This is an archived copy of the 2017-2018 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

The master's addresses the growing demand for trained computational scientists and engineers, and data scientists. It combines a solid foundation in computational science skills with courses in a variety of scientific and engineering computer-intensive areas where modeling and simulation, data analysis, and high performance computing play a central role.

Working with an advisor, a student may choose to pursue an area of emphasis. The areas of emphasis are:

  • Computer Modeling and Simulation: Intended for students who wish to learn computational solution techniques for modeling and simulation of scientific and engineering phenomena.
  • Data Science: Intended for students who wish to learn computational methods for acquiring, extracting, and analyzing large-scale data obtained by observations, experiments, modeling, and database searches.

Students may also combine areas of emphasis to create their own customized curriculum under the guidance of the graduate coordinator.

Most of the courses are offered in the late afternoon or early evening to accommodate students with full-time employment outside of the university.


University-wide admissions policies can be found in the Graduate Admissions Policies section of this catalog.

To apply for this program, please complete the George Mason University Admissions Application.


Applicants should have academic backgrounds in computational, physical or biological sciences, engineering, mathematics, or computer science. They should have an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.00 in their last 60 credits of study. In addition, applicants should have taken at least one course in differential equations and have facility in using a high-level computer programming language.

Application Requirements

To apply, prospective students should complete the George Mason University Admissions Application, supply two copies of official transcripts from each university attended, a current résumé, and an expanded goals statement. Applicants should also provide three letters of recommendation and an official report of scores on the GRE-GEN. The GRE-SUB is recommended if it is given in the student's undergraduate major. The GRE requirement will be waived if the student holds a BS degree from any program in George Mason's College of Science, Volgenau School of Engineering, or a master's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. TOEFL scores are required of all international applicants. A TOEFL score of 570 (paper-based test) or 230 (computer-based test) or 88 points total and a minimum of 20 points in each section (Internet-based test) is required for international students. The ETS code for Mason is 5827. For more information visit Admission of International Students.


For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Banner Code: SC-MS-COMP

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 30

Students should refer to the Admissions & Policies tab for specific policies related to this program.

Core Courses

Select 6 credits from the following:6
Numerical Methods
Scientific Databases
High-Performance Computing
Scientific and Statistical Visualization
Total Credits6

Computational Extended Core

Select 15 credits from any graduate-level CSI, CDS, or CSS courses 115
Total Credits15

Not including the following research courses: CSI 796 Directed Reading and Research, CSI 798 Research Project, CSI 799 Master's Thesis, CSI 898 Research Colloquium in Computational Sciences and Informatics, CSI 899 Colloquium in Computational Sciences and Informatics, CSI 991 Seminar in Scientific Computing, CSI 996 Doctoral Reading and Research, or from courses previously taken.


Select 9 credits of electives 1,2,39
Total Credits9

Typically chosen from computational sciences and informatics, chemistrymathematicsphysicsengineeringinformation technology, and statistics courses.


Students should create a curriculum plan for an area of emphasis or combined areas of emphases in consultation with their academic advisor.


 No more than 6 credits may be chosen from areas outside of CSI.

Elective credits may also include:

CSI 796Directed Reading and Research1-6
CSI 798Research Project1-3
CSI 799Master's Thesis1-6

Computational and Data Sciences, BS/Computational Science, Accelerated MS


This option enables enthusiastic, highly qualified, undergraduates to obtain the Computational and Data Sciences, BS and the Computational Science, MS within the accelerated time frame of five years. The program requires 144 credits total, allowing students to undertake graduate coursework during their final year in the bachelor's degree. Upon completion of this 144 credit BS/MS combined program, students are exceptionally well prepared for undertaking doctoral studies or entering the professional workforce.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in the Graduate Admission Policies section of this catalog1. Application information for this Accelerated Master's program can be found on the Department of Computational and Data Sciences website. Applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00 and have completed at least 90 credits. Additionally, applicants will have completed the following courses with a GPA of 3.00 or better:

CDS 230Modeling and Simulation I3
CDS 205Introduction to Agent-based Modeling and Simulation3
or CDS 251 Introduction to Scientific Programming
CDS 301Scientific Information and Data Visualization3
CDS 302Scientific Data and Databases3
CDS 303Scientific Data Mining3
CDS 411Modeling and Simulation II3
Select one from the following:3
Molecular Dynamics and Monte Carlo Simulations
Directed Study and Research
Computational Science Tools
Total Credits21

Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 or higher in graduate coursework and should consult with their faculty advisor to coordinate their academic goals within the modeling and simulation or data science emphases of the Computational Science, MS.


GRE-general scores are waived for graduates of BS degrees from any program in the College of Science or the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University.

Reserve Graduate Credit

While in undergraduate status, a student may take a maximum of six graduate credits as reserve graduate credits and apply those credits to a master's program. Reserve graduate credits are not counted toward the 120 credits required in the undergraduate degree.