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Online Computer Science Master's Degree Program

Join the Online Master of Computer
Science Program with Grads
at Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft

A Top 5 Online Computer Science Master's Degree Program (Fortune 2023, CollegeFactual 2023)

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DISCOVER THE DIFFERENCE

The Online MCS@RICE Program

Rice University's Online Master of Computer Science program has been built from the ground up to combine the top-ranked Rice Computer Science Department’s tradition of excellence with world-class online teaching methodology. Our graduates develop a well-rounded computer science skillset to pursue their next career goal in an ever-expanding, lucrative industry.

  • $10K merit scholarships available for qualified applicants to the Summer and Fall 2024 cohorts (see application deadlines)
  • Experience a #3 Best OMCS program that blends high-quality graduate education with 100% online convenience
  • Small class groups and 1:1 interactions with fellow students
  • Same degree as Rice’s on-campus Master of Computer Science program
  • Designed for working professionals with or without computer science backgrounds
  • Flexible self-paced lectures and weekly live sessions with professors
  • Get hands-on experience with modern databases, programming languages and statistical tools
  • Veteran education benefits are available to qualifed full or part-time Rice students.
  • Hybrid options available, including 9 on-campus credit hours at no additional charge

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Proud to Be Among the Best: Our Rankings

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#1 BEST COMPUTER & INFORMATION SCIENCES MASTER'S DEGREE SCHOOL IN TEXAS

BEST COMPUTER & INFORMATION SCIENCES MASTER'S DEGREE SCHOOL IN TEXAS

CollegeFactual, 2024

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#2 BEST ONLINE MASTER’S IN COMPUTER SCIENCE PROGRAMS

BEST ONLINE MASTER’S IN COMPUTER SCIENCE PROGRAMS

University HQ, 2024

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#3 BEST ONLINE MASTER'S IN COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREES

BEST ONLINE MASTER'S IN COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREES

Fortune Education, 2023

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#5 TOP UNIVERSITY FOR TECHNICAL SKILLS

TOP UNIVERSITY FOR TECHNICAL SKILLS

CodeSignal's 2023 University Ranking Report

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#13 BEST ONLINE MASTER'S IN COMPUTER SCIENCE PROGRAMS

BEST ONLINE MASTER'S IN COMPUTER SCIENCE PROGRAMS

Intelligent, 2024

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#14 BEST ONLINE MASTER’S IN INFORMATION TECH PROGRAMS

BEST ONLINE MASTER’S IN INFORMATION TECH PROGRAMS

U.S. News, 2024

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men engineering

Application is Open for the Summer and Fall 2024 Intakes

To be considered for Rice University’s Summer 2024 cohort, including the $10K merit scholarship, all required application materials must be submitted online by March 1, 2024. For the Fall 2024 cohort, completed application materials are due for $10K merit scholarship consideration by May 1, 2024 (or July 1 for the standard deadline). To learn more about applying to our online Master of Computer Science program, please visit our Admissions page.

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A Hands-On, Flexible Master of Computer Science Curriculum

  • 30 credit hours (10 courses) required to earn your master of computer science degree from Rice University
  • 3 hands-on software projects to demonstrate real-world application and support career advancement in tech
  • 4 online specialization options and electives to match your interests and career goals
  • Flexible self-paced lectures and weekly live sessions with professors to develop graduate-level skills and thinking
  • Students can complete their degree as quickly as 12-18 months, or spread their learning out and complete their degree part-time in 3.5 years.

VIEW OUR COMPUTER SCIENCE CURRICULUM

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JOIN LEADING COMPANIES

Stand Out as a Rice Graduate

Rice's strong reputation with some of the world's best employers improve your chances of getting the job you want.
Some of our alumni have gone to leading companies including:

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Enter a High-Paying Market that's Growing Fast

With Rice's Online Master of Computer Science, you'll build high-demand, advanced Computer Science and Big Data skills that are transferable across countless occupations and industries worldwide.

NOW

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer scientists earn this median pay:

$136,620/year

FUTURE

The projected growth in Computer Science employment for 2022-2032 is

+23%

compared to just 3% expected growth for all occupations.

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Women in the field of computer science.

Get Access to our World-Class Career Resources to Accelerate Your Career

As an online student, you'll be able to connect directly with your Master of Data Science Online faculty for support and guidance. You will also receive relevant job postings via email and get access to Rice University's Center for Career Development (CCD).

Resources available to you include:

  • Real-world experiences and networking via Hackathons, Datathons and competitions like the National Cyber League.
  • 1:1 phone, Skype, or in-person meetings with Career Advisors.
  • On-campus and virtual career fairs.
  • 12twenty Career Management Platform.
  • Weekly newsletters with featured jobs and upcoming career events.
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EXPECT WHAT YOU WOULD FROM AN ON-CAMPUS PROGRAM

Student Experience

At Rice, we strive to deliver a personalized student experience that is collaborative and engaging. Student/faculty interaction is paramount. With the online learning experience, those interactions with professors and peers are no longer dependent on being on campus. The combination of self-paced lectures and weekly live sessions to engage with professors helps to keep students engaged while completing coursework on their own time. You no longer have to put your career on hold to build your computer science skill set.

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Online Master of Computer Science Information Sessions


Rice MCS Online: Student-Faculty Panel Discussion

Hosted by Faculty Director, Scott Rixner, and Program Director, Brooke Sabo, RSVP to our virtual live Student-Faculty Panel Discussion on March 27th to hear directly from faculty and current students in Rice's Master of Computer Science online program. Learn about their unique experiences and get your questions answered before the Fall '24 application deadlines.

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Important Dates

SESSION SCHOLARSHIP ELIGIBILITY DEADLINE APPLICATION DEADLINE CLASSES START
SUMMER 2024 March 1, 2024 March 1, 2024 April 29, 2024
FALL 2024 May 1, 2024 July 1, 2024 August 26, 2024
SPRING 2025 October 1, 2024 November 1, 2024 January 13, 2025

VIEW ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

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WORLD-CLASS EDUCATORS

Faculty with Real-World Computer Science Experience

The faculty lead for our Master of Computer Science Online Program is Professor Scott Rixner, who has significant experience in creating coursework for online learning environments. He’s leveraging the expertise Rice has gained in teaching over a million online students to create this one-of-a-kind program.

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STUDENT SUCCESSES AND FACULTY RECOGNITION

MCS Community Spotlight

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Consider An Online Master of Data Science

Did you know we also offer a world-class Master of Data Science program that’s 100% online? Learn more about the online Data Science program and how to apply for the upcoming Summer or Fall 2024 cohorts.

MCS@RICE FAQs

Can I complete a Master’s in Computer Science Online?

Yes, Rice University's online master of computer science degree program offers a top-ranked, high-quality, 100% online and individualized experience, great for busy working professionals eager to advance in software engineering, IT, cybersecurity, AI & machine learning, engineering management, and other tech career areas.

With basic to intermediate programming skills, students can complete Rice's online MCS within about 2-3 years part-time or sooner full-time. The Rice online MCS program is not hosted on a "massive open online" platform like Coursera or EdX, instead feeling like a more interactive and personalized experience for students and faculty.

Is the degree the same as the Master of Computer Science program offered on campus at Rice University?

The program is grounded in the same curriculum offered on-campus at Rice University. However, the program has been built from the ground up to utilize best-in-class online teaching methodology.

The mode of delivery for coursework is not included on student transcripts so there is no designation that courses were taken online. The same is true for the diploma earned, which does not reference this being an online program.

Is the Online CS Master's program designed for students to work at their own pace?

Yes, but with some structure. Course lecture material and content, assignments, and other types of assessments are available for students to work through on their own schedules. But there are due dates for all graded work. There is also a content release schedule for each course so that all students move through the course experience together.

We consider the interaction between faculty and students and interactions among students to be crucial components to learning, and to student success. There will be many opportunities for students to engage with faculty and with each other throughout the course.

Is Rice University's Online Master of Computer Science an accredited program?

Yes, Rice University's Online Master of Computer Science degree program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

What prerequisites do I need to start the Master of Computer Science online program at Rice University?

The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor's degree in a science or engineering field (not necessarily computer science) and programming experience. While all candidates must have a Bachelor's degree, it is not a strict requirement that it be in science or engineering. The Admissions Committee will review all applications individually and holistically, taking into account every element of the application, including an applicant's academic and professional background, letters of recommendation, GRE scores (if submitted), and statement of purpose.

The GRE test is optional, but recommended. If an applicant has relevant industry experience, the Admissions Committee will factor in work experience and the recommendation of your current supervisor in lieu of any missing GRE scores when evaluating the application. Applicants who do not have GRE scores are expected to have 3+ years of full-time work experience in a scientific/technical field. Furthermore, at least one of the recommendation letters must be from a supervisor and should speak to your technical and communication promise/ability and any relevant industrial experience should be highlighted in your resume. Have your scores sent directly to Rice University using code: 6609 (GRE subject tests are not required).

Read more about the MCS@Rice (Online) prerequisites and other Admissions requirements.

How long does it take to complete Rice’s Online Master of Computer Science degree program?

In the 100% online program, Rice University's MCS degree can be completed in as quickly as 12-18 months for a full-time student (depending on your level of programming experience and other prerequisites upon admission), or in about 2.5-3 years for a part-time student (10 semesters). Students have up to 5 years to complete their degrees.

What background do you need to be successful in the Rice Online MCS program?

The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor's degree in science or engineering (not necessarily computer science).  Computer Science requires abstract thinking skills that come from mathematical sophistication and the ability to write programs in a conventional programming language.  In order to succeed in any computer science program, you will need to have the ability to pick up both of these concepts.

Can I get a Master of Computer Science without experience?

Rice's Admissions team looks for applicants with CS or STEM backgrounds who have at least basic programming skills, a 3.0+ GPA, and a few years of work experience in a STEM area like engineering, software development, data analytics and statistics, or comparable fields.

For students looking to change careers and build a foundational computer science and programming skill set, we'd recommend considering Rice's free computer science courses on Coursera or the 6-week CS/DS Bridge Course, a potential pathway into the online MCS degree for students with sufficient grades.

What is the cost of the Rice's MCS Online program?

For the 2023-24 academic year, tuition is $1,666.67 per credit for the MCS@Rice program. Tuition is charged per credit, and MCS@Rice is a 30-credit program. Please note that fees are subject to change and may rise each year.

For the Summer 2024 intake, completed applicants by March 1st will be eligible for $10K merit-based scholarship consideration.

Start your application to join our Summer 2024 intake today!

Are scholarships or financial aid available?

Yes, Rice OMCS applicants who submit completed applications by the March 1st Summer 2024 application deadline will be eligible for a $10K merit-based scholarship. Start your application today.

Rice Engineering is also proud to provide financial aid and support to veterans and active military members. Learn more below.

Because the Master of Computer Science (MCS) is a non-thesis (non-research) degree, Rice University does not currently offer tuition waivers, stipends, fellowships, or assistantships for this program. Students are also encouraged to visit the Rice Office of Student Financial Services  for more information about loans and outside sources of aid.

How does Rice MCS support veterans and active military members?

Veteran education benefits  are available to qualified full or part-time Rice students who are active duty or reserve military personnel, veterans, or in some cases, the dependents of deceased or disabled veterans whose death or disability is a direct result of their military service. There are a variety of options to help you pay for your education at Rice.

Please select one option that applies to you to learn more about veterans education benefits.

I am a Veteran

I am a Dependent of a Veteran

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