Master of Science in Computer Science

Columbia Video Network - The Fu Foundation School Of Engineering And Applied Science

Program Description

Master of Science in Computer Science

Columbia Video Network - The Fu Foundation School Of Engineering And Applied Science

Master of Science in Computer Science

The Vision and Graphics track is intended for students who wish to develop their knowledge of Computer Vision and Computer Graphics. The track also includes courses in related fields, such as Robotics, Machine Learning, and User Interfaces.

Admission Requirements

egree required for admission: Most candidates have completed an undergraduate degree in computer science. Applicants with degrees in other disciplines and a record of excellence are encouraged to apply; these applicants are required to have completed at least 4 computer science courses covering the foundations of the field and 2 math courses.

GPA required: Most students admitted have earned a grade point average above 3.5 (out of 4.0); a GPA of at least 3.3 is required.

GRE requirements: General test required. A subject GRE test is not required but may be helpful in strengthening your application.

Competence in English: Applicants whose native language is not English and who have not studied at schools where English is the primary language must complete the TOEFL exam with a minimum grade of 600 on the written TOEFL, or 250 on the computerized version.

Other application requirements: Two recommendation letters, transcripts, resume, and a personal-professional statement are required. All application requirements in the Graduate Application must be completed as specified in the application.

Overall Requirements

Students must complete at least 30 points of graduate coursework as outlined below.

  • Breadth coursesRequired Track courses (6 points)Track Electives (6 points)General Electives (6 points)
  • Two required track courses (6 points)
  • Two electives from the Elective Track Course list (6 points)
  • Six points of General Electives, three points of 6000 level and three points at the 4000 level or above


Students must complete all core courses and selected electives for a total of 30 graduate points of academic work via CVN while maintaining a minimum grade point average of 2.7. All degree requirements must be completed within 5 years of the beginning of the first course credited toward the degree. This includes courses taken in the non-degree program.

Core Breadth Requirement

Students are required to satisfy Breadth Requirements by taking one course from Group 1, one course from Group 2, one course from Group 3, and one more course from any of the three groups. Track courses taken at Columbia can also count towards the breadth requirement.

Group 1 - Systems

  • COMS W4111: Database Systems
  • COMS W4112: Database System Implementation
  • COMS W4115: Programming Languages and Translators
  • COMS W4118: Operating Systems
  • CSEE W4119: Computer Networks
  • COMS W4156: Advanced Software Engineering
  • COMS W4130: Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming
  • COMS W4180: Network Security
  • COMS W4187: Security Architecture and Engineering
  • CSEE W4824: Computer Architecture

Group 2 - Theory

  • COMS W4203: Graph Theory
  • CSOR W4231: Analysis of Algorithms I
  • COMS W4236: Introduction to Computational Complexity
  • COMS W4241: Numerical Algorithms and Complexity
  • COMS W4252: Introduction to Computational Learning Theory
  • COMS W4261: Introduction to Cryptography
  • COMS W4281: Introduction to Quantum Computing

Group 3 - Artificial Intelligence & Applications

  • COMS W4701: Artificial Intelligence
  • COMS W4705: Natural Language Processing
  • COMS W4706: Spoken Language Processing
  • COMS W4733: Computational Aspects of Robotics
  • COMS W4735: Visual Interfaces to Computers
  • COMS W4771: Machine Learning
  • COMS W4772: Advanced Machine Learning

Required Track Courses

Candidates are required to complete two of the following seven courses.

  • COMS W4160: Computer Graphics
  • COMS W4167: Computer Animation
  • COMS W4170: User Interface Design
  • COMS W4731: Computer Vision
  • COMS W4733: Computational Aspects of Robotics
  • COMS W4735: Visual Interfaces to Computers
  • COMS W4771: Machine Learning

Students who have completed equivalent courses with grades of at least 3.0 may apply these courses to satisfy these requirements and devote more credits to pursue elective courses.

Elective Track Courses

Candidates are required to complete two (2) courses from the following list. At least one of these courses must be a 6000-level CS course.

  • COMS W4160: Computer Graphics
  • COMS W4170: User Interface Design
  • COMS W4731: Computer Vision
  • COMS W4733: Computational Aspects of Robotics
  • COMS W4735: Visual Interfaces to Computers
  • COMS W4771: Machine Learning
  • COMS W4772: Advanced Machine Learning
  • COMS W4162: Advanced Computer Graphics
  • COMS W4165: Pixel Processing
  • COMS W4167: Computer Animation
  • COMS W4172: 3D User Interfaces
  • COMS W4995: Computational Geometry
  • COMS W4995: Video Game Technology and Design
  • COMS W4995: Video Game Development
  • COMS E6160: Topics in Computer Graphics
  • COMS E6174: Interaction Design: A Perceptual Approach
  • COMS E6176: User Interfaces for Mobile & Wearable Computing
  • COMS E6732: Computational Imaging
  • COMS E6733: 3-D Photography
  • COMS E6735: Visual Databases
  • COMS E6772: Advanced Machine Learning and Perception
  • COMS E6998: Topics in Computer Vision
  • COMS E6998: Advanced Image-Based Vision and Rendering
  • COMS E6998: 3D UI Curriculum Design
  • COMS E6998: Computational Aspects of Geometrical Design
  • COMS E6998: Humanoid Robotics
  • COMS E6998: Video Game Design
  • COMS E6998: Video Game Engine Technology
  • COMS E6901: Projects in Computer Science

General Elective Courses

Candidates are required to complete six credits of appropriate Columbia graduate courses, approved in advance by your Advisor. At least three of these credits must be at the 6000 level.

Application Fee

  1. A processing fee of $200 is required for first time applicants to a graduate degree program.
  2. The Graduate Student Services Office will only process applications which are submitted with an application fee. The processing fee is non-refundable. Please make the check payable to: Columbia Video Network.
  3. Applications for more than one degree program cannot be processed simultaneously.

Application Deadline

Please note: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Once a completed application has been received it will be processed and given to the Admissions Committee for review. Applications will be considered for the next upcoming semester's admissions cycle. For example, an application received in February will be evaluated for the upcoming Summer semester. Only completed applications will be submitted to the Admissions Committee for review.


  1. Official transcripts from each college/university you have attended or are currently attending must be submitted with the application. Transcripts must be in the original, sealed envelope.
  2. Credits which appear as transfer credits on any other transcript are not valid; an official transcript from the school where the credits were earned must be submitted.
  3. Students who have previously or are currently enrolled at Columbia University must request that copies of their transcripts be sent to CVN at Columbia Video Network, 500 W 120th St, 540 MUDD, MC 4719, New York, NY 10027
  4. The Graduate Student Services Office requests that transcripts be submitted with the application. If you foresee a delay in submitting official transcripts, please attach an unofficial set to the application. Your file may be reviewed by the department with a complete set of unofficial documents; however, you will be required to submit official transcripts before you will be formally admitted to a graduate degree program.
  5. All materials submitted in support of an application, whether official or unofficial, become the property of Columbia University and will not be returned to the applicant or forwarded to other schools or agencies. Since your documents will not be returned, we suggest that you keep copies of any documents you may need for your personal records.

Required Exam Scores

  1. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general test results are required of all MS applicants. GRE scores are valid for 5 years.
  2. TOEFL or IELTS is required of all candidates who have not received their bachelor's degree in a country where English is the official spoken language. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years.
  3. All score reports must be official and sent to Graduate Admissions directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
  4. The Columbia Engineering CEEB code is 2111 (not 2162 which belongs to the Graduate School of Arts and Science).

Required Documemts

These application materials are designed to help individuals provide personal and academic information about themselves, which will be used to evaluate their candidacy for admission to graduate study in the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University. Applicants can assist the Graduate Admissions office in providing prompt feedback about their application status by not submitting extraneous information which has not been requested such as excessive numbers of recommendation letters, copies of abstracts and theses, videotapes and/or photographs of research work, and secondary school transcripts. The information below indicates what items are required for a complete application.

  1. Degree application form (online)
  2. Two recommendation letters in sealed envelopes via mail, or directly from the recommender via e-mail to
  3. Official GRE general exam results
  • All score reports must be official and sent directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS)
  • The Columbia Engineering CEEB code is 2111
  • TOEFL or IELTS test results (if applicable)
  • One copy of official transcripts from all previously attended post-secondary colleges/universities
  • Personal/Professional Statement - a concise (not more than two pages) typewritten statement outlining your academic and professional goals
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • $200 Application Fee
  • Transfer Credits Form (if applicable)
  • Please note: Students that begin their studies at Columbia University under non-matriculated status through CVN must continue to take all of their coursework through CVN. When applying for admission to a degree program, students must submit all of their application materials directly to Columbia Video Network for processing. Applications that are sent directly to the Office of Graduate Student Services or submitted online via the ApplyYourself Application form instead of CVN's forms will result in total forfeiture of all credits taken under non-matriculated status through CVN. All Columbia courses to be used towards a student's program must be completed via CVN. Also note that any student taking courses through the auspices of CVN can take on-campus courses solely under the administrative guidance of CVN with advisor approval.

    Tuition and Fees

    Please note that all tuition and fees are in U.S. dollars and are estimated. Tuition and most fees are prescribed by statute, and are subject to change at the discretion of the Trustees.

    • CVN Credit Tuition:$1782 per point (Credit Hour)
    • CVN Audit Tuition:$834 per point (Credit Hour)
    • CVN Fee:$395 per course
    • Transcript Fee:$105 non-refundable one-time fee
    • Graduate Admission Application Fee:$200 non-refundable one-time fee
    • Certification Program Application Fee:$150 non-refundable one-time fee
    • Late Registration Fee:$100 non-refundable fee
    • CVN Withdrawal Fee:$75, plus prorated tuition and all non-refundable fees

    For example:

    A three credit course would be $5346 + transcript fee $105(one-time) + CVN fee $395 = $5846

    This school offers programs in:
    • English

    Last updated October 4, 2016
    Duration & Price
    This course is Online
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    Sept. 2017
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    Start date Sept. 2017
    USA New York, New York
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