Program Description

The University of Missouri-Kansas City has created an exciting and uniquely designed program of graduate study in computer science. Significant changes are always occurring within this discipline in recent years and our graduate program in computer science reflects those changes, providing in-depth education in the new technology and skills most in demand in this growing industry.

The UMKC graduate student has the unique opportunity to get a concentrated state-of-the-art education in some of the most dynamic, challenging and professionally significant specialty areas. This is made possible by unusual advantages which the UMKC program possesses:

  • An interdisciplinary approach to new technology.
  • Faculty who are each actively pursuing research in these areas.

Students can earn an M.S. degree in computer science with an emphasis or area of interest in:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Data Science
  • Database and Information Management
  • Networking and Telecommunications
  • Software Engineering

Many courses are offered in these areas. Contact us for more information by phone: (816) 235-1193 or send an e-mail

Admission Requirements

The University of Missouri-Kansas City's graduate program in computer science will accept college and university graduates whose past performance indicates an ability to succeed in graduate study in computer science. This ability can be demonstrated by the following undergraduate preparation.

  1. A sound background in computer science as indicated by an above-average understanding (e.g. a cumulative GPA in CS coursework of 3.0 or better with no single course grade lower than 2.0) of the content of the following courses:
    COMP-SCI 101Problem Solving and Programming I3
    COMP-SCI 191Discrete Structures I3
    COMP-SCI 201RProblem Solving and Programming II3
    COMP-SCI 201LProblem Solving and Programming II - Lab1
    COMP-SCI 281RIntroduction to Computer Architecture and Organization3
    COMP-SCI 291Discrete Structures II3
    COMP-SCI 303Data Structures3
    COMP-SCI 394RApplied Probability3
    COMP-SCI 404Introduction to Algorithms and Complexity3
    COMP-SCI 431Introduction to Operating Systems3
  2. A sound background in mathematics as indicated by an above average understanding (e.g. a GPA of 3.0 or better with no single course grade lower than 2.0) of calculus (minimum of 10 hours) and of the content of at least two additional upper-level courses in areas such as linear algebra, differential equations, abstract algebra, numerical analysis or mathematical logic.

  3. An overall GPA of 3.0 or better in all undergraduate work.

  4. Official results of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general test. The applicant must score in at least the 75th percentile on the quantitative portion of the GRE and it is recommended that the applicant score in at least the 30th percentile on the verbal portion of the GRE. Admission to our degree programs is competitive so higher scores are recommended.

  5. For international students, a minimum test score of IELTS 6.5 or iBT 79 is needed. A higher score makes the application competitive for DISA (Dean’s International Student Award) consideration.

  6. Prospective students who want to be considered for acceptance to the M.S. degree program should submit the following documents:

    1. Transcripts for all graduate and undergraduate work completed so far; syllabi of these courses (or a URL to these) is strongly suggested.

    2. Copies of academic and scholarly diplomas received.

    3. GRE scores and, for international students, TOEFL scores, as well as a statement of purpose, i.e. a one- or two-page essay in which the prospective students indicate their career objectives.

It is possible that a prospective student has obtained a solid understanding of either computer science or mathematics through work or other experience rather than formal study. These students must submit a detailed description of such experience and ask a supervisor to write a letter of reference supporting the application.

Applications will be reviewed by the master's committee when all documentation is received.

U.S. citizens or permanent residents may apply online at or submit application forms and required supporting materials to:

Mailing Address
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Office of Admissions
120 Administrative Center
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

Their telephone number is (816) 235-1111 and their e-mail address is

International students may apply online at or fax application to (573) 884-4894 and send all supporting documents to:

Mailing Address
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Office of International Student Affairs
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

Their telephone number is (816) 235-1113 and their e-mail address is

Prospective students can request additional information or request information regarding their application by contacting UMKC at the above addresses or by sending e-mail to:

Starting the Program

When accepted into the program, the student's first contact is with the computer science principal graduate advisor or with members of the CSEE graduate degree program committee during the orientation session.  The most immediate concern is for the courses to be taken in the first semester. The principal graduate advisor will help the student select those initial courses.  At this initial meeting, a review will be made of the student's status in the program and the student will be required to provide a tentative program of study within the first semester. Such a program should reflect the deficiency and prerequisite courses that have been prescribed and may have to be taken prior to taking courses for graduate credit.

Within the first semester, the student will be assigned a graduate advisor (faculty) who will then become the primary contact person for that student until a thesis advisor (for thesis option) is selected. The CS co-chair of the CSEE graduate degree program committee or his/her designee will notify the student of the identity of the specific graduate advisor. It will be the responsibility of students, in conjunction with their advisors/chairs, to devise a program of study using the degree requirements worksheet and the course planning worksheet. This should be submitted to the graduate committee, usually by the end of the second semester. The CSEE graduate degree program committee is in charge of handling procedural issues related to the M.S. program in computer science. Any request for exception to rules, regulations or policies should be directed to this committee.


The CSEE graduate degree program committee reviews and evaluates all applications for admissions to the M.S. degree programs. Frequently, they review applications from students whose past academic record show strong positive indications for success as a graduate student, yet have not satisfied all courses needed for full admission. Students with an undergraduate degree in computer science from an ABET accredited program are well prepared. Others may have deficiencies in their preparation. The committee may offer these students admission to the program on a conditional basis and compile a list of "deficiency courses". The successful completion of these courses with a grade of B or better will be a condition of full admission to the program. The student is then required to complete all such deficiencies as a contractual obligation at the earliest opportunity.

The committee creates this list based on the transcripts and syllabi submitted by the applicant. However, it is possible that applicants have indeed satisfied one or more of their listed deficiencies. In these cases, the student should contact their academic advisor as soon as possible in the first semester to initiate a petition to waive the deficiencies in question. The written petition with all the needed supporting documentation (such as course syllabus) attached, must be submitted no later than six weeks (two weeks for summer) after the start of the first semester of enrollment. Any petition received after the deadline will be denied and returned without review. The decision of the committee is final and can be one of three:

  • The waiver is granted.
  • The waiver is denied and the student is allowed to take an examination.
  • The waiver is denied and the student must pass the class with a B (3.0) or higher (usually the course of action if the student does not pass the examination).

The committee's decision is final, so it is important that students consult with their advisor to ensure that all the proper documentation supporting the waiver is submitted.

If the student is allowed to take an examination, it must take place no later than the second semester of enrollment. The student may take the exam only once.  If the student does not perform satisfactorily on the exam, then the student must enroll in the course to satisfy the deficiency requirement.

All deficiencies shall be satisfied within two semesters of admission. If deficiencies are not satisfied within this time period, enrollment will be limited to deficiency courses until all deficiencies have been satisfied.

Graduate Course Prerequisites

Note that there are graduate level courses that have an undergraduate course as prerequisite and that not all undergraduate courses can be taken for graduate credit.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Develop solutions for advanced problems using appropriate skills and knowledge in computer science.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge in an area of specialization.
  • Recognize and apply state of the art techniques and tools in the field.
  • Plan and conduct scholarly activities.
  • Communicate effectively in both written and oral forms.
  • Recognize the need for and ability to engage in life-long learning.
  • Understand ethical and professional responsibilities.
  • Work effectively in teams.

Core Requirements

All students are required to complete a core curriculum of:

COMP-SCI 5592Design and Analysis of Algorithms3
Select two of the following:6
Network Architecture I (formerly offered as COMP-SCI 5520)
Advanced Software Engineering
Introduction to Bioinformatics
Architecture of Database Management Systems
Introduction to Statistical Learning
Principles of Big Data Management
Big Data Analytics and Applications

CS-Emphasis and CS-Areas of Interest

 All students are required to complete courses in a CS-emphasis and/or area of interest. The approved areas and their associated courses are:

Bioinformatics Emphasis -

COMP-SCI 5565Introduction to Statistical Learning3
COMP-SCI 5566Introduction to Bioinformatics3
COMP-SCI 5567Machine Learning for Data Scientists3
COMP-SCI 5590NN/E&C-ENGR 5316Special Topics (Artificial, Neural and Adaptive Systems)3
E&C-ENGR 5590SLSpecial Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering1-4
And others
Total Credits13-16

Data Science Emphasis

COMP-SCI 5525Cloud Computing3
COMP-SCI 5540Principles of Big Data Management3
COMP-SCI 5542Big Data Analytics and Applications3
COMP-SCI 5543Real-time Big Data Analytics3
COMP-SCI 5565Introduction to Statistical Learning3
COMP-SCI 5567Machine Learning for Data Scientists3
COMP-SCI 5570Architecture of Database Management Systems3
COMP-SCI 5574Large Scale Semistructured Data Management3
COMP-SCI 5590PGSpecial Topics In Computer Science (Probabilistic Graphical Models)3
And others
Total Credits27

 Database and Information Management Area of Interest [not transcripted] -

COMP-SCI 5570Architecture of Database Management Systems3
COMP-SCI 5571Distributed Database Management Systems3
COMP-SCI 5572Mobile Computing3
COMP-SCI 5573Information Security and Assurance3
COMP-SCI 5574Large Scale Semistructured Data Management3
And others
Total Credits15

Networking and Telecommunications Emphasis -

CSEE 5110Network Architecture I3
CSEE 5111Network Architecture II3
CSEE 5112Computer Network Design and Analysis3
CSEE 5113Network Routing3
CSEE 5130Queuing Theory and Applications3
COMP-SCI 5523Capacity Planning for Service-Oriented Architectures3
COMP-SCI 5525Cloud Computing3
E&C-ENGR 5570Principles of Digital Communication Systems3
E&C-ENGR 5577Wireless Communications3
And others
Total Credits27

Software Engineering and System Emphasis -

COMP-SCI 5531Advanced Operating Systems3
COMP-SCI 5551Advanced Software Engineering3
COMP-SCI 5552AFormal Software Specification3
COMP-SCI 5553Software Architecture and Design3
COMP-SCI 5554Software Tools and Programming Environments3
COMP-SCI 5555Software Methods and Tools3
COMP-SCI 5560Knowledge Discovery and Management3
And others
Total Credits21

If a student desires an emphasis or area of interest other than these, a petition must be submitted to the graduate committee requesting that an emphasis or area of interest be recognized for the student's specific degree plan. It should specifically state which courses the student wants to include in this emphasis or area of interest and it should explain why these courses together form a coherent group and how these courses fit the student's academic goals. Students must petition before including other courses in their program of study.

Please note that many of our bioinformatics courses also count towards a MS in Bioinformatics, administered in the Department of Informatic Medicine and Personalized Health in the School of Medicine. Please contact Dr. Stan Edlavitch for more information, 1000 East 24th Street, 5th Floor, Phone: 816-235-6617, Email:

Degree Requirements

To earn an M.S. degree in computer science, the student must satisfy both the general master of science degree requirements of the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the requirements of the CSEE Department for either the thesis or non-thesis option as outlined below.

Specific Requirements for the Thesis Option (30 cr. hrs.):

  1. Complete a minimum of 24 hours of approved COMP-SCI coursework for graduate credit with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

  2. Additionally, complete a minimum of six additional graduate COMP-SCI hours, including at least three hours COMP-SCI 5599. The total number of hours of COMP-SCI 5597 or COMP-SCI 5599 should not exceed six.

  3. Contact a thesis advisor in the semester in which the student completes 12 hours of graduate work.

  4. Present evidence of research abilities in the form of a master's thesis resulting from enrollment in at least three hours of COMP-SCI 5599.

  5. Pass a general oral examination which may cover all the work covered in the student's graduate program.

  6. Satisfy the requirements listed under the common requirements, see below.

Specific Requirements for the Non-Thesis Option (30 cr. hrs.):

  1. Complete a minimum of 27 hours of approved coursework for graduate credit with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

  2. Additionally, complete another 3 hours of approved course work, or 3 hours of approved COMP-SCI 5597. Only 3 hours of COMP-SCI 5597 can be applied toward the degree.

  3. Contact an advisor after completing 12 hours of graduate work to complete the program of study.

  4. Satisfy all common requirements, see below.

Common Requirements and Limitations for both MS-CS Thesis Option and Non-Thesis Option:

  1. Satisfy the core requirement:

    COMP-SCI 5592Design and Analysis of Algorithms3
    Select two of the following:6
    CSEE 5110Network Architecture I3
    COMP-SCI 5551Advanced Software Engineering3
    COMP-SCI 5566Introduction to Bioinformatics3
    COMP-SCI 5570Architecture of Database Management Systems3
    COMP-SCI 5540Principles of Big Data Management (formerly offered as COMP-SCI 5590PB)3
    COMP-SCI 5542Big Data Analytics and Applications3
    COMP-SCI 5565Introduction to Statistical Learning (formerly offered as COMP-SCI 5590CI)3
  2. Complete a minimum of nine hours (if thesis) or twelve hours (if non-thesis) in one CS-emphasis or CS-area of interest and a minimum of six hours in another CS—emphasis or CS-area of interest.

  3. Each student must have a plan of study approved by both the student's supervisory committee and the graduate officer before the end of the semester in which the student completes 12 credit hours of graduate work.

  4. No more than six credit hours total from any graduate coursework taken outside the CSEE department and from COMP-SCI 411, COMP-SCI 421A, COMP-SCI 423, COMP-SCI 457, COMP-SCI 470, and COMP-SCI 494R can be used to satisfy degree requirements. Each of these courses must be completed with a grade of "B" (3.0) or higher.

  5. Courses cannot be identical to courses already taken for a prior degree.

  6. No more than three hours of COMP-SCI 5597 can be used to satisfy degree requirements. All COMP-SCI 5597 hours to be applied to the master of science in Computer Science degree requirements must be approved by the CSEE Master's Committee at least six weeks before classes begin.

  7. No more than one course grade below "B" or 3.0 may be applied toward the degree requirements.

Thesis Option

Master's degree candidates in computer science who decide to do the thesis option are required to demonstrate knowledge and maturity in the discipline by completing at least three hours of COMP-SCI 5599. Students may enroll in more than three hours of COMP-SCI 5599, however, only six hours combined from COMP-SCI 5597 and COMP-SCI 5599 may be applied toward the degree. The research program will be defined by the student in conjunction with the student's thesis committee. Under the direction of the thesis advisor, the student will investigate a topic of current interest in computer science and prepare a master's thesis on that topic.

The final requirement for conferral of the M.S. degree is defense of the thesis, where the supervisory committee is the examining body. The thesis must be submitted in complete typewritten form to the advisor and supervisory committee at least six weeks before the date the advanced degree is to be conferred. Also, the supervisory committee must have access to the thesis at least one week before the date of the defense. Students must comply with all rules and regulations governing theses outlined in the general catalog under General Graduate Academic Regulations and Information.

Directed Readings Courses

Up to three hours of COMP-SCI 5597 is allowed toward a master of science. Such a course must be approved in advance (i.e., before the student takes the course) by the professor supervising the course and the graduate committee. The following information must be furnished:

  • Title of the course.

  • Detailed syllabus for the course.

  • Textbook and references.

  • The manner in which the course will be conducted (i.e. meetings, assignments, etc.).

  • The manner in which the students are assessed (i.e. how many exams, presentations, reports, etc.).

  • The course which it replaces, if appropriate.

  • Name(s) of the instructor(s).

  • Name(s) of the student(s).

  • Reasons for offering this course in a directed readings format.

Transfer Credit

Not more than six hours of graduate credit may be transferred from another recognized graduate school or from another academic unit within UMKC. Transfer credit may be applied toward the master's degree requirements on the approval of the student's graduate advisor and the Master's Committee. No credit hours may be transferred when those hours have been used toward the completion of any other degree program, graduate or undergraduate. The total amount of transfer credit and credit from approved COMP-SCI 400-level classes shall not exceed six hours.

BS/MS Computer Science Program

See the BS/MS section under Computer Science in the undergraduate catalog for information about the program.