College of Computer and Information Science

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.  View all Seattle CCIS faculty.

Featured Faculty: Seattle Campus

Featured Faculty: Seattle Campus
Dr. Ian Gorton

Dr. Ian Gorton

Director of Computer Science

Ian Gorton joined Northeastern University in Seattle as the Director of the Computer Science Masters programs in 2015. Prior to this role, he worked at the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute as a Senior Member of the Technical Staff. He worked on several projects focused on the principles of designing massively scalable software architectures for big data applications, and building knowledge bases both manually and using machine learning to support engineering tasks.

Before joining the SEI, Gorton was a Laboratory Fellow in Computational Sciences and Math at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. I managed the Data Intensive Scientific Computing research group, and was the Chief Architect for PNNL’s Data Intensive Computing Initiative. He was also PI for multiple projects in environmental modeling, carbon capture and sequestration, and bioinformatics. This experience has led to a particular interest in the design of large scale, highly customizable cyber-infrastructures for scientific research.

Gorton has a PhD in Computer Science from Sheffield Hallam University and is a Senior Member of the IEEE Computer Society and a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society. Until July 2006, he led the software architecture R&D at National ICT Australia (NICTA) in Sydney, Australia, and previously worked at CSIRO, IBM, Microsoft and in academia in Australia. His passion is analyzing and designing complex, high performance distributed systems, and embodying design and architecture principles in methods and tools that can be exploited by architects in other projects.

You can see all Gorton’s publications and citations on Google Scholar and in dlbp.

 View all Seattle CCIS faculty.

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Adrienne Slaughter

Adrienne Slaughter

Computer Science – Lecturer

Dr. Slaughter holds a BS in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MA in Learning, Design and Technology from Stanford University, and a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington. Previous to Northeastern, Dr. Slaughter worked at multiple startups and spent many years at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She has also spent time at MSR, Intel Research Seattle, and Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory (MERL). Her work has straddled the areas of human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing and mobile devices, user research, and data science.

 View all Seattle CCIS faculty.

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Tamara Bonaci

Tamara Bonaci

Computer Science – Part-Time Lecturer

Tamara Bonaci is a Part-Time Lecturer at Northeastern University’s College of Computer and Information Science. She received her PhD from the University of Washington in 2015, specializing in security and privacy of emerging biomedical technologies. Since graduation, she has been a part of a pre-public local Seattle startup, focusing on biometric methods. She also teaches a sequence of security and privacy courses at Northeastern University and the University of Washington. Tamara feels very strongly about diversity in engineering, and about bringing women to and retaining them in STEM. In her free time, Tamara enjoys going to playgrounds and running.

View all CCIS faculty.

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Study in Seattle

Northeastern’s leadership in experiential learning—the integration of classroom study with professional experience—provides a strong foundation for the university’s expansion to new regions, including Silicon Valley. Northeastern is making the virtual classroom more dynamic, connected, and real by integrating the professional workplace into its online and hybrid degree programs.

The Seattle campus is located in the city’s downtown tech epicenter, in the middle of Amazon campus and intertwined with the city’s bustling businesses and activities.

With nonprofit innovators like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and iconic brands like Microsoft, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Costco, Boeing, and Expedia, the region is a leading center for research and advanced technology in aerospace, computer software, bioinformatics, genomics, and environmental engineering. Class are taught by instructors who have or currently still work in the local industry. The environment makes the Seattle campus a land of exciting opportunities for student co-ops and networking. It’s an exciting time to be in Seattle where industry is booming, yet the beautiful outdoors are just a short drive away to kayak, hike, ski, and enjoy naturistic views when you feel like relaxing.

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.

Get more information about the program, curriculum, tuition scholarships, and more 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, CCIS


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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 and international applicant deadlines.

Minimum TOEFL score of 100 for the Seattle location which is I-20 compliant.