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Online Computer Science
Masters Degree Program

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DISCOVER THE DIFFERENCE

The Online MCS@RICE Program

Rice University's Online Master of Computer Science program has been built from the ground up to combine the top-ranked Rice Computer Science Department’s tradition of excellence with world-class online teaching methodology. Our graduates develop a well-rounded computer science skillset to pursue their next career goal in an ever-expanding, lucrative industry.

  • Small class groups and 1:1 interactions with fellow students
  • Same degree as Rice’s on-campus Master’s in Computer Science Program
  • Flexible self-paced lectures and weekly live sessions with professors
  • Designed for working professionals with or without computer science backgrounds
  • Get hands-on experience with modern databases, programming languages and statistical tools
  • Merit-based, early application $10K scholarship available for MCS Fall 2022 intake
  • Up to $7k in scholarships for Yellow Ribbon-eligible veterans and active service members.

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Our Computer Science Alumni have gone on to lucrative careers across a wide variety of fields. For example, past graduates of our MCS program have gone on to careers at Amazon, Facebook, Google, Halliburton, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, Schlumberger, Two Sigma, Uber, and many other leading companies.

-Scott Rixner, Faculty Director

woman standing smiling at rice university applications are open for computer science courses 2022

Applications Open for Summer & Fall 2022

Applications for the online master’s degree in computer science are being accepted for Summer & Fall 2022 cohorts. All required application materials must be submitted online by March 1, 2022 (Summer) or July 1, 2022 (Fall). To learn more about applying to our online Master of Computer Science program, please visit our Admissions page.

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A Holistic Master of Computer Science Curriculum

  • 10 set courses carefully selected to develop a well-rounded CS skillset so you can solve bigger challenges
  • Designed for working professionals with engineering or related background
  • Hands-on experience for real-world application and career advancement in the tech world
  • Flexible self-paced lectures and weekly live sessions with professors to develop graduate-level skills and thinking
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Tackle Bigger Problems in Your Career

When it comes to building a career in computer science, Rice on your resume means something. Our Master of Computer Science degree program teaches students rigorous, graduate-level thinking, and our graduates are well prepared for today's dynamic career marketplace. You’ll find Rice graduates at disruptive tech companies in Silicon Valley, leading the evolution of the petrochemical industry in Texas, and wherever computer science is making an impact on people’s lives.

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CONSIDER AN ONLINE MASTER OF DATA SCIENCE

Did you know we also offer a world-class Master of Data Science program that’s fully online? Learn more about the online Data Science program and how to apply for the Summer or Fall 2022 cohort.

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EXPECT WHAT YOU WOULD FROM AN ON-CAMPUS PROGRAM

Student Experience

At Rice, we strive to deliver a personalized student experience that is collaborative and engaging. Student/faculty interaction is paramount. With the online learning experience, those interactions with professors and peers are no longer dependent on being on campus. The combination of self-paced lectures and weekly live sessions to engage with professors helps to keep students engaged while completing coursework on their own time. You no longer have to put your career on hold to build your computer science skillset.

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Our Rankings

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8 Engineering Specialties in the Top 30 in US News

Engineering Specialties in the Top 30 in US News

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11th in Computer Science Programming Languages

Computer Science Programming Languages

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18th in Most Innovative Schools

Most Innovative Schools

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20th in Computer Science

Computer Science

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22nd in Computer Engineering

Computer Engineering

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65 years of innovation and excellence in the field of computer science

Years of Innovation and Excellence in the Field of Computer Science

Information Sessions

Tuesday, February 1, 2022: 12-1PM (CST)

Tuesday, February 1, 2022: 12-1PM (CST)

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Tuesday, February 22, 2022: 12-1PM (CST)

Tuesday, February 22, 2022: 12-1PM (CST)

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Tuesday, March 29, 2022: 12-1PM (CST)

Tuesday, March 29, 2022: 12-1PM (CST)

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Tuesday, April 26, 2022: 12-1PM (CST)

Tuesday, April 26, 2022: 12-1PM (CST)

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Tuesday, June 14, 2022: 12-1PM (CST)

Tuesday, June 14, 2022: 12-1PM (CST)

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Important Dates

SESSION EARLY APPLICATION DUE (SCHOLARSHIP) APPLICATION DUE CLASSES START
SUMMER 2022 March 1, 2022 May 2, 2022
FALL 2022 May 1, 2022 July 1, 2022 August 22, 2022
SPRING 2023 October 1, 2022 November 1, 2022 January 9, 2023

VIEW ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

WORLD-CLASS EDUCATORS

Faculty with Real-World Computer Science Experience

The faculty lead for our Master of Computer Science Online Program is Professor Scott Rixner, who has significant experience in creating coursework for online learning environments. He’s leveraging the expertise Rice has gained in teaching over a million online students to create this one-of-a-kind program.

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MCS@RICE FAQs

Is the degree the same as the Master of Computer Science program offered on campus at Rice University?

The program is grounded in the same curriculum offered on-campus at Rice University. However, the program has been built from the ground up to utilize best-in-class online teaching methodology.

The mode of delivery for coursework is not included on student transcripts so there is no designation that courses were taken online. The same is true for the diploma earned, which does not reference this being an online program.

Is the online program designed for students to work at their own pace?

Yes, but with some structure. Course lecture material and content, assignments, and other types of assessments are available for students to work through on their own schedules. But there are due dates for all graded work. There is also a content release schedule for each course so that all students move through the course experience together.

We consider the interaction between faculty and students and interactions among students to be crucial components to learning, and to student success. There will be many opportunities for students to engage with faculty and with each other throughout the course.

What prerequisites do I need to start the MCS@Rice program?

The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor's degree in a science or engineering field (not necessarily computer science) and programming experience. While all candidates must have a Bachelor's degree, it is not a strict requirement that it be in science or engineering. The Admissions Committee will review all applications individually and holistically, taking into account every element of the application, including an applicant's academic and professional background, letters of recommendation, GRE scores (if submitted), and statement of purpose.

The GRE test is optional, but recommended. If an applicant has relevant industry experience, the Admissions Committee will factor in work experience and the recommendation of your current supervisor in lieu of any missing GRE scores when evaluating the application. Applicants who do not have GRE scores are expected to have 3+ years of full-time work experience in a scientific/technical field. Furthermore, at least one of the recommendation letters must be from a supervisor and should speak to your technical and communication promise/ability and any relevant industrial experience should be highlighted in your resume. Have your scores sent directly to Rice University using code: 6609 (GRE subject tests are not required).

Read more about the MCS@Rice (Online) prerequisites and other Admissions requirements.

How long does it take to get a Master of Computer Science degree at Rice?

The degree can be completed as quickly as 12 months, or as long as 3.5 years (10 semesters)

What background do you need to be successful in the MCS@Rice program?

The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor's degree in science or engineering (not necessarily computer science).  Computer Science requires abstract thinking skills that come from mathematical sophistication and the ability to write programs in a conventional programming language.  In order to succeed in any computer science program, you will need to have the ability to pick up both of these concepts.

What is the cost of the MCS@Rice Program?

For the 2020–2021 academic year, tuition is $1,666.67 per credit for the MCS@Rice program. Tuition is charged per credit, and MCS@Rice is a 30-credit program. Please note that fees are subject to change and may rise each year.

Are scholarships or financial aid available?

Rice is offering a $10K tuition scholarship for those who apply early to the Online Master of Computer Science by May 1, 2022 and enroll in the Fall 2022 cohort. This is a merit scholarship available to those who qualify. The scholarship will be communicated with acceptance into the program.

Because the Master of Computer Science (MCS) is a non-thesis (non-research) degree, Rice University does not currently offer tuition waivers, stipends, fellowships, or assistantships for this program. Students are also encouraged to visit the Rice Office of Student Financial Services for more information about loans and outside sources of aid.

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