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Saint Louis University's master's program in computer science is designed to prepare students for rewarding and in-demand careers that leverage the power of computers, algorithms, and data analyses to impact the world in a positive manner.

Highlights of the program are that:
SLU faculty are outstanding, both for advanced knowledge of the field and enthusiasm in guiding students through their own discovery and exploration.
The St. Louis region has a strong computer science ecosystem, including technical operations for many Fortune 500 companies, as well as a vibrant start-up community, including incubators such as CORTEX and T-REX, near to SLU’s campus.
SLU’s research-based curriculum and externally funded support foster a strong student-faculty learning environment and extensive research involvement.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:
1. Design, implement, evaluate and test a software system that meets a given set of computing requirements,
2. Apply computer science theory, knowledge of computer systems and software development fundamentals to produce computing-based solutions,
3. Assess relevant literature and technical documents in the field of computing,
4. Communicate effectively to both professional and general audiences in both oral and written forms,
5. Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles,
6. Function effectively as a member of a team in developing computing technology and solving technical problems.

Degree Requirements

CSCI 5030 Principles of Software Development 3
CSCI 5050 Computing and Society 3
CSCI 5090 Computer Science Colloquium 1
CSCI 5100-5199 Theory Elective 3
CSCI 5300-5399 Software Engineering Elective 3
CSCI 5500-5599 Computing Systems Elective 3
  Selections from two of the following groups:
CSCI 5200-5299 (Language/Compilers)
CSCI 5600-5699 (Large Scale Systems)
CSCI 5700-5799 (Knowledge Systems)
CSCI 5800-5899 or BCB 5200/5250
       (Advanced Applications)
CSCI 5090-5999 Additional electives 11
Total    33

Please see the complete listing of graduate courses for precise options in each category.

Additional notes:

  • While only 1 credit hour of Colloquium (CSCI 5090) is required, students may repeat that course for credit, applying up to 2 additional credit hours within the elective hours (thereby getting back to a multiple of 3 credit hours on the way to 33 hours).
  • A master's thesis is optional. Students completing a thesis should take 6 credit hours of Thesis Research (CSCI 5990) as part of the elective requirements
  • Students may apply at most 3 credit hours of Internship with Industry (CSCI 5910) toward the degree requirements
  • With approval, students may include up to 6 credit hours of elective graduate coursework in closely related disciplines (e.g., Mathematics & Statistics, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Electrical & Computer Engineering)

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Sample Schedule

While students' schedules depend upon their interests, incoming credits/experience, and consultation with faculty mentors, the following shows a typical schedule for completing the MS in Computer Science.

Semester One (10 credit hours)
CSCI 5030: Principles of Software Development 3
CSCI 5050: Computing and Society 3
CSCI 5090: Computer Science Colloquium 1
Theory Elective (CSCI 5100-5199) 3
Semester Two (10 credit hours)
Software Engineering Elective (CSCI 5300-5399) 3
Computing Systems Elective (CSCI 5500-5599) 3
General Elective 3
CSCI 5090: Computer Science Colloquium 1
Semester Three (10 credits)
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
CSCI 5090: Computer Science Colloquium 1
Semester Four (3 credits)
General Elective 3

Note that the final course could be completed during an intervening summer, rather than in a fourth semester.


For direct entry into the M.S. in Computer Science program, a typical applicant will have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, a major in Computer Science or a closely related field, and the following prerequisite courses:

CourseSLU Equivalent
Intro. to Programming CSCI 1300
Data Structures CSCI 2100
Object-Oriented Design CSCI 2300
Computer Architecture CSCI 2400
Algorithms CSCI 3100
Operating Systems CSCI 3500
Calculus I & II MATH 1510/1520
Discrete Mathematics MATH 1660
Intro. to Statistics MATH 3810 or 3850

Applicants must provide transcripts for all previous education, a resume, professional goal statement, and at least one letter of recommendation. Additional letters of recommendation and GRE general test scores are recommended.

See further instructions for online applications.

International students must also provide a declaration of financial support packet and demonstrate English language proficiency, either by submitting their TOEFL or IELTS results or by completion of English Level 6 with no grades below B. Minimum scores for direct admission are TOEFL IBT 80, or IELTS 6.5.

Students with the appropriate academic background but lacking sufficient English language proficiency might consider one-semester or two-semester graduate pathways administered by a SLU INTO partnership.

Financial Aid

The program offers a variety of opportunities for financial support through a combination of university-funded and research-funded Graduate Assistantships that include both tuition and a stipend, and through some full or partial tuition scholarships. All candidates who apply to the graduate program by the stated deadline will automatically be considered for financial support in addition to admission to the program.