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Do you need a bachelor’s in computer science to get a master’s?


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Do you need a bachelor’s in computer science to get a master’s?

Computer science programs rarely require a CS degree for admission. They always accept applicants majoring in other fields. But applicants majoring in other fields need to demonstrate their technical proficiency. A minor in computer science, CS classes, or work experience can help applicants stand out.

You have options if you are considering a master of computer science but majoring in another field. Our guide walks you through how to enter a master’s program in computer science, regardless of your undergraduate major.

How do you enter a master’s in computer science program?

Entering a master’s program in computer science can be daunting. Many of the leading programs admitted to a small number of applicants. These tips can increase your chances of being admitted to a computer science graduate program.

Think about your undergraduate major

A major in computer science will help your chances of entering the master’s program in CS. Related fields such as information technology, computer engineering, or data science can also help.

However, graduation programs claim applicants with a variety of majors. Consider a minor in computer science to improve your technology skills.

Increase your GPA

Master’s programs evaluate applicants on a number of factors, including test scores, work experience, and GPA. During your undergraduate degree, try to keep your GPA above the minimum 3.0 GPA required for many graduation programs. Taking pass/fail classes will help maintain a higher GPA.

Gain practical experience

Computer science graduate programs rarely require work experience for admission. But professional experience can improve your application in many ways.

Working in a technology -related role demonstrates your technical proficiency, while non -technology careers build key people’s skills. Think about what types of experience, including internships, freelance jobs, or volunteering, can help with your application.


SEE: Tech jobs for college students: Gain work experience while earning your degree


Focus on your skill

Graduate programs care about your proficiency. Instead of worrying about your undergraduate major, make sure you have the technical skills needed for graduate -level CS classes.

If you are majoring in something other than computer science, consider taking computer science courses to hone your skills.

Build your network

Networking can help you get a job – and it can also help you get into graduate school. Build your professional network of fellow students, faculty, supervisors, and faculty. (See our networking tips for advice.)

If applying to grad school, contact former professors and supervisors to write letters of recommendation. This can increase your chances of an admission offer.

Know your career goals

A master’s degree represents a substantial investment of time and money. But is a master of computer science worth it? That depends on your career goals.

Before researching graduate programs, think about your goals, what computer science jobs interest you, and whether a master’s degree is the best way to achieve them.

Researching computer science programs

Take time to learn about computer science programs. Research their course options and their graduate results. Learn more about the cost and opportunities of financial aid. And contact people in your network who have a connection to the program.

Learn as much as you can before applying to tailor your learning and application to school requirements.

Sell ​​yourself on the application

Use your applications to highlight your favorite skill. That could be data analysis experience, leadership skills, or programming knowledge.

And think about what makes you unique as an applicant. What can you bring to the program? Sell ​​your strengths and tell the program why you will be successful in grad school.

Prepare for interviews

Other computer science graduate programs conduct interviews during the admissions process, particularly online computer science master’s programs.

Prepare for these interviews the same way you prepare for a job interview. Research the program, practice your answers to common questions, and highlight your strengths. And check out our interview tips.

Compare admission offers

In the best case scenario, you will receive admission offers from multiple programs. Compare offers, considering the financial aid package, program strengths, and teaching opportunities for teachers.

Consider your career options for each program, including alumni network and career services. And then choose the most suitable for your unique needs.


VIEW: Computer science scholars


What skills do I need to be successful in a master’s in computer science program?

Graduate students need a mix of people and technical skills to succeed in the master’s program in computer science. Tech employers are also looking for candidates with specific soft skills. In addition to focusing on difficult skills such as programming languages, be sure to work on people’s skills.

Human skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Collaboration and communication
  • Organization and time management
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity and curiosity

Difficult skill

  • Programming languages
  • Knowledge of the operating system
  • Understanding the hardware
  • Software development
  • Data analysis

READ BY: 5 soft skills for tech jobs


This article was reviewed by Darnell Kenebrew

Darnell Kenebrew, a man with black hair and a short beard, smiles in front of a brick wall in a professional headshot.

Darnell Kenebrew is a first -generation graduate from San Francisco State University’s class in 2020. He graduated with a bachelor’s in computer science, which helped him start a career in tech and pursue roles within data and engineering.

Currently, he is a data analytics engineer at Meta and an executive captain for COOP Careers – a nonprofit for overcoming underemployment. Kenebrew strongly believes in giving people a chance and that everyone should have equal opportunities within the job market. He believes COOP Careers can help this parity happen.

Kenebrew is enthusiastic about how the industry is shaped using data and how data can be used in many aspects of business decisions to achieve goals. In addition, he is passionate about inclusion, community, education, and using data for good. He hopes that he can pivot business decisions to make a positive, meaningful impact and that his work has a positive impact on end-users, as well as on the achievement of business objectives.

Darnell Kenebrew is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network.

Last reviewed May 19, 2022.



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