The Department of Computer Science offers an M.S. degree in computer science. The department also collaborates with the Mathematics department to offer a computer science emphasis within the mathematics Ph.D. program.
Students who successfully complete the Master's program will have acquired the ability to think critically, communicate effectively, problem-solve, remain current in the field, and apply discipline-specific knowledge. A mixture of practical and theoretical courses is included in our program, which prepares students both for professional positions in software development and for further graduate work in Computer Science.
Students are exposed to a variety of computing, programming and networking environments; and have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member on a thesis, professional project, or portfolio. The relatively small size of the program and the department allows for a great deal of personal contact with faculty.
Students with a degree in another field are welcome and prerequisite courses can often be taken simultaneously with required courses.
For the thesis option (30 credits), the student must complete at least 18 credits of approved 500 level courses in computer science, including at least 6 credits of CSCI 599 (Thesis/Project). No more than 6 credits of CSCI 599 (Thesis/Project) may count toward the 30 credits required for the Master’s degree. The thesis must represent an original scholarly contribution to the computer science discipline roughly equivalent in scope to that required for publication in academic conference proceedings. For the project option (36 credits), the student must complete at least 24 credits of approved 500 level courses in computer science, including at least 6 credits of CSCI 599 (Thesis/Project). No more than 6 credits of CSCI 599 (Thesis/Project) may count toward the 36 credits required for the Master’s degree. The project option also involves a substantial software development project, a professional paper on that project, and a formal defense to the student's graduate committee. For the portfolio option (36 credits), the student must complete at least 18 credits of approved 500 level courses in computer science, and must create and present an e-portfolio highlighting at least five examples of their best course work. The portfolio must be presented and defended in a manner consistent with UM graduate school standards for Master’s defenses or projects (C.100-C.800). All courses applied towards the degree must be marked UG or G in the catalog.
Computer Science emphasis within the Mathematics Ph.D. program
The Computer Science Department and the Mathematics department collaborate in offering a computer science emphasis within the Mathematics Ph.D. program. For details on the CS emphasis Mathematics Ph.D., see their graduate program description website (http://www.umt.edu/math/graduate/). For more information, contact the chair of Computer Science at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Application Materials and Deadline
Application Deadline: None (rolling admissions). If you wish to receive a Teaching Assistantship for the academic year, your complete application packet must be received by February 15.
Instructions for applying to the Graduate School are in the Applying for Admission section on this web site.
In addition to the application materials required by the Graduate School, for admission for the M.S. in Computer Science program the Department of Computer Science also requires:
A brief letter explaining objectives for graduate study in computer science.
Three letters of recommendation (We prefer electronic submission through the Admission Application. If the electronic method is used there is no need to send paper copies of the letters to the department.)
2. Program Requirements for Admission
The department will consider applicants who have completed two courses of calculus-level mathematics and two computer science courses equivalent in level to CSCI 135 (CS131) and CSCI 136 (CS132). Students who do not meet these requirements are advised to register with graduate nondegree status.
The following prerequisite courses, or their equivalents, are also required but do not count toward graduate degree program: data structures (CS 241), a course in discrete mathematics (equivalent to MATH 225), and five out of the following six courses: programming languages CSCI 205 (CS 242), architecture CSCI 361 (CS (281), algorithms CSCI 332 (CS 332), operating systems CSCI 460 (CS 344), software engineering CSCI 323 (CS 346), and CSCI 340 databases (CS 365). Some of these prerequisites may be taken at the same time as required courses. Students lacking these prerequisites should plan for one more year of study in the program. The applicant must complete all of the prerequisite courses (or equivalents) with a grade of B or better.
In order for an applicant to be granted full admission status, the applicant must meet the following conditions:
1.) The applicant must have taken the general GRE exam (scores not more than 5 years old) and official scores must be sent to the Graduate School.
2.) International applicants whose native language is not English, must take one of the following exams and have official scores sent to the Graduate School: TOEFL scores of at least 580 (paper-based exam), at least 237 (computer-based exam) or at least 92 (internet-based exam); IELTS score of at least 7.0 or the MELAB score of at least 82. These minimum score requirements may be waived at the discretion of the Graduate Advisor and the ESL Supervisor.
3.) The applicant must have completed all of the prerequisite courses (or equivalents) as specified in the catalog description of the program with a grade of B or better.
Prospective graduate students who do not qualify for FULL admission, are eligible for PROVISIONAL admission in accordance with the following policies:
1.) International applicants whose test scores fail to meet the minimum for full admission will be required to register for ESL (English as a second language) course work at The University of Montana until they meet the minimum test requirements for full admission given above.
2.) The student is expected to receive a B grade or better when taking prerequisites and ESL courses. When a student receives a grade of less than B in a prerequisite course or ESL course, the department will send a recommendation to the Graduate School to drop him/her from the program.
3.) "Application of Candidacy" paperwork will not be approved until FULL admission status has been achieved.
4.) The student will meet with the graduate adviser, and together they will make a plan of study to fulfill the requirements for full admission. The student is expected to follow the plan of study.
5.) With the approval of the Graduate adviser, the Department may accept more advanced courses in place of some of the prerequisites. A grade of B or better will be required in the more advanced course.
6.) At the end of each semester, the Graduate Admissions Committee will review the status of each graduate student who is on provisional admission. When a student has met the conditions for full admission, the department will send a request to the Graduate School recommending full admission. If a student has not made satisfactory progress towards making up the deficiencies, the Graduate Admissions Committee may send a recommendation to the Graduate School to drop the student from the program.
7.) All course work taken by CS-MS graduate students to fulfill prerequisites or degree requirements must be for a letter grade (i.e. courses cannot be taken for credit/no credit).
8.) The Department of Computer Science will not accept a late drop petition from a CS-MS graduate student, except in an extreme hardship case.
9.) At the discretion of the Graduate Admissions Committee, assistantships may be granted to students provisionally admitted.
Transfer students will be dealt with on a case-by-case situation.
Waivers will be approved by the Graduate School Dean regarding the transfer credit limit.
3. International Students
For additional information about financial assistance, see the Financial Information section on this web site.
Teaching and Research Assistantships
The Department of Computer Science offers a number of graduate teaching assistantships and research assistantships to students admitted to the MS in Computer Science program. Teaching assistants typically teach lower level courses and/or assist in upper division classes. Research assistants assist faculty with funded research projects. In general Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants have their tuition paid and are paid a stipend.
Please follow these links to access more financial information:
To be considered as a candidate for either type of assistantship, a student should have a strong background in computer science (a B.S. degree in computer science or have completed most of the prerequisites or their equivalents). Teaching experience is also desirable for teaching assistants. International students must either have TOEFL scores of at least 580 (paper-based exam), at least 237 (computer-based exam) or at least 92 (internet-based exam); IELTS score of at least 7.0 or the MELAB score of at least 82.
In addition to their salaries, teaching assistants receive a tuition fee waiver (in-state or out-of-state) and a waiver of the registration fee. Other fees charged by the University are not included in the TA fee waiver package. Teaching and research assistants are required to register for 9 credits each semester.
Social Science Building, Room 401
Federal Express Delivery - Street Address
32 Campus Drive #5256
Missoula, MT 59812-5256
Fax: (406) 243-5139
Graduate Program Coordinator