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    Jun 21, 2024  
American University Catalog 2023-2024 
American University Catalog 2023-2024

Computer Science (MS)

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Offered by the Department of Computer Science , College of Arts and Sciences , the Computer Science (MS) provides a strong foundational and practical basis for both computer science and non-computer science majors (who successfully completed a minimum of three computer science prerequisite courses). Students complete a common core course curriculum followed by a personalized Program of Study. They select one of three specializations: Applied Computer Science, Game and Computational Media, or Data Science. In addition, students choose a thesis option, a single or two separate capstone projects, or a combination of capstone project and internship. The program is open to both full-time and part-time students and students seeking a change in their educational path or career.

Admission to the Program

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for graduate study, applicants must have completed at least three computer science courses equivalent to American University’s CSC-148 Introduction to Computer Science I (4) , CSC-208 Introduction to Computer Science II (3) , and CSC-420 Algorithms and Data Structures (3) . The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) aptitude test is optional. Students entering the program without the appropriate background will be expected to take certain undergraduate courses as prerequisite work. Formal admission to the program requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale); grades of B or better in the three prerequisite classes; and departmental approval.

Degree Requirements

  • 30 credit hours of approved graduate work
  • Specializations: Applied Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Data Science, Game and Computational Media
  • Capstone Experience: Complete 6 credit hours from internship and project or project options with grades of B or better, or 6 credit hours of CSC-797 Master’s Thesis Research (1-6)  with completed thesis

Course Requirements

Specialization (9 credit hours)

Complete one of the following specializations:

Game and Computational Media

Complete 9 credit hours from the following, with no more than 6 credit hours from CSC-696 , or other courses approved by advisor:

Capstone (6 credit hours)

Complete 6 credit hours from one of the following with grades of B or better or with completed thesis:

Note: Students complete the Capstone requirement over two semesters. Students start the Capstone requirement during the first semester of their program’s second year.


Complete 6 credit hours from the following:


Complete 6 credit hours from the following:

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