Online Master’s in Computer Science Degrees: No GRE Required

Can you earn an online master's in computer science with no GRE? Find out more about which program may be best for your career.
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  • Computer science is a multifaceted discipline with a variety of specializations.
  • Careers you can have with a master's degree in computer science include software developer and database administrator.
  • Letters of recommendation and a bachelor's degree in a related field can help you get into a test-optional master's program.

Skipping the GRE can save time and money, letting you start your online master's program sooner than you might expect. Can you really go to graduate school without a GRE, though?

You can. Research by the New York Timesfound that the number of GRE tests learners took dropped from 541,750 in 2017 to 341,574 in 2021. It's not that fewer students are going to graduate school. It's simply that more schools are going "test optional."

Featured Online Master's Degrees

In this guide, you can learn more about how to decide which online master's in computer science with no GRE is right for you and how to apply.

Online Master's in Computer Science Specializations

Should you pursue a general computer science degree, or is a more nuanced focus the best choice?

It depends on your goals. A general computer science degree provides a broad foundation in computer science, covering a wide variety of topics like programming, algorithms, data structures, databases, and networking.

Specialized programs allow you to dive deeper into a specific area of computer science, opening up specific career paths with potentially higher demand.

Consider the following specializations:

Ultimately, the right choice depends on your personal preferences and career aspirations, but you want to keep in mind how each degree can affect your future.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the study of machines' simulation of human intelligence. AI specialists use tools and data to train smart machines to solve real-world problems. According to limited July 2023 Payscale data, these professionals pull in an average salary of $137,220 for their work. Earning a degree in artificial intelligence means diving deep into AI ethics, machine learning, and natural language processing.

People with a strong academic background in discrete mathematics, multivariate calculus, and linear algebra may use this degree to launch their careers into data or research science.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing refers to the delivery of on-demand services through the internet. Think of Google Photos or Amazon Web Services for examples. Experts in this field may be network engineers who manage large-scale cloud migrations. To earn their degree, these professionals take courses such as cloud computing migrations and decisive thinking, communicating, and leading in technology fields.

Applicants need a strong background in information technology along with excellent technical writing skills. Graduates can pursue careers as cloud architects, administrators, or analysts.

Computer Networks

Computer networks are the interconnected devices that exchange information and resources between machines. Network engineers, administrators, and technicians help build these networks or keep them functioning. Majoring in this field could involve taking courses such as applied cryptography, optical fiber communication systems, and wireless internet and pervasive computing.

Featured Master's in Computer Networks Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Aspiring network specialists need strong technical skills and a knack for solving complex problems under pressure. People with both a background in IT and a master's in computer science may effectively compete for networking roles.

Computer Science

Computer science is a dynamic field, offering near-endless possibilities to create innovative solutions and shape the future of tech. Graduates may advance in one of many careers that require interdisciplinary knowledge and expert facility with information systems. This degree can also serve as the foundation for a Ph.D. or other doctoral program.

Featured Master's in Computer Science Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Pursuing computer science is crucial as tech revolutionizes every industry. It may be the ideal concentration for aspiring tech entrepreneurs, researchers, or postsecondary educators.


With a cybersecurity degree, you can become an information security analyst, making around $102,600 per year by protecting systems from hackers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2023. Classes cover topics like network security, ethical hacking, and digital forensics along with internship and research opportunities. It's an exciting field where you get to outsmart the bad guys.

Featured Master's in Cybersecurity Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

This concentration is perfect for tech-savvy problem-solvers who love puzzles. In 2023, the BLS projects that information security analyst jobs will grow by 35% between 2020 and 2030. Internships, certifications, and networking can help crack the code to a career in cybersecurity.

Data Science and Analytics

Data analytics is the wizardry of numbers. More specifically, it's the process of gathering, analyzing, and structuring data to gain meaningful insights, make informed predictions, and encourage smart decision-making.

With this degree, you can become a database architect or administrator, crunching information to reveal insights that business leaders can use to get a leg up on the competition. According to the BLS, data professionals earn around $101,000 annually as of 2023. Classes cover machine learning, data mining, data visualization, and cloud computing.

Featured Master's in Data Science and Analytics Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

This degree is perfect for curious minds who love digging into data. Data-related jobs are growing at all levels, and graduates may pursue a hands-on career or advance to a Ph.D. Applicants should already be proficient programmers with skills in R, C++, Python, and Java.

Database Systems

Database systems professionals organize the digital world. It's a crucial field where you keep information flowing smoothly and securely. This degree prepares aspiring database administrators and business intelligence consultants. Enrollees take courses such as database theory, data systems for machine learning, and data models in a big data era.

People who love managing information may find this degree a perfect fit. In addition to a master's program, professionals may want to gain hands-on experience and earn certifications to advance their careers.

Human-Computer Interaction

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is all about crafting user-friendly tech. It's a field where you get to make technology more accessible and enjoyable for everyone. With this degree, you can become a UX designer, earning around $77,500 per year according to Payscale in July 2023. Classes cover user interface design and evaluation, design of online communities, and cognitive modeling.

Throughout college, it's important to build a strong portfolio, gain internships, and collaborate on real-world projects in order to land a rewarding UX/UI role.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning is simply teaching computers to learn. In this cutting-edge field, you get to build smart systems that adapt and improve over time. With a machine learning degree, you can become a machine learning engineer, earning around $115,000 yearly as of July 2023 per Payscale. Classes may include graph algorithms, computational complexity theory, and Markov Chain Monte Carlo.

Pursuing machine learning is vital as AI transforms entire industries. After graduation, tackle projects, contribute to open-source machine learning, and network to secure an exciting career.

Software Engineering

Software engineers build useful programs and applications using coding skills. In this field, you can earn $114,000 per year according to Payscale's data from July 2023. Students explore coding languages, software design principles, and project management techniques. Classes may also include hands-on opportunities such as getting to fix a bug in a program.

Featured Master's in Software Engineering Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Software engineering is an ideal major for technical specialists who enjoy a hands-on approach to building new computer programs. Graduates may become software engineers, project managers, or developers.

Jobs for Online Master's in CS Graduates

Computer and Information Research Scientists

Computer and information research scientists conduct research, invent new computing technologies, and solve complex problems. They may work in software development, academia, government agencies, or research organizations. With graduate education, they may advance to leadership or teaching positions.

Median Annual Salary: $131,490

Computer Network Architects

Working at computer design firms or in IT departments, computer network architects create and implement communication networks, analyze system requirements, and recommend network solutions. With experience, they may become senior network engineers or chief IT architects.

Median Annual Salary: $120,520

Computer Systems Analysts

Computer systems analysts evaluate an organization's computer systems, analyze requirements, and design solutions. They may serve in computer design firms, finance companies, or government agencies. Analysts can become IT managers or chief technology officers.

Median Annual Salary: $99,270

Database Administrators and Architects

Working in technology, finance, healthcare, or government, data administrators and architects manage and organize data systems, ensure data security, and optimize performance. They may be employed across an array of industries and eventually become data engineers or data scientists.

Median Annual Salary: $101,000

Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers

These professionals create and test software applications, ensure functionality, and identify bugs. They can advance to lead or managerial roles and work in industries such as technology, software development, finance, healthcare, and gaming.

Median Annual Salary: $109,020

Other careers available to graduates of computer science master's programs with no GRE requirement:

  • Information Security Analysts: $102,600
  • Senior Software Engineer: $125,050
  • Information Technology (IT) Director: $124,510
  • Post-secondary Teacher: $79,640

How to Get a Master's in Computer Science With No GRE

Getting into an online master's in computer science with no GRE doesn't have to be complicated. Most programs simply require a strong academic and professional background in technology along with evidence of your capacity to manage the rigors of graduate school.

Take a look at these typical admission requirements:

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    A bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field
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    Applicant's with a bachelor's degree in another field should hold significant coursework in mathematics, engineering, or computer science.
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    A GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale
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    Prerequisite coursework in areas such as computer architecture, computer programming, and theory of computation
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    Programming experience and knowledge of one or more major machine languages, such as Java, Python, C++, Ruby, Haskell, or Scala
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    Letters of recommendation that can testify to your academic aptitude
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    Some programs may require proficiency exams
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    Statement of purpose
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FAQ About GRE Requirements for a Master's in Computer Science

How long does it take to get a master's in computer science online?

If you choose to study full-time, you can typically complete a 32-36 credit program within 1.5 - 2 years. Part-time enrollment allows you to balance your studies with other commitments but may take longer, typically anywhere from 2 - 4 years.

Is the GRE required for an online master's in computer science?

The answer depends entirely upon your program's requirements. Over the past few years, eliminating the GRE requirement for graduate programs, including online master's programs, has been a growing trend among universities. Admissions committees hope to increase accessibility and remove potential barriers to entry for prospective students.

Should you submit GRE scores even when not required?

If a graduate computer science program does not require GRE scores, you generally don't benefit by submitting them. However, if you have exceptional GRE scores or if your other application components need shoring up, it might be beneficial to submit your scores voluntarily.

To get into graduate CS programs, is your GPA or GRE score more important?

Admission committees may weigh either your GPA or both of these factors in their decisions. A strong GPA, particularly in relevant coursework, demonstrates your ability to handle the academic rigors of a graduate program in computer science. The GRE's weight varies between programs. A few schools have started to de-emphasize or eliminate the GRE requirement altogether.

Are online master's in computer science degrees easier than campus programs?

Online and on-campus computer science degrees usually follow the same curriculum and are equally academically rigorous. Which you believe is easier depends on which academic environment better suits your learning style.

In a campus-based program, you have direct access to professors and can engage in face-to-face interactions with peers, fostering collaborative learning. Online programs employ various tools, such as discussion boards and video conferencing, to facilitate virtual interactions. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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