Grand Canyon University

M.S. in Computer Science


3300 W Camelback Rd

Phoenix, AZ 85017

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

M.S. in Computer Science

Format: Online

Program Description:

The estimated job growth for computer and information research scientists from 2021 to 20311

Study Advanced Technology Concepts Through an MS in Computer Science Degree Program

The Master of Science in Computer Science degree at Grand Canyon University (GCU) is designed for professionals in a variety of STEM and business disciplines, with a strong aptitude for mathematical reasoning, abstract thinking and computer programming. An online computer science master’s degree is a higher education program that explores topics of abstraction, complexity and evolutionary change, as well as a set of general principles, such as sharing common resources, security and concurrency. You will be taught an understanding of the theoretical principles, concepts and methods of computer science and artificial intelligence as you actively engage in implementing them in applications throughout the curriculum.

Upon completing the online master’s in computer science program, you will have been taught the skills and training to design, implement and improve theoretical and functional systems based on quantitative and qualitative assessments of their functionality, usability and performance.

Job growth for computer and information research scientists is on track to grow by an estimated 21% from 2021 to 2031, accounting for an estimated increase of 7,100 jobs in the field.1 The computer and information research field typically requires a master’s degree, according to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook.3

Benefits of GCU’s Online Computer Science Master’s Degree

Studying for a computer science master’s degree online comes with a number of benefits. Since it is an online program, you can earn your degree from anywhere. This allows you to study in a modality that provides flexibility and allows you to meet your academic and professional needs. This provides the benefit of allowing you to stay current with all assignments while affording you greater flexibility to balance your career and personal obligations.

Prerequisites for the Master of Science in Computer Science Degree Program

Build Your Foundation Knowledge in the Computer Science Master’s Degree Program

The MS in Computer Science is an advanced degree program for students seeking a curriculum that balances theoretical and practical coursework. You will be taught to develop a comprehensive understanding of the core principles and skills required for this rapidly evolving field.

This online master’s in computer science degree program is broken down in these core domains:

    Mathematics: Apply calculus and linear algebra methods to solve computing problems, use probability and statistics for decision making and create ideas based on mathematical concepts.
    Algorithms and Complexity: Design algorithms, describe the architecture of parallel/distributed systems and calculate the computational complexity of algorithms that may solve a problem.
    Computing Systems: Demonstrate an understanding of multicore/multiprocessor architectures, evaluate computing systems design alternatives and build software systems.
    Research and Applications: Formulate research questions, design experiments, analyze results and communicate findings of computational problems.
    Artificial Intelligence: Automate data for repetitive learning/discovery, develop applications adaptable through progressive learning algorithms and analyze data to uncover trends.
    Professionalism, Ethics and Sustainability: Determine if a new data-driven business process uses customer data ethically, demonstrate ethical judgment and examine how a Christian worldview applies.

Topics You Will Study in the Master’s in Computer Science Degree

Through a combination of theoretical and practical coursework, you will have the opportunity to learn these core areas and to tackle practical challenges in the field of computer science. The Master of Science in Computer Science curriculum at GCU focuses on topics within computer science, such as:

    Design and analysis of algorithms
    Advanced operating systems
    Programming languages
    Parallel programming
    Research methods in computational sciences
    Machine learning for computer science
    Artificial intelligence

GCU’s online MS in Computer Science degree program culminates in a capstone project or thesis. You will have the option of choosing between designing and implementing a software application or conducting research and writing a research thesis. During each of the last four courses in the program you will submit interim milestones.

Master of Science in Computer Science Career Pathways

Median annual wage for computer and information research scientists in May 20212

1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Computer and Information Research Scientists, retrieved on April 28, 2023.

2 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Computer and Information Research Scientists as of May 2021, retrieved on April 28, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as computer and information research scientists. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.

3 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (n.d.). Computer and Information Research Scientists. Retrieved on April 28, 2023.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Facts & Figures

Classification: Master's College or University I

Loans Offered: Perkins Loan, Stafford Student Loans, PLUS Loans, Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) State Grant, Arizona Post-Secondary Education Voucher Program State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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