The demand for skilled computer scientists is predicted to grow by 21% in the coming years, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. A graduate degree in computer science equips you to stay ahead of the curve and meet the computing challenges of today and tomorrow.
In our rigorous master’s degree program, you’ll focus on advanced computer science theories and applications. Learning from expert faculty from Harvard and industry, you’ll acquire the skills to design, develop, and maintain complex computer and software systems.
Customizable online curriculum that can be completed part time
Expert instruction from Harvard faculty and industry professionals
Personalized academic and career advising
Real-world capstone experience with industry partners
Entrepreneurial opportunities through Harvard Innovation Labs
Harvard Alumni Association membership upon graduation
Customizable Course Curriculum
Our curriculum is flexible in pace and customizable by design. You can study part time, choosing courses that fit your schedule and align with your professional goals. In the program, you’ll experience the convenience of online learning and the immersive benefits of learning in person.
As you work through the 12-course program, you’ll take core courses in essential computer science topics like data structure, algorithms, and programming languages.
You’ll choose elective courses in topics that interest you most, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, software engineering, or cloud computing.
Learning is hands-on. Classes feature collaborative activities like online discussions and group projects. Through your capstone project, you will have the opportunity to work innovatively and creatively, applying the skills you’ve gained to a real-world challenge.
11 Online Courses
- Primarily asynchronous
- Fall, spring, January session, and summer options
Prepare for your capstone project in a 3-week precapstone course in the summer.
Collaborate with peers and an industry partner on a project that addresses a real-world challenge.
The path to your degree begins before you apply to the program.
First, you’ll register for and complete 2 required courses, earning at least a B in each. These courses provide a foundation in the principles of computer science, programming languages, and data structures. They are also an investment in your studies, counting toward your degree.
We invite you to explore degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.
A Faculty of Computer Science Experts
Studying at Harvard Extension School means learning from the world’s best. Our computer science instructors are renowned experts in their field and bring a genuine passion for teaching, with students giving our faculty an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.
Dean for Academic Programs and Associate Senior Lecturer on Computer Science, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Henry H. Leitner
Senior Lecturer on Computer Science, Harvard University
David J. Malan
Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science, Harvard University
Graduates of our Computer Science Master’s Program are well-prepared for careers in computer science, software engineering, software development, systems, or software architecture.
Potential job titles include:
- Computer Scientist
- Software Engineer
- Software Developer
- Systems Architect
- Software Architect
Career Advising and Mentorship
Whatever your career goals, we’re here to support you. Harvard’s Mignone Center for Career Success offers career advising, employment opportunities, Harvard alumni mentor connections, and career fairs like the Harvard Startup Career Fair and the Data Analytics, Science, and Technology Fair held on campus.
Your Harvard University Degree
Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, you will earn the Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Computer Science.
Expand Your Connections: the Harvard Alumni Network
Tuition & Financial Aid
Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.
|Our Course Tuition (2023–24 rate)||$3,220 per course|
|Average Total Program Cost||$38,640|
|Average Course Tuition of Peer Institutions||$4,330 per course|
After admission, you may qualify for financial aid. Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.
How long will it take to earn the computer science master’s degree?
Program length is ordinarily anywhere between 2 and 5 years. It depends on your preferred pace and the number of courses you want to take each semester.
For an accelerated journey, we offer year round study, where you can take courses in fall, January, spring, and summer.
While we don’t require you to register for a certain number of courses each semester, you cannot take longer than 5 years to complete the degree.
How do I know if the computer science graduate program is right for me?
Harvard Extension School does not require any specific skills prior to applying, but because this is an advanced degree, it is helpful to have an undergraduate degree in computer science, mathematics, or a related field, as well as some work experience in a technical field. Proficiency in programming languages — Java, Python, C++ — is recommended, and you should possess excellent problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and critical thinking abilities.
How will the computer science graduate program help me improve my career?
A graduate degree in computer science could accelerate your career in several ways — most notably in increased earning potential due to your advanced skills and knowledge. According to recent numbers from Payscale, an individual with a bachelor’s degree in computer science makes an average base salary of $72,000/year. In contrast, a professional with a master’s degree in computer science makes an average base salary of $101,000/year.