Graduate Studies

The Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Computer Science offers M.S. and Ph.D. programs.

The Master of Science in computer science emphasizes continuing self-development of individuals currently engaged in science, technology and engineering-related fields and prepares those who have completed undergraduate majors in these fields for entry into a career in computing technology.

The department also offers a Ph.D. in engineering with a computer science concentration. Applicants for this research-intensive doctoral program must hold an M.S. in computer science, and the applicant's intended area of research must be compatible with existing computer science research specialties. The applicant must provide a statement of intended research (approximately one page in length) with his or her application. We encourage applicants to discuss their research proposals with VCU computer science faculty in advance.

The department provides a limited number of of competitive financial support packages to graduate students. For details on graduate admission procedures, please refer to the information provided by the School of Engineering and the VCU Graduate School websites.

For Graduate Course Syllabi, please click here

For information on graduate-level specialization areas, please click here

Engineering, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with a concentration in computer science (Ph.D.)

The computer science track of the Ph.D. in Engineering is designed for students who are interested in conducting advanced research in computer science.

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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with a concentration in computer science with the University of Cordoba [Dual Degree] (Ph.D.)

The mission of the Ph.D. in Engineering degree program is to provide graduate students with learning opportunities for acquiring a broad foundation of engineering knowledge, an in-depth original research experience at the frontiers of engineering, and skills for lifelong learning and professional development. Graduates of this program will pursue careers in research and development or academia.

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Computer Science, Master of Science (M.S.)

The program is designed to develop skills and educate CS students to be major contributors in the computing industry. The graduate program in computer science provides state-of-the-art education through the use of didactic courses to those students who wish to further their knowledge and careers within the computing industry.

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Certificate in Data Science (Post-baccalaureate graduate certificate)

The Certificate in Data Science will train students in computer methods for analyzing big datasets generated by industry, research and government entities. Students will learn techniques for transforming the data into knowledge; developing algorithms for constructing computer systems that automatically learn from data; and tracking and evaluating new techniques and approaches in data science.

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Certificate in Cybersecurity (Post-baccalaureate graduate certificate)

Students who complete the certificate will be able to assist software developers and system administrators by analyzing the security of databases, applications, networks and computer systems; assessing security risks and identifying vulnerabilities in computer and network systems; and developing methods and techniques for defending against a range of types of cyber attacks.

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Computer Science, Master of Science, accelerated Bachelor of Science in Computer Science to master's (B.S. to M.S.)

Students accepted into this selective program accomplish both the B.S. and M.S. degrees within five years by taking additional graduate courses within the first four years of the program. Up to two of these courses will count as open electives in the B.S. program and as didactic course work in the M.S. program.

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Computer and Informations Systems Security, Master of Science (M.S.)

The Master of Science in Computer and Information Systems Security provides for the scholarly and professional needs of several groups who have either accepted or are keen to take on the challenge of protecting information resources of firms and society at large.

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Students enrolled in computer science M.S. and Ph.D. programs can specialize in cybersecurity.

Students specializing in cybersecurity must complete five graduate courses in the area of cybersecurity. The following courses count toward the cybersecurity specialization (at least 5 of these will be offered over a four-semester period):

  • CMSC 512. Advanced Social Network Analysis and Security.
  • CMSC 525. Introduction to Software Analysis, Testing and Verification.
  • CMSC 612. Game Theory and Security.
  • CMSC 615. Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Techniques.
  • CMSC 618. Database and Application Security.
  • CMSC 620. Applied Cryptography.
  • CMSC 622. Network and Operating Systems Security.
  • CMSC 623. Cloud Computing.


Students enrolled in computer science M.S. and Ph.D. programs can specialize in data science.

Students specializing in data science must complete five graduate courses in the area of data science. The following courses count towards the data science specialization (at least 5 of these will be offered over a four-semester period):

  • CMSC 510. Regularization Methods for Machine Learning.
  • CMSC 516. Advanced Natural Language Processing.
  • CMSC 601. Convex Optimization.
  • CMSC 603. High Performance Distributed Systems.
  • CMSC 630. Image Analysis.
  • CMSC 635. Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining.
  • CMSC 636. Artificial Neural Networks and Deep Learning.
  • CMSC 678. Statistical and Fuzzy Learning.

Dahlgren Academic Fellowship

Click here to learn more about the Dahlgren Academic Fellowship

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