Top blue bar image Department of Computer Science

Master of Computer Science Program

The Master of Computer Science (MCS) degree is a terminal, professional degree intended for students who plan to pursue a technical career in the computer industry. Past graduates of the MCS program occupy positions at many top technology companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle, Cisco, and IBM. 

The MCS program normally requires three semesters of full-time study. MCS students must spend at least one fall or spring semester in full-time or part-time graduate study at Rice, where full-time study is defined as enrollment in nine or more hours of course work. Recent MCS students obtained summer internships at top technology companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, National Instruments, LinkedIn, Schlumberger, and Tableau. After two semesters of full-time study, international students may apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which makes them eligible for summer internships.

Rice CS graduate students mingle with faculty at Valhalla (left) and participate in group discussions (right).

MCS students must complete 30 semester hours of course work approved by the department with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.67. MCS students work with the department's MCS advisor to develop an approved course plan. Students may transfer up to six hours of credit from another university, with approval from the department's graduate committee. Transferred courses must be comparable in content and depth to the corresponding course at Rice, must be completed at the time that the student enters the MCS program, and must not have counted toward another degree. No financial aid is available from the university or the department for MCS students.

The Department of Computer Science, one of Rice University's largest departments, is a lively and invigorating community of scholars. Through the efforts of our faculty and students, the department has an outstanding reputation and was ranked #1 in the U.S. in faculty scholarly productivity by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Rice General Announcements are definitive sources of general information related to obtaining a graduate degree from Rice. The MCS degree requirements are described in detail in the Graduate Student Handbook.

Interested students can review the application process and apply online.