fbpx

Computer Sciences: Professional Program

Master of Science in Computer Sciences

UW–Madison graduate students listen and take notes on their laptop computers during a class.

Develop knowledge for the fast-moving IT field, apply expertise on the job, and gain essential skills for career advancement.


Is this program right for you?

The UW–Madison Professional Master’s Program in Computer Sciences was created to expand your industry knowledge. The program fills a growing market demand: Hiring of computer scientists is expected to grow 30% in the next decade—far higher than the average for most other professions.

This degree is perfect if you are a working professional who wants to further your education, obtain up-to-date information in the fast-moving IT field, and immediately apply what you learn to your job. Take as many courses as you can handle each semester. Many people will complete two courses each semester, which should be a challenging but manageable workload.

We encourage you to apply for an internship after your first year of study to deepen your knowledge and gain more work experience. This internship can be counted toward your independent study credit. Our students have interned at companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and a number of tech startups; many of them received job offers prior to completing their degree.

Our Professional Master’s in Computer Sciences is distinct from the UW–Madison Master of Science in Computer Sciences, which evaluates applicants based primarily on their potential to do research and complete a PhD. Our Professional Master’s in Computer Sciences is a terminal master’s program. However, the UW–Madison Department of Computer Sciences grants only a single kind of Master of Science degree, so you will receive the exact same degree and designation that students in the traditional Master of Science program receive. Your transcript will include the phrase “Option: Professional Program.”

Is this program right for you?

The UW–Madison Professional Master’s Program in Computer Sciences was created to expand your industry knowledge. The program fills a growing market demand: Hiring of computer scientists is expected to grow 30% in the next decade—far higher than the average for most other professions.

This degree is perfect if you are a working professional who wants to further your education, obtain up-to-date information in the fast-moving IT field, and immediately apply what you learn to your job. Take as many courses as you can handle each semester. Many people will complete two courses each semester, which should be a challenging but manageable workload.

We encourage you to apply for an internship after your first year of study to deepen your knowledge and gain more work experience. This internship can be counted toward your independent study credit. Our students have interned at companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and a number of tech startups; many of them received job offers prior to completing their degree.

Our Professional Master’s in Computer Sciences is distinct from the UW–Madison Master of Science in Computer Sciences, which evaluates applicants based primarily on their potential to do research and complete a PhD. Our Professional Master’s in Computer Sciences is a terminal master’s program. However, the UW–Madison Department of Computer Sciences grants only a single kind of Master of Science degree, so you will receive the exact same degree and designation that students in the traditional Master of Science program receive. Your transcript will include the phrase “Option: Professional Program.”

Admissions requirements

All applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • Submit GRE scores using code 1846.
  • Submit evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable. The required proficiency scores are: TOEFL IBT 92, PBT 580; or IELTS 7.0.

Application materials required:

  • Online application
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of interest
  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation

Connect with us

Virtual Open House: Explore and Apply to Graduate School at UW-Madison

November 10
8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Meet with staff and faculty from our 160+ graduate degree programs, gain insight into the application process, and discover the array of services and resources available to graduate students at UW–Madison.
Register for Grad School Virtual Open House

Application Assistance: Quantum Computing Program

November 17
9-9:30 a.m.
Join graduate program coordinator, Jackson Kennedy to learn ways to make your M.S. in Physics: Quantum Computing personal statement shine.
Register for Application Assistance: Quantum Computing Program

View all events

Program highlights

  • You learn from the best: UW–Madison Graduate Computer Sciences programs were ranked 13th for Best Graduate Computer Sciences Programs in the latest U.S. News & World Report.
  • Graduates of our computer science master’s program go on to continue their careers at some of the world’s largest software and startup companies: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, and more.
  • Our master’s program is not focused on research; instead, we emphasize real-world experience and industry-focused skills. Additionally, our program is tailored to working professionals, so you can complete your degree in 1-2 years while still holding down your full-time job.

How you'll learn

  • Twelve to 24 months of study on campus to earn your degree.
  • Complete as many courses as you would like per semester; a typical workload is one to two courses each semester.

Sample curriculum

Year 1

Database Management Systems: Design and Implementation
Introduction to Algorithms
Foundations of Data Management
Human-Computer Interaction
Seminars
Master’s Research
Internship (optional)

Year 2

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Master’s Research
Topics in Database Management Systems
Machine Learning

Job outlook

Top Job Titles
  • Software Development Engineer
  • Data Scientist
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Senior Data Scientist
  • Data Architect

Market Salary
$110K in 2019

Projected Job Growth
30.7% for Software Developers, Applications (2016-2026)

Job Postings
66,466 in 2019

Top Employers
  • Amazon
  • Bayer Corporation
  • Capital One
  • IBM
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Anthem Blue Cross

Source: Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight. 2020.
Burning Glass Technologies’ Market Salary is an estimated expected salary. Market Salary uses machine learning algorithms to account for experience, skill, and education among other factors that may impact individual salaries.

Ready to learn more about Computer Sciences: Professional Program?
View the UW-Madison Guide

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive application tips and deadline reminders.

Connect with our enrollment coaches

Our friendly, knowledgeable enrollment coaches are here to answer your questions. Contact an enrollment coach to:

  • Learn how to make this program work with your life/schedule
  • Verify credit transfers
  • Get help with your application
  • Determine if financial aid is available

Visit with our coaches on campus or at an upcoming student fair in your area. Search student fairs & events

Connect with a coach