Prerequisite Work for Students Without a Previous CS Degree

The master’s degree program in Computer Science is designed for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a closely related field such as Computer Engineering. However, students whose undergraduate degree is in another field may be admitted to the M.S. CPSC program. As part of the admissions process, the Graduate Program Coordinator evaluates each student’s transcript(s) of prior work. Based on this evaluation, students who lack sufficient preparation in mathematics and/or computing sciences may be assigned foundation/prerequisite course work at the undergraduate and/or graduate level.

The specific prerequisite courses assigned may vary from one student to another, but a typical list for a student with a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field of study might include the following:

  • A college-level course in Calculus, e.g. UTC’s MATH 1830 or 1950 (this may require one or more pre-Calculus courses as well, depending on the student’s current level of mathematics proficiency)
  • A college-level course in Statistics, e.g. UTC’s MATH 2100 or 3100, MGT 2110, or ENCE 2220
  • A college-level course in Discrete Mathematics, e.g. UTC’s MATH 2030 or 3030

Plus the following courses from UTC’s undergraduate computing core:

  • CPSC 1100 and 1110 (or the graduate foundation course CPSC 5000 that provides an accelerated survey of these two undergraduate courses)
  • CPSC 2100 and 3200 (or CPSC 5010)
  • CPSC 2800 and CPEN 3700 (or CPSC 5020)

The department normally offers CPSC 5000 in the fall semester and CPSC 5010 and 5020 in the spring. The corresponding undergraduate courses are usually offered in both the fall and spring semesters. Students should check with the MATH department (or other departments with courses listed above) regarding their schedule of course offerings.

Students should be aware that none of the above courses will count toward the requirements for the master’s degree. To earn the M.S. degree in Computer Science (any concentration), students must complete 33 graduate credit hours including a thesis, or 36 hours including a project, not including undergraduate courses or the graduate foundation courses (CPSC 50x0) listed above.


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