Computer Science, MS

Oakland University’s master’s degree in computer science offers professional growth opportunities that prepare you for advanced roles in computer science. Whether you seek a career in corporate leadership, academia, or government, our MSCS degree equips you with deep computer science expertise that’s in extremely high demand. Our proximity to global industrial leaders makes Oakland University’s MSCS degree especially robust. You’ll enjoy opportunities to partner with computer scientists who are expanding technology’s boundaries, earning your MSCS in a community of computer science innovators and high-level problem-solvers. It’s no wonder graduates of our MSCS program have such an excellent record of professional achievement.

Academic Programs Coordinator
Dr. Hua Ming

Quick Links

OU Graduate College

SECS Graduate Resources

SECS Technology Office

Degree requirements

The Master of Science in computer science degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 32 credits in an approved program of study.

Course requirements

1. Research track (32 credits)

The research track requires 32 credits including 8 credits of thesis to graduate. The structure of credits is as follows:

b. Depth requirement (8 credits)

Students on a research track must complete a thesis for 8 credits.

c. Electives (8 credits)*

Eight credits of electives should be completed. Electives may be selected from any specialty group.

A complete list of 5000- to 7000-level courses offered by the department is listed below.

Note: Courses listed under Miscellaneous do not form a specialty group. However, Special Topic courses (CSI 5900, CSI 7900) and maximum of four credits of Independent Study (CSI 5970, CSI 7970) can be taken as electives.

2. Professional track (32 credits)

The professional track requires 32 credits of graduate coursework. The structure of credits is as follows.

a. Core requirement (16 credits)

Complete 12 credits from the Core Group courses:

b. Depth requirement (8 credits)*

Students on a professional track must complete two courses (8 credits) from one specialty group.

c. Electives (8 credits)*

Eight credits of electives should be completed. Electives may be selected from any specialty group.

A complete list of 5000- to 7000-level courses offered by the department is listed below.

Note: Courses listed under Miscellaneous do not form a specialty group. However, Special Topic courses (CSI 5900, CSI 7900) and maximum of four credits of Independent Study (CSI 5970, CSI 7970) can be taken as electives.

Complete list of 5000- to 7000-level courses offered by the department

The following is the complete list of 5000- to 7000-level courses offered by the department. Prerequisite courses do not give any graduate credit. These are meant for students lacking sufficient background in computer science and engineering. Please consult the degree requirements to see how best to choose courses for your program of study.

Note: Courses listed under the heading Miscellaneous do not form a specialty group.

*These courses are cross-listed as advanced undergraduate and graduate courses. If completed as a 4000-level course or equivalent as part of baccalaureate degree, the course may be used to offset graduate program requirements. However, credit will not then be awarded and must be earned by completion of an approved substitute course.

Specialty Group Courses

2. Embedded Systems Group

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Department requirements: The minimum satisfactory grade for graduate work is B. Credit for completion of a course in the Master of Science program will be given for grades of B- or above but no more than two grades may be B-. Graduate credit will not be awarded for grades below B-. To repeat a course, a student must have the permission of the graduate committee of the school.

All grades received as a graduate student are used in computing the GPA except that, if a course has been repeated, the most recent grade is used in the calculation of the GPA. A graduate student is placed on academic probation if the student’s overall GPA drops below 3.0 or if the student receives more than one grade below B, including the original grade(s) of any repeated course(s). A graduate student receiving a grade less than B while on probation is subject to dismissal. A graduate student receiving more than two grades below B is subject to dismissal whether or not the student was put on probation previously.

In all programs the minimum grade point requirement is an average of at least 3.0. If a student’s GPA is less than 3.0 after having attempted 16 credits, the student will be recommended for dismissal from the program.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Oakland University Graduate School.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility section of this catalog.)

Note: Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception – OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.

Course approval

Approval by the master’s degree adviser and the department chair is required for independent study, engineering projects, a master’s thesis or special topics courses that are used toward the degree. In addition, approval of the faculty administering the independent study, advising the thesis or project or teaching the special topics course must be obtained before registering for these credits. No more than 8 thesis or project credits may be used toward the degree requirements.

Course credit

Normally, graduate credit is awarded only for courses numbered 5000 or higher. However, up to 4 credits of Oakland University senior-level (4000-4999) courses in the major can be approved for graduate credit by the student’s adviser. With the added approval of the graduate committee of the school, an additional 4 credits of senior-level courses can also be counted toward the required credits for the degree. Course credit will not be awarded for work applied toward another degree. Students who have received credit for the 4000-level version of a cross-listed senior/graduate course cannot receive credit toward a graduate degree for the 5000-level version of that course.

Transfer credit

Students transferring from other institutions are allowed to transfer a maximum of 9 credits of graduate coursework with the approval of the department.

Workload and scheduling

Full-time students must register for 8 to 12 credits per semester. Graduate assistants must be full-time students and commit 20 hours per week toward their research or teaching assistantship assignment. Graduate assistants normally register for only 8 credits per semester; however, a 12-credit load can be taken with the approval of the chair of their department.

For the convenience of part-time students employed in industry, most courses are arranged in late afternoon and early evening. However, these students should be aware of the very real demands of graduate studies and should keep outside work commitments and their academic load in balance.

Master’s adviser

The progress of each regular student toward the Master of Science degree is directed by the student’s adviser, a faculty member of the School of Engineering and Computer Science who is assigned at the time of admission. Incoming students seeking the degree are urged to discuss their proposed concentration area with their adviser or other faculty members in that area. Students who wish to change their adviser can do so with the approval of the chair of their department.

Master’s project or thesis

Although the master’s degree requirements may be satisfied by taking only coursework, either a graduate engineering project (CSI 6996 ) or a directed master’s thesis research (CSI 6998 ) may be included as part of the program in place of elective courses.

Students electing a thesis option must accumulate a minimum of 8 credits of CSI 6998. Successful completion and defense of a thesis is a prerequisite for earning thesis credits. Students choosing the thesis option must select an advisory committee, which is composed of at least three faculty members from the School of Engineering and Computer Science. The selection of the committee and the Plan of Study must be approved by the department chair. The chair (major professor) of the advisory committee will direct and guide the research. The student must propose a research topic to the committee for approval at least one semester before graduation. The completed thesis must conform to university standards (see Thesis and Dissertation).

At the completion of the research and its documentation, the content of the thesis must be publicly presented and defended. Successful defense of the thesis is a prerequisite for earning the research credits.