Northeastern’s MS in Computer Science Curriculum

Industry Advice Computing and IT

Northeastern University’s Master of Science in Computer Science curriculum builds on its students’ strengths in fundamental areas, including programming, mathematics, engineering, teamwork, design skills, and more. We offer a highly personalized curriculum with minimal core requirements, giving you the freedom and flexibility to specialize in your areas of interest. 

You’ll find classes that’ll help you develop in-demand skills and courses that explore more theoretical and academic areas. By the end of our master’s in computer science program, you’ll have the ability to: 

  •       Understand platforms such as distributed systems and cloud-based systems.
  •       Learn the intricacies and mechanisms of how a computer works.
  •       Build advanced web-based systems and mobile apps.
  •       Master the design, implementation, and testing of software.
  •       Demonstrate strong collaboration and team-building skills.
  •       Apply algorithmic and theoretical computer science principles to solve computing problems.
  •       Obtain specialization in key emerging computer science fields.
  •       Communicate computer science concepts, designs, and solutions effectively.
  •       Implement the solution of a computing problem using appropriate programming languages.

With your master’s degree, you’ll be prepared to chart a bold future in computer science. Keep reading to discover all the ways Notheastern’s curriculum can help you make it happen. 

Download Our Free Guide to Breaking into Computer Science

Whether you have a technical or non-technical background, here’s what you need to know.


Core Computer Science Courses

At Northeastern, each core course is designed to broaden and deepen your understanding of computer science.

A cumulative 3.0 GPA is required for the three core courses of the MSCS program:

  1. Programming: CS 5010 Programming Design Paradigm
  2. Development: CS 5500 Foundations of Software Engineering  or CS 5600 Computer Systems
  3. Algorithms: CS 5800 Algorithms

You’ll benefit from the small class sizes, collaborating with renowned faculty members, and working with leading companies from around the world. 

Computer Science Specializations

Northeastern’s program explores both the principles of computing and the many ways these principles are applied to various roles in the computer science discipline. The program also offers 11 specialization tracks that prepare students to work in one of the many specialized aspects of the industry. 

These concentrations include: 

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer-Human Interface
  • Game Design
  • Networks
  • Computer Graphics
  • Information Security
  • Data Science
  • Programming Languages
  • Software Engineering
  • Systems
  • Theory 

3 Ways Computer Science Electives Help Set You Apart

Northeastern’s computer science curriculum offers an array of elective courses to help you shape a unique learning experience. Our elective courses can help amplify your academic journey in several ways:

  1. They help you explore your career interests. While every degree program has specific requirements, electives allow you to test the waters outside your primary area of focus. As a result, you gain a new perspective, diversify your academic background, and enhance your college experience.
  2. They provide you with a broader education. Electives deepen your knowledge and help you build a strong resumé that shows future employers your willingness and penchant for learning.
  3. They help graduates stand out in a sea of job applicants. Employers hire employees from diverse backgrounds. The more knowledge, experience, and skills you have under your belt, the brighter your future will be. 

Bring Your Classroom Learning to Life

Experience is at the heart of our computer science master’s program. Powered by our signature co-op program, experiential learning enables you to explore your interests, find your passion, and acquire the skills and knowledge you need for future success. 

We combine rigorous academics with immersive, authentic experiences to allow and encourage an in-depth, applied understanding. Our distinctive approach to education empowers you to take the insights you learn in the classroom and apply them to the real world through a co-op. You can then apply the knowledge you acquire while on co-op back to the classroom—creating a continuous learning cycle.

While an internship gives you an initial taste of a job, the fully immersive co-op experience allows you to take on true responsibility and make a real impact on a company or organization. You’ll gain up to 12 months of professional work experience. And, each co-op experience helps you become a nimble employee, solve real-world problems, and grow in ways you never imagined. 

Northeastern’s experiential education can help you: 

  • Discover your real strengths.
  • Learn to adapt to new situations.
  • Solve real-world problems.
  • Lead projects and teams.
  • Gain experience beyond your years.

Other unique options that help you gain invaluable experience include:

  • Experiential Network (XN): Work with sponsors on short-term projects in an authentic business environment.
  • Experiential learning at work: Develop customized project plans with your employer to gain the right experience.
  • In-class case studies: Emulate real-world examples and exercises related to your field.

No matter which direction your academic journey takes you, you’ll receive endless support. From co-op and academic advisors to the entire Northeastern community, you’ll get the guidance and support you need to blaze your trail. As your goals and passions evolve, your advisors will help you adjust your learning path to match your growing interests. 

Learn More: How Hard is it to Get a Computer Science Degree?

Computer Science Master’s Thesis

In Northeastern’s MS in CS program, you’ll also work on a research and development project with a thesis advisor and a company to solve a real problem for two semesters. 

How it works:

Semester one: Project course—First, you’ll find a thesis advisor to work with you for two semesters. Once you submit your thesis proposal, the Graduate Committee will accept or reject the proposal, ask for revisions, or ask for additional readers to be added to your thesis.

Semester two: Thesis course—If your proposal is approved, you’ll register for the thesis course the following semester. From there, you’ll collaborate with your thesis advisor to form theories, insights, and more. Lastly, you’ll defend your thesis during a public presentation.

Take the Next Step

For information on specific program courses, including electives and specializations, explore the course catalog. To learn more about more general steps to advance your computer science career, download our free guide below. 


Download Our Free Guide to Breaking into Computer Science

Editor’s note: This curriculum is for marketing purposes only and is subject to change. The official curriculum can be found within the course catalog.