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Course Requirements- Masters Degree

  1. Core requirements. You must have satisfied four core requirements (one from each of three areas, plus one additional requirement from any of the three areas). This requirement is usually satisfied by taking courses and getting a B or better in them.

  2. Credits. You must take a total of 30 credits with the following restrictions:

    • No more than 18 of the course credits may come from courses at the 500 level. 500-level classes taken to satisfy core requirements fall into this group.
    • No more than 6 credits may come from independent studies and/or pass/fail.
    • No more than 9 credits may come from courses outside of the Computer Science Department. (Credit for graduate courses from other departments must be approved by the GPD.)
    • At least 12 of those credits must come from courses at the 600-900 level that are not independent studies. 600-level classes taken to satisfy core requirements fall into this group.
    • Classes with a grade below a C may not be counted toward the MS degree.
    • Only a limited number of credits may be transferred from other programs or institutions.
  3. GPA. Your overall grade point average for those 30 credits must be 3.0 or higher.

Professional MS Track

Students in the Professional MS Track will find a rich selection of classes at both both the 500 and 600 levels.

Research MS Track

Students in the Research MS Track should also observe the following restrictions. These restrictions match the requirements for the Department's Portfolio process and the MS requirements for the MS+PhD degree program.

  • No more than 6 credits should be taken at the 500-level. We suggest this because 600-level classes are more likely to provide solid background for the research needed to complete a PhD.

  • Six credits should come from a Masters Project (CMPSCI 701). This independent study is a research project that is to be completed to the satisfaction of at least two faculty readers, with a grade of B or better. To enroll the student must complete the MS project approval form. Once the signatures are obtained the student should fill out an override form in the main office. When the project is completed, the Graduate Program Manager will obtain the signatures of approval from your readers. (The Department does not have a Masters Thesis option.)

    Transferring Credit

    If you enter the program and have already taken some courses at another institution, it may be possible to transfer some of your credits. The following Graduate School rules limit your options:

    • You may transfer a maximum of 12 graduate credits. However, a maximum of six credits may be from any combination of the following:

      • other accredited colleges or universities in the US

      • non-degree credits taken at UMass

      • courses taken as an undergraduate (that were not applied to the baccalaureate degree)

      • Continuing Education courses

    • Transfer credits must come from courses where you received a B or better and that were taken no more than three years prior to your entering the program.

    • Credits from outside the University of Massachusetts Amherst may not be used to satisfy the 600-800 level requirement for a Masters degree.

    • The grade you received on transferred credits does not apply toward the GPA requirement of the degree.

    • Graduate courses that have been applied toward any baccalaureate or advanced degree may not be used for fulfilling requirements for any other master's degree at the University.

    • You may not transfer credits from outside the University of Massachusetts Amherst to satisfy any requirements for the PhD.

    The Graduate Student Handbook provides more details.

    Note that transferred credit only reduces your credit requirements toward the Masters or PhD degree. It does not satisfy other requirements. In particular, transferring a course does not automatically result in your passing a corresponding core requirement. If you feel that the course should satisfy a core requirement, see the instructions on passing out of a core requirement.