Computer Science

Program Contacts

Emre Celebi, PhD: Department Chair and Graduate Program Coordinator
Telephone: (501) 852-0931 | Email:

[1] Objectives

The Master of Science in Computer Science is designed to provide intensive preparation in both concepts and techniques related to applications of computing systems. The program requires the student to take a wide range of courses to meet the breadth requirement, while simultaneously allowing for emphasis in desired application areas of specialization. Upon completing this degree program, a student should have the ability and skills for immediate employment in positions related to computer science and also be well prepared for advanced studies in doctoral degrees at leading institutions. Detailed program objectives and educational outcomes can be found at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering homepage.

[2] Program Admission Requirements

The candidate must meet the Graduate School general requirements for admission to graduate study. Requirements and applications can be found at the Graduate School website. International students seeking admission may complete the form at International Admissions.

In addition, applicants are evaluated by the department Graduate Admission Committee based on the following requirements:

  • An undergraduate degree in Computer Science or a closely related field. A degree is considered closely related if its curriculum includes equivalent coursework for a Computer Science minor at UCA. For other applicants, leveling courses or proficiency exams (see below) will be required before the student can be admitted to the graduate program in Computer Science. As noted, an applicant has the option of demonstrating proficiency in a given course through an exam proctored by the department in lieu of taking a leveling course.
  • At least two letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s scholastic aptitude.
  • A statement of purpose.
  • A résumé.

[3] The BS+MS Combined Option

The department offers a combined and accelerated option for students to complete both the BS in Computer Science or Cybersecurity and the MS in Computer Science degrees. This option allows qualified seniors in the BS program in Computer Science or Cybersecurity to enroll in 5000-level graduate classes in the MS program in Computer Science. A maximum of nine such credit hours may be counted towards both the BS and MS degrees. Students interested in this five-year BS+MS combined option should contact their academic advisor or the department chair for details.

The 5000-level graduate classes that senior students pursuing the BS+MS combined option can take include the following:

CSCI 5300 Operating Systems
CSCI 5305 Linux/UNIX Systems
CSCI 5310 Numerical Methods for Data Science
CSCI 5315 Information Security
CSCI 5320 Compiler Construction
CSCI 5325 Concurrent Programming
CSCI 5330 Theory of Computation
CSCI 5352 Introduction to Game Programming
CSCI 5353 Multimedia Computing
CSCI 5357 Programming Mobile Devices
CSCI 5365 Web Technologies
CSCI 5370 Data Mining
CSCI 5371 Machine Learning
CSCI 5372 Data Clustering
CSCI 5381 Advanced Java Programming
CSCI 5385 Artificial Intelligence

Eligibility Requirements for the BS+MS Combined Option

  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25
  • Completion of a minimum of 75% of the required 3000-level CSCI/CSEC courses (with no D’s)
  • Must be within 12 months of completing the BS program in Computer Science or Cybersecurity
  • May not exceed 18 credit hours in any semester of combined degree registration
  • Must maintain a minimum of 3.0 grade point average in each semester of combined degree registration

[4] Degree Requirements for the MS in Computer Science

Thesis Option: The thesis option requires 30 credit hours. This option requires 24 hours of Computer Science course work and a minimum of six (6) thesis hours. The student must complete a thesis under the supervision of his/her thesis advisor and thesis committee. A majority of the committee members must approve the thesis. The thesis must present a research study that makes a significant contribution to scientific knowledge. A public presentation and defense of the thesis will be required. A maximum of six hours of thesis credit hours may be applied toward the degree.

Non-Thesis Option: The non-thesis option requires 33 credit hours of Computer Science course work. A maximum of six (6) credit hours may be transferred from another college/university toward the degree with approval of the Department. Transferred credits will not be included in the UCA grade-point average. Thesis course credit may not be applied toward completion of the non-thesis option.

Both Options: Graduate students are expected to participate in the professional activities of the department. This includes attending seminars and colloquia, participating in Computer Science Club and outreach activities, and suggesting improvements in curriculum and teaching.

[5] Advisement

When a student is admitted to the program, the Graduate Coordinator or the department chairperson will review the student’s records, recommend an initial program of study, and serve as the initial advisor. Before the student completes 18 credit hours or the second semester of graduate work, a student should select a member of the graduate faculty to become principal advisor with the approval of the department chairperson. The advisor and the student will work together to determine a program of study. Any change in the program of study must be agreed upon by both the student and the advisors.

The principal advisor helps the student who has chosen the Thesis Option to formulate a thesis committee. The committee consists of the principal advisor and at least two other graduate faculty members of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering; the committee may include up to two additional members from outside the department with the approval of the department chairperson. The task of the committee is to oversee the topic selected for the thesis, assess progress on a regular basis, and conduct the oral examination over the thesis. An approval by the majority of the thesis committee is necessary for a student to pass her/his thesis.

[6] Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are available to students with full admission status. The application for graduate assistantship is available online at Considerations when awarding graduate assistantships are based not only on an applicant’s credentials but also on available resources and the number of applicants. Normally, graduate assistantship support for students in this program is limited to two years.

[7] Graduate Courses in Computer Science

Follow this link to CSCI course descriptions: course link.