With a master’s degree in computer science from BU, you will arm yourself with knowledge of the underlying principles of computer and information systems and theory. Our internationally renowned faculty are as active in their research fields as they are in the classroom. Students quickly gain expertise with basic techniques and methods to research the technical literature in search of a solution—or to devise new methods—when confronted with a challenging design, implementation, or theory problem. Our wide-ranging curriculum offers many opportunities for hands-on experience as well, allowing you to participate in the development of new systems or in the cutting-edge research projects led by our faculty. In addition to our general MS in Computer Science, we offer two specializations: cybersecurity and data-centric computing.
Beyond the computer science offerings, students are encouraged to tap into the rich array of elective coursework spread throughout the University’s 16 schools and colleges, including the College of Engineering and School of Management. With years of experience, our faculty advisors are especially helpful in steering CS students toward valuable, supplemental classes.
The CS program at Boston University is geared toward students with a CS undergraduate degree, but we also welcome those with equivalent computer training and experience, as well as students with gaps in their CS background but strong academic records overall. Whatever your background, in the Department of Computer Science, you’ll find a dynamic, diverse, and supportive community comprising a first-rate faculty and inspired student body—all located in the culturally and educationally rich city of Boston, Massachusetts, the center of a region with a storied history of technology innovation.
Every day seems to bring another headline about a major computer security breach, whether at a corporation, government agency, or communications system. From online banking to electronic commerce to transportation operations, our world increasingly depends on a cyberinfrastructure. Hardening these diverse software and control systems against malicious users has become a national priority. To achieve this goal, there is a broad need for computer experts with deep technical training and expertise to protect vital networks and electronic systems.
To meet the burgeoning demand, we offer our master’s students in the Computer Science department the opportunity to specialize in cybersecurity. The specialization encompasses courses that focus on technical issues related to safe software, languages, and architectures, as well as broader societal issues of privacy and legal ramifications. Through an eight-course program, students will be trained on topics ranging from cryptographic methods, data and information security, fault-tolerant computing, network security, privacy and anonymity, software safety, and system security.
Cybersecurity students also have the opportunity to work closely with Boston University’s Center for Reliable Information Systems & Cyber Security (RISCS), which promotes and coordinates research and education in system reliability and information security. Current research includes cryptography, network and software security, economic and game-theoretic approaches to Internet computing, database security, and secure cloud computing, among others. The center has earned the University the distinction of being named a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research by the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security.
Data-centric Computing Specialization
The ability to answer urgent, new questions using large data sets has become increasingly vital. In the years ahead, demand will continue to grow for computer scientists specifically trained in methods of extracting knowledge from ever-larger data sets. Experts are needed who can develop the required computing systems and software.
New for Spring 2016, our specialization in data-centric computing is designed to meet this need. The program incorporates intensive study across a spectrum of related areas including machine learning, databases, data mining, algorithms, and systems.
A total of eight graduate courses (totaling 32 credits) must be completed, including five breadth courses in computer science (with at least one course from each of the four breadth areas).
Students may fulfill their course requirements through a combination of elective graduate courses in computer science, for-credit directed study with a faculty member to pursue research or graduate courses in other related disciplines in consultation with your academic advisor.
To complete the master’s with a project or thesis option, a master’s project or thesis must be completed in consultation with an academic advisor. Research toward the master’s project or thesis can be taken for credit, by pursuing a directed study with a faculty advisor.