The Online Master of Computer Science (MCS) program, offered through an innovative partnership between ASU’s School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering and Coursera, is a rigorous computing degree. You’ll gain a deep understanding of advanced topics like AI, cybersecurity, and big data while strengthening your new skill set through real-world projects.

Multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year.
Courses are offered 100% online.
Required number of credits to complete this degree.

A Master of Computer Science online

The Master of Computer Science offered online (MCS) is an advanced degree program offered by Arizona State University and hosted on Coursera’s platform, that is targeted at students with an undergraduate education in computing and related disciplines who can best profit from further breadth and background in computer science from a scientific and engineering discipline.

Designed for students seeking to expand their knowledge of computer science or computation, the Master of Computer Science online reflects the dual nature of computer science as both a scientific and engineering discipline by placing emphasis on both theory and practical applications. Students can study topics such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cybersecurity, software engineering, big data and much more.

The ASU MCS online is a non-thesis degree that requires 30 credit hours of coursework. Students receive lectures through the Coursera platform, but are advised and assessed by ASU faculty and teaching assistants on the rigorous set of assignments, projects, and exams required for university degree credit.

Students have the option to choose one concentration:

What will I learn in an online masters in computer science?

  • Design and analysis of computers, computational processes and information transfer and transformation;
  • Design of software for networks, graphics, artificial intelligence and database systems;
  • Improving software reliability, network security, or information retrieval systems;
  • Inventing next-generation computer systems, computer networking, biomedical information systems, gaming systems, search engines, web browsers, and package distribution systems;
  • Integrating computer and information sciences with biology, geography, anthropology, public health, urban planning, and mathematics.

Learn computer science from the best

  • ASU #2 for online undergraduate degree programs in the nation
  • ASU #5 university in the nation for producing the best qualified graduates
  • #8 engineering online programs for veterans (2019)
  • #9 engineering online graduate programs (2019)
  • #38 engineering undergraduate program - 22nd among public institutions
  • #44 graduate program - 24th among public institutions
  • 60 engineering student organizations and student professional societies give students leadership opportunities and hands-on experience
  • Fulton Schools' 22,000+ students represent 135 countries, all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Ira A. Fulton offers a wide range of degree options. Students are engineers from day one–they don’t have to wait until they are juniors to be engineers.


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The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering faculty are world-class engineers, teachers, scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs. Many of our 320+ faculty members have been honored with the highest awards in their fields.


You can earn your Master of Computer Science with a concentration in Cybersecurity.

Program Summary

Total Hours:


Related Careers

All students enrolled in this degree program have access to the Fulton Schools of Engineering Career Center, a one-of-a-kind dedicated career center for ASU's engineering students with a robust offering of online services and resources. 

What can I do with a masters in computer science?

Graduates with an ASU Online Master of Computer Science have career opportunities illustrated in the following list. Career examples include but are not limited to:



Spring A - January 13, 2020 | Application Deadline: December 16, 2019
Spring B - March 16, 2020 | Application Deadline: February 17, 2020
Summer - May 18, 2020 | Application Deadline: April 19, 2020
Fall A - August 20, 2020 | Application Deadline: July 26, 2020
Fall B - October 15, 2020 | Application Deadline: September 17, 2020


A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (3.25 recommended) in the last 60 credit hours (last two (2) years) of a four (4) year undergraduate degree. If your degree was completed in the U.S., it must be from a regionally accredited university.

Don’t yet meet these admission requirements? Click on the Non-degree tab.


Two (2) semesters of advanced math in Calculus I and Calculus II, and a background course in Discrete Math.

Students with an undergraduate degree in a STEM field have likely completed the math requirement.

Prerequisite Knowledge

Demonstrated knowledge on official transcripts of the topics below.

CSE 230: Computer Organization and Assembly Language Programming

  • Register-level computer organization. Instruction set architecture. Assembly language. Processor organization and design. Memory organization. IO programming. Exception/interrupt handling.

CSE 310: Data Structures and Algorithms

  • Advanced data structures and algorithms, including stacks, queues, trees (B, B+, AVL), and graphs. Searching for graphs, hashing, external sorting.

CSE 330: Operating Systems

  • Operating system structure and services, processor scheduling, concurrent processes, synchronization techniques, memory management, virtual memory, input/output, storage management, and file systems.

Principles of Programming Languages OR Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science

  • CSE 340: Principles of Programming Languages — Formal syntactic and semantic descriptions, compilation and implementation issues, and theoretical foundations for several programming paradigms.
  • CSE 355: Introduction to Theoretical Computer Science — Introduces formal language theory and automata, Turing machines, decidability/undecidability, recursive function theory, and complexity theory.

Are you a non-computer science undergrad?

If you don’t have these topics on your transcript but have a strong understanding of them, you can take the prerequisite knowledge exams. If you complete the exams with the grade outlined in the respective syllabi, you will satisfy that prerequisite knowledge requirement.

To access these exams and the accompanying refresher courses, click here.


English Proficiency (if applicable)

If all college degrees are from a country outside the U.S., you may need to demonstrate English Proficiency. Learn more about the ways you can demonstrate English Proficiency here.

Note that the MCS degree requires higher English proficiency scores.

  • TOEFL: 575 paper-based / 90 Internet-based
  • IELTS (Academic version): 7
  • PTE: 65

Don’t yet meet this requirement? If you complete the Pathway with a 3.0 or higher, you will have demonstrated English Proficiency. Click on the Non-degree tab above to learn more.

Additional Requirements:

  • Official Transcripts from all postsecondary institutions you have attended
  • Statement of Purpose or Resume
  • OPTIONAL: Up to three (3) letters of recommendation

How to complete an application

  • Submit online application and pay application fee.
  • Send official transcripts to ASU’s Graduate Admission Services.
    • Scanned copies and/or transcripts sent by email will not be accepted.
    • It is recommended to have your ASU student ID marked on the envelope of the transcripts.
  • You can upload unofficial transcripts as part of your application. All unofficial transcripts must be submitted as one document. Unofficial transcripts are only accepted when uploaded directly in the application.
    • If you are admitted to the university, you will be required to send official transcripts to the university.
  • If you earned your degree from an international institution, please include an attested copy of your degree certificate.
  • If you are completing the self-paced non-credit courses that satisfy the prerequisite knowledge requirement, you must download and attach your certificates of completion with the required score in the supplemental section of your application.
  • If needed, send proof of English proficiency, as instructed here (including exemption rules).
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen but are living in the U.S., send a copy of your U.S. visa to
  • If you are based outside of the US “Select JN” under Visa
  • For any questions, please call us toll-free at 1-844-353-7953 or email

Affording College

Learn about the different types of financial aid and scholarship opportunities available. ASU offers a Cost Calculator, Budget Worksheet and Scholarship Search to make the college planning process easier.

To pursue the Pathway or a Professional Certification (also known as the Coursera MasterTrack™ Certificate), a student must submit a non-degree application.

To submit a non-degree application, follow these steps:

  1. Submit your non-degree application here
  2. Be sure to select "non-degree" in the upper left-hand corner when you start your application.


The Pathway offers you an opportunity to establish a high Graduate GPA in order to meet admission requirements.

Through the Pathway, you choose and complete any three 500-level (3) courses that are part of the MCS degree program as a non-degree student. If you complete all three courses with a 3.0 GPA on the first attempt within 18 months, you have demonstrated the ability to succeed in the subject matter and can apply to the degree program using this new GPA. The courses you complete in the pathway with a B or better will apply towards the MCS degree, once admitted.

Additionally, students who complete nine (9) graduate credits with a 3.0 or better, do not need to demonstrate English Proficiency. So if you successfully complete the Pathway, you will have satisfied the English Proficiency requirement.

Professional Certification

If you are not sure you want to pursue the full degree yet, or you only want to focus on a specific topic, you can pursue a Professional Certification for ASU credit (also known as a Coursera MasterTrack™ Certificate.)

To receive a Professional Certification, you must successfully complete three online MCS courses (9 credit hours) with a 3.0 or higher on the first attempt. You must choose your three courses from the list provided for the Certification.

Professional Certification in Big Data

CSE 511 Data Processing, CSE 572 Data Mining, CSE 575 Statistical Machine Learning, CSE 578 Data Visualization

Professional Certification in Software Engineering (coming soon)
Professional Certification in Artificial Intelligence (coming soon)
Professional Certification in Cybersecurity (coming soon)

View the most commonly asked questions:

Your diploma and transcript will not indicate that the degree was completed online. It will appear identically to the diploma and transcript of a student who completes his or her studies on-campus. The onground and online programs have the same courses, same syllabi taught by the same faculty. The degree certificate will say Master of Computer Science.

Two (2) semesters of advanced math in Calculus I and Calculus II, and a background in discrete math.

Students with an undergraduate degree in a STEM field have likely completed the math requirement.

We understand that many applicants have IT experience. To reduce the barriers to entry, ASU is providing applicants an option to prove their computer fundamental understanding through a series of four short, non-credit courses of which each will have a proctored exam. Passing the proctored exam will provide completion of the prerequisite.

To begin, enroll in your courses here.

No. Academic credit cannot be given for work experience in the field.
The total cost of the degree program is $15,000, or $1,500 per 3-credit course. There are no textbooks required for the courses, and no additional fees. You will only be billed for the courses you are enrolled in.
You only have to pay for the courses you are enrolled in. ASU also offers a payment plan, which provides you with the option to budget the payment of certain eligible university charges over several months within the semester. 

Completing Coursera courses alone does not waive a prerequisite, but completing the courses and working through the material can be an excellent way to prepare for the exams offered in the four short, non-credit courses available through Continuing and Professional Education.

Completion of Open Courses and/or Specializations on the Coursera platform by itself will not earn graduate credits from the university toward the degree. Only credit-bearing coursework will be considered in the application. 
You will receive email updates on the status of your application, so be sure to check your ASU email regularly for these notifications. You can also see your status by logging into with your ASURITE id and reviewing the section called ‘My Application Status’. This section will display pending checklist items or an application decision. If you have questions on pending items, please contact us toll-free at 1-844-353-7953 or email
No, letters of recommendation are optional. In the application, please enter your own name in the letters of recommendation to be able to continue with the application.

The statement of purpose should include your reasons for undertaking graduate work and an explanation of your academic interests, including their relation to your professional goals. There is no specific length for a statement of purpose.

A resume cannot be accepted as a personal statement. Students are welcome to submit a resume in addition to the personal statement.

Yes. You can now pursue a concentration in Cybersecurity. Learn more here.
These courses follow an accelerated format. As such, you should expect to spend 15 – 20 hours per week on each course.
The completion time is based on the number of courses you enroll per semester. You must complete 30 credit hours to get your masters degree. 
The MCS program has five sessions a year (Fall A, Fall B, Spring A, Spring B, Summer), with each session being 7.5 weeks. 
Your bill will display in the portal. The payment deadlines for each session are also displayed at
You will need to submit a new application to transfer your credits. If accepted, you can transfer up to 12 credits between programs from online program to the same on-campus program, as long as your grades are “B” or better. 
More information on the ASU alumni network is available at
No. You can take courses in any order. However, you must take one Applications, one Systems, and one Foundations course as part of the graduation requirements, and seven CSE elective courses.

Get program details

To learn more about this program, fill out the form below and check your email for information on next steps.