Grad school in Computer Science?

Hi there,

I have a bachelor’s degree in Finance and 4 years of experiences of working in financial industry. Usually, if you are in the finance industry and want to develop your academic career, the rational decision would be to go to MBA or Master’s in Finance, Financial engineering.

However, I am very interested in coding and learning computer science and considering to go back to school to take master’s degree in CS.

I have zero knowledge about computer science (I took a course of CS when I was an undergrad, but it was just a basic class). Is it possible for me to take CS courses in grad school? or Is it necessary to have a CS undergraduate degree in order to be accepted into a CS masters program?

mkawanishi,

I know that here in the US, you can get a masters’ in computer science for non-CS majors. You can look around for that. You will need to take some remedial-type courses like software engineering and data structures and algorithms. I think you have to ask yourself what is important to you and which field you prefer. You are certainly young enough to change careers.

You may be able to take a course or two with adviser approval, but generally you will be required to take about 4 or more ‘leveling’ courses to give you background before you start a graduate program. You do not have to have a CS undergrad in order to get into a CS masters. Some programs may also require some calculus and discrete math, as leveling, too. Or this is how it typically works in the US.

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I went back to school for CS, and found what @DWAbrego said to be true. If you want to do a Master’s (in the US), you will be required to have certain undergraduate prereqs. Some universities will allow you to enroll before this coursework is done, but you won’t officially be accepted into the graduate program until you meet those requirements. You’ll have to talk to the school your considering to find out if that’s an option.

I was only a couple of courses shy (as I had a previous degree from an engineering school), but I ultimately chose simply to get a second Bachelor’s in CS for a number of reasons:

  • I could start right away
  • I would be taking many of the same courses
  • If you have to pay for your graduate courses, the tuition is more expensive than as an undergraduate (even when they are the same courses)
  • It would take me about the same amount of time (because I already had a degree)
  • Graduate work in CS is much more focused on theory and research rather than development and application. High level computer science still looks and feels a lot like a subset of mathematics. This was not my area of interest.