degree provides a broad background in software development and other core disciplines of computer science. Graduates of the MSCS program are well prepared both for positions in industry, or to continue their studies at a PhD program if desired.
The 36 unit program requires two years of full-time study. The MSCS program follows a cohort model during the first year; all students take the same set of core courses. During the second year, students may choose from a rotating selection of graduate electives based on their interests and goals. Students develop several large software projects throughout the degree, including a substantial capstone project during their second year.
The program follows a cohort model during the first year. As a result, all students will take the following core courses at the same time:
||Principles of Software Development
page for course descriptions.
All students must take CS 690 Master's Project
(4 units) during their second year. In this course, students work with an industry or faculty sponsor to complete a substantial capstone project from start to finish. This involves completing the specification, design, development, and testing of a significant software system.
Students must take 16 units of 600-level graduate CS electives during their second year. A maximum of 4 units may come from CS 695 Practicum Study or CS 698 Directed Study. A rotating selection of graduate electives will be available every semester. See the Courses page for course descriptions.
Students may opt to replace an elective with practical work experience at tech companies and startups in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. This option is open to most international students. Visit
Students may opt to replace an elective with a directed research course, allowing them to work closely with a professor on a research project. This option is ideal for students who wish to continue on to a PhD program.