Loyola University Maryland

Department of Computer Science

Degrees and Curricula

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Loyola offers two master's programs in computing:

Loyola also offers non-degree programs and a five-year combined bachelor's/master's degree.

We are often asked about the difference between our Master's in Computer Science and the Master's in Software Engineering. Which program is for you?

The Computer Science program (MSCS, or CS) is focused on developing your technical skills and knowledge. Its areas of focus include web programming, database management systems, programming languages, algorithms, networking, and similar topics. It has two kinds of courses: required courses and electives. The required courses ensure that you have a broad knowledge of these important areas, and the electives allow you to explore areas of interest more deeply.

The Software Engineering program (MSSE, or SE) is intended for those who are already in the industry and who already have significant technical ability. It is aimed at the next step: becoming an effective technical leader of software development projects. Its areas of focus include software team leadership, lifecycle management (agile, iterative, etc.), testing, requirements, larger-scale software architectures and patterns, and formal methods.

The Software Engineering program builds upon the Computer Science program or its equivalent. In fact, one of the required courses in the Computer Science program is CS 770, "Software Engineering," a survey of software engineering topics. The other courses in the Software Engineering program, which require CS 770 as their prerequisite, are numbered in the 770's through 790's. They are available as electives in the Computer Science program as well.

Some of our graduate students start with one or more of the 600-level preliminary courses and progress from there. If you fit this category, Computer Science is likely the program for you.

It is possible to switch between programs, especially early in your program.

See each program description for example course sequencing. And do feel free to discuss your choice further with us. Contact Lewis Berman, liberman@loyola.edu, (410) 617-2587.