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APPLY BY MAR 1 FOR
SUMMER 2023 COHORT

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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 10 Computer Science Master's Degree Program (Fortune 2022, 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.

  • Small class groups and 1:1 interactions with fellow students
  • Same degree as Rice’s on-campus Master’s in Computer Science Program
  • Flexible self-paced lectures and weekly live sessions with professors
  • Designed for working professionals with or without computer science backgrounds
  • Get hands-on experience with modern databases, programming languages and statistical tools
  • Up to $7k in scholarships for Yellow Ribbon-eligible veterans and active service members.

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Our Rankings

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#1 Top Computer Information Systems Schools in Texas

Top Computer Information Systems Master's School in Texas

CollegeFactual, 2023

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#6 Best Computer Information Systems Master's Degree School

Best Computer Information Systems Master's Degree School

CollegeFactual, 2023

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7, Top University for Software Engineering

Top University for Software Engineering

CodeSignal, 2022

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Best Online Master's In Computer Science Degrees

Best Online Master's In Computer Science Degrees

Fortune, 2022

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Most Innovative National Universities

Most Innovative National Universities

U.S. News & World Report, 2022

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13 Computer Science, Math and Engineering Specialties in the Top 30

Computer Science, Math and Engineering Specialties in the Top 30

U.S. News & World Report, 2022

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men engineering

Applications Now Open for Summer or Fall 2023

Applications for the online master’s degree in computer science are being accepted for the Summer 2023 or Fall 2023 cohorts. For Summer 2023, all required application materials must be submitted online by March 1, 2023. 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
  • 4 online specialization options and electives to match your interests and career goals
  • 3 hands-on software projects to demonstrate real-world application and support career advancement in tech
  • Flexible self-paced lectures and weekly live sessions with professors to develop graduate-level skills and thinking

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 is 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 on average

$131,490/year

FUTURE

The projected growth in Computer Science employment for 2021-2031 is

+21%

compared to just 8% 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 MCS Online faculty for career-related guidance. You will 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.
  • Handshake 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 skillset.

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Online Master of Computer Science Information Sessions

No upcoming Info Sessions. Still have questions? Get in touch!

No upcoming Info Sessions. Still have questions? Get in touch!

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Important Dates

SESSION APPLICATION DUE CLASSES START
SUMMER 2023 March 1, 2023 May 1, 2023
FALL 2023 July 1, 2023 August 21, 2023
SPRING 2024 November 1, 2023 January 8, 2024

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 2023 cohort.

MCS@RICE FAQs

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 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 MCS@Rice program?

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 get a Master of Computer Science degree at Rice?

The degree can be completed in as quickly as 12-18 months (depending on your level of programming experience and other prerequisites upon admission), or as long as 3.5 years (10 semesters)

What background do you need to be successful in the MCS@Rice 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.

What is the cost of the MCS@Rice Program?

For the 2022-23 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. Start your application to join our Spring 2023 intake today!

Are scholarships or financial aid available?

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.

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

How does Rice MCS support veterans and active military members?

Rice Engineering is proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program at the highest possible level: once your Chapter 33 annual cap has been exhausted, Rice Engineering will cover half of the remaining cost with a Yellow Ribbon Scholarship, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the VA.

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Sign up to receive more information on how the MCS@Rice program can help you broaden your career options. Connect with an Enrollment Coach today.

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