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Computer Science, M.S.

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.

Program Highlights

SLU's graduate program in computer science provides students with the depth of knowledge necessary to pursue advanced academic or technological work in a modern, ever-changing world.

Curriculum Overview

SLU’s project-based curriculum emphasizes student teamwork and regular student-faculty interactions. Courses explore cutting-edge areas spanning computing systems, theory of computation and software development. Furthermore, students explore the application of their knowledge to a choice of areas such as artificial intelligence, computer security and high-performance computing. An optional master’s thesis allows students to engage, alongside faculty, in cutting-edge research.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

With our location in the midtown area of St. Louis, our students have access to a strong technology community, with operations for many Fortune 500 companies and a vibrant startup community. This provides outstanding opportunities for summer internships, for part-time work during the academic year, and for future jobs after graduation.

Employers in St. Louis who show great interest in computer science students include Boeing, Centene, Citi, Deloitte, Enterprise, Express Scripts, KPMG, Maritz, MasterCard, Microsoft, Bayer and World Wide Technologies. Other students have worked for smaller companies or even started their own companies.

Our campus is within walking distance of the Cortex Innovation Community, a vibrant 200-acre (and growing) innovation hub and technology district. Cortex is home to SLU's Research Innovation Group, which works on technology transfer and commercial partnerships. Cortex is also home to the weekly Venture Cafe, which is a great place for students to connect with members of the tech community in a friendly and informal setting. Also in downtown St. Louis is the T-REX Technology Entrepreneur Center, a co-working space and technology incubator.

Careers

Careers related to computer science are routinely found on various "best jobs" lists because of their wonderful combination of excellent pay, satisfying work-life balance, and personal reward in seeing the great impact that computing can have throughout society. As a sample of such listings: 

  • U.S. News 100 Best Jobs list for 2021 named software developer as #2. The top 100 also included data scientist (#8), IT manager (#12), information security analyst (#15), computer systems analyst (#47), computer network architect (#51), database administrator (#55), web developer (#59),  computer systems administrator (#86).
  • Glassdoor's 50 Best Jobs in America list for 2021 named java developer as #1 and data scientist as #2, and many other technology positions appear within the top 25: enterprise architect (#4), devops engineer (#5), information security engineer (#6), mobile engineer (#8), software engineer (#9), front end engineer (#11), back end engineer (#16), machine learning engineer (#17), cloud engineer (#23), UX designer (#24).
  • Indeed.com's Best Jobs of 2020 named software architect as #1 and full stack developer as #2. Also included in the top 25 were java developer (#7), data scientist (#8), IT security specialist (#9), data engineer (#12) and cloud engineer (#20).

Admission Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a closely related field is required. Most successful applicants have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 or better on a 4.00 scale.

Application Requirements

  • Application completion and fee 
  • Transcript(s)
  • One letter of recommendation is required; two more are optional
  • Résumé
  • Statement of professional goals
  • GRE general scores recommended

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application Deadlines

Applications for January admission must be completed by the preceding Nov. 1, while applications for August admission must be completed by June 1. Applicants seeking scholarships or graduate assistantships are encouraged to apply earlier.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed as they are completed. A panel of faculty members from the Department of Computer Science will decide on acceptance, and all applicants will be evaluated for potential scholarships or assistantships.

Scholarships, Assistantships and Financial Aid 

The computer science department offers several forms of merit-based financial support for graduate students. These include possible tuition scholarships, and graduate assistantships that may include full or partial tuition, health insurance, and a stipend for living expenses in exchange for the assistant’s contributions to the teaching or research mission of the department. Students may also seek their own scholarships from a variety of independent organizations that support graduate education in STEM fields.

For more information, visit the student financial services office online at http://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to design, implement, evaluate and test a software system that meets a given set of computing requirements.
  2. Graduates will be able to apply computer science theory, knowledge of computer systems and software development fundamentals to produce computing-based solutions.
  3. Graduates will be able to assess relevant literature and technical documents in the field of computing
  4. Graduates will be able to communicate effectively to both professional and general audiences in both oral and written forms.
  5. Graduates will be able to recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.
  6. Graduates will be able to function effectively as a member of a team in developing computing technology and solving technical problems.
CSCI 5030Principles of Software Development3
CSCI 5050Computing and Society3
CSCI 5090Computer Science Colloquium1
CSCI 5300-5399Software Engineering Elective3
CSCI 5500-5599Systems Elective3
CSCI 5100-5199Theory Elective3
Breadth Elective Requirement
Select one course from at least two of the following categories:6
CSCI 5200-5299
Language/Compilers courses
CSCI 5600-5699
Large Scale Systems courses
CSCI 5700-5799
Knowledge Systems
CSCI 5800-5899 or BCB 5200/5250
Advanced Applications
General Elective
Select an additional eleven credits (options listed below)11
Breadth Electives
Additional courses from Breadth Electives may be chosen.
Closely Related Disciplines
With approval, students may include up to 6 credits of elective graduate coursework in closely related disciplines (e.g., Mathematics & Statistics, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Electrical & Computer Engineering)
Colloquium
Students may repeat CSCI 5090 up to 2 additional credits
Internship with Industry
Students may apply at most 3 credits of CSCI 5910
Thesis Option
A Master’s Thesis is optional. Students completing a thesis take 6 credits of CSCI 5990
Total Credits33

Continuation Standards

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

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CSCI 5030 Principles of Software Development 3
CSCI 5050 Computing and Society 3
CSCI 5090 Computer Science Colloquium 1
Theory ElectiveTheory courses numbered CSCI 5100-5199 3
 Credits10
Spring
CSCI 5090 Computer Science Colloquium 1
Software Engineering ElectiveSoftware Engineering courses numbered CSCI 5300-5399 3
Systems ElectiveSystems courses numbered CSCI 5500-5599 3
Breadth or General ElectiveSee Program Notes 3
 Credits10
Year Two
Fall
CSCI 5090 Computer Science Colloquium 1
Breadth or General ElectiveSee Program Notes 3
Breadth or General ElectiveSee Program Notes 3
Breadth or General ElectiveSee Program Notes 3
 Credits10
Spring
Breadth or General ElectiveSee Program Notes 3
 Credits3
 Total Credits33

Program Notes

Breadth Elective Requirement

The general requirements must include a course from at least two of the following categories:

  • CSCI 5200-5299 (Language/Compilers courses)
  • CSCI 5600-5699 (Large Scale Systems courses)
  • CSCI 5700-5799 (Knowledge Systems)
  • CSCI 5800-5899 or BCB 5200/5250 (Advanced Applications)
Thesis Option

A master’s thesis is optional. Students completing a thesis should take six credits of Thesis Research (CSCI 5990) as part of the elective requirements.

Internship with Industry

Students may apply at most three credits of Internship with Industry (CSCI 5910) toward the degree requirements.

Closely Related Disciplines

With approval, students may include up to six credits of elective graduate coursework in closely related disciplines (e.g., mathematics and statistics, bioinformatics and computational biology, electrical and computer engineering).

For questions about admissions, applicants currently in the United States should contact Cory Washington and applicants elsewhere should contact globalgrad@slu.edu.   

For other questions about the program or curriculum, contact the department's graduate coordinator, Kevin Scannell Ph.D.