May 23, 2024  
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2016-2017 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science, M.S.

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Computer Science (M.S.) 45 units

Program Description

The Computer Science Department offers graduate study leading to the degree of Master of Science in Computer Science. This program is designed to extend the student’s knowledge in a broad manner beyond the baccalaureate degree major in Computer Science. It will both (1) deepen general understanding of theoretical principles and (2) provide specific professional background. This approach is especially important in Computer Science, where training in specific languages and systems and on specific machines is transitory, as these languages, systems, and machines evolve. In contrast, many of the principles will last and generally apply to a wide variety of specializations within the field. This breadth is important to individual students because many of them will have a number of different job classifications in their working lives.

Our program features small classes that allow for close contact between students and faculty. Most graduate classes are offered in the late afternoon or early evening, making it possible for working students to attend. Some courses toward the M.S. degree may also be taken during the summer quarter. Students may begin their studies in any one of the four quarters.

Students interested in the M.S. degree program in Computer Science should speak with the Computer Science Graduate Coordinator. The Computer Science Department also offers a Master of Science degree program in Computer Networks.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with an M.S. in Computer Science will be able to:

  1. apply advanced computer science theory to problems;
  2. demonstrate advanced understanding of the mechanisms, components and architecture of current computing systems;
  3. generate and process useful representations of knowledge;
  4. critique, plan and produce complex software applications, and
  5. research and analyze current computer science literature.

Career Opportunities

  • Systems Analyst
  • Program Analyst or Designer
  • Systems Manager or Programmer
  • Scientific Applications Programmer
  • Computer Operations Manager
  • Graphics Specialist
  • Software Engineer
  • Programming Team Member, possibly specializing in Design, Testing, or Documentation
  • Computer Network Support
  • Database Applications Programmer or Administrator
  • Computer Sales Representative
  • Customer Support
  • Technical Writer
  • Teacher/Professor


The faculty of the Computer Science Department hold doctorates in a wide variety of areas. They have a strong commitment to high quality teaching, and have interests in fields such as computer graphics, networks, numerical analysis, compiler design, computer simulation, parallel programming, computer architecture, automata, multimedia, cryptography, computational complexity, language design and implementation, graph theory, microcomputer architecture, and database systems.


Computer Science students at Cal State East Bay have access to some of the most modern and powerful computer equipment available. The campus provides a network backbone, including connection to the Internet, personal computers, and wireless network access.

Cal State has an active Computing Club, which hosts industry tours as well as academic and social events and is involved with a number of ongoing projects.


Each year the department awards a number of scholarships covering a large portion of the fees for the subsequent year. Scholarship applications may be obtained from the department office during the Winter quarter.


To apply for admission to the Master of Science program in Computer Science, a student must submit the proper forms, fees and transcripts to the university’s Office of Admissions, which reviews each application initially.  Each applicant must have their scores on the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) submitted directly to the department.  The department then reviews the application, making the decision whether to accept or reject the applicant.

A student wishing to enter this program must normally have an undergraduate degree in Computer Science or in a related field, with courses in Computer Science as indicated below, and must have a grade point average of 2.75 in all undergraduate work and a 3.00 grade point average in the Computer Science Core and Mathematics courses listed below.

Computer Science Admission Requirements

Thirty-two (32) quarter units (8 courses) of upper division Computer Science coursework that covers a broad range of Computer Science and includes the following five courses or their equivalents.

Mathematics Requirements for Admission

Successful completion of equivalent courses and prerequisties for all mathematics requirements is also required.

    A year of Calculus

Probability or Statistics Requirements for Admission

One upper division course (and any prerequisites) from the following list is required::

A student who has not met all of the above requirements may be admitted to the program at the discretion of the department as a “Conditionally Classified Graduate” student, provided the student’s record clearly demonstrates the capability of meeting all these requirements.

No more than 20 quarter units taken while in “Conditionally Classified Graduate” status may be applied to the degree. Note that courses used to make up deficiencies for admission may not be applied toward the master’s degree. A “Conditionally Classified Graduate” student who has no course deficiencies, a “B” or better average in at least 12 quarter units of post-baccalaureate study, and has satisfied the University Writing Skills requirement should petition the graduate coordinator for admission to the master’s degree program with “Classified Graduate” status. A maximum of 13 units taken as an “Unclassified Post-baccalaureate” student may be applied to a master’s degree.

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to Candidacy is a university requirement for graduation from a master’s degree program. A student with “Classified Graduate” status may apply for Advancement to Candidacy after completing at least 16 quarter units towards the master’s degree with a “B” average, including at least two 6000 level Computer Science courses with a “B” or better average.

Before Advancement to Candidacy, a student’s complete course of study must be approved by the Computer Science Graduate Coordinator.

Degree Requirements 45 units

At least 45 quarter units of approved upper division and graduate work. Of these, at least 26 units must be approved graduate (6000- level) courses. All work toward the 45 units must be at an average grade of “B” (3.0) or higher. Grades below “C-” will not be counted as prerequisites or toward the degree. Note: see the Errata chapter of this catalog for degree requirement changes.

Additional Note: Courses equivalent to CS 6170 Automata and Formal Languages  and CS 4245 Analysis of Algorithms  must be taken if not completed before admission to the M.S. program.

The following departmental requirements are in addition to the university requirements:


Students must have completed the prerequisites listed in the course descriptions for any course they use to satisfy the following requirements.  Note: Prerequisite units may not be included in total program units and therefore should be considered when planning your program roadmap.  Consult with your academic advisor or department for furtner information concerning prerequisites and program roadmaps.

Breadth Requirements (16 units)

Two courses from each of the following two categories for 16 units.

Elective Courses (14-18 units)

The following courses (or their equivalents) may be counted toward the master’s degree:

  • Any graduate course in Computer Science (except CS 6899) may be applied to this category.
  • Any Computer Science course numbered 3000 (except CS 3898) or higher, provided it has not been already applied toward a B.S. degree or toward prerequisites for admission. This restriction includes equivalent courses from other degree programs; exceptions require the approval of the Computer Science Graduate Committee.

Capstone Experience (1-5 units)

A student must select and satisfy one of the following capstone requirements:

  • Units: 4
  • Note: A student must successfully complete at least 30 units of study including all required courses (CS 6000, 6260, and 6560), satisfy the WST requirement, and be in good standing before enrolling in CS 6901.

  • Units: 1-5
  • Note: Students who write a thesis must have an advisor who agrees to oversee the work, and must have the proposed topic approved by the Computer Science Graduate Studies Committee.

Course Descriptions

Use this link to see all Course Descriptions  available throughout this catalog.

Other Graduate & Post-Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

In addition to departmental requirements, every student must also satisfy the university requirements for graduation as described in the Graduate/Post-Baccalaureate Admission and Degree Information  chapter in this catalog. These include the 32-unit residence requirement, the five year rule on currency of subject matter, the minimum number of units of 6000-level courses, the 3.00 grade point average, and the University Writing Skills Requirement. For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website at or call 510.885.3661.

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