The graduate program in Computer Science & Engineering offers a comprehensive educational program from across a broad spectrum of theoretical and applied computer science and engineering, combined with research opportunities in many areas of the field. The graduate program has 38 full-time faculty members (faculty profiles) that advise students in such areas as algorithms and theoretical computer science; numerical, parallel, and high-performance computing; distributed computing and systems; artificial intelligence, robotics, and computer vision; databases and data mining; human-computer interaction and information systems; graphics and visualization; software engineering and programming languages; computer architecture and compilers; networking; bioinformatics and computational biology; and computer security. In addition, students may choose a course of study that integrates research in computer science with applications in other fields. Additional information about the department’s research areas along with information about the faculty involved in each of them can be found here.
The mission of our graduate program is to encourage each student’s capacity for original and creative thinking, to understand the current state of the art of research and to assist him or her in producing innovative research. It is designed to produce graduates that are well prepared to excel in their future careers in industry, academia, and government. In addition, it addresses the increasing interdisciplinary nature of the Computer Science & Engineering discipline and its role in advancing other disciplines in engineering, life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
Our program is highly ranked nationally and the faculty's research is recognized world wide. Faculty and students have access to excellent computing facilities including the latest supercomputers, which can be used for both research and educational purposes. The department has ties to industry providing an atmosphere conducive to forward thinking research as well as a stimulating curriculum that contributes to a student's successful completion of their chosen degree and advancement in their careers. Our program attracts many talented students to Minnesota for advanced studies. Competition is very keen and we have only been able to enroll about 70 new students each year from an applicant pool of 1200+ students. We are especially interested in admitting top students who fit into the research mission of our Department.
The department offers four graduate degrees. These include the PhD in Computer Science, the M.S. in Computer Science, the M.C.S. in Computer Science, and the M.S. in Software Engineering.
- The PhD in Computer Science. This is a research degree which culminates in a unique dissertation that demonstrates original and creative research.
- The M.S. in Computer Science. The department offers three types of M.S. degrees: (i) Plan A with a research thesis, (ii) Plan B with an independent project, and (iii) Plan C that only requires coursework-based projects.
- The M.C.S. (Masters of Computer Science) This is a coursework only degree for those students seeking to broaden their knowledge without doing research. It is designed to meet the needs of working professionals.
- The M.S. in Software Engineering. This degree focuses on working professionals that want to get a deeper understanding of software engineering and includes coursework plus a Plan B or capstone project.
We encourage students to think about the highest degree they wish to receive from the Computer Science program at the University of Minnesota and then to apply for that degree. The admissions committee will consider each applicant for the degree requested, but may decide to admit an applicant to a different degree program. Once a student enrolls, options to change or add degrees can be discussed.
Minor graduate programs in CS.
The Minor Field is defined as a minimum of 6 semester credits of coursework outside CS in a single department of the College of Science and Engineering (e.g., EE, Math, Stat, IEOR, etc.), Management, Cognitive Science and/or other related fields for a designated minor. The minor is awarded by that department and their requirements for a minor must be met in order to qualify for a minor in that field.
The department’s faculty members play a significant role in three additional degree programs, which are the M.S. in Data Science, Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology, and Scientific Computing. Note that the respective programs handle admissions in these programs.
Various statistics about the department’s graduate programs can be found here.