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Computer Science

Graduate Programs in Computer Science

The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at Howard University offers three graduate degree programs in Computer Science and a certificate program in cybersecurity: a traditional Master of Science in Computer Science, a one-year accelerated Master of Science in Computer Science, a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Computer Science, and a Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate. Requirements for each degree and program are listed below.

Graduate Computer Science Programs (MS and PhD) at Howard University have following specialization options:

  • Software Engineering
  • Cybersecurity
  • Algorithms and Machine Learning
  • Data communications
  • Computer systems
Admission Requirements
  • Statement of Academic Interest & Professional Goals
  • Autobiographical Sketch
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation (minimum)          
  • Official transcripts from each university or college attended 
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing scores reported to Howard University School Code (5297)
  • Official Transcripts
    • Applicants must report all institutions attended and send all official transcripts to EngineeringCAS. If you do not list or send official transcripts for all institutions attended, processing of your application will be delayed.
    • Sending Transcripts Electronically (Click here for additional information)
  • Sending Transcripts by Mail
    • Provide the registrar with the following items:
    • EmgineeringCAS Transcript Request Form. Ask the registrar to attach it to your official transcripts. This form is not required but strongly recommended as it helps ensure your official transcripts are properly matched to your application. 
    • If you cannot use this form, make sure the registrar prints "EngineeringCAS" and your full EngineeringCAS ID# on the transcript before mailing it. 
    • Any school-specific forms required by the registrar.
    • Any transcript fees required by the registrar.
    • All information needed by the registrar to properly identify you in the school's database (including any name changes).  
    • Your EngineeringCAS ID#. 
    • Institutions must send transcripts directly to EngineeringCAS to the following address:
      EngineeringCAS Transcript Processing Center
      PO Box 9121
      Watertown, MA 02471


International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above you must meet the following:

  • Official transcripts, certificates and/or mark/grade sheets must be sent directly from the college or university to the Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions, and must show proof of degree(s) earned, courses taken and marks/grades received.  All transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services ( or by a current NACES member ( All GRE score reports must be submitted to Howard University (school code: 5297).
  • TOEFL Scores (Minimum computer-based score of 213 is required and only official score reports are accepted within 2 years of the test date)
Degree Requirements

Traditional Master of Computer Science

The Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) program involves (i) 24 credit hours of course work and 6 credit hours of thesis work (for MS in Computer Science with the Thesis Option) or (ii) 33 credit hours of course work and successful completion of comprehensive examinations in at least two graduate courses taken in the student's area of concentration/specialization (for MS in Computer Science with the Non-Thesis Option).

The MSCS program equips students with comprehensive knowledge of contemporary computer science through training that combines both theory and practice. The program provides intensive preparation in the concepts and techniques related to the design, programming, and application of computing systems. The program requires students to take a broad spectrum of courses, while simultaneously allowing for emphasis in desired areas of specialization. 


Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

Candidates for the Ph.D. program (i) must complete a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate (BS) degree, of which a minimum of 60 credit hours must be spent in course work and 12 credit hours in dissertation work or (ii) must complete a minimum of 48 credit hours beyond the master’s degree, of which a minimum of 36 credit hours must be spent in course work and 12 credit hours in dissertation work.  At most 24 credit hours (towards 60 credit hour coursework) can be transferred into the PhD program from another university, if the candidate has relevant MS degree. 

All students must be enrolled during the semester their degree is awarded, must be enrolled at Howard University a minimum of 4 semesters.  At most 24 credit hours can be transferred into the program from another university.  At most 6 credit hours of undergraduate course work can be applied to the program but must be approved by the faculty adviser, graduate program director and department chair. The coursework must include the core courses and elective courses. The elective courses can be selected from various areas of specialization, in consultation with the student’s advisor and in accordance with individual needs and interests. 

Candidates must receive a passing grade on a comprehensive examination and demonstrate communication skills in English via Expository Writing.

Students with no previous graduate work experience may be required to complete the academic requirements for the master’s program during the first 30 credit hours in the Ph.D. program.

Qualifying Examination

Each doctoral candidate must pass a written and oral qualifying or comprehensive examination, administered and supervised by the department.

Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate

Cybersecurity has become an increasingly important area of study within the discipline of computer science, especially in view of the increased demands for national and international security. The Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity is designed to provide existing graduate students with a significantly enhanced tool for marketability in the computer security industry.

The interdisciplinary program is comprised of the curriculum in the Computer Science Program. Courses can be used towards the master’s or doctoral degree programs in computer science to provide a continuous path for the student towards a graduate degree. The certificate program requires fifteen (15) credit hours. For further details please refer to the web page at:



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Program Faculty

Legand Burge profile photo

Legand Burge

Professor of Computer Science

Computer Science


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Jiang (Leo) Li profile photo

Jiang (Leo) Li

Associate Professor

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, CEA


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Danda Rawat profile photo

Danda Rawat

Professor (EECS) and Director (Data Science & Cybersecurity Center)

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, CEA


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