Master of Science Degree - University of Houston
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Master of Science Degree

Posted 5/14/2020

UH’s Interim Graduate Grade Policy provides an option for graduate students to opt for a grade of “S” for any letter grade of C- or better during Summer 2020.

Below are the COSC policies related to any department-specific course and degree requirements, and are applicable only to Summer 2020 UH COSC courses.

Admissions Prerequisites/Deficiency Course Requirements

  • A grade of "S" in an assigned admissions prerequisite/deficiency course taken during Summer 2020 WILL NOT fulfill the prequisite requirement if the letter grade (roster grade) behind the "S" is below a B-.
  • A letter grade (roster grade) of B- or better must be achieved during Summer 2020.
  • Applicable to current UH COSC graduate students enrolled Summer 2020 in an assigned admissions prerequisite/deficiency course.

 M.S. Track Requirements

  • A grade of “S” in a track course during Summer 2020 WILL NOT apply towards the M.S. track requirements.
  • Students must receive a letter grade in order to apply the course as a track requirement.

Questions? Contact Matthew Pariyothorn at mmpariyo [at] central.uh.edu

Posted 4/09/2020

UH’s Interim Graduate Grade Policy provides an option for graduate students to opt for a grade of “S” for any letter grade of C- or better during Spring 2020.

Below are the COSC exceptions to any department-specific requirements and policies, and are applicable only to Spring 2020 UH COSC courses.

Admissions Prerequisites/Deficiency Course Requirements

  • A grade of "S" in an assigned admissions prerequisite/deficiency course during Spring 2020 will fulfill the prequisite requirement.
  • Applicable to current UH COSC graduate students enrolled Spring 2020 in an assigned admissions prerequisite/deficiency course.

M.S. Track Requirements

  • A grade of “S” in a track course during Spring 2020 will apply towards the M.S. track requirements and will not impact your M.S. track GPA

Questions? Contact Matthew Pariyothorn at mmpariyo [at] central.uh.edu

The M.S. in Computer Science provides a theoretical and applied understanding of various specialties in the computing field. Students can choose the non-thesis option or thesis option. The former is non-research based while the latter is research focused that prepares students to continue into a Ph.D. program. Either option prepares a student to pursue a career in a variety of job sectors.

Our program places a strong emphasis on specialty to ensure students gain the in-demand skills and knowledge necessary for today’s careers in computing. M.S. students are required to pursue a track specialization in Core Computer Sciences, Data Analytics, Parallel and Distributed Systems, or Interactive Media.

Visit the UH Graduate Catalog for detailed university, college and department policies and procedures.

Select one of the following subjects to jump directly to that section:


M.S. Tracks

Tracks allow M.S. students to specialize in key areas within computer science. The M.S. Core Computer Science track is the default track unless an alternate track is declared. Students can declare a track using the form available in the Graduate Advising Office located in PGH 501. A track can be changed while enrolled in the M.S. program.  To graduate, students must complete all track requirements which includes completing all track courses, maintaining a 3.0 or higher GPA in all track courses, and all other M.S. degree requirements including the total number of credits to complete the degree.

Core Track

The Core Track balances core components of the computer science program including theory, systems and computational science.

Minimum Course Requirements
Total Block 1
Thesis and Non-Thesis 4 ≥ 2

Block 1: Theory

  • COSC 6320: Data Structures & Algorithms
  • COSC 6342: Machine Learning
  • COSC 6364: Numerical Analysis
  • COSC 6369: Theory of Computation

Block 2: Systems

  • COSC 6340: Database Systems
  • COSC 6360: Operating Systems
  • COSC 6361: Language & Compilers
  • COSC 6377: Computer Networks
  • COSC 6385: Computer Architecture

Data Analytics Track

The Data Analytics Track emphasizes a practical approach to the study of data analytics, imparting fundamentals supported by hands-on skills acquisition and problem solving involving real-world applications.  The track facilitates preparation for positions in product development and research in industries pursuing image computing, data mining, and data analysis as well as for advanced studies in the field.

Minimum Course Requirements
Total Block 1
Thesis and Non-Thesis 4 ≥ 3

Block 1: Introductory

  • COSC 6323: Statistical Methods in Research
  • COSC 6335: Data Mining
  • COSC 6336: Natural Language Processing
  • COSC 6339: Big Data Analytics (effective 2019-2020 catalog)
  • COSC 6340: Database Systems
  • COSC 6342: Machine Learning
  • COSC 6344: Visualization
  • COSC 6368: Artificial Intelligence
  • COSC 6373: Computer Vision
  • COSC 6380: Digital Image Processing

Block 2: Advanced Topics

  • COSC 6391: Biomedical Image Analysis
  • COSC 7336: Advanced Natural Language Processing
  • COSC 7362: Advanced Machine Learning
  • COSC 7373: Advanced Computer Vision
  • COSC 7378: Advanced Image Computing

Parallel and Distributed Systems Track

This systems-focused track emphasizes theory, design and evaluation of parallel computations, protocols, and vector and distributed data applications.

Minimum Course Requirements
Total Block 1
Thesis and Non-Thesis 4 ≥ 3

Block 1: Introductory

  • COSC 6327: Shared Memory Programming
  • COSC 6365: Introduction to High Performance Computing
  • COSC 6374: Parallel Computation
  • COSC 6377: Network Systems
  • COSC 6376: Cloud Computing
  • COSC 6384: Real-Time Systems
  • COSC 6326: Distributed Algorithms

Block 2: Advanced Topics

  • COSC 6339: Big Data Analytics
  • COSC 6375: Computer Systems Performance Evaluation
  • COSC 7364: Advanced Parallel Computations
  • COSC 7388: Advanced Distributed Computing

Interactive Media Track

This track studies theoretical and applied aspects of interface, visualization, graphics and gaming.

Minimum Course Requirements
Total Block 1
Thesis and Non-Thesis 4 ≥ 3

Block1: Introductory

  • COSC 6344: Visualization
  • COSC 6355: Ubiquitous Computing
  • COSC 6356: Computer Animation and Simulation
  • COSC 6358: Introduction to Game Development
  • COSC 6372: 3D Computer Graphics
  • COSC 6373: Computer Vision
  • COSC 6380: Digital Image Processing

Block 2: Specialization

  • COSC 6348: Introduction to Game Art & Animation
  • COSC 6349: Intermediate Game Art & Animation
  • COSC 6359: Intermediate Game Development

Thesis Option

Requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, with a defended thesis, subject to the following:

  1. At least 15 credit hours of graduate level COSC lecture courses
    • Excludes COSC 6300-6311 deficiency courses
    • Excludes COSC 6397 special topics courses
    • Includes track courses
  2. An additional 9 credit hours must be taken from:
    • Graduate level COSC lecture courses
      • Excludes COSC 6300-6311 deficiency courses
    • COSC 6397 Special Topics (limit 6 hours)*
    • COSC 6398 Special Problems (limit 6 hours)*
    • Outside department courses (limit 6 hours)*
    • Transfer coursework from a previous institution (limit 6 hours, which is stricter than the university standard)*
  3. COSC 6399 and COSC 7399 in two consecutive terms prior to graduation (total of 6 credits hours). A student must be enrolled in COSC 7399 in the term of graduation.

*Requires prior approval from the director of graduate studies via a Graduate & Professional Student Petition

A student in the thesis option of the M.S. degree program must complete a thesis. Details on preparation of a thesis document can be found on the Thesis Guidelines page.

No later than one term before the anticipated graduation date of the student, a thesis advisory committee must be formed, which consists of the advisor and at least two (2) other members: one other member of the Computer Science faculty and one from outside the Department of Computer Science (either faculty from another department, another university or from industry). Further details on committee composition can be found here. The thesis advisory committee will be the comprehensive examination committee. The thesis is not considered to be complete until the student passes a comprehensive examination, which is primarily a defense of the thesis. The examination will be given upon the request of the student with the approval of the research advisor.

The comprehensive examination is open to the University community and must be publicized at least two weeks in advance. Details on how to announce the defense can be found on the Thesis Guidelines page.

Non-Thesis Option

Fall 2019 Entry and After: Requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, with no thesis requirement, subject to the following:

  1. At least 21 credit hours of graduate level COSC lecture courses
    • Excludes COSC 6300-6311 deficiency courses
    • Excludes COSC 6397 special topics courses
    • Includes track courses
  2. An additional 9 credit hours must be taken from:
    • Graduate level COSC lecture courses
      • Excludes COSC 6300-6311 deficiency courses
    • COSC 6397 Special Topics (limit 6 hours)*
    • COSC 6398 Special Problems (limit 6 hours)*
    • Outside department courses (limit 6 hours)*
    • Transfer coursework from a previous institution (limit 6 hours, which is stricter than the university standard)*

*Requires prior approval from the director of graduate studies via a Graduate & Professional Student Petition

General Rules

  • Students are reminded that they must complete their degree within 5 years of their initial enrollment in the program. (See time limitation in the graduate school catalog).
  • A student will be removed from the program if they have earned a grade of "C+" or lower in 12 hours while enrolled as a graduate student. All other scholastic regulations as specified in the Graduate School catalog must be satisfied.
  • A student must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better for all prerequisites (if assigned) and all graduate courses taken at the University of Houston.
  • No more than 6 hours of coursework outside computer science in related fields of science, engineering and business may be counted. All these courses have to receive specific approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • Upon admittance to the department and prior to registration for any subsequent semester, every graduate student can optionally consult the Director of Graduate Studies to set up a tentative program for coursework and obtain approval for registration. Students are encouraged to check-in with a graduate academic advisor in PGH 501 at least once a semester regarding coursework and degree plans.