Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) at Illinois State gives you the knowledge and tools necessary to study important issues in computer science to obtain productive employment or pursue advanced degrees.
Our program emphasizes foundational knowledge in computer science and programmatic application of fundamental concepts in leading-edge applications.
It is appropriate for a range of students, including industry computing professionals seeking career advancement, students wishing to expand on their undergraduate computer science work and/or prepare for doctoral degree, and individuals wishing to make a career change.
Point of Pride
Illinois State is the only university in the state with information systems and computer science programs accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.
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How to Apply
University Admission Requirements
A student applying to a master's program must:
- have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association, or do so within one academic year
- present unofficial transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. The unofficial transcript should be easily readable and clearly indicate degree(s) awarded, courses and course grades for each term. If accepted, official transcripts can be emailed from the university to GraduateAdmissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Illinois State University, Graduate School, 209 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 4040, Normal, IL 61790-4040.
International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
To be considered for this program, you must meet the following requirements.
You must have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 on a 4.0 scale for either the last 60 hours of your undergraduate coursework or any previous work in a Master's program.
Submit your score from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Revised General Test.
Admitted students typically meet or exceed Quantitative score of 155, and combined Verbal + Quantitative score of 315.
This program requires an undergraduate degree in computer science or closely related areas. If you lack sufficient background, you will need to complete fundamental courses before enrolling in the MS Computer Science degree courses.
Students lacking sufficient background should expect to complete some or all of the following fundamental courses with a grade of B or better before enrolling in MSCS:
- IT 168: Structured Problem-solving Using The Computer
- IT 179: Introduction to Data Structures
- IT 180: C++ Programming
- IT 225: Computer Organization
- IT 279: Algorithms and Data Structures
- IT 383: Principles of Operating Systems
- IT 378: Database Processing
English Proficiency Score (International Students Only)
International students must obtain a minimum TOEFL score of 94 (internet-based testing), IELTS of 7 or Duolingo of 115.
View English Proficiency details about acceptable documentation or English waiver guidelines.
- Fall (August) Term — May 1
- Spring (January) Term — Currently not accepting application for spring admission.
The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.
To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,
- be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
- be in good-standing
- be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).
Graduate assistants receive
- monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
- a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
- a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment
Costs & Funding
See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from contiguous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.
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