Comparison of the Master of Science and Professional Master's in CS

Computer Science Department

Illinois Institute of Technology


The Master of Science in CS (MSCS) and the Professional Master of CS (MAS-CS or MCS for short) degree programs are similar but slightly different. Both programs prepare students for careers as working professionals in computer science, but for students who intend to continue studying for a Ph.D., the MSCS is generally recommended.

Differences in Program Requirements

The table below contains an overview of the differences in program requirements; for detailed descriptions of the two degree programs, see CS Home page > Professional Master's Programs and Master of Science Programs.

Comparison of MSCS & MAS-CS Degree Programs
Category MSCS MAS-CS
Credit Hours Required 32 30 (33 for the Business and Finance Specializations)
Specializations Not available Optional
Specialization Courses Electives For specializations or as electives
Core Courses Required 4 3
Master's Project (CS 597) Optional Optional
Master's Thesis (CS 591) Optional Not available
CS Professional (CSP) Courses Not available Electives

Differences in Admission

In addition to the differences above, the admission requirements for the MSCS and MAS-CS are slightly different. For details, see CS Home page > Admission Requirements - Graduate.

Which Program Should I Apply To?