Dear Mentor:

What courses are required to get into computer science?

In your answer to Question 1 of the Dear Mentor column, dated July 23, 2000, you stated that no formal computer education is required to get into a Master's program in Computer Science in the US. You also stated that some additional courses may be required as part of the program. Can you please elaborate on what additional courses are required? How much additional time is required to complete them? Is financial support available while one is completing these additional courses?

Rajat, Delhi, India

Dear Rajat:

We are giving you general information here. Do keep in mind that the programs, admission requirements, and availability and requirements of financial support vary considerably across colleges. You would be well advised to thoroughly research colleges of interest.

A typical MS (Master of Science) program in Computer Science in the US does not require any formal education in computers; that is, it does not require a Bachelors degree in Computer Science. Should you have no education in particular topics prior to entering the MS program in Computer Science, you would be required to make up for the deficiency by taking some additional, specific courses. Typically the additional courses fall into the following categories: structured programming, computer architecture, data structures and operating systems. Depending on your background, this effort may consist of 4-8 courses of semester length; that is, an additional effort of up to one year.

Some schools allow you to take these courses as a part of the MS in Computer Science program, while others may require you to finish these courses before being formally admitted into the MS program. Some schools offer financial support while you are taking the additional courses, while others may not.

Rajat, we wish that we could give you one answer that applies to all schools, but there is no such answer. Given this basic information, you can pursue further research on the colleges of your choice. Good luck!

Dear Mentor: Mainpage More Questions and Answers


   Search Help

Tell a friend about this webpage!