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MS Program

Requirements Heading link

Cover of CS master of science booklet

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Minimum semester hours required: 36
  • Coursework: At least 28 hours (plus thesis hours), 32 hours (plus project hours), 36 hours (for coursework only). 12 hours (for thesis and project options) and 16 hours (for coursework only) must be CS course offerings at the 500 level (excluding CS 590CS 595CS 596CS 597CS 598, and CS 599). No more than one special topics course (CS 594) may be counted toward the 500-level CS requirement. At most 8 hours of pre-approved non-CS graduate courses may be counted toward the overall requirement.
  • Comprehensive Examination: None

Considering applying for master’s-level study at UIC? Our MS degree booklet provides an introduction to our CS curriculum, students, and alumni.

Options to complete the master's degree Heading link

  • Coursework-only option

    In the course option, students complete all the credit hours toward the MS only through coursework.

  • Project option

    The project option allows students to demonstrate their learning in the form of a substantive capstone project. The project work must demonstrate a high level of professional skill, but students do not need to formally present or defend their projects.

  • Thesis option

    The thesis option is designed for graduate students with an interest in computer science research. The thesis option is strongly advised for students who may be interested in pursuing a PhD in the future.

MS Students in Their Own Words Heading link


Lydia Tse ’21
MS in Computer Science

Why did you choose UIC? It’s a great research institution that has an incredible computer science department. UIC is also where my parents met, so it has always had a soft spot in my heart.

What is your academic area of focus within your department? I’ve gravitated toward data-focused classes such as data and text mining, information retrieval, and machine learning.

How is UIC preparing you for your future goals? UIC has provided an environment in which I can thrive through learning and exploring multiple areas of CS. I’m so grateful to be mentored and inspired by so many incredible UIC CS department faculty and peers. Because of their guidance, I’ve been able to explore career paths in CS from teaching to research to industry. If it weren’t for their encouragement and support, I would not be where I am today.

Have you held any internships while at UIC? Synchrony. From there, I landed a full-time job at Nike as a data visualization engineer.

Looking broadly at your field of study, who is the person you admire the most, and why? I’m a huge fan of Dr. Latanya Sweeney. Not only has she blazed so many trails as a top-notch computer scientist, but her work serves as a continual reminder of the responsibility we all share as digital innovators.

What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago? Eating food. There are so many cool restaurants.


Charic Farinango Cuervo ’21
MS in Computer Science

Favorite course so far? I really enjoyed CS 415 Computer Vision. We did a project on 3D reconstruction.

What are your plans for after you finish school? I want to stay in AI, maybe data analysis. One option is to stay in the United States via the Optional Practical Training program, but I am required by my Fulbright scholarship to come back to Colombia, so I may work in a private company or university there.

What do you suggest a newcomer to Chicago see or do if they’ve already seen Navy Pier, the Riverwalk, and Skydeck? I like the lakefront, especially in summer. Ride bikes, go to parks, visit museums. I really enjoy that Chicago has different neighborhoods. If you go from one neighborhood to another, you’ll find that they are completely different.

Your primary hobby/outside interest: I like to play guitar and sing. Right now I’m practicing rock music in Spanish from Argentina and Mexico.

The best trip/vacation you’ve ever taken, and why: When I arrived in the United States, the Fulbright program put on an event: a weeklong getaway in Rochester, New York. I got to make friends with Fulbrighters from all over the world and went to Niagara Falls. It was a cool experience.

Contacts Heading link

  • Email us

    If you have further questions about our graduate program, contact us at

  • Call us

    You can reach us by phone at (312) 996-5940.