The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia has approved a new master of engineering degree in computer science, the first newly created program for Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus in Alexandria, Virginia. The application deadlines are: Nov. 15, 2019, for spring 2020 enrollment and Feb. 1, 2020, for fall 2020 enrollment.

The new graduate degree will prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed for mid-level and advanced positions in industries related to computing and enhance marketability to employers.

Students will be able to choose to participate in the program on a part-time, full-time, or full-time accelerated basis. Full-time students could reasonably earn the master of engineering in computer science degree in about three semesters.

“We are excited to launch the new computer science graduate program because it will help students and professionals to further advance successful careers in computer science and related fields,” said Julia Ross, the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean of Engineering at Virginia Tech. “This advanced curriculum is designed to meet the needs of business and industry and will fulfill a critical need in Virginia and across the nation as we seek to fuel the tech-talent pipeline.”

The master of engineering degree in computer science requires 30 credit hours of graded coursework and will provide students with in-depth knowledge about software design and development process, collaborative work skills, and ethical issues related to computing.

The requirements to enter the program are more flexible than those for a traditional research-oriented computer science graduate degree. Rather than requiring students to have completed courses equivalent to a minor in computer science, students can enroll in this Innovation Campus program after completing a second semester programming course, offered at many community colleges and undergraduate institutions.

“These areas of concentration will allow students to go deeper in cutting-edge topics of their choosing, any of which will prepare them for exciting career opportunities in the private and public sectors,” said Cal Ribbens, head of Virginia Tech’s Department of Computer Science.

All students will need to satisfy a requirement for a three-course concentration that students could choose from the following:

  • Data Analytics and Machine Learning: CS5664 (Social Media Analytics), CS5525-6 (Data Analytics), CS5824 (Adv Machine Learning)
  • Computer Security: CS5560 (Fundamentals Info Security), CS5580 (Cryptographic Engineering), CS5584 (Network Security), CS5590 (System and Software Security)
  • Artificial Intelligence: CS5804 (Intro to AI), CS5824 (Adv Machine Learning), CS5834 (Introduction to Urban Computing)

As student enrollment increases, the following three concentrations will be added as choices.

  • Software Engineering: CS5704 (Software Engineering), CS5744 (Software Design and Quality), CS5774 (User Interface Software)
  • Human-Computer Interaction: CS5714 (Usability Engineering), CS5724 (Models and Theories of HCI), CS5734 (Social Computing and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work), CS5764 (Information Visualization), and CS5774 (User Interface Software)
  • Internet Software Development: CS5244 (Web Application Development), CS5254 (Mobile Application Development), CS5614 (Database Management), CS5774 (User Interface Software)

Virginia Tech’s 1 million-square-foot Innovation Campus is the centerpiece of the state’s plan to drive technology and research, transform Virginia’s innovation economy, and accelerate the development of top-notch, work-ready talent. The campus will offer education and research in computer science and related fields for master’s, doctoral, and post-doctoral students.

Interested in the master of engineering computer science program? Please contact:

Sharon Kinder-Potter
Computer science graduate coordinator

Learn how to apply and access the online application here.

— Written by Lindsey Haugh