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Graduate Study in Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science offers two thesis graduate degrees: the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and the Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science. An M.S. is normally completed as a part of the process of earning a Ph.D. Applicants interested in pursuing a computer science Ph.D. should apply directly to the Ph.D. program if they have either a baccalaureate degree or a master's degree. Thesis track students work directly with one or more faculty members who serve as research directors and mentors. Both the M.S. and the Ph.D. degrees require a combination of coursework and original research, as evidenced in a written thesis and a public oral defense of that thesis.


In addition, the Department of Computer Science offers the Master of Computer Science (MCS) degree, a non-thesis professional master's degree that lets a student take advanced coursework beyond the Bachelor's degree. The MCS degree requires 30 credit hours beyond the Bachelor's degree. The Bioinformatics option within the MCS degree lets the student specialize in aspects of computational biology.

A rich variety of on-campus and off-campus cultural, social, intellectual, and athletic opportunities are available for Rice graduate students. In particular, computer science graduate students are encouraged to join the Rice Computer Science Graduate Student Association (CS GSA), which is dedicated to promoting research, collaboration, and communication among computer science graduate students. The CS GSA provides mentors, assists with orientation for new computer science graduate students, and regularly hosts social events for graduate students, faculty, and administrative staff.

Explore our prospective graduate student page for additional information about graduate studies in computer science at Rice or to apply online. Review  graduate enrollments and degrees awarded for degree programs in the Engineering School, including computer science. The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website is another excellent source of information on obtaining a graduate degree at Rice, graduate student life at Rice, and Houston's myriad social and cultural amenities. Questions related to graduate studies in computer science should be submitted to the department's graduate admissions committee.