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    Syracuse University
  Sep 20, 2017
2017-2018 Graduate Course Catalog

Computer Science, MS

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Program Director

Qinru Qiu


Howard A. Blair, Tomislav Bujanovic, Ilyas Cicekli, Nihan Cicekli, Stephen J. Chapin, Biao Chen, C.Y. Roger Chen, Shiu-Kai Chin, Jun Hwan (Brandon) Choi, Wenliang (Kevin) Du, Sara Eftekharnejad, Ehat Ercanli, Makan Fardad, James W. Fawcett, Prasanta Ghosh,  Jennifer Graham, Mustafa Cenk Gursoy, Can Isik,  Mina Jung, Mehmet Kaya, Andrew Chung-Yeung Lee, Jay Kyoon Lee, Duane L. Marcy, Patrick McSweeney, WonKyung Park McSweeney, Chilukuri K. Mohan, Jae C. Oh, Susan Older, Vir Phoha, Qinru Qiu, James S. Royer, Tapan K. Sarkar, Q. Wang Song, Sucheta Soundarajan, Jian Tang, Yuzhe (Richard) Tang, William C. Tetley, Pramod K. Varshney, Senem Velipasalar, Li Wang, Yanzhi Wang, Edmund Yu, Reza Zafarani

Master of Science Programs

For students who want to expand their technical expertise beyond their undergraduate major, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) offers master of science (M.S.) degrees in computer engineering, computer science, and electrical engineering. EECS has a long and distinguished record of graduate education, with many of our graduates placed in key positions in industry. Graduates from our master’s programs are well represented in such corporations as IBM, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, and Intel. In all of these degrees, students have the option of completing the M.S. degrees by taking only courses, or by combining coursework with a master’s thesis.

Students who are contemplating continuing their studies at the Ph.D. level are encouraged to complete an M.S. degree with the thesis option. Students enrolled in the non-thesis option in one of these M.S. programs may finish the M.S. degree in one year if they choose. To accomplish this, students must take courses in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Most students elect to complete the degree in a less intensive fashion over three or four regular semesters.

Professionals having a baccalaureate degree in fields other than computer engineering, computer science, or electrical engineering who are seeking a career change may take advantage of an opportunity to obtain an M.S. degree in one of these fields by combining suitable remedial undergraduate coursework with the regular program of graduate study.

Admission Requirements

Each of these master’s programs has its own admission committee that evaluates the overall academic record of an applicant. Each of these committees uses the following guidelines during the evaluation process:

  • GRE Verbal score of 150 or better (using New GRE Score System);
  • GRE Quantitative score of 155 or better (using New GRE Score System);
  • GRE Analytical (multiple choice) score of 650 or better, or a score of 3.5 or better in the new Analytical Writing;
  • For international students: TOEFL computer-based score of 223 (Internet-based score 85; paper-based score 563) or better;
  • Grade point average (GPA) of 3.0/4.0 or better

Computer Science Requirements

Each candidate must submit a coherent program of 10 graduate courses (30 credits), which must be passed with a grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better. Students also need to satisfy a minimum cumulative total GPA of 2.8 in all graduate courses taken at Syracuse University. No more than 6 credits of 500-level courses may be included in the program. Each candidate must submit a coherent program of study of 10 graduate courses, which must be passed with a grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better. This program of study must include the 12-credit Computer Science Core (see below), and at least 18 credits of CIS courses. (Students must gain approval from the CIS Program Committee for non-CIS courses.)

The Graduate School requires that students obtain a minimum grade point average of 2.8 in all graduate courses taken at Syracuse University.

The Graduate School requires that master’s programs be completed within seven years and that the student maintain a satisfactory rate of progress toward completion of degree requirements at all times. Within this program the student may elect to prepare and defend a master’s thesis, in accord with the rules of the Graduate School, for up to six of the required 30 credits.

Student Learning Outcomes

1.Analyze algorithms in terms of correctness as well as time and space complexity

2.Apply key data structures and algorithm design techniques to synthesize efficient computational solutions

3.Use formal methods to specify and reason about program and system behavior

4.Apply concepts of abstract machines and protection mechanisms to analyze, design, and develop system-level components that meet functional specifications

5.Apply knowledge of computer architecture (including supports for parallelism) to achieve software performance goals

Computer Science Core

All candidates for the M.S. in computer science must complete the computer science core:

Final Examinations and GPA Requirements

Students must achieve a grade of B- or better in each of these courses. In addition, candidates are required to complete the final examinations in all core courses with an average grade of 2.667 (B-) or better.

Additional Requirement

Students whose native language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency, both written and oral, in the English language. Students found to be deficient will be strongly advised to take remedial courses outside the degree program. Students with inadequate background may be required to take remedial courses, and those remedial courses cannot be counted toward the 30 credits required for the master’s degree. Where applicable, students are required to complete stated prerequisites before enrolling in advanced courses. Responsibility for seeing that prerequisites are met rests with the student. To maintain full-time status in the EECS department, students must register for 9 credits per semester. Part-time students must complete at least 6 credits per academic year. Other program regulations may exist. Students are expected to follow all program regulations.

Three-Year M.S. Plan

The baccalaureate degree in many fields outside computer science may not constitute adequate preparation for the mathematical and technical aspects of graduate study in computing. Students with such a background who nevertheless are seriously interested in a graduate degree in computer science may achieve the needed preparation by combining suitable undergraduate coursework with the regular program of graduate study requiring an additional year of coursework. Students beginning this work should have one year of calculus equivalent to MAT 295 and MAT 296, and at least one high-level programming language equivalent to CPS 196 Introduction to Computer Programming: C, or ECS 102 Introduction to Computing. (See Syracuse University Undergraduate Catalog for descriptions of MAT 295, MAT 296, CPS 196, ECS 102.) The following three-year plan of combined undergraduate and graduate coursework provides the student with the preparation described above, needed for completion of the graduate courses for the M.S. Courses numbered below 500 do not carry graduate credit and constitute the intermediate preparation needed for graduate courses listed later in the plan. Requirements for the M.S. in computer science remain as described above.

First semester (Fall)

  • CIS 375 - Introduction to Abstract Mathematics
  • CIS 351 - Data Structures
  • One elective graduate course with permission of Program Director

Second Semester (Spring)

  • CIS 352 - Programming Languages: Theory and Practice
  • CIS 341 - Computer Organization and Programming Systems
  • CIS 342 - Introduction to Systems Programming
  • One elective graduate course with permission of Program Director

Third Semester (Fall)

  • One graduate elective
  • CIS 477 Introduction to Algorithms
  • CIS 486 Design of Operating Systems*

Fifth Semester (Fall)

Sixth Semester (Spring)

  • Two elective graduate courses

Concurrent M.S. Degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics

Master of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics

In collaboration with the Mathematics Department in the College of Arts & Sciences, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science offers concurrent M.S. degrees in computer science and mathematics. Students complete a total of 51 credits, 30 in mathematics and 21 in computer science. Students who want to pursue this program should have a solid background in undergraduate mathematics, and knowledge of programming in high-level languages and of algorithms and data structures adequate for graduate study in computer science.

For further information, please contact the Graduate Enrollment Management Center, 315-443-4492,

Current EECS students: please contact the EECS Graduate Records Office, 315-443-2655,

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