AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst has announced that it will offer an online master of science in computer science to complement its nationally recognized computer science graduate programs. UMass is accepting applications now for the first class, which will launch in fall 2021.
For full details, including program descriptions, faculty bios, and application instructions, please visit the program’s website.
The new program, offered through the College of Information & Computer Sciences (CICS) with support from the University Without Walls program, is designed with flexibility in mind to help accommodate the schedules of professionals who are looking to amplify their undergraduate training in computer science or a related field. “The field keeps changing,” says James Allan, professor and chair. “Artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and ethics: These are all extremely hot topics right now, and they weren’t 10 years ago.” The 30-credit program will be entirely online, taught by UMass’s award-winning faculty and marked by the rigor for which CICS is known.
“We have particular strengths in machine learning, AI, data science and cybersecurity,” says Eliot Moss, interim director of the online program, “and we have a placement office that can connect students to internships, jobs and other opportunities in the computing community.”
Students will take one or two courses per semester and will be able to earn an M.S. in three to four years. After satisfactorily completing four courses, each student will have the option of transferring into the in-person program in full, remaining completely online, or mixing online and in-person classes. In all cases, Allan says, graduates of the online MS will “enrich the already strong and vibrant alumni community.”
Adding an online master’s in computer science will help meet the ongoing demand for computer science talent. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the number of new jobs in computer science will grow by 15% over the next eight years, outpacing the combined average for all occupations by 11%.
“I hope we can draw people who can’t or aren’t ready to attend the traditional residential program,” says Moss, “and give them access to our world-class faculty and courses.” He notes that CICS Dean Laura Haas, Provost John McCarthy and Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy have been instrumental in helping to build what will soon grow into a mature program.
The College of Information & Computer Sciences is now accepting applications for the fall of 2021. The application deadline is June 1.