M.S. Students

Special Announcements:
There is no longer an internal transfer process for new students. All students interested in CS must apply directly to the program.  Students from other engineering backgrounds may have the opportunity to be admitted to a special expanded 37 unit version of the M.S. in Computer Science designed for Scientists and Engineers.  See details at the bottom of this page.

A maximum of 4 units may be taken from approved 400-level courses in either Electrical Engineering or Computer Science; the remaining units must be approved courses at the 500 or 600 level.

A maximum of 2 units of CSCI 590 and a maximum of 2 units of CSCI 591 may be applied aplied to the degree.

Thesis courses (CSCI 594abz) and Internship courses (ENGR 595abcdz/596) are not eligible for elective credit.

M.S. Degree Requirements


CS Advisors:Frequently Asked Questions:
M.S. Student Resources:Degree Requirements:
Helpful Links:

Forms and Procedures:

Graduation Application (All Students)

Students should submit their graduation application to their CS Advisor after they have finalized their last semester’s enrollment. Advisors will announce a graduation application deadline at the start of each semester.
Online Form (myViterbi)

DEN Course Petition (On Campus Students)

On campus students who need to take an off campus (DEN) course must petition the GAPP Office in OHE 106.
Form (PDF)

Transfer Credit Evaluation

Please read the instructions on the form carefully. You must first verify our prior bachelor’s degree before requesting a transfer credit evaluation. Complete the transfer credit evaluation form and turn it in to the Registrar’s Office in JHH Lobby. After they evaluate your courses you will receive a Graduate Transfer Credit Report. Then send your CS advisor the course syllabi for the courses that have been approved to transfer. The CS department will review the courses and apply up to 4 units of approved courses to your M.S. degree.
Form (PDF)

Leave of Absence

Students can be approved for up to 4 semesters of leave. Domestic students must obtain CS department approval. International students must obtain approval from the GAPP Office (OHE 106) and the Office of International Services (STU 300).
Form (Domestic Students) (PDF)
Form (International Students) (PDF)

Reduced Course Load (RCL)

RCL is administrated by the Graduate and Professional Programs (GAPP) Office in OHE 106 along with the Office of International Services (OIS) in STU 300. The CS Advisors cannot sign or approve your RCL application. The GAPP Office can approve international CS graduate students to take a minimum of 6 units in one semester and still maintain their full-time status for visa purposes. Note: The RCL can be approved a second time in your final semester for the number of units required to graduate.
Form (PDF)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is administrated by the Graduate and Professional Programs (GAPP) Office in OHE 106 along with the Office of International Services (OIS) in STU 300. The CS Advisors cannot sign or approve your CPT application. Approval comes from the GAPP Office. To apply for CPT, please first review the CPT information at the GAPP Office’s website and the OIS website, then make an appointment with an Advisor in the GAPP Office. Note: Stephen Schrader is the default supervisor for the CPT ENGR 595bcdz/596 Internship course, but you may ask another CS professor to be your supervisor.
Form (PDF)

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is administrated by the Graduate and Professional Programs (GAPP) Office in OHE 106 along with the Office of International Services (OIS) in STU 300. The CS Advisors cannot sign or approve your OPT application. Approval comes from the GAPP Office. To apply for OPT, please first review the OPT information at the GAPP Office’s website and the OIS website, then make an appointment with an Advisor in the GAPP Office. Note: You must file for graduation with the CS department before the GAPP Office will approve your OPT application.
Form (PDF)

Transfer to CS:
  • Important: There is no longer an internal transfer process for new students. New students must apply directly to the CS program via the Viterbi Graduate Admissions Office. Students without an academic background in CS must apply for the Master of Science in Computer Science (Scientists and Engineers), which is a full-time 2 year, 37 unit program.
  • Changes of major within the Viterbi School of Engineering are permitted with approval; however you must complete one full semester in the program to which you were admitted before eligibility for transfer. Please be aware transfers may not always be approved.  Students admitted to other Viterbi departments are not permitted to take CSCI courses during their first semester.
  • Ph.D. students or other current Viterbi students seeking to add a 2nd M.S. should contact a CS Advisor for details.