Computer Science (MCS)

Computer Science (MCS) | Graduate

From the use of AI technology to drive advancements in healthcare to the use of blockchain technology to accelerate business growth and predict disease outbreaks, computer science is driving economic growth and innovation. Our graduates are prepared to analyze, design, and apply computing systems to solve complex global issues.

The Master of Computer Science (MCS) at Howard's Graduate School provides intensive preparation in the analysis, design, and application of computing systems to solve complex issues in healthcare, transportation, cybersecurity, data science, and many other areas. Our program welcomes applicants with a strong aptitude for mathematics or programming or a background in computer science, mathematics, business, or related disciplines. Like many of our graduate alums, you will be prepared for a career in research, industry, or government or for further study at the doctoral level. Our program offers two different tracks: the thesis track, which requires 24 credits of coursework and six credits of thesis work, and the non-thesis track, which requires 33 credits of coursework, an independent research project, and successful completion of a qualifying exam in a chosen research area. You may choose from five distinct areas of specialization in software engineering, cybersecurity, algorithms and machine learning, data communications, and computer systems. You will work closely with faculty who are consultants to fortune 100 companies in the telecom, information technology, and government sectors. Computer Science faculty have expertise in various areas, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, distributed systems, bioinformatics, human-computer interaction, privacy, and security. In Washington, DC, there is no shortage of employment opportunities you will have access to at federal agencies, technology firms, and startups, including BAE Systems, Capital One, Amazon, Lockheed Martin, and Google. Qualified students can also enroll in the Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity, further enhancing their industry marketability.

Program Snapshot

      ❱  33 credit hours (non-thesis option); 30 credit hours (thesis option)

      ❱  Full-time

      ❱  On-campus format

      ❱  Degree: MCS

Application Deadlines

Spring 2024 entry: 

      ❱  Nov. 1, 2023 (final deadline)

Fall 2024 entry: 

      ❱  Dec. 1, 2023 (early deadline)

      ❱  Feb. 15, 2024 (priority deadline)

      ❱  Apr. 15, 2024 (final deadline)

Applicants should submit their applications as early as possible. Applicants have until the final deadline to apply. However, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the admissions cycle. 

Transfer credits accepted (reviewed by committee)


Dr. Danda Rawat

Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Ahmed Rubaai

Department Chair

Program Details

  • Degree Classification: Graduate
  • Related Degrees: MCS

Admission Requirements

Application for Admission

  • Online EngineeringCAS application
  • Statement of purpose/ Statement of academic interest (500-1,000 words)
  • GRE scores not required 
  • Official transcripts sent to EngineeringCAS
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or the international equivalent 
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Autobiographical statement (500-750 words)

GRE Required?

  • No

GRE Preferred Minimums    

  • GRE Verbal Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Quantitative Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Analytical Writing: N/A

GPA Required Minimums    

  • Overall GPA minimum: 3.0
  • Undergrad GPA minimum: 3.0

Prerequisite Courses (Recommended)

The following course prerequisites are recommended. No expiration date for recommended prerequisites.

  • Programming (6 semester credit hrs of programming coursework or working knowledge of at least 2 programming languages including C, C++, or Java)
  • Data Structures (3 semester credit hrs or a course that exposes students to basic data structures of linked lists, stacks, queues, and trees. Applicants should have extensive experience in writing programs that implement algorithms for manipulating these data structures)
  • Machine Organization (3 semester credit hrs or a course involving machine organization.This requirement can be fulfilled by a course in operating systems, assembly language programming, computer organization, computer architecture, or a similar course)
  • Operating Systems (3 semester credit hrs or a course in operating systems)
  • Algorithms (3 semester credit hrs or a course in computer science that requires data structures as a prerequisite. This requirement can be fulfilled by a course in algorithms, algorithm analysis, numerical analysis, or a similar course algorithm analysis, numerical analysis, or a similar course)
  • Probability or Statistics (3 semester credit hrs of probability and statistics or an equivalent course)
  • Calculus (6 semester credit hrs of a calculus course)
  • Differential Equations, Linear or Abstract Algebra, or Discrete Math (3 semester credit hrs of upper-level courses in differential equations, linear algebra, abstract algebra, or discrete mathematics. The course should have calculus as a prerequisite)

Reference Requirements    

Evaluator type accepted:

  • Professor (Required)
  • Supervisor/Manager
  • Coworker

Evaluator type not accepted:

  • Friend
  • Family Member
  • Clergy
  • Other