Khoury College of Computer Sciences

Align Master of Science in Computer Science


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Northeastern University’s Align Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) program provides a direct path to an MS in Computer Science and a high-demand, rewarding career—for non-computer science degree holders with no previous programming experience.

Program Description

The Align Master of Science in Computer Science equips students across disciplines with the knowledge and practical skills they need to transition into computer science, regardless of their background and bachelor’s degree. The Align program offers rigorous academic bridge courses that prepare students for master’s level coursework. Align MSCS students gain real-world work experience through a six to eight month co-op or internship at one of Northeastern’s many industry partners—including firms like Amazon, Google, and Zillow. Align MSCS is a unique way to launch a rewarding career in a dynamic, high-demand, fast-growing field.

How It Works

Full-time students typically complete the Align MSCS in two to two-and-a-half years, which includes 6-8 months of work experience at one of our partner companies. All classes are held in the evening to allow students with full- or part-time jobs to participate.

The Align MSCS provides a two-semester on-ramp for students without a background in computer science.


The Align MSCS program is designed to be affordable. Students typically offset tuition by earning $30-$40K while on co-op, serving as TAs and tutors for the college, and taking advantage of a wide range of scholarships. 100 percent of students find employment following graduation. There are many scholarship opportunities available. All applicants are considered for financial aid and scholarship. No separate scholarship application is required.

What Our Students Say

"The Align program is a perfect way to transition [from a non-science discipline]. It allows a lot of people to reroute their lives. All of our professors are heavily involved in the computer science industry here in Seattle. Most of them are working their day jobs and then they come back to class and tell us about it. They can also serve as contacts if we’re applying for co-ops. They are always available."

‐ Kaleigh O’HaraAlign MSCS '17

"I studied journalism and political science, and this is a very fast-moving program, but I never felt like I was alone or struggling. I always felt very supported. And now I’m super confident. So many people who graduated from this program are now working for some of the largest tech companies. It’s really awesome. I’m so glad I made this decision."

‐ Alice DayAlign MSCS ’18

The Experiential Learning Advantage

  • Align MSCS students get real-world work experience combined with coursework
  • Classes taught by industry professionals which prepare students for the workforce
  • Students graduate with 6-8 months of work experience
  • 100 percent of eligible students are placed in co-op in one of our partner companies
  • Many Align MSCS grads are offered jobs by their co-op employers
  • All Align MSCS grads to date are employed with $100,000 plus salaries


Hear from Our Students

Learn what students are saying about the Align MSCS program.

Learn From Industry Experts

The many Northeastern professors and lecturers who teach in the CS Align program represent some of the top experts in their field. Plus, a lot of our faculty hold influential positions and working relationships in some of the leading tech companies in and around the Northeastern campus regions and throughout the world. 

Featured Faculty: Charlotte Campus

Featured Faculty: Charlotte Campus
Dr. Tiffani Williams

Dr. Tiffani Williams

Program Director and Professor of the Practice

Tiffani Williams is the Director of Computer Science Programs and Professor of the Practice at Northeastern University’s Khoury College of Computer Sciences in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she leads the Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) and Align MSCS programs. Before joining Northeastern in 2017, Williams was a member of the faculty at Texas A&M University, most recently as an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and as an affiliated faculty member in the Interdisciplinary Research Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Williams earned her BS in Computer Science from Marquette University and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida. Afterward, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of New Mexico. Her honors include a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a McKnight Doctoral Fellowship. In 2011, she received the Denice Denton Emerging Leader ABIE award. She was recognized for teaching excellence at Texas A&M in 2016 and 2014 with the Distinguished Award in Teaching by the Association of Former Students and the Undergraduate Faculty Teaching Excellence award, respectively.

Williams was General Co-Chair (2014) and Program Co-Chair (2013) of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the largest gathering of women technologists. She is active in mentoring and supervising a diverse group of students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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Studying in Charlotte

Centrally located at the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets in Uptown, Northeastern University–Charlotte sits in the heart of a walkable neighborhood. The campus is just footsteps away from trendy restaurants, beautiful parks, and major sports teams like the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, and Charlotte Knights. Annual festivals and other community events also make the Uptown area a popular destination for recreational activities.

Besides boasting mild winters and a low cost of living, Charlotte is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country. Approximately 100,000 professionals currently work in the Uptown area and are interested in advancing their career. No wonder the city is ranked #1 nationally for young professional transplants. Notably, the city’s booming economy has attracted major employers in the energy, banking, healthcare, and most recently, high-tech industries.

Charlotte is now #1 in tech talent growth (CBRE) and #1 in the country for the highest percentage of women in tech (NCTA). In the last five years, the technology sector in the city has grown 28%, outpacing the nation. The region is expected to add an additional 9,000 information technology jobs by 2022. While tech skills are in high demand, the high-tech talent pool is at a shortage, largely because of a training deficit and an insufficient amount of tech degrees awarded in the region.

That’s where Northeastern University comes in. The Charlotte campus offers the Align MSCS program to quickly and efficiently build your knowledge in one of today’s most popular tech professions. Even if you come from a non-tech background, rigorous bridge courses can get you up to speed with the subject matter and on your way to a satisfying and rewarding new career. Classes are offered in the evening, making it possible for working professionals to participate in the program.

Visit our campus or learn more about the program, curriculum, and tuition scholarships here.

From the Dean

Carla Brodly

"Our Align students come from a variety of backgrounds—with undergraduate majors ranging from math, English, economics, and the classics. Whether your undergraduate degree was in the sciences or the liberal arts, whether you’re a recent college graduate or an experienced professional looking to change careers, the Align Master’s in Computer Science can work for you."

— Carla Brodly, Dean, Khoury College of Computer Sciences

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What are the Admissions Requirements?

  • Completed application form and transcripts
  • Undergraduate degree in any discipline
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resumé

The MS Computer Science Align program admits students on a rolling basis up until the domestic applicant deadlines.