Masters Degree

Master of Science Degree Program

The master of science (M.S.) degree program prepares students for ever-expanding career opportunities. Possibilities range from the development of time-critical software for aerospace applications to the design of graphics and animation software to implementation and testing of next-generation Internet protocols.

Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) in all graduate courses taken with graded option.

The information on this page is a general outline of the steps leading up to the granting of a M.S. degree. For more details and for a list of specific requirements, refer to the Computer Science section of the UO Catalog.


The M.S. degree requires 54 credits of coursework:

  • Breadth requirement: 12 credits - must earn a grade of B- or higher
  • Depth requirement: 12 credits - must earn a grade of B- or higher
  • Writing requirement: 2 credits
  • Electives: 28 credits
    • Electives option 1: thesis
      • Minimum of 8 graded credits - must earn a grade of C or higher
      • Maximum of 16 units (total) from CS 503 (thesis), CS 601 (research) and CS 609 (final project). Also, there must be between 9 and 12 units of CS 503.
    • Electives option 2: non-thesis
      • Minimum of 18 graded credits - must earn a grade of C or higher
      • Maximum of 10 P/NP credits
    • Electives option 3: DRP option
      • Minimum of 8 graded credits - must earn a grade of C or higher
      • Maximum of 16 units (total) from CS 503 (thesis), CS 601 (research) and CS 609 (final project).   Completion of the directed research project (DRP) milestone in the CS Ph.D program and approval from the DRP committee that the project meets the standards of an M.S. thesis.  

Note that classes cannot be used to meet multiple requirements. For example, a class taken to meet the Breadth requirement cannot be used a second time to meet the Depth or Elective requirements.

Breadth and Depth Requirements here

Writing Requirement

To meet this requirement, students must take CS 640. This course should be taken when students are writing a document for their studies. Specifically, Ph.D. students should be writing their DRP report, their Area Exam document, or their Dissertation. M.S. students should be writing their thesis. If an M.S. student does not plan to write a thesis, then they can take the course any time, and will write a survey on a computer science topic.

Elective Credits

Elective credits may be taken outside the department in an area closely related to the student's professional goals, subject to approval by the Graduate Education Committee; options include courses in linguistics, mathematics, physics, and psychology.

Other elective options within the department include:

  1. Up to 8 credits in Reading and Conference (CS 605), with prior approval by the advisor.
  2. Experimental Courses (CS 510, 610), which are new courses awaiting permanent status.

Master's Thesis / Project

Master's Thesis
The thesis option requires a written thesis and 9 to 12 credits in Thesis (CS 503). Thesis research is supervised by a faculty advisor; this advisor and at least one additional CS faculty member constitute the thesis committee. The master's thesis is expected to be scholarly and to demonstrate mastery of the practices of computer science. In addition to the written document, a public presentation of the thesis work is required.  Note:  Thesis must be at least 50% completed one quarter prior to graduation. This option is strongly recommended for students who plan subsequent Ph.D. research.
Master's Project
The project option requires a master's degree project and 8 to 12 credits in Final Project (CS 609). Each unit at the grad level should be 4 hours per week, so the scope is approximately 320 to 480 hours of effort.  Under the supervision of a faculty member, the project may entail a group effort involving several master's degree students. The project is subject to approval by the department's Graduate Education Committee.  A written summarization of the project and outcomes is required.

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