Department of Computer Science
The UMass Lowell computer science graduate program provides computer scientists with an education of sufficient breadth and depth to prepare them for leadership positions in both industrial and academic environments. It is distinguished by a balanced mixing of the practical, engineering aspects of computer science, with substantial exposure to the theoretical foundations of the field. This mission is supported by departmental and university research labs and Centers. Our graduate program is intended primarily for students with undergraduate degrees in computer science, or for those who have completed a degree in a related area (Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Management, etc.) and who possess a substantial background in computer science. Recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of computer science applications, the program features cooperation with allied departments in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. Students with strong interdisciplinary interests and abilities will be encouraged and advised on an individual basis.
The Computer Science Department has strong industrial ties through its faculty members, its participation in the research activity in various University Centers, its internal laboratories and institutes, its continuing relationships with many local computer and software manufacturers, and its industrial advisory committee. These relationships provide sources of short and long range research projects, hardware donations and student funding, while also providing insight to and understanding of the short and long term directions of local industry. To support instructional and research activities, the Department of Computer Science maintains a large heterogeneous network, including PCs, workstations, and a collection of more specialized equipment. All systems and servers are connected to /accessible via the University’s network.
Department Research Groups / Laboratories:
The Master of Science Degree Program
The Master of Science degree program in Computer Science serves several audiences, from the professional with extensive industrial experience to the recent graduate aiming ultimately for an advanced research degree. In all cases, a major objective is to prepare the student for a professional work environment in which continued growth is the norm.
The Computer Science Department offers to outstanding undergraduates a Bachelor's-Master's (BS/MS) program. The major advantage of this program is that it allows students to integrate their undergraduate and graduate education, possibly reducing the amount of time required for completion and reducing the administrative overhead for the student.
To be accepted into the BS/MS program, students are expected to have at least a B (3.0) grade point average, both overall and in Computer Science, and to apply during their junior year. The rules governing eligibility for the program appear in the current Graduate Catalog.
The Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program
The Doctor of Philosophy degree program aims to provide a student, whether planning on an industrial or academic career, with a challenging research environment and the opportunity to tackle theoretical or applied projects of major scope, depth, and originality.
Admission Standards and Criteria
In addition to the general requirements for admission, applicants for admission to the graduate program at both the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy level are expected to have an undergraduate degree in Computer Science or a related discipline such as Mathematics, Physics, or Engineering. They should submit the official application obtainable from the Graduate Admissions Office. In addition to undergraduate transcripts and letters of recommendation, applicants are expected to submit an official score from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Any student may be required, at the discretion of the department, to complete transitional or remedial courses without graduate credit.
MS Admission Requirements
In order to be fully matriculated into the MS program, students must demonstrate competency in the following six knowledge areas:
- Data Structures and Programming in C, C++, or Java
- Operating Systems
- Analysis of Algorithms
- Discrete Mathematics
- Probability and Statistics
Competency is typically demonstrated by producing a transcript of previous academic experience which contains passing grades in courses related to these six areas, or by earning a B or better in the courses below. Knowledge in areas that have not been satisfied at the time of entrance into the M.S. program become conditions on full matriculation. It is the student's responsibility to fulfill his/her conditions at the earliest possible time. The following is the list of courses which satisfy each of the six knowledge areas.
Data Structures and Programming in C, C++ or Java:
- 91.102 Computing II Operating Systems:
- 91.308 Introduction to Operating Systems
- 91.404 Analysis of Algorithms
- 92.131 Calculus I and 91.132 Calculus II Discrete Math:
- 92.321 Discrete Math I and 92.322 Discrete Math II Probability and Statistics:
- 92.386 Probability and Statistics I
Ph.D. Admission Requirements
In addition to the requirements for admission into the Master of Science in Computer Science program, admission into the Doctor of Philosophy degree program requires a Master’s degree in Computer Science. If the student does not already have an MS in CS, they may be admitted into the MS/Ph.D. program; in this program, students must complete the required coursework for the MS in CS as well as degree requirements for the Ph.D. in CS.
The Department has a limited number of teaching assistantships available to qualified graduate students. These assistantships can be renewed for up to four semesters. Other support is available through funded research programs in the departmental laboratories and, possibly, through support from other university departments.