Computer Science Master's Degree FAQ (for Current Students)

This FAQ deals with program related questions for current students. If you have questions about entering the program, please consult the FAQ for prospective students. This FAQ mainly provides department specific information and the Hunter Arts & Sciences Graduate School has additional information for all graduate students. College-wide rules/policies are in the graduate catalog (make sure you select the graduate catalog, not the undergraduate.

What are the degree requirements?

You will pick between a research and applied concentration, for 30 total credits as follows:
Thesis (2 semester)


The core courses are:

More information about the thesis/project is here.

Electives are generally in the research areas of department faculty. Those offered in the recent past and/or likely in the near future include:

Software Engineering
Artificial Intelligence Formal Methods
Cybersecurity Big Data Graph Theory
Machine Learning Advanced Discrete Structures
Programming Languages
Deep Learning

Parallel Programming
Computational Linguistics
Numerical Analysis (Math)
Cloud Database Security and Integrity Computer Vision
Computer Ethics (CS Ed)
Reactive Programming
Augmented/Virtual Reality


All courses currently are 3 credits (so, there are 10 courses total including project/thesis).

If you are considering a PhD, the research option is strongly recommended. Whichever option you select, you should find a mentor as quickly as possible.

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is needed to maintain status in the program. Note that CR/NC is not allowed for graduate students.

How long does it take to graduate?

It depends on how many courses you take per semester.  Most students take 3 per semester (9 credits), but those that have jobs or other commitments sometimes take less and a fwe take 4. There is also a limit of 4 years to fulfill all requirements. Please note that additional requirements may result from visa and/or financial aid rules.

There are no summer courses; however, many students continue their project/thesis over summer, if acceptable to their mentor.

What is the difference between a project and a thesis?

The project is 1 semester long and generally involves writing a large program under the direction of your mentor. The thesis involves a research effort over 2 semesters. As a master's thesis, the research will be lower in scope than a doctoral thesis, but may be appropriate as a first stage in a doctoral thesis if you decide to go down that path (more information).

Who is my mentor?

You should be talking to professors in your areas of interest to identify a suitable mentor. Do this as soon as possible after entering the program! If you are unsure, talk to the graduate program director who can guide you to candidate mentors. The director is also your mentor of record until you find one.

How do I register?

Before each semester starts, you will get email from the graduate advisor with an "Academic Progress Form". This form also serves for you to specify which courses you want to take. After the filled-in form is processed, you will be able to register for the courses.

You should decide which courses in consultation with your mentor, who needs to approve your choices.

Can I take undergraduate courses?

No. Hunter rules do not allow the taking of undergraduate courses for graduate credit. But note that some undergrad courses are combined (i.e., same time/room/professor) with a graduate course. For combined courses, the graduate version involves additional work as decided by the instructor.

Can I take graduate courses in other Hunter departments?

Yes, you may take up to 6 credits of non-CS courses, subject to approval of both departments. Our department is normally flexible if we don't offer an equivalent course and you can justify the course to your mentor.

I really like a graduate course at another CUNY campus. Can I take it?

Yes,  through the E-Permit system (this option is not available your first semester). You also need approval of both departments (see previous question).

I have already taken a master's course at Hunter. Can I get credit for it?

Yes, if you did not use it to meet another requirement such as your undergraduate degree (i.e., no double dipping). Note that if it was a combined undergrad-grad course, you can only transfer it if you took it at the graduate level. You will have to formally apply for transfer credit (make sure you read the rules there).

I have questions about Hunter rules. Where do I find the answer?

The graduate catalog is the place to look. This includes information about grades/GPA, retaking courses, probation, etc. Most likely, you will be interested in the Policies-->Academic Policies & Regulations section.

I'm finishing this semester and want my degree! What do I need to do administratively?

You need to apply for graduation (the process and deadlines are the same for undergraduates and graduate students). Note that the deadline for this is early in the semester.

If you are not taking courses this semester, but are finishing graduation requirements (e.g., finishing an incomplete on a project/thesis), you also need to have a maintenance of matriculation form filed for the semester you are graduating (there is a significant fee for this).

Other questions?

Contact the computer science graduate program director at