Master's of Science in Computer Science

professor and student in a computer science lab with laptop in foreground

In-Depth Experiences, Real-World Impact

Program Information

Research and develop the computing solutions of tomorrow and become an expert in Western Washington University’s Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science program. Regardless of what you studied as an undergraduate, WWU’s two-year CS master’s degree will equip you for a thriving career in the robust and expanding computer science industry.

Enroll full-time to rapidly advance your credentials, or complete the program part-time alongside your existing personal and professional commitments.

Program Features

  • Welcomes students from CS or non-CS backgrounds
  • Small classes & tight-knit cohort 
  • Leading-edge computer science research
  • CS Mentor Program

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    What Will You Learn in the MS in Computer Science Program?

    Cultivate computing and mathematics knowledge that translates into analytical problem-solving and innovative solutions. Master the design-implementation-evaluation cycle for computer-based systems, processes, components, and programs that align with your professional goals. Ground your expertise in professional, ethical, legal, security, and social frameworks that equip you for the responsibility of creating positive change in the world. 

    Through this rigorous program, you’ll study:

    • Artificial intelligence
    • Machine learning
    • Natural language processing
    • Bioinformatics
    • Human and computer interaction
    • Computer vision
    • Computer graphics
    • Computer education
    • Big data
    • Security and privacy
    • Accessibility
    • Parallel and distributed systems

    Why Earn a CS Master’s Degree at WWU?

    Faculty Committed to Your Success

    In the computer science master’s degree program, you will learn from industry leaders who actively contribute to your growth in the classroom and beyond. Our dedicated expert faculty will inspire you to explore your interests and challenge you to engineer solutions to emerging problems in the technology field.

    Cohort Style

    The program provides a supportive and inclusive environment where you can forge lifelong friendships and expansive professional networks. Learning with your peers, you will build marketable teamwork, communication, and leadership skills.

    Location Matters

    WWU is uniquely situated to position you for computer science career opportunities in major metropolitan areas without the stress and traffic of full-time city life.

    Program Curriculum and Courses 

    In WWU’s computer science master’s program, you will build high-level skills in operating systems, automata and formal language theory, algorithm analysis, and computer programming languages. In electives and research endeavors, you’ll hone your focus on the topics and experiences that will support your specific career goals.

    Review program curriculum

    MS in Computer Science Career Opportunities 

    A master’s degree in computer science opens doors to advanced career responsibilities and increased salaries—some roles averaging over $130,000 per year! WWU’s computer science graduates go on to thrive as programmers, administrators, developers, and researchers in both start-up and long-standing tech companies, advanced research laboratories and academia, and critical roles within local, regional, and federal governments.

    Join our alumni at employers like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Expedia, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), or pursue advanced PhD studies at prestigious universities around the world.

    Application Requirements (No GRE Required)

    • Bachelor’s degree: Applicants must have already completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or an equivalent degree from a foreign university, before the term in which they intend to begin their WWU graduate program.
    • Grade Point Average: To satisfy WWU Graduate School requirements, applicants must have a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) over all their post-secondary coursework. To satisfy Computer Science MS program requirements, applicants must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA.
    • English Language Proficiency: Applicants must obtain at least the minimum TOEFL (86 IBT) or IELTS (7.0) unless English is their native language.

    Applying without a CS Background

    This program allows prospective students without a background in CS to apply. Accepted students will take a number of undergraduate classes to get them ready to take master’s- level classes. Acceptance is dependent on the space available in these undergraduate classes.  

    Applicants must have completed the following courses or their equivalent at the time of application:

    • Basic programming: CSCI 141 (CS1) and 
    • CSCI 145 (CS2). 

    Background in some or all of the following is also recommended:

    • Computer Systems: CSCI 247
    • Discrete Math and Formal Languages: CSCI 301
    • Data Structures: CSCI 241

    Apply for the MS in Computer Science program using WWU’s graduate admissions process

    Learn more through our Computer Science admission FAQs.

    Tuition and Cost

    WWU’s competitive tuition structure costs approximately $25,000 for in-state students and $47,000 for out-of-state students. Make your education more affordable by applying for financial aid, grants, private scholarships, and our prestigious teaching and research assistantships.

    Read more about ways to pay for your master’s degree in Computer Science.

    Learn More about WWU’s Master of Science in Computer Science Program

    Propel your career to new heights through WWU’s collaboration-oriented computer science master’s degree program. Tailor your learning to your career goals, including dynamic elective courses that match your passions and part-time study options that allow you to work while you complete your degree. 

    Request information to learn more, or apply today!

    Application Requirements

    • All applicants must complete the Graduate School's ApplyWeb application and pay the $100 application fee.
    • Within the application you will be prompted to upload an unofficial transcript from each institution attended. If admitted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
    • Additional application materials are specified below. Applications will not be forwarded to the department for review until all required materials have been received by the Graduate School.
    • International Applicants: Please review the requirements for information regarding Degree Equivalency, English Language Proficiency and student VISA requirements.

    Additional Application Requirements

    • Three (3) Letters of Reference 
    • Please answer the following questions. The review committee will use your answers to evaluate your qualifications, experience, motivation, goals, enthusiasm, and research interests:
      • Why do you wish to pursue graduate study in CS (or a particular field in CS)?  

      • What specific strengths and/or experience do you possess that will help you succeed in this endeavor?  

      • How does this graduate degree relate to your future goals?

      • What skills and knowledge you hope to acquire with an MS in CS that will bridge the gap between where you are and where you would like to be?


    Sasha Puchko smiling, wearing down jacket, in the mountains

    I am grateful that WWU helps foreign students like myself to feel welcome in a foreign country by providing support and high-level education. Also, as a female studying in a male-dominated field, I don't feel any bias, but only encouragement, motivation, and great support from faculty, who want me to succeed. Moreover, I am grateful to work as a TA without needing to pay for school.

    Sasha Puchko Research Intern in AI/ML at the National Lab
    Robin Cosbey, smiling, with brown hair and black blouse, green background

    I have appreciated getting the opportunity to continue pursuing research with my undergraduate research advisor, Brian Hutchinson, as well as many of the other faculty in the department. Over the two-year program, I have been able to explore many areas of research, including machine learning, bioinformatics, and data science, to find what interests me and what I would like to carry forward into my career. I have also had the opportunity to connect with many faculty and students who share my passions for data and research. If not for the computer science graduate program, I would not have discovered my love for data science and data ethics.

    Robin Cosbey M.S. Computer Science, 2020
    Monsur Hossain in a dark suit near the Golden Gate Bridge

    I liked the student-teacher relationships at Western. Professors were always helpful and encouraging. I think the master's program was challenging but doable. Tests and large projects enhanced my core CS concepts and gave me the confidence to handle real-life hard problems.

    Monsur Hossain Software Engineer at We Work
    Samuel Pollard, outdoors, smiling, wearing a sweater

    What I most appreciated at Western was the individual attention I got. Professors were easily available, the IT/DevOps staff was always able to help, and I was able to work on a project that catered to my math background. I'm a fourth-year PhD candidate at the University of Oregon studying formal methods. I'm funded by Sandia National Labs and intern there during my summers. I'm researching how to verify floating point arithmetic and do binary analysis on old architectures. One skill that stands out in particular from WWU is the large number of programming languages I learned; this makes it much easier to get up to speed on new projects.

    Samuel Pollard PhD Candidate at University of Oregon