College of Letters & Sciences

Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS)

Contact Information

Dr. Hien Nguyen

Graduate Program Coordinator

Phone: 262-472-5170

Sue Roberts

Academic Dept Associate

Phone: 262-472-1666

Location: Mcgraw 104

The Master of Science in Computer Science at UW-Whitewater is a 30-credit program that can be completed within 16 months in most cases. It prepares students for leadership roles in the planning, development, testing, validation, and maintenance of software systems in a range of applied areas that includes artificial intelligence, big data, cybersecurity, financial services, healthcare, and others. The program has designed pathways for students with different backgrounds. More information can be found in the Pathways tab.

Why Pursue Your MSCS at UW-Whitewater?

With high average earnings, a positive career outlook, and a vast array of skills development paths, it is little wonder that you would want to pursue a MSCS degree. The question is why would you want to pursue that degree at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater? We can answer that with three simple points:

  • Personalized Curriculum
  • Project-Orientated Education
  • Ideal Location

With an average campus population of approximately 13,000, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is large enough to offer all the programs that you seek, while being small enough to have a personal interest in the success and academic path of our students. The MSCS graduate program is no different. From the first time you reach out to us, you will experience advisors and instructors who are vested in helping you succeed. From answering questions about enrollment and tuition, to guiding you through each step of your path, you will experience the unique atmosphere that is UW-Whitewater.

Personalized Curriculum

Do you need career transition help before starting the MSCS program? Are you an international student with a three-year degree? Do you have significant work experience that may off-set traditional learning? Reach out to us today to learn how you can thrive with MSCS.

Project-Oriented Education

Does the thought of microfiche and lectures leave you cold? No need to worry. The MSCS program is a project-orientated experience. You will work first-hand on research projects, real-world applications for our Innovation Center, and on solutions that you can apply to your work-life today. Each course is structured to be a semester-long group project that allows you to learn, absorb, and use the knowledge to solve practical problems relating to course content.

Why Choose Our Program?

  1. Small and highly interactive classes
  2. Conveniently located between Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago
  3. Industry partnerships through UW-W Software Development Center
  4. Entrepreneurship support through the Whitewater Innovation Center

For more reasons visit the School of Graduate Studies page.

Research Triangle

Ideal Location

Located near the Wisconsin-Illinois border in the midwestern United States, our campus encompasses hundreds of park-like acres with a friendly atmosphere. Whitewater, Wisconsin is a small community located in a lush forested area of the state. What’s more, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater was named the safest campus in Wisconsin in 2019.

If greenery isn't your focus, Whitewater is conveniently located in what is commonly known as the Midwest Research Triangle linking Chicago, Illinois and Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This means we are a close drive to major employers and innovators affecting the whole country and world.

Do you still have questions? Call or email today. We want to help make your decision as simple as possible.

Why pursue a Master in Computer Science?

The Master Program in Computer Science at UW-Whitewater aims at preparing students for leadership roles in cutting-edge computing industry as well as PhD studies in top research universities. The graduates have been placed in companies such as Amazon, IBM, Cerner, and TDS and PhD programs in Dartmouth College, University of Wisconsin – Madison etc. You want a career that challenges you to keep learning and growing. You want to be rewarded for that hard work with high average earnings and a positive career outlook. And you want to be able to choose from a career path that truly stimulates your interests. That is exactly why Computer Science is the #1 Major Nationwide with the highest median base salary.

Why pursue a Master’s Degree in Computer Science? It is simple. Even more earning potential, better career trajectory, and the opportunity to become even more valuable to your organization.

  • Median Salary for MSCS graduates is $110,000 +
  • MSCS graduates earn 25% more on average than their BSCS (Bachelors of Science in Computer Science) counterparts
  • Job outlook is expected to grow 19% by 2026


Become a Technical Leader in Your Organization

It isn’t just about the money. Earning an MSCS will provide you with an opportunity tackle more complex projects and develop skill mastery. After all, Computer Science isn’t just one field. The MSCS program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, gives you personalized curriculum and course projects to excel in your areas of interest, or those most needed at your organization: software engineering, algorithm, machine learning, data science, cybersecurity, and any other computing related interdisciplinary areas.


The Bottom Line

If you are considering a graduate degree, you are already a step ahead of the competition. You have your goals and you know why they matter to you. What you want from us is to tell you how much will this cost? How long will it take?  Why should I come to UW-Whitewater?  Our goal is to answer these questions and more on this site. If, however, you aren’t finding what you seek or if you simply prefer to contact us directly, please do. We strive to respect your time and your preferred methods of research. Call or email today. We want to help make your decision as simple as possible.

Any students enrolling in courses taught as a part of the MS-Cybersecurity planned rotation will be charged at the Graduate Business Online rate (currently $652.00/credit).  Note that this rate does not have a tuition plateau.  These courses include any course with the prefix CYBER as well as sections of COMPSCI 724, 750, 755, 766, and 767 when they are taught as a part of the MS-Cybersecurity rotation.  Please consult with your advisor as to alternative options to taking these fully online courses if tuition is a concern.

The MSCS program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is a 30-credit program. Students with non-Computer Science background will need to take additional deficiency courses as specified in the admission requirements. 

Features of the MS in CS Program:

  • 30 credits (15-24 months) to completion
  • Offers two emphases: general emphasis and cybersecurity engineering emphasis
  • Fall, Spring and Summer admissions
  • Project-based curriculum in leading edge computer science fields
  • Paid graduate assistantships available

Complete Course Requirements

  • Core Courses: Total of 9 units, 3 courses
    COMPSCI 733 - Advanced Algorithm Design and Analysis
    Select two courses out of the following 
    COMPSCI 724 - Operating Systems in Practice
    COMPSCI 732 - Machine Learning
    COMPSCI 766 - Advanced Database
    COMPSCI 776 - Advanced Software Engineering
  • Emphasis courses:  Total of 15-18 units. Select one emphasis 
    1. General Emphasis. Select 15-18 units of COMPSCI courses numbered 700 or above that include
    COMPSCI 735 - Optimization: Techniques and Applications
    COMPSCI 736 - Image Processing and Computer Vision
    COMPSCI 738 - Algorithms in the Real World
    COMPSCI 750 - System and Software Security 
    COMPSCI 755 - Cryptography and Security Protocols
    COMPSCI 764 - Cloud Computing
    COMPSCI 767 - Big Data and Data Mining
    COMPSCI 777 - Software Testing
    COMPSCI 778 - Software Specification and Verification
    COMPSCI 796 - Special Topics (Repeatable) 
    2. Cybersecurity Engineering Emphasis
    COMPSCI 750 - System and Software Security 
    COMPSCI 755 - Cryptography and Security Protocols 
    CYBER 754      - Intrusion Prevention and Detection 
    Select 6 units from the following list:
    CYBER 730 - Fundamentals of Ethical Hacking 
    CYBER 740 - Cybersecurity and Privacy Law  
    CYBER 742 - Computer Forensics
    CYBER 747 - Embedded System Security
    CYBER 752 - Malware Reverse Engineering 
    CYBER 758- Cloud Security  
    CYBER 759 - Topics in Cyberseurity
    Select 0-3 units of COMPSCI courses numbered 700 or above
  • Capstone: Select 3-6 total units from:
    COMPSCI 789 - Capstone Project
    COMPSCI 799 - Thesis Research 
    Note that students pursuing the M.S. degree in Computer Science may declare either the applied research project option or the thesis option to fulfill their capstone requirement for graduation. Students who choose the thesis option must earn at least 3 units of COMPSCI 799 credit. Students who choose the applied research project option must earn at least 3 units of COMPSCI 789 credit.
  • Total Units: 30

For further information, visit our course catalogs:

Do you still have questions? Call or email today. We want to help make your decision as simple as possible.

Superior Value

Pursuing a MSCS at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater is not inexpensive. However, at typical total program costs of less than $20,000, we are confident that you will find the MSCS plan is not only a worthwhile investment in your future, it is also a value.

Scholarships & Assistantships

Looking for a way around tuition? Each year we offer a minimum of four graduate assistantships and three fee remission scholarships for international and out-of-state students.

Graduate Assistantships

Are you considering graduate school because a career in education is your goal? Or is research your forté? Graduate Assistants will receive extensive training in research from dedicated advisors. They also receive training on instruction. Some have gone on to become part-time lecturers in the department during their transition period for PhD pursuit. This hands-on training helps PhD students land key research or teaching assistantships at highly ranked research universities.

Students who have never been offered a graduate assistant in any previous year must submit two forms, the Graduate Assistantship Application and the Graduate Assistantship Supervisor Referral Form (completed by a student’s supervisor or a professor familiar with the student’s work or academic history).

Students who have been offered a graduate assistant in the past will only need to submit the Graduate Assistantship Application.

Students who lose eligibility for Graduate Assistantships may request re-qualification by completing the procedure explained in the Graduate Assistantship Appeal Process. Graduate students in Communication may apply for certain Instructional Assistantships.

Note: You must submit a new Graduate Assistant Application for each academic year for which you are seeking employment.

Financial Aid

How to pay for your education is an important part of program evaluation. At the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, we offer a variety of programs to help meet your needs. 

One may apply for financial aid.  But you do have to be admitted into a graduate program, be enrolled at least half time, and have loan eligibility. For career changing students,  documentation from the program advisor regarding prerequisite courses that are not at the graduate level will be requested.

Tuition and Fees

Meal Plans - see Hawkcard website for options available

Housing - see University Housing website for options available

Want To Get Started?

Students with all backgrounds are welcome to apply. Applicants must meet all requirements of the School of Graduate Studies, including the minimum undergraduate GPA requirement (at least 2.75/4.00 overall or 2.90/4.00 during the last half of the degree).

Applicants must also complete the following undergraduate courses or their equivalents before completing the Master's degree:

1. data structure and at least one lower-level programming courses (this requirement may be waived for students with substantial job-related programming experience),
2. discrete mathematics or discrete structures,
3. one semester of calculus, and
4. computer organization and assembly

Students may be admitted to the program with deficiencies (prerequisites not yet completed). Identified deficiency items 1-4 must be removed prior to enrollment in any graduate coursework. Courses taken to remove deficiencies may be at the undergraduate or graduate level. Credits earned to remove deficiencies will not count toward the degree requirements for the Master of Science in Computer Science.

Because of limited space in the program, some applicants who meet the minimum requirements may not be accepted. We consider all application materials when deciding which applicants to admit.

Application Instructions

1. Complete items 1-4 on School of Graduate Studies link.

  • International students must also complete items 1-5 under the International Students heading.
  • International students with 3 year undergraduate degree must complete Bridge Certificate.
  • Limited number of credential evaluation award is available for reimbursing international student's course-by-course evaluation cost. 

2. In addition, the following items are required and should be emailed to

  • Resume.
  • One-page personal statement describing why you want to pursue a Master’s degree in computer science.
  • Reference letters from two (2) persons knowledgeable about your potential to do graduate work in computer science.

3. Optional items:


Fall admission -- July 15th.
Graduate Assistantship applications (Fall only) -- February 15th.
Spring admission -- December 1st.
Summer admission -- May 1st.


• Take up to 9 credits of graduate courses during your undergraduate career
• Save up to $4,800 in graduate tuition
• Get into the workforce earlier by finishing a master’s degree in one year (21 remaining credits)

Eligibility and requirements:

• Computer science majors or minors at UWW
• Senior standing
• GPA of 2.75 or above
• 120 undergraduate credits earned in other coursework by graduation

Application procedure:

• Meet the graduate coordinator to get advised for graduate courses
• Fill the graduate application form at 
• Wait till the school of graduate studies enroll the graduate courses for you

We welcome applicants from all academic backgrounds, including candidates with Computer Science or related majors and those who wish to change their careers. Candidates without Computer Science backgrounds could be conditionally admitted into the program. A typical path for these candidates: 1. Summer courses in Introductory Programming and Intermediate Programming. 2. One semester of coursework in Calculus, Compuer Organization and Assembly, Data Structures, and Discrete Structures. 3. Start graduate coursework and take the Introduction to Algorithm course.

Coming Soon

Some courses could be taken remotely through the HyFlex technique; the Cybersecurity related courses are offered online; and summer courses often provide online options. Please contact the program coordinator to check the possible path for you.

Arriola, Leon
Associate Professor (joint appointment with Mathematics)
Phone: (262)472-5163
Office: Laurentide 2233
Research Areas: Computational Biology

Ganguly, Arnab
Assistant Professor
Phone: (262) 472-5002
Office: McGraw 109
Research Areas: Algorithms, Data Structures

Gunawardena, Athula
Phone: (262) 472-1469
Office: MG 110
Research Areas: Optimization, Applied Algorithms, Blockchain

Kuzoff, Robert
Associate Professor (joint appointment with Biology)
Phone: (262) 472-5142
Office: Upham 307
Research Areas: Bioinformatics

Mukherjee, Lopamudra
Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator
Phone: (262) 472-5160
Office: McGraw 107
Research Areas: Image Processing, Computer Vision, Machine Learning

Nguyen, Hien
Associate Professor and Department Chair
Phone: (262) 472-5170
Office: McGraw 106
Web site:
Research Areas: Artificial Intelligence, Data Science

Oster, Zachary
Associate Professor
Phone: (262) 472-5006
Office: McGraw 108
Research Areas: Software Engineering

Samaranayake, Sobitha
Associate Professor (joint appointment with Mathematics)
Phone: (262) 472-5685
Office: Laurentide 2215
Research Areas: Automatic Control

Zhou, Jiazhen
Associate Professor 
Phone: (262) 472-5172
Office: McGraw 104C/Lab: McCuthan 309
Research Areas: Cybersecurity, Internet of Things

Please refer to the application instruction page.  Note after you fill the UW-System application form (online), you and your references need to email additional materials to the school of graduate studies. International students need to submit more materials. 

The reference letters should be emailed to school of graduate studies at Either the applicants or the references could submit the reference letters.

The GRE test is optional.  It is not required to be considered for admittance to the program.

There are three major types of financial assistantships: Graduate Assistantship, Financial Aid, and Excellence Scholarship (for out of state applicants only). Details can be found in the Affodability tab. 

A graduate assistantship provides valuable experience along with financial aid.  Awardees are normally working 15 hours/week as research assistants , instructional assistants, or other service needed by the department and the graduate program. 

Most full-time students take 16 months to complete the 30-credits program.

Students enrolled in the 4+1 option could finish it in 12 months after obtaining their Bachelor degree.

Career-changing students often needs to take 2 more semesters. But they still could finish the whole program within 24 months if it is well planned - for example, start taking the programming courses in the summer.

Almost all  of our courses are offered during the evning time  (5:00 - 7:30 PM) so that working professionals can take the courses without affecting their jobs.

Those who are interested with Cybersecurity emphasis could take those emphasis courses online. For those students who take 3 graduate courses as UWW undergraduate students, they could complete remained coursework all online  even if they are working far away from Whitewater if they have planned well.

Some courses could be taken remotely through the HyFlex technique; the Cybersecurity related courses are offered online; and summer courses often provide online options. Please contact the program coordinator to check the possible path for you.

You are welcome to contact the program coordinator or the department associate.


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