Nov 19, 2018  
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science, MS

Program Description

The Master of Science with a major in Computer Science is designed to prepare graduate professionals who can apply the necessary knowledge of computing to information requirements of organizations in business, government, industry and education. The program provides for the education of individuals who will develop, maintain, or manage complex computer-based information systems.

The program provides the experienced professional with up-to-date specialized knowledge while developing those analytical skills necessary to stay abreast of the changing field of computing. The program also provides the recent baccalaureate graduate with additional applied and advanced knowledge, thus facilitating a more useful contribution to his/her career path.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • apply the knowledge of computing to organizational information requirements in business, government, industry and education, and
  • develop, maintain or manage complex computer-based information systems, and
  • utilize their acquired analytical skills for life-long learning and advanced studies in computing

The degree requires a minimum of 36-semester hours of which at least 30 hours must be in computer science, including either a three semester-hour graduate project and a formal technical report of the project or a thesis.

Admission Requirements

  1. In addition to meeting all University requirements, students seeking admission to the graduate degree program in computer science must submit the following to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies:
    • An application and application fee
    • Transcripts from regionally accredited institutions (international students will be required to submit relevant international transcripts)
    • An essay (500-1000 words) discussing why you wish to get a Master’s degree and your areas of interest
    • GRE scores (within five years of the date of application)
    • International students must submit TOEFL scores and additional documents to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.
  2. A student entering the program is expected to have adequate preparation in computer science and mathematics from their undergraduate degree. For computer science, this preparation must include successful completion of coursework in data structures, a high level programming language, computer architecture, operating systems, and software engineering. In mathematics, students must have successfully completed course work in discrete mathematics, calculus, plus one additional junior level or higher mathematics course such as linear algebra, numerical analysis, or applied probability and statistics.

Students who have not successfully completed the above courses may be required to take leveling courses in any missing subjects before being formally admitted into the MS degree program. All leveling courses must be completed with a grade of “B” or better. In addition, students can take no more than 9 credits towards their degree prior to  completing all leveling courses.

Degree Requirements

Requirements for the Master of Science in Computer Science degree may be met through one of two options: Thesis Option (Option I) or Project Option (Option II). Each option requires a minimum number of 36 credit hours. Both options share the same 12 credit hour core. The Thesis Option allows for maximum flexibility in choosing elective courses. This option allows the student to concentrate on a particular field or area of computer science. The Project Option also allows for flexibility in choosing elective courses but requires the student to take at least one elective from each of the three elective concentration tracks. The concentration tracks are Software and Programming, Networking and Security, and Scientific Computing and Visualization.

Requirements for Option I – Thesis Option:

Minimum number of credit hours: 36

  • Core: 12 sem. hrs.
  • Electives: Minimum of 18 sem. hrs.


Requirements for Option II – Project Option:

Minimum number of credit hours: 36

  • Core: 12 sem. hrs.
  • Electives: Minimum of 18 sem. hrs., with at least 3 credit hours from each concentration track


Electives are chosen by the student but are subject to approval by the student’s graduate faculty mentor. Electives should be taken that will support the student’s graduate project or thesis. No more than six hours of approved electives may come from courses taken at another university or from outside of computer science. Credit from a master’s degree earned at another institution will not be applied to a second master’s degree at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. A maximum of six hours of approved Directed Independent Study may count toward the MS degree.

Concentration Tracks

Chronological Procedure Leading to the MS Degree

  1. Completion of a degree plan
    Upon admission to the MS degree program in computer science, and prior to enrollment in any course, the student must contact the Graduate Academic Advisor in the College of Science & Engineering to have a degree plan completed. The student will then be assigned a faculty advisor from the computer science faculty. Students should seek the advice of their faculty advisor on a regular basis about their progress toward their degree.
  2. Progress toward the degree
    Once admitted to the graduate degree program in computer science, a student must complete at least six semester hours of credit per year toward the degree until the degree is completed. Failure to make this minimum progress will result in dismissal from the degree program with possible readmission based on the catalog in effect at the time of readmission. A student who is actively pursuing a graduate project or thesis and has completed all other course work for the degree will be given relief from this requirement, but must register continuously for the project or thesis until it is completed.
  3. Thesis or Graduate Project

    Thesis Option

    Students choosing the thesis option must first find a computer science graduate faculty member to agree to serve as their thesis advisor. Generally this is a faculty member working in the area of the thesis. With permission from the thesis advisor, the student may register for COSC 5398 - Thesis I . During the first month of Thesis I, the student and their advisor should determine the thesis committee. This committee consists of three full-time Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi faculty members. The committee chairperson and one other member must be a computer science PhD-degree faculty member.

    While taking Thesis I, the student will propose the topic of the thesis to the thesis committee. With satisfactory progress, the student may then register for COSC 5399 - Thesis II  with permission of the thesis advisor. The student must then continually register for COSC 5399  until completion of their thesis. A grade of In Progress will be assigned for COSC 5398  and all COSC 5399  courses until the student completes their thesis and passes their final exam. If the student fails to register for COSC 5399  or fails their final examination, a grade of No Credit will be assigned to COSC 5398  and all COSC 5399  courses and the student must begin the process again.

    While taking COSC 5399 - Thesis II , the student will produce a written thesis that discusses their work. A draft copy of the thesis will be given to all committee members and the student will make any changes required by the committee. Upon approval of the thesis committee chair, the student may schedule their final oral examination. The thesis will be published and archived in the Mary & Jeff Bell library. Guidelines for writing the thesis are available in the Computer Science office.

    Graduate Project Option
    Prior to his or her last semester, the student must find a graduate project committee chair and agree upon a project area. Permission to register for COSC 5395  will be granted when the student submits a permission form signed by both the student and his or her committee chair. Once a student has registered for a graduate project, he or she must continue to register in each consecutive long semester until the project is completed and the student passes their final examination. A student who does not complete a project in the semester for which he or she has registered will receive a grade of IP (In Progress). Failure to register for an unfinished project in the next semester will terminate the project and will require that the entire project process be repeated starting with the submission of a new project proposal.

    The graduate project, resulting in a technical report (see COSC 5395 ), may be completed in one semester; however, with continuous registration, a student will be allowed up to one calendar year to complete the project. Any extension beyond one year will require written justification on a semester-to-semester basis, to be approved by each member of the committee and the chairperson of computer science. All computer science graduate project defenses must be completed before the last day of the last full week of instruction.
  4. Final examination
    After the student has completed all other requirements for the MS degree in computer science, he or she must schedule an oral exam over his/her graduate program of study. The oral exam will be administered by the graduate thesis or project committee and will focus heavily on the thesis or project itself.

For Additional Information


Campus address:

Center for Instruction, Room 301; Phone: (361) 825-2474

Mailing address:

Computer Science Program, Unit 5825
College of Science and Engineering
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412-5825