University of Texas at El Paso Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog

M.S. in Computer Science

The Master's Program in Computer Science provides advanced study of fundamental concepts in computer science, including algorithm design and analysis, the theory of computation, and applications of computing.  The degree plan is flexible, allowing students to use electives to focus on specific areas of interest within computer science, such as security, artificial intelligence, data sciences, software development, or systems.  Students interested in conducting research have the opportunity to work individually with faculty members on a thesis or project.

Admission Requirements 

Applicants must have earned a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited university. Students apply through the Graduate School by submitting an application and the following supporting materials:

  • Official transcripts of all previous academic work.
  • Applicants from countries where English is not the first language are required to demonstrate English proficiency. Please consult the graduate school website for required scores.
  • Personal Statement of Purpose.
  • Minimum of two letters of recommendation.
  • A CV/resume with evidence of other relevant experience.

Depending on qualifications for study, students may need to complete leveling coursework at the undergraduate level. These courses are not applied towards the program. Applicants must be able to demonstrate knowledge of programming in a high-level language such as Java or C++, including knowledge of data structures and algorithms. This can be demonstrated by completing CS 2302 Data Structures with a B or better, or by completing equivalent coursework or certifications as approved by the program committee. Additional leveling courses may be required as prerequisites for specific graduate courses, or on a case-by-case basis depending on the qualifications of the student.

Degree Requirements

Students may select either the thesis or non-thesis track for this degree. Students enrolled in the thesis track must take 27 credit hours of course work plus six (6) additional credit hours of

CS 5398 Master's Thesis I and CS 5399 Master's Thesis. Students in the non-thesis track must complete 36 credit hours, which may optionally include up to six (6) hours of CS 5396 Graduate Projects and CS 5397 Graduate Projects No more than nine (9) total credit hours of Master's Thesis, Graduate Projects, Graduate Research, or Independent Study courses may be counted towards the degree in either track. All courses must be taken at the 5000 level or above, unless specifically approved by the graduate advisor.

Cybersecurity Certificate

The department also offers a certificate in cybersecurity that can be obtained in combination with the MS degree if the student selects the necessary courses as electives. See the description of the certificate program for the detailed requirements.

Degree Plan

Required Credits: 33 (thesis track) or 36 (non-thesis track)

Required Courses:
Core Courses (6) credit hours (All courses require a B or better):
CS 5350Advanced Algorithms3
CS 5315Theory of Computation3
Breadth Courses (12) credit hours (All courses require a B or better):
Select at least one course in four of the five areas listed.
Area 1: Systems
CS 5340Advanced Operating Systems3
CS 5341Advanced Computer Architecture3
CS 5313Computer Networks3
Area 2: Security
CS 5352Computer Security3
CS 5375Software Reverse Engineering3
CS 5376Comp. Dec Making & Risk Anal3
CS 5377Cyber-Sec for Critical Op Tech3
Area 3: Software Development
CS 5382Model-Based Software Devlpmnt3
CS 5385Software Requirements Engr3
CS 5386Software Architecture & Design3
CS 5387Software Integration and V&V3
Area 4: Intelligent and Interactive Systems
CS 5314Decision Making3
CS 5317Human-Computer Interaction3
CS 5303Logical Foundations of CS3
Area 5: Data Management and Analytics
CS 5342Database Management3
CS 5361Machine Learning3
CS 5362Data Mining3
Non-thesis Track (18) credit hours (All courses require a C or better)
Students must complete six elective courses in CS at the 5000-level or above. These may include project courses CS 5396 Graduate Projects/CS 5397 Graduate Projects.
Thesis Track (15) credit hours (All courses require a C or better)
All students must complete at least three hours of CS 5398 and three hours of 5399 Master's Thesis courses, and nine (9) additional credit hours of elective courses in computer science at the 5000-level or above.
Total Hours33-36

May include project courses CS 5396 Graduate Projects/CS 5397 Graduate Projects.

Graduate CS Courses

Logical Foundations of CS
Computer Networks
Decision Making
Theory of Computation
Human-Computer Interaction
Topics in Language Processing
Parallel & Concurrent Program
Secure Web-Based Systems
Advanced Operating Systems
Advanced Computer Architecture
Database Management
Advanced Algorithms
Interval Computations
Computer Security
Topics/Intelligent Computing
Software Safety & Risk Anlysis
Spec. & Desgn of Real-Time Sys
Graduate Student Internship
Software Construction
Software Reverse Engineering
Comp. Dec Making & Risk Anal
Cyber-Sec for Critical Op Tech
Topics in Software Engineering
Model-Based Software Devlpmnt
Software Architecture & Design
Software Integration and V&V
Software Project Management
Software Engineering Practicum
Special Topic Computer Science
Individual Studies
Graduate Research Methods
Graduate Research
Graduate Projects
Graduate Projects
Master's Thesis
Master's Thesis
Graduate Research
Doctoral Research
Doctoral Research
Logical Foundations of CS
Theory of Computation
Adv Computer Architecture
Advanced Algorithms
Special Topics
Individual Studies
Graduate Research Methods
Doctoral Research