the 5000 level or above, as approved by the DGS
  • Completion of an approved Plan B project (usually a significant programming project)
  • A departmental colloquium based on the project, presenting the results of that work
  • The successful completion of an oral examination covering the project, supporting areas(s), and graduate-level computer science courses

Deadlines and Dates

Students are admitted to the program for fall semester. All applications for admission must be received by July 15. The department processes applications as they are received.

Financial Aid

Half-time teaching and research assistantships are available to qualified students. Research assistantships funded by the National Science Foundation or other agencies may also be available. 

Areas of Specialization

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computational linguistics
  • Data mining
  • Graphics and visualization
  • Information retrieval
  • Machine learning
  • Operating systems
  • Natural language processing
  • User interface design
  • Virtual environments

Contact Information

Department of Computer Science, University of Minnesota Duluth, 320 Heller Hall, 1114 Kirby Drive, Duluth, MN 55812 (218.726.7678; fax 218.726.8240;;

Director of Graduate Studies: Richard Maclin,, 218.726.8256

Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies: Lori Lucia,, 218.726.7678

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