Master of Computer Science

Master of Computer Science Program

The Master of Computer Science (MCS) is a non-thesis, terminal degree for students intending to pursue a technical career in the computer industry. The program is offered on-campus or online. For more information about the virtual program, visit the Online MCS website

The MCS degree program normally requires three semesters of study. MCS students must spend at least one fall or spring semester in full-time or part-time graduate study at Rice, where full-time study is defined as enrollment in nine or more hours of course work.

Recent MCS students obtained summer internships at top technology companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, National Instruments, LinkedIn, Schlumberger, and Tableau. After two semesters of full-time study, international students may apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which makes them eligible for summer internships.

MCS students must complete 30 semester hours of course work approved by the department with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.67. MCS students work with the department's MCS advisor to develop an approved course plan. Students may transfer up to six hours of credit from another university, with approval from the department's graduate committee. Transferred courses must be comparable in content and depth to the corresponding course at Rice, must be completed at the time that the student enters the MCS program, and must not have counted toward another degree. No financial aid is available from the university or the department for MCS students.


MCS degree areas of specialization include:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Bioinformatics/Computational Biology
  • Data Science and Machine Learning
  • Management and Leadership
  • Systems and Security

In addition to the Professional MCS, the Department of Computer Science also offers the following other professional masters programs:

Careers in Computer Science

Past graduates of Rice's MCS program occupy positions at many top technology companies, including:

  • Google
  • Meta
  • Microsoft
  • Amazon
  • Oracle
  • Cisco
  • IBM


The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Rice General Announcements are definitive sources of general information related to obtaining a graduate degree from Rice.