Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 

Computer Science MS

Program Overview

The Computer Science Department of Rochester Institute of Technology offers a graduate program leading to a master’s degree in computer science. This program prepares students for a wide variety of computer-related careers.  Our students are qualified to work in the areas of product development and applied research, using the latest software tools and languages.  The program is designed for students who have an undergraduate major or minor in computer science as well as those who have a strong background in a field in which computers are applied, such as engineering, science, or business.  Students concentrate in one of the following clusters:
  • Computational Vision and Acoustics
  • Computer Graphics and Visualization
  • Data Management
  • Distributed Systems
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Languages and Tools
  • Security
  • Theory

Degrees Awarded

  • Master of Science Degree


  • Approximately 450 MS students.

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • Graduate students have the option of completing up to a maximum of 12 months of work experience.

Salary Information

Co-op:   $26.78                     $10.50 - $58.00
MS:        $89,000                   $50,000 - $117,000

Student Skills & Capabilities

Computing skills include, but are not limited to the following:
Languages:                Java, C++, C#, C, Lisp, Prolog, XML
Operating Systems: Linux, OSX, Windows
Hardware:                 Mac, PC

Equipment & Facilities

Over 150 Linux workstations,
40 PC’s Windows/Linux, 40 Macs.

Nature of Work

The rapid spread of computers and information technology has generated a need for highly trained workers to design and develop new software systems and to incorporate new technologies. These workers include a wide range of computer specialists. Job tasks and occupational titles used to describe these workers evolve rapidly, reflecting new areas of specialization or changes in technology, as well as the preferences and practices of employers.

Training / Qualifications

While there are many training paths available for computer science specialists, mainly because employers’ needs are so varied, the level of education and experience employers seek has been rising, due to the growing number of qualified applicants and the specialization involved with most programming and analysis tasks.

Employers look for people with the necessary programming skills, especially on newer, object-oriented programming languages and tools, such as C++ and Java, who can think logically and pay close attention to detail. The job calls for patience, persistence, and the ability to work on exacting analytical work, especially under pressure. Ingenuity, creativity, and imagination also are particularly important when programmers design solutions and test their work for potential failures. The ability to work with abstract concepts and to do technical analysis is especially important for systems programmers, because they work with the software that controls the computer’s operation. Because programmers are expected to work in teams and interact directly with users, employers want programmers who are able to communicate with non-technical personnel. Many colleges offer classes in a variety of areas, such as computer graphics and visualization, database systems/data mining, distributed systems, intelligent systems, languages and tools, security, and theory.

Students can participate in consulting or research in the areas of artificial intelligence, wireless networks, computer vision, computational combinatorics, and distributed computing systems. There are many opportunities for graduate students to participate in these activities for thesis or project work and independent study and for employment upon graduation.

Job Outlook

Many computer programmers work in computer system design and related services, an industry that is expected to grow as a result of an increasing demand for new computer software. In addition, new applications will have to be developed for mobile technology and the healthcare industry. Job prospects will be best for programmers who have a bachelor’s degree or higher and knowledge of a variety of programming languages. Keeping up to date with the newest programming tools will also improve job prospects. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Job Titles

Software Developer, Software Engineer, Application Developer, Programmer/Analyst, Database Administrator, Security Engineer, System Integration Engineer


Computer science professionals are employed in almost every industry, but the largest concentrations are in computer systems design and related services and in software publishers, which includes firms that write and sell software. Large numbers of programmers also can be found in management of companies and enterprises, telecommunications companies, manufacturers of computer and electronic equipment, financial institutions, insurance carriers, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Significant Points

  • Employment is projected to increase much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • Job prospects are expected to be excellent

Selected Employer Hiring Partners

Ahold USA, Alstom, Amazon, Apple, Blackrock, Cerner, CHESS Mobile Health, Cisco, Ebay, EMC, EXA Corporation, Fidelity Investments, Google, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft, Paychex, Thomson Reuters, Twitter, Wayfair

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in your career and we will make every effort to help you succeed. Feel free to contact Stacy Gonzalez, the career services advisor who works with the Computer Science MS program. You can access information about services through our web site at

Stacy Gonzalez, Career Services Advisor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 585.475.5464
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center
57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603
Unless otherwise noted, information is based upon data collected by RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education.