Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science

Master of Science in Computer Science

Offered By: College of Science, Engineering, & Technology

Earn your MS in Computer Science

Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Computer Science is designed for computer science, engineering, information technology and science professionals with a strong background in computer science-related areas. Graduate students will deepen their understanding of the interplay between computer science and how theory and practice influence the other.

This online MS in computer science master’s explores topics of abstraction, complexity, evolutionary change, as well as a set of general principles, such as sharing common resources, security and concurrency. Upon completing the program, students will have the skills training to design, implement and improve theoretical and functional systems based on quantitative and qualitative assessments of their functionality, usability and performance.

In our rapidly advancing, high-tech world, the computer science industry continues to grow and demand qualified, highly skilled innovators. Therefore, computer science professionals are likely to have a wide range of job prospects and expansive employment opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics informs that employment growth for computer and information research scientists is 19% (much faster than average) with an employment change of 5,400 (2016-26).* The computer and information research field typically requires a master’s degree, according to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Computer Science Master's Degree Courses at GCU

This MS in Computer Science program is broken down in these core domains:

  • Mathematics: Apply calculus and linear algebra methods to solve computing problems, use probability and statistics for decision making and create ideas based on math concepts.
  • Algorithms and Complexity: Design algorithms, describe the architecture of parallel/distributed systems and calculate the computational complexity of algorithms that may solve a problem.
  • Computing Systems: Demonstrate an understanding of multicore/multiprocessor architectures, evaluate computing systems design alternatives and build software systems. Research and Applications: Formulate research questions, design experiments, analyze results and communicate findings of computational problems.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Automate data for repetitive learning/discovery, develop applications adaptable through progressive learning algorithms and analyze data to uncover trends.
  • Professionalism, Ethics and Sustainability: Determine if a new data-driven business process uses customer data ethically, demonstrate ethical judgment and examine how a Christian worldview applies.

Curriculum focuses on course topics such as:

  • Design and analysis of algorithms
  • Advanced operating systems
  • Programming languages
  • Parallel programming
  • Research methods in computational sciences
  • Machine learning for computer science

The online Master of Science in Computer Science program culminates in a capstone course in which students develop an evidence-based practice project proposal that addresses a current problem, issue or concern in the field. Students identify a problem amenable to research-based intervention, search literature, propose a solution and create a theoretical model. The course further includes implementing the software solution, evaluating its outcome and disseminating the findings.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online MS in Computer Science?

The time to completion for this 38-credit program is 84 weeks or 20 months. Students will complete this computer science program in under two years and may choose to earn their degree 100 percent online or on campus during the evening. These options allow students to study in the modality that they prefer and meets their needs.

Candidates must have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree in computer science, software engineering, computer engineering or electrical engineering. If the student does not have a degree in one of these programs, they will be eligible for the bridge program.

What Can You Do with a Master of Science in Computer Science?

Graduates may move on to pursue senior and leadership roles within an organization such as researcher, algorithm designer, enterprise software tool developer, senior software architect, senior software developer, director of software development and many others. This program also prepares graduates who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in computer science or related disciplines.

Potential workplace settings include game developers, social media companies, health care providers, large corporations, financial institutions, insurance companies, educational institutions, technology suppliers, consulting firms, research facilities and more.

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Total Program Credits: 38
Online: 8 weeks [More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $550 per credit [More Info]

Course List

38 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
38 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course reviews probability, distributions, statistical methods, and data analysis, in the context of computational science. Students use statistical computing software to analyze, visualize, and communicate results.

Course Description

The course covers the theoretical fundamentals of computing, and analysis of the inherent capabilities and limitations of computation. Topics include advanced techniques in formal algorithm analysis, classical and modern algorithms, P and NP, polynomial-time reduction, NP-completeness and NP-hardness. Prerequisite: DSC-510.

Course Description

This course covers essential concepts in the design and implementation of advanced modern operating systems. Focus areas may include distributed systems and computer networks, interprocess communication, distributed processing, multi-core processors, sharing and replication of data and files. Prerequisite: CST-520.

Course Description

This course focuses on theoretical models for advanced programming paradigms: functional, imperative, concurrent, and probabilistic programming. Various models of programming languages and type systems are discussed. Students learn to apply programming methodology, transformations, and logic. Prerequisite: DSC-510.

Course Description

This course introduces programming models and languages for programming parallel platforms. Additional topics may include parallel and distributed platforms, parallel and distributed algorithms, message passing, shared memory, and parallel programming applications in a variety of domains. Prerequisite: CST-540.

Course Description

This course prepares students for the research process in computational sciences, while developing an appreciation for the philosophy and ethics related to how research is conducted. Students learn how to design experiments, how to test the results using statistical methods, and communicate the findings. Prerequisite: DSC-510.

Course Description

This course covers fundamental techniques in statistical machine learning, focusing on computational methods for supervised and unsupervised data analysis. Topics may include classification, regression, dimensionality reduction, and clustering. Students will learn and apply a variety of training models and algorithms. Prerequisite: CST-560.

Course Description

This course covers key areas of AI focusing on theoretical and practical approaches to designing intelligent systems. Central themes include search, neural networks, probabilistic modeling, and game theory. Students explore specific algorithms and applications in depth, using modern programming paradigms. Prerequisite: CST-570.

Course Description

Students conceptualize, design, and present an innovative idea, process, or a product in the field of computer science. Projects synthesize and apply knowledge from previous courses and include a scientific report anchored in current theory and research. Prerequisite: CST-580.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

Program Domains

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.

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