So, studying an online Computer Science degree sounds fine and dandy, but what do you need to get started on studying? In this article, we’ll look at the most common requirements and equipment you might need to ensure that you have an excellent online study experience.
The right type of equipment
Well, obviously, the absolute minimum you need is a desktop PC or laptop and a stable internet connection that supports Zoom, Skype, or other online conference apps. Depending on the content of the course and the processing power you will need to run the software, you may have to get a more expensive personal computer.
This usually applies to studies using large amounts of data, requiring a lot of processing power, like Big Data studies. Anyway, your minimum hardware requirements should be mentioned in the application requirements. If they aren’t, don’t hesitate to contact the university and ask for more details.
A Bachelor’s diploma in Computer Science
Generally, you won’t be able to apply for a Master’s in Computer Science without a Bachelor’s. Depending on the Master’s you want to apply for, there may be some prerequisite coursework you should complete.
If your Bachelor’s didn’t include it, you might have to take a pre-Master’s degree to fill in the gaps. Examples of prerequisite coursework include:
- Introduction to Programming
- Computer Architecture
- Principles of Computer Systems
You may have to take a GRE test as part of your application. During the COVID-19 crisis, you may be able to waive your GRE requirement. Make sure and check with the university about the application process.
Masters usually don’t require a minimum GRE score, but a higher score can help differentiate you from other applicants.
Proof of sufficient English language skills
You will need to show proof that you have the necessary English level to participate in the online study programme. Most popular English tests accepted by universities include TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE Academic. To be accepted for a Master’s, you generally need to meet or exceed the following English test scores:
- TOEFL: 86
- IELTS: 6.5
- PTE Academic: between 59 and 64
Depending on the programme you plan to apply for, you may need to provide other documentation including:
- transcript of records for your previous studies
- academic CV
- one or more recommendation letters
- personal statement
- paid application fee (if required)
Your Computer Science studies may require you to own some licenced software for your assignments or courses. Most classes rely on freeware or offer access to simulation environments, but it’s possible you may have to buy some software to be able to do your homework or conduct more hands-on learning.
So, is studying an online Masters in Computer Science worth your time and money? We think so, but you have to make sure the programme you want to apply for is legit and finding an affordable degree can’t hurt.