Graduate Division

Master of Computer Science

Section 1


The Master of Computer Science Program prepares students for immediate entry into the technology workforce as well as supports students for enhanced job opportunities and mobility.  The program emphasizes computer science that applies to a wide variety of applications and industries where students learn or reinforce key computer science concepts through classroom and project-based learning, and through individual and collaborative assignments.

The program spans four academic quarters –fall, winter, spring, and fall in addition to a summer component that includes either an internship or additional coursework.

A key feature of the program is the capstone design courses, which are taken simultaneously and include design, development, and professional writing components.

What Sets Us Apart?

  • A dedicated Career Counseling team!
  • Consistent professional development resources, workshops, and one-on-one personalized career coaching
  • 16 month program, Beginning of Fall quarter to end of Fall quarter
  • UCI world-renown Faculty from the Department of Computer Science
  • A professional writing and communication course that other competing programs do not offer
  • All of our courses are lab and project-focused for hands on experience
  • UC Irvine has the only independent Computer Science School within the UC system

Quick Facts

Program Type

Professional Master's Program

Normative Time to Degree

5 quarters

Capstone Type

Capstone Courses

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

Most applicants come from a computing-related undergraduate program; however, applications from students with other technical backgrounds and sufficient preparation in programming are also welcomed. Applications are also encouraged from students with non-technical academic backgrounds who have sufficient preparation in programming and extensive technical employment experience. Any admitted students with any deficiencies in discrete mathematics and data structures are highly recommended to register for community college or online courses prior to entering the program in the fall.  

For specific information regarding admissions requirements and the application process, please refer to the Graduate Division website.

Applicants should have the following prerequisites completed before submitting an application for admission:

  • A year of programming preferably in Python, C++, or Java; or equivalent or better of professional experience
  • Adequate knowledge of and proficiency in C/C++
  • Familiarity with discrete mathematics topics such as those covered in ICS 6B and ICS 6D
  • Familiarity with linear algebra topics such as those covered in Math 3A or ICS 6N
  • Completion of an introductory statistics course

Applicants must provide the following:

Unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended. For application review purposes only, scan and upload copies of transcripts for all institutions attended since high school. In the online application, you will be prompted to upload your scanned documents. Please upload both the front and back sides of the transcript. Uploaded transcripts should be recent and include the following: your name, dates of attendance, grades/marks received, credits and grading legend. Official transcripts will be requested if and when you are admitted and decide to attend UCI. Do not send official transcripts until this time.

Three letters of recommendation from three people who can evaluate your academic and professional achievement, describe your strengths and weaknesses, and comment on your character, integrity and motivation.

  1. Letters which speak to your ability to perform in a post graduate academic program are especially useful.
  2. These letters should be from professors, supervisors, or others (no family) who can attest to your work ethic, analytical thinking, communication skills, leadership potential, motivation, and commitment.
    • For the Applicant: Complete the Letter of Recommendation section on the online application. This will allow you to enter in your recommenders’ names and e-mail addresses. An automated e-mail invitation will be sent to each of your recommenders. It is strongly recommended that you waive or decline to waive  your rights of access to your letters of recommendation. After you have completed and submitted your application, you may continue to manage and monitor the status of their submission by logging into your online application and viewing the status page.
    • For the Recommender: Your student will provide your contact information on their application which will generate an automated e-mail inviting you to log in and complete a recommendation form. Please follow the steps on the form and submit your recommendation for their application. The form will support document uploads or you may copy and paste the text of your letter.

Personal statement demonstrating your writing ability and clarity of thought which includes:

    • A personal history describing your previous professional and academic achievements
    • Formal statement of purpose, detailing current goals, and specifically how and why the MCS program will help you achieve them.

GRE is required of ALL applicants.

  1. Arrange to have your official test scores sent from the testing agency to UC Irvine. The institution code is 4859.
  2. Photocopies or scans will not be accepted.
  3. GRE scores are valid for five years, after which time the exam must be retaken.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required of all international students

  1. The minimum TOEFL score is 80. For more information, please see Graduate Division’s English Proficiency site.
  2. You can be waived from the TOEFL requirement if you earn a four-year Bachelor’s degree or a two-year Master’s degree from a US institution with no transfer credit. Waivers are granted by the department after receipt of your transcripts and you must have a completed application. For information on TOEFL waivers, please see the FAQ on this page.
  3. As an alternative to the TOEFL, you may submit official scores from the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
    • You must submit a Test Report Form (TRF) to:  Graduate Division, Admissions, 120 Aldrich Hall, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-3180

     4. An overall minimum score of 7 for admission, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module

QUESTIONS? email us at:

Financial Support


Fellowships up to 50% of tuition are available to domestic students with financial need. Please fill out the FAFSA online to be considered.  Additionally, fellowships up to 75% of tuition are available to domestic students who strengthen our commitment to diversity and under-representation in Computer Science.

Financial Aid

For information on obtaining aid, please review the Financial aid website:

Can I apply for the Reader (Grader)/TA/RA positions?

No, students in professional programs are not eligible for these positions.

Core Faculty

Anton Burtsev
Assistant Adjunct Professor
Operating Systems

Michael Dillencourt
Algorithms and Complexity, Networks and Distributed Systems

Magda El Zarki
Multimedia Computing, Networks and Distributed Systems

Michael T. Goodrich
Chancellor’s Professor
Algorithms and Complexity, Computer Graphics and Visualization

Wayne Hayes
Associate Professor  
Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology, Scientific and Numerical Computing

Daniel S. Hirschberg
Professor, Irvine Senate Parliamentarian
Algorithms and Complexity

Ray Klefstad
Professor of Teaching   
Embedded Systems, Networks and Distributed Systems, Programming Languages and Systems

Richard Lathrop
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology

Chen Li
Databases and Text Processing

Aditi Majumder
Computer Graphics and Visualization

Eric Mjolsness
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology, Computer Vision

Amelia C. Regan
Algorithms and Complexity, Networks and Distributed Systems