In designing the overall curriculum of study for the M.S. in Computer Science, the guidelines for computer science curriculum content from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) were consulted. The ACM is a highly respected professional organization that has guided the development of computer science educational programs for many years. Essentially, the ACM recognizes a set of fourteen (14) content areas that represent the body of knowledge for computer science. These areas are as follows:

1. Discrete Structures (DS) 2. Programming Fundamentals (PF) 3. Algorithms and Complexity (AL)
4. Architecture and Organization (AR) 5. Operating Systems (OS) 6. Net-Centric Computing(NC)
7. Programming Languages (PL) 8. Human-Computer Interaction (HC) 9. Graphics and Visual Computing (GV)
10. Intelligent Systems (IS) 11. Information Management (IM) 12. Social and Professional Issues (SP)
13. Software Engineering (SE) 14. Computational Science (CN)

The M.S. in Computer Science requires the completion of thirty (30) semester credit hours to be completed over a two-year period. Students enrolled will have the option of either doing a thesis (Plan A) or not doing one (Plan B). For Plan A, six (6) semester credit hours are devoted to original research, while Plan B requires the completion of six (6) extra elective credits.

For Plans A and B, 12 semester credit hours through four courses constitute a core curriculum that must be completed before a student is allowed to attempt the Qualifying Examination for establishing his/her candidacy for the M.S. Degree Plan A. The Examination may not be attempted more than twice for a student to remain in good standing. Once the Qualifying Examination is successfully completed, the student is admitted to candidacy for the M.S. in Computer Science. If the student elects to follow Plan A, he/she is appointed a Thesis Advisor by the Chairperson of the Department of Computer Science in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School.

The four core courses address the first seven content areas of the fourteen total areas approved by the ACM. The remaining content areas are addressed in elective offerings in accordance with the backgrounds and research interests of the faculty members to anchor the overall graduate program.

Thus, Plan A curriculum requires completion of 4 core courses for 12 semester credit hours, 4 elective courses for 12 semester credit hours, and 6 semester credit hours of thesis research for a total of 30 semester credit hours.

Plan B curriculum requires completion of four core courses for 12 semester credit hours, and 5 elective courses for 15 semester credit hours, and one course of independent study for 3 semester credit hours for a total of thirty (30) semester credit hours. Plan A requires the passing of a departmental Qualifying Examination at the completion of the core requirements. These overall plans are designed for students to complete at Texas Southern University once admitted. Transfer students will not be recruited. However, in the event that a student wants to transfer credits from an accredited institution of higher learning to the University for use in fulfilling requirements for the M.S. in Computer Science, the Dean of the Graduate School must be contacted directly for review of the request. If the request for transfer credits is approved by the Dean, official notification is provided to the Office of the University Registrar to include these credits on the student’s official transcript. The following two restrictions apply to these transfer credits: no more than six (6) semester credit hours may be transferred at the graduate level, and credits accepted for transfer must have been earned with grades of “B” (3.00) or better.

The four core courses are listed below. Reference is made to the ACM content area(s) addressed at the end of each course title.

  • CS511 Algorithmic Analysis and Data Structures, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content areas: PF, PL and AL
  • CS531 Computer Architectures, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content area: AR
  • CS541 Operating Systems, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content areas: OS and NC
  • CS551 Theory of Computation, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content areas: DS and AL

The following courses are intended as electives for the degree program with ACM content areas noted:

  1. CS545 Computer Networks, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content areas: NC and OS
  2. CS547 Cryptography and Computer Security, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content areas: SP and NC.
  3. CS553 Formal Languages, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content areas: PL, AL
  4. CS571 Artificial Intelligence, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content area: IS
  5. CS583 Data Mining, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content area: IM
  6. CS591 Web Services, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content areas: NC, HC, and PL
  7. CS661 Advanced Software engineering, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content area: SE
  8. CS681 Advanced Database Management Systems, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content area: IM
  9. CS696 Special Topics in Computer Science, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content areas: All Possible
  10. CS697 Independent Master’s Project, 3 semester credit hours, ACM content areas: All Possible
  11. CS698 Master’s Thesis Research I, 1-3 semester credit hours, ACM content areas: All Possible
  12. CS699 Master’s Thesis Research II, 1-3 semester credit hours, ACM content areas: All Possible
First Year
First Semester Second Semester
Course Course Name Hours Course Course Name Hours
CS511 Algorithmic Analysis and Data Structures 3 CS541 Operating Systems 3
CS531 Computer Architectures 3 CS551 Theory of Computation 3
CS Elective (500 or 600 Level) 3 CS Elective (500 or 600 Level) 3
Total 9 Total 9
Second Year Plan-A(Thesis)
First Semester Second Semester
Course Course Name Hours Course Course Name Hours
CS Elective (500 or 600 Level) 3 CS Elective (500 or 600 Level) 3
CS Thesis Research 3 CS Thesis Research 3
Total 6 Total 6
Second Year Plan-A(Non-Thesis)
First Semester Second Semester
Course Course Name Hours Course Course Name Hours
CS Elective (500 or 600 Level) 3 CS Elective (500 or 600 Level) 3
CS Elective (500 or 600 Level) 3 CS Elective (500 or 600 Level) 3
Total 6 Total 6