Advance Your Technological Expertise

The Master of Science in Computer Science at City University of Seattle is designed to advance your knowledge and expertise in computer science and technology. This unique program offers the theoretical and the business knowledge you’ll need to propel your career forward.

Courses are available online so you can pursue your master’s in computer science while still working and maintaining your life.

This degree is typically completed in two years. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field qualifies you to apply to this program. If your bachelor’s degree is in a non-related field, ask our advisors about CityU’s Bridge-MSCS program that is specifically designed to help people transition into a tech career.

The Master of Science in Computer Science is a flexible, yet rigorous program with core curriculum designed by professionals who have worked in the field for more than 15 years. Courses include topics such as computer architecture, software engineering, software testing, information security, and managing technology projects.

If you are new to computer science, CityU offers a Bridge-MSCS program that will enable you to transition into this growing sector from nearly any discipline by completing select prerequisite courses.

Center for Information Assurance Education

City University of Seattle operates a special center whose mission is to conduct programs, courses, research, and consulting in information assurance. Learn more about the Center.

Learning Outcomes

Throughout the Master of Science in Computer Science program, you’ll learn:

  • Activities used to produce and deliver quality code in a consistent manner
  • Code design and systems architecture requirements when building a compiler and interpreter
  • Concepts and programmatic challenges with cloud computing
  • Computer architecture and all components
  • Basic background in C++ programming
  • Tools and techniques for the testing and validation of software
  • Security implementations for digital networks, platforms, and applications
  • Ethical issues that arise in information security

Preparatory Courses

CS 131

Computer Science I: C++ (5)

This course provides an introduction to programming using the Standard C++ programming language. Students learn the basic concepts of assignment, iteration, and looping. The course includes extensive coverage of objects and the concepts of object-oriented programming. In addition, students will learn how to effectively structure a program.

IS 306

Data Management Communications and Networking (5)

This course develops student understanding of a model of Information Systems composed of data acquisition, data transport, data manipulation, data storage, and data display. The use of data to develop business intelligence, competitive advantage, and support business operations through lean supply chains, delivery, and oversight has become an increasingly critical component in business success. Students will learn how modern computer systems work with data across multiple systems to deliver relevant time-critical information to managers and workers. Students will gain an insight into networked communications in support of business operations. This course prepares the student for working with data in a modern highly connected organization anywhere in the world.

IS 340

Operating Systems (5)

This course examines basic operating system concepts and principles. The concepts include Operating Systems components, architecture, and management. Operating system management will examine process, memory, storage, and security management. Several exercises and hands-on activity reinforce the concepts and principles covered in the course. Course Entry Requirement: IS 306 or CS 306.

IS 375

C++ - Intermediate (5)

In this course students further their understanding of the C++ programming language, applying it to the managed code environment, databases, and Windows programming. In the first part of the course students use C++/CLI to create managed code. The course then covers designing, implementing, and accessing databases to store large data sets. Students then implement Windows based programs using the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC). Students will learn the concepts of event-driven programming, message processing, and Windows program structure. Prerequisite: CS 131

Computer Systems Core

CS 504

Principles of Software Engineering (3)

The Software Engineering discipline covers those activities used to produce and deliver quality code in a consistent manner. This course covers process models, methodologies, and architectures for producing code, as well as the project and configuration management processes to guide the software lifecycle. The course also looks at the critical areas of requirements engineering, documentation, and metrics. Students mastering this course will be prepared to participate in professional software engineering teams.

CS 510

Compilers for Computer Languages (3)

This course focuses on a practical approach for code design and systems architecture requirements when building a compiler and interpreter. Students learn how to build a compiler/interpreter for multiple programming languages using the common resources. During the course, students become familiar with several programming languages as they are intimately tied to the design and implementation of the compiler. Students learn how compilers are used to translate high level source code into machine language. Students will learn all stages involved during the compile cycle. Students will also learn component-based software engineering, service orientation, and global software development.

CS 519

Introduction to Cloud Computing (3)

This course focuses on the concepts and programmatic challenges with cloud computing. Cloud computing is a highly scalable and geographically dispersed computing system that has unique design concerns. Cloud computing systems are often not owned by the parent company, which requires attention to storage of data and commitment to ethical programming. This course introduces the concepts behind cloud computing, unique programming challenges, and unique communications and ethical concerns for programmers. The student will learn the theoretical and practical design considerations for distributed programming, data use and transport, as well as legal compliance considerations in a cloud computing environment. The student will also learn to present information in a team that is geographically dispersed as part of a software development process.

CS 533

Computer Architecture (3)

This course provides students with a fundamental understanding of computer architecture and components, including the ALU, registers, busses, i/o, memory, and caches. Students gain an appreciation for machine and assembly languages and how different architectures are used to address challenges in computing. Students who have completed this course will understand how to use the hardware of a computer effectively.

CS 555

C++ for Programmers (3)

The course contents include ANSI/ISO standard C++, control structures, functions, arrays, pointers, strings, class/data abstraction, operator overloading, inheritance, overriding, virtual functions, polymorphism, stream I/O, template, and exception handling. This is the second course in the C++ Programming emphasis of the Master of Science in Computer Systems (MSCS) program. It provides a basic background in both C++ programming and in object-oriented programming concepts.

CS 570

Software Testing (3)

This course looks at the theories and practical tools and techniques for the testing and validation of software. Testing includes unit, integration, regression, and user acceptance testing using both black-box and white-box techniques. The course also covers developing and writing test cases, creating error reports, and tracking test status. Upon completion of the course the student should be comfortable designing and applying requirements to software systems testing.

CS 612

Data Exploration and Visualization (3)

Please check back soon for the full description.


Managing the Technology Project (3)

Project management has become a foundational skill for all business and technology managers. This course will explore the unique challenges of managing projects with technology enablers. The student will study and apply best practices in project management including planning, scheduling, managing cost, quality, and risk, while monitoring the external and internal influences that can affect project scope and eventual success with integrating technology into the business environment. The challenges of working with diverse teams of business experts, as well as project management, has become a foundational skill for all business and technology managers. This course will explore the challenges of managing technology projects. The students will study and apply best practices in project management including planning, scheduling, and managing procurements, cost, quality, and risk.


Technology Implementation and Change (3)

This course presents the challenge of implementing technology in an organizational environment. Topics will include the principles of systems thinking, the process of transition at the individual and organizational level, and the dynamic nature of working in a distributed collaborative environment. You will propose a technology, assess an organization's readiness for change, and develop a plan for addressing potential obstacles as part of a transition management plan. Rather than working independently, you will be placed in roles on a multi-functional implementation team and challenged to integrate your plans with your classmates in a virtual environment. You will emerge from this course with an increased appreciation of the many factors that influence the success of technology adoption and the ability to collaborate as members of transition management teams to ensure successful implementations.


ISEC 500

Information Security Overview (3)

This course will cover changes in information security management and understanding. The age of information security as technology alone has passed, people currently involved with information security need to understand the entire information security landscape, from rules, laws, corporate laws and rules, decision making, working in teams, leadership, and other ways that information security is changing people and the work place.

ISEC 505

System Administration for Information Security (3)

In this course students discuss security implementations for digital networks, platforms, and applications. Areas of study involve identifying and examining security risks, security solutions and tools available for various Windows platforms and applications.

ISEC 520

Ethical Obligations in Information Security (3)

This course is a study of the ethical issues that arise in information security. The course explores ethical frameworks and their application to particular areas influencing and affecting information security. Topics explored include privacy, anonymity, confidentiality, intellectual property, and other areas impacted by information and communications technology. Students completing the course will be aware of the many issues they can expect to confront, understand how others have addressed similar issues, and possess a toolkit to aid them as they confront those issues.


CS 687

Computer Science Capstone (3)

The Computer Science Capstone is the capstone course for the Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) program. Students will demonstrate their ability to apply computer systems principles, tools, and techniques to a specific problem or research study, and to acquire and/or apply additional knowledge in a unique domain. This course integrates knowledge gained from previous coursework in the MSCS program. Prerequisite: Final quarter of study

Preparatory course may be required for student’s entering the MS- Computer Science degree program without sufficient related experience. Please see the program admissions criteria in the City University of Seattle catalog for specific information.

CityU’s Master of Science in Computer Science is designed to give you actionable insights that you can apply in your work immediately. You’ll graduate a more effective technology expert with increased advancement opportunities.

Job titles of alumni with an MS in Computer Science include:

  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Senior Designer
  • Senior Programmer
  • Senior Tech Specialist
  • Chief Technology Officer

Networking Opportunities

At CityU, you’ll have the opportunity to expand your professional network by connecting with faculty working in your field, students from around the globe, and alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies. Plus, you’ll be part of a supportive community that’s dedicated to helping you reach your career goals.

Tuition Cost

Learn more about tuition and fees for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.

Financial Aid Opportunities

At CityU, we’re committed to helping students achieve their academic goals no matter their economic situations. Our financial aid counselors are here to find the resources you need to pay for your education, including grants, loans, work study, and scholarships.

Learn more about financial aid opportunities at CityU, or contact our Financial Aid Team at 800.426.5596, 206.239.4540, or

Military Tuition Benefits

As a Yellow Ribbon school, CityU is proud to serve those who have served in the military. We offer military tuition discounts for active-duty servicemembers and their spouses and accept military benefits such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and Tuition Assistance.

Learn more about military tuition benefits, VA benefits, and military partnership programs designed to help you reach your military and career goals.