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WPI’s online Master of Science in Computer Science delivers a solid foundational breadth in computer and communication networks, algorithms, and data management, combined with an opportunity to customize the program through electives that deepen understanding in a specialized area, like cybersecurity.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, all graduates will be able to:

  • Understand the mathematical foundations of computing
  • Demonstrate the ability to design computer networks
  • Create algorithms and encode them in software languages
  • Apply big data management including parallel and distributed database systems
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform hands-on projects

Specialization in Cybersecurity​

In addition to the core learning outcomes, students who pursue a specialization in cybersecurity will be able to:

  • Understand and apply fundamentals of computer and network security (e.g., encryption)
  • Understand and be able to analyze the business of risk management, including insights from human behavior
  • Understand and apply Intrusion Prevention and Detection (including a virtual lab environment)
  • Understand and apply computer forensics
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze and evaluate a wide variety of actual cybersecurity cases

WPI also offers online graduate certificates in Computer Science.

An MS in Computer Science degree program is also offered on campus
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Online Course Demo

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Program Requirements

The Master of Science in Computer Science requires 33-credit hours of work.  All Plans of Study must include the following minimum requirements:                    

  1.  Computer Science Essentials (9 credits): Courses from three unique Essential Bins from four bin options. Bins for each are identified in parentheses beside the course names below. At this time, there is only one online course option for each Essential Bin. This may expand in the future and is dependent on program enrollment and instructor availability. Essential Bins are Theory, Algorithms, plus Systems or Networks.
  2.  Computer Science Breadth (3 credits): One course from Design, Cybersecurity, Databases, Graphics/Images, or Artificial Intelligence
  3.  Computer Science Electives (21 credits):  Students must have at least 15 credits of Computer Science electives. Courses within Breadth Bins may be used to satisfy the elective requirement if not used to fulfill the breadth requirements. Students with the permission of the academic advisor via an approved Plan of Study may take up to six credits outside of Computer Science for electives. See potential elective disciplines at the end of the course rotation below.  

Thesis option: Currently, WPI’s online graduate programs do not offer a thesis option, as theses cannot be completed online. If you wish to pursue a thesis on campus, it is the student’s responsibility to find an advisor. Please note that depending on the project’s subject and timeframe, there might not be a faculty member willing or able to advise.

Course Schedule

  • CS 5003. Foundations of Computer Science (Theory)
  • CS 509. Design of Software Systems (Design) Offered every other year
  • CS 525 ST. Network Intrusion Detection (Elective)*
  • CS 573. Data Visualization (Graphics/Images)
  • CS 585. Big Data Management (Databases)*
  • OIE 542. Risk Management and Decision Making (Elective)*
  • CS 5084. Introduction to Algorithms: Design and Analysis (Algorithms)
  • CS 571. Case Studies in Computer Security (Cybersecurity)* Early Spring offered every other year
  • OBC 505. Teaming and Organizing for Innovation* (Early Spring)
  • MIS 576. Project Management* (Early Spring)
  • CS 525 ST. Computer and Network Security (Elective)* Late Spring
  • CS 548. Knowledge Discovery & Data Mining (AI)* Late Spring
  • OIE 542.  Risk Management and Decision Making (Elective)* Late Spring
  • MIS 584. Business Intelligence* (Late Spring)
  • CS 513. Computer Networks (Networks)               
  • CS 525 ST. Digital Forensics (Elective)*
With an approved plan of study, electives may be taken from disciplines outside of Computer Science, such as:          

*10-week course. These may be offered in early or late spring, with late spring overlapping summer. All other courses are 14 weeks long. For questions about setting up your course schedule, please reach out to your Student Success Manager. 

Course Offerings are subject to change. If you are interested in enrolling, please contact us for the most up-to-date information.

Admissions Guidelines

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science is preferred. Other backgrounds will be considered that include significant computer science and mathematics curriculum such as Information Technology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Math, and Physics degrees. Major GPA greater than 3.0 is preferred. 

Webinar: Open House

View our on-demand webinar to be introduced to our Computer Science online graduate programs. Get an overview of program logistics, what online learning looks like, the application process, and more!