Computer science is one of the most in-demand fields in the US because it is a common pathway to the ever-growing tech industry. With a computer science master’s degree, you can pursue careers in software development, data science, data analytics, project management, machine learning, or artificial intelligence. However, master’s degree programs can be rather expensive.
The good news is that there are many organizations that provide computer science master’s degree scholarships to qualified students. This article will provide you with a list of the best computer science master’s degree scholarships available. You will also find information about the requirements for each computer science scholarship listed.
What Is a Computer Science Master’s Degree?
A computer science master’s degree is a two-year graduate degree that can be pursued once you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree. This degree typically lasts 18 to 24 months to complete, during which computer science students are expected to attend classes, take tests, and take exams. While these are some universal requirements, it is up to the schools to set their own standards.
How Much Does a Computer Science Master’s Degree Cost?
The average cost for a computer science master’s degree is $19,792 yearly, according to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics based on research conducted in 2019 and 2020. Annual tuition for public schools is around $12,410, while tuition for private schools range between $26,597 and $28,430.
Computer Science Master’s Degree Salary: How Much Can You Earn?
According to PayScale, the average annual salary of people with a computer science master’s degree is $106,000. This amount also depends on several factors such as experience, specialization, job description, job title, and location. At the time of writing, the highest-paying cities for people with computer science master’s degrees are all in California.
Is a Master’s Degree in Computer Science Worth It?
A master’s degree in computer science is worth it for anyone who wants to advance their career in the technology industry. There are many computer science jobs in the corporate industry that demand a master’s degree as the minimum education requirement. This is especially true for management positions that require a combination of technical and soft skills and experience.
Apart from access to more job opportunities, a master’s degree potentially attracts a higher salary than a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree, in addition to a bachelor’s degree, makes it easier to advance in your career. Some common jobs you can get with a computer science master’s degree are computer network architecture and computer and information research science.
How to Pay for Your Computer Science Graduate Degree with Computer Science Master’s Degree Scholarships
There are partial and full STEM scholarships available for computer science (CS) master’s degrees, and the one you receive will determine who will pay for your education. If you are offered a partial CS scholarship that covers only a portion of the tuition, you will be responsible for the remaining balance. Thankfully there are various funding options that can assist.
Some scholarship bodies will provide you with the funds but expect you to cover the remaining cost of the master’s degree on your own. Others communicate directly with the school to ensure that the funds are used for your education. Some scholarships are offered directly by the school. The most common scholarships for master’s degrees in the United States are academic merit, need-based, and athletic scholarships.
Best Computer Science Master’s Degree Scholarships: Overview
|How Much It Covers
|BMC Software Scholarship
|Abigail Fischbach Scholarship
|Abigail Fischbach Scholarship
|National Science Foundation
|Graduate Research Fellowship Program
|Association for Computing Machinery
|UPE Scholarship Award
|$1,000 to $3,000
|AFCEA Educational Foundation
|Ralph W. Shrader Graduate Diversity Scholarship
|International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium
|$1,000 to $5,000
|International Society of Automation
|ISA Educational Foundation
|Hispanic Scholarship Fund
|Hispanic Scholarship Fund
|$500 to $5,000
|Accenture American Indian Scholarship Fund
|Applied Computer Security Associates and Computing Research Association
|Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security
|$2,000 to $10,000
Best Computer Science Master’s Degree Scholarships: In Detail
BMC Software Scholarship | BMC Software
This is a need-based scholarship for any graduate or undergraduate student in the department of computer science. Students must apply for the scholarship through their schools, but not all schools currently offer it. Scholarship recipients receive a stipend of $1000 per year for the duration of their education.
You must be enrolled in a master’s program in computer science with a minimum of eight credit units. Additionally, you must have a 3.0 undergraduate and graduate GPA. You will be asked questions about your goals, accomplishments, and financial needs during the application process. Additionally, you must submit a PDF copy of your transcript and a letter of recommendation.
Abigail Fischbach Scholarship | Abigail Fischbach Scholarship
This scholarship is available to women in tech who attend college in San Francisco. It is not funded by a single organization but by a coalition of organizations that support female students in university science and engineering departments. It is currently available at San Francisco University, and if you want to stand a chance, you must actively support women in technology.
To be considered for this scholarship, you must submit an essay explaining why you believe you deserve it. Additionally, the essay should highlight the achievements of women in the Society of Women Engineers. Apart from that, you must submit a letter of recommendation from a lecturer or admin in your department. Lastly, your education must be ongoing with at least eight credits.
National Science Foundation | Graduate Research Fellowship Program
This graduate program is open to any graduate student in a STEM field, not just those studying computer science. It is intended for students pursuing research in computer science and information technology and provides financial assistance for a maximum of five years. If you qualify for the scholarship, your university will receive $12,000 and a $34,000 stipend.
While all graduate students from any STEM field are encouraged to apply, obtaining approval will not be easy. You must be a US citizen, have a permanent residence in the United States, or be a U.S national with exceptional transcripts. Additionally, you must be enrolled in a US-accredited university.
UPE Scholarship Award | Association for Computing Machinery
This scholarship is offered by the ACM, a non-profit organization that actively helps its members obtain financial aid to pursue undergraduate and graduate education. Apart from membership in the ACM, applicants must be enrolled full-time in a graduate program at an accredited university for at least one year.
To be eligible for the UPE scholarship, you must have an outstanding academic record, as evidenced by your transcript. Additionally, you must submit proof of your ACM-related activities at your school, as well as a letter of recommendation from a reputable faculty member.
Ralph W. Shrader Graduate Diversity Scholarship | AFCEA Educational Foundation
You can apply for this scholarship if you are a woman or minority student with US citizenship. It covers STEM disciplines such as computer science and engineering. Prospective students must also have a GPA of at least 3.5 from their undergraduate and graduate studies. They will also be required to submit their college transcripts and two letters of recommendation from their faculty.
While the primary award amount is $3000 for the upcoming academic year, the award is subject to change based on available funds. So, if the foundation receives significant funding for a particular year, it may be more than $3000. It should be noted that this application process necessitates the submission of documents in person rather than online.
Graduate Scholarship | International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium
Since 1989, the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium has been one of the most active and largest bodies for STEM professionals. The organization provides scholarships to students studying computer science and other STEM disciplines via the Center for Cyber Safety and Education channel. The degree is especially beneficial for IT professionals who specialize in cybersecurity.
Aside from your discipline, you will need a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale. One of the best aspects of this program is that it is not restricted to citizens of the US. Anyone who meets all the eligibility requirements may apply. Awards are given based not only on financial need but also on other factors such as dedication. You will receive a one-time award if you are selected, but you can always reapply the following year.
ISA Educational Foundation Scholarship | International Society of Automation
The International Society of Automation provides full-ride scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students studying automation. As a result, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious scholarship organizations in the United States. Qualified applicants are awarded funds to cover their tuition and any other payments or fees associated with their research and education.
Although their headquarters are located in the US, eligible students from universities across the globe are welcome to apply as long as they meet all the other requirements. You will be expected to submit your transcript and letters of recommendation from two faculty members. Members of the organization are also eligible for professional scholarships and advancement grants.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund | Hispanic Scholarship Fund
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) is intended for American citizens and permanent residents of the Hispanic community. People in the United States under the deferred action for childhood arrivals immigration policy are also eligible to apply for this scholarship. People from any field of study are welcome to apply, and it is not limited to computer science degrees.
To apply for the scholarship as a graduate student, you must have a GPA of at least 3.0. You must demonstrate your financial need and make plans to enroll in a master’s program. The scholarship award will be given directly to you, but you must complete your studies if you do not want to be charged with fraud.
Accenture American Indian Scholarship Fund | Accenture
This exclusive scholarship fund supports a handful of full-time undergraduate and graduate students of native American and native Alaskan origins. Qualified candidates receive funds to cover tuition, fees, and other related expenses. This year, seven full-time graduates and seven undergraduate students got $125,000 to support their post-secondary education.
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While being of Indian American or Alaskan native origin is the first requirement, it is not the only one. To be eligible for the scholarship, you must have an excellent academic performance with a GPA of 3.25 or higher.
Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security | Applied Computer Security Associates and Computing Research Association
This is an all-women scholarship intended to promote and encourage women in tech, with a focus on information security. The scholarship is only available to US citizens or permanent residents who are full-time students at a US university. It should be noted that the award amount varies depending on several factors.
You can apply for the scholarship directly through the official website if you have the required documents such as transcripts, faculty recommendation letters, and a CV. You also need to add details about your university and a brief essay on why you should be considered for the scholarship.
How to Pay for Your Computer Science Graduate Degree Without Scholarships: Alternative Financial Aid Options
Scholarships are great to reduce the financial burden of pursuing a master’s degree in computer science. However, what happens if your scholarship application is denied and you do not have the funds to pay out of pocket? Some popular alternatives to traditional scholarships are listed below.
Many companies offer employee sponsorship to their staff. This could be in the form of tuition reimbursement or outright payment to the graduate school. The criteria for entry and the terms of sponsorship differ from one company to the next. However, workers are usually obligated to remain in the company for a few years after receiving employee sponsorship.
Federal and State Financial Aid
As with undergraduate students, graduate students are eligible for state and federal government financial aid. However, many graduate students do not take advantage of this opportunity. All you have to do is fill out the free aid form. If you qualify, government agencies will pay for most, if not all, of your tuition.
If your computer science master’s degree is research-oriented, you may be eligible for federal and non-profit STEM grants. Grants are difficult to obtain, but they are completely free. You are not required to repay the grant, and if you are making significant progress in your research, you may apply for additional grants from the source.
Most prestigious universities permit qualified master’s students to work and be paid by the university while they study. You can earn enough money to cover your tuition depending on the nature of the work and how many hours you can devote to working while studying. You may also work part-time while pursuing your master’s degree.
This is another popular option for master’s degree students in CS and other fields. Loan financers offer loans for tuition and stipends for living expenses. Repayment terms vary, as do the interest rates. You will not be required to start paying until the program is completed and you have obtained a job. It is worth noting that graduate loan interest rates are significantly higher than undergraduate loan interest rates.
Should You Apply for Computer Science Master’s Degree Scholarships?
Yes, you should apply for as many computer science master’s degree scholarships as soon as possible to cover your tuition. These scholarships are not loans, and you are not required to repay them. You can get the education you need to reach your career goals without spending a fortune on tuition. Even if the scholarship does not cover the entire tuition, the financial burden will be reduced.
Computer Science Master’s Degree Scholarships FAQ
How do you get a full-ride scholarship for a master’s degree?
The first step toward receiving a full scholarship for your master’s program is academic excellence. Any scholarship organization would be hard-pressed to turn down a straight-A student with a perfect or near-perfect GPA. You should also thoroughly read the eligibility requirements and ensure that you meet them before applying for any scholarship.
What GPA do you need for a full scholarship?
The minimum GPA requirement for most scholarships ranges between 3.0 and 4.0. The higher the GPA, the higher your chances of getting the scholarship. However, some scholarships accept applicants with a 2.0 GPA, while others are fully need-based without GPA requirements. You should be sure to check the specific requirements of scholarships you’re interested in.
How do I get a scholarship for computer science?
Start by earning and maintaining a high GPA. Generally, a 3.0 or higher will suffice. You’ll need to submit your application, possibly include an essay, and provide transcripts, recommendation letters, and any other required documents. They might also inquire into your community involvement. You can contact your university to learn about the scholarships offered and their requirements.
Do international students get scholarships in the US for a master’s degree?
Yes, there are some scholarship opportunities in the United States that are open to international students. Depending on the organization and the international student’s qualifications, there are partial scholarships and full scholarships available. One of the most common bodies for international scholarships is Fullbright.
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