Aug 10, 2020  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog Archived Catalog

Computer Science: Computer Science, M.S.

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Dr. Joseph Kizza, Department Head

(423) 425-4043 or email at

Dr. Farah Kandah, Graduate Program Coordinator

(423) 425-4395 or email at

The CPSC M.S. program requires a student to complete a minimum of 33 semester hours of graduate work including a thesis, or 36 semester hours of graduate work including a project. Students admitted to the program who lack academic experience in certain areas will be required to complete up to 18 hours of additional course work in mathematics and/or the computer science foundation courses listed below (CPSC 5000, 5010, and 5020, or their undergraduate equivalents) in order to gain needed competencies. All students admitted to the program must complete 15 semester hours of required courses from the computer science core courses listed below. The program also includes 6 hours of thesis and at least 9 hours of computer science elective courses. The student (in consultation with his/her major adviser and the graduate program coordinator) can select an additional 3 hours of elective coursework in an area of interest within or outside of computer science. Students may elect to undertake a project in lieu of a thesis. In this case, 6 additional hours of elective coursework, for a minimum total of 36 hours of graduate credit, are required. The courses used for these additional six hours are subject to the approval of the major adviser and the graduate program coordinator. With either the thesis or project option, a minimum of 21 hours of credit must be from UTC computer science courses at the 5000 level or above (not including CPSC 5000, 5010, or 5020, which may not be used to fulfill degree requirements). Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average and are subject to all general regulations of The Graduate School, such as those regulating admission to candidacy, transfer of credits, time limitations, thesis, and degree conferral.

Unrestricted Elective Courses

Students can select graduate course work related to the student’s objectives from an area within or outside of computer science, in consultation with the major adviser and the graduate program coordinator.
Total: 3-9 hours (depending on whether the Project or Thesis option is chosen).


A student who holds a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university may be considered for admission to the program. This program is designed for students with the foundation provided by the baccalaureate degree in computer science. However, students with degrees in other disciplines may be admitted. Students whose academic training is considered inadequate in certain areas will be required to complete additional undergraduate and/or graduate foundation/prerequisite courses as determined by the department.

Application Procedures

To be accepted into the master’s degree program in Computer Science (any concentration), a student must complete all of the following:

  1. Have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. An official transcript is required from each previously attended college. An application and non-refundable application fee of $35 for domestic, $40 international, should also be submitted to the Graduate School.
  2. Students with a previous degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or a closely related field from a regionally accredited U.S. University may be granted admission to UTC’s Graduate School and the M.S. Computer Science Program based on a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (based on a 4.0 scale), or a GPA of 3.0 in the senior year. International students, and domestic students without a previous degree in the computing discipline, will be admitted based on a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.9 (based on a 4.0 scale), or a GPA of 3.2 in the senior year.
  3. International students whose first language is not English must have an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 220 or above on the computer-based test, or a score of 83 or above on the Internet-based test, or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or above.

Additional Information and Notes

Graduate level CPSC courses for which a student has earned an A or B at UTC or any other institution cannot be repeated for credit.

Transfer Credit

Six graduate credit hours of courses completed at other universities for graduate credit may be considered to satisfy CPSC degree program requirements at UTC. A transferred course generally must form a logical part of the CPSC program to be approved.

Those who request transfer credit must be prepared to provide the university catalog in effect at the time at which the courses were completed as well as any other supporting information to the Graduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and to the Dean of the Graduate School. For additional requirements see “Transfer Credit” under “Academic Policies for Graduate Students ” in the UTC Graduate Catalog.


Any student who earns 3 or more grades of C or below in graduate level courses will be dismissed from the CPSC program.

Program of Study

Students must submit a Program of Study during the first semester of graduate coursework. The Program of Study consist of all core courses and any electives and establishes the courses the student must take for partial fulfillment of the degree requirements. The Program of Study form must include all core courses and electives, if known at the time, the student will take. The Program of Study form is located at

Admission to Candidacy

The Application for Admission to Candidacy is typically filed in the semester prior to a student’s anticipated graduation semester and should list all courses not listed on the Program of Study and any changes in coursework. Please refer to Admission to Candidacy section. The appropriate form may be obtained from the Graduate School Web site at

Additional Information and Notes

Students admitted to the program who lack academic experience in mathematics may be assigned Mathematics 1830 or 1950, 2030 or 3030, and a college-level course in statistics to ensure that they have the mathematics background equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.

Some or all of the foundation courses in which academic training has been completed previously may be waived. The requirements to waive a foundation course are:

  1. A grade of “C” or better from an ABET accredited school, or
  2. A grade of “B” or better from a non-ABET accredited school.

All required foundation course must be completed before more than two CPSC core and/or elective courses are completed.




Foundation Courses (offered only at undergraduate level)

  • CPSC 1100 Fundamentals of Computer Science
  • CPSC 1110 Data Structures and Program Design
  • CPSC 2100 Software Design and Development
  • CPSC 2800 Introduction to Operating Systems
  • CPSC 3200 Data Structures
  • CPEN 3700 Digital Logic and Introduction to Computer Hardware
  • Total: 21 hours

Foundation Courses (leveling courses for non-computer science majors)

Project or Thesis

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