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Computer Science

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 (Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, etc.) and who possess a substantial background in computer science.


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:

  • Compilers and Parallel Systems
  • Computational Mathematics Research Group
  • Computing Theory and Algorithms Group
  • Database and Software System Research Group
  • Discovery and Knowledge Representation Research Group
  • Engaging Computing Group
  • Institute for Visualization and Perception Research
  • Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
  • Network and Systems Security Laboratory
  • Robotics Lab
  • Text Machine Lab for Natural Language Processing

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 UMass Lowell online Graduate Catalog.

Master Degree Course Requirements: 
Each degree candidate will be required to pass, with an average of B or better, and not more than two grades below B, the following minimum number of credits, distributed to include core courses and electives.

Core Courses (12 credits, 4 courses):

  • COMP.5030 Algorithms
  • One course from Group II
  • One course from Group III
  • One course from Group IV
Group I (Foundations):
    COMP.5020 Foundations of Computer Science
    COMP.5030 Algorithms
    COMP.5310 Design of Programming Languages
    COMP.5340 Compiler Construction
    COMP.7100 Approximation Algorithms
Group II (Systems and Networks):
    COMP.5150 Operating Systems I
    COMP.5160 Operating Systems II
    COMP.5300 Special Topics
    COMP.5610 Computer & Network Security I
    COMP.5620 Computer & Network Security II
    COMP.5630 Data Communications I
    COMP.5640 Data Communications II
    COMP.5660 Malware Analysis
    COMP.5670 IoT Security and Privacy
    COMP.5690 Computer and Network Forensics
    COMP.6610 Advanced Topics in Network Security
Group III (Human-Computer Interaction, Visualization, Robotics and AI):
    COMP.5230 Computer Vision I
    COMP.5270 Human Computer Interaction
    COMP.5280 Evaluation of Human - Computer Interaction
    COMP.5410 Data Visualization
    COMP.5420 Natural Language Processing
    COMP.5430 Artificial Intelligence
    COMP.5440 Data Mining
    COMP.5450 Machine Learning
    COMP.5460 Computer Graphics I
    COMP.5470 Computer Graphics II
    COMP.5480 Robot Design
    COMP.5490 Mobile Robots
    COMP.5495 Robot Learning
    COMP.5520 Foundations in Digital Health
    COMP.5500 Topics
    COMP.6440 Advanced Topics in Data Mining
Group IV (Information Management and Analysis):
    COMP.5130 Internet and Web Systems I
    COMP.5140 Internet and Web Systems II
    COMP.5510 Bioinformatics for CS
    COMP.5730 Database I
    COMP.5740 Database II
    COMP.5800 Topics in Computer Science 
    COMP.6730 Advanced Database Systems
Electives (18 credits, 6 courses in the COMP.5*** & COMP.6*** series or up to six credits from the list below:)
List of other approved courses:

    COMP.7010 Computer Science Research
    EECE.5560 Fundamentals of Robotics
    EECE.5821 Computer Architecture and Design
Total: 30 Credits
Master's Thesis:
An optional master's thesis can be substituted for at most six credits, and can be used to substitute for two elective courses. Students who wish to do a thesis must file a Proposed Thesis Committee form with the Graduate Coordinator prior to begin working on the thesis.

BioinformaticsThe Master of Science, Bioinformatics Optionmseo

mseoCourse Requirements:

  • 30 Courses Credits (10 courses)
  • Eight Graduate level courses in Computer Science and two graduate level courses in Biology, under the direction of the Graduate Coordinator, from an approved list of courses.

CybersecurityThe Master of Science, Cybersecurity Option

Course Requirements:

  • 30 Courses Credits (10 courses)
  • Four graduate level core courses in Computer Science and six graduate level courses selected from five categories (Foundations, Systems & Networks, Human-Computer Interaction, Visualization, Robotics & AI, Information Management & Analysis, Interdiscriplinary and Other Approved Electives)

An optional Master's thesis can be substituted for tow elective courses (a maximum of six credits). Students who wish to do a thesis must file a Proposed Thesis Committee form with the Graduate Coordinator prior to beginning work on the thesis.

The Master of Science, Professional Science Master's Entrepreneurship Option

This program is no longer accepting new applicants.

Course Requirements:

  • 34 Course Credits (11 courses)
  • Eight Graduate level courses in Computer Science and three graduate level courses in Management, plus 1-credit Professional Internship and two zero-credit Seminars, under the direction of the Graduate Coordinator, from approved list of courses.

The Master of Science, Information Technology (Online Program)

The program is offered fully online, providing a pathway for students who have completed a Bachelor's in Information Technology degree and for working professionals who want to pursue advanced graduate studies in information technology. The online delivery framework provides an accessible format for students juggling work and family responsibilities.

Students may also count course from two graduate IT certificate programs in Systems Models and Management and Network Security towards the Master's Degree in Information Technology.

The 10-course master's degree program is designed to provide both a principled and applied exposure toward designing, managing and deploying networked systems of computers. The program places emphasis on practical skills based on Linus/Unix, Windows and Apple platforms, but also teaches general principles along with their technical and ethical foundations.

Admissions Requirements:

  1. Completion of an undergraduate BS or BA degree from an accredited institution.
  2. Mathematical Maturity: Students should have completed a minimum of one semester of precalculus mathematics, one semester of discrete mathematics and one semester of statics as part of their undergraduate studies, or possess the equivalent experience.
  3. C Programming proficiency, to include a minimum of one semester of C Programming an one semester of Data Structures, or the equivalent experience.

Note: Students who do not meet the above requirements, may need to take additional undergraduate courses in order to meet the requirements.

Program Outline:

30 Course Credits (10 Courses)

System Infrastructures Courses: (Choose 2 of the following)

  • MSIT.5110 Network and Systems Administration (3 credits)
  • MSIT.5170 Operating Systems Foundations (3 credits)
  • MSIT.5190 Virtual Systems (3 credits)
  • MSIT.5140 Systems Security and Auditing (3 credits)

Network Infrastructure Courses: (Choose 2 of the following)

Software Management Courses: (Choose 2 of the following)

  • MSIT.5180 Large Scale Application Deployment (3 credits)
  • MSIT.5310 Project Management (3 credits)
  • MSIT.5320 Managing Large Data (3 credits)

Program Electives: (Choose 4 additional MSIT.xxxx courses from this Program Electives or from any of the first three categories above, as long as you have not already taken the course to fulfill the above category requirements).

  • MSIT.5350 Agile and Iterative Project Management (3 credits)
  • MSIT.5360 Data Mining (3 credits)
  • MSIT.5410 Information Security, Privacy and Regulatory Compliance (3 credits)
  • MSIT.5430 Intrusion Detection Systems (3 credits)
  • MSIT.5450 Designing and Building a Cybersecurity Program (3 credits)
  • MSIT.5460 Introduction to Malware Analysis
  • MSIT.5660 Advanced Cloud Computing (3 credits)

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

General Requirements

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 an 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
  • Calculus
  • 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:

Operating Systems:



Discrete Math:

Probability and Statistics:

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.

Financial Support

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.