"I think everybody who studies computer science should study psychology. If you don’t know the user, how do you know what kind of product you are building for them?""

The Master of Science in Computer Science at Sofia University provides students with a broad background in software development and other core disciplines of computer science. It also gives them the opportunity to further their knowledge in foundational and applied topics. Learn technological skills with humanistic values. Classes available onsite and online.

Located in Palo Alto, the heart of the Silicon Valley just minutes away from top companies such as Google, Apple, HP and Facebook, Sofia University provides the students with an environment rich in opportunities.

The program features:

  • Onsite and hybrid/online formats
  • Combine technological development with transpersonal values and skills for the practicing professional
  • Promote creativity, cultural sensitivity and mindfulness
  • Bring essential skills and values to the next generation of well-balanced leaders in the workplace
  • Small classes and close interaction with faculty
  • Faculty that are experts in their field, and bring the cutting edge technology and real-world computing experience to the classroom.

Concentrations Offered:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Transformative Computing
  • Transformative Unmanned Aircraft Systems Computing
  • Software Engineering

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Program Design (Starting Summer quarter 2017)
The MSCS Program is designed to provide a greater variety of classes within a shorter term. The quarter system allows you to finish each class in only 10 weeks compared to a semester system which takes 16 weeks. Here’s the breakdown!

  • Complete the program in 1.5 years (18 months)
  • Total 12 subjects (each subject is 4 quarter credits which equal to 3 trimester credits)

Master of Science in Computer Science Curriculum

The Master of Science in Computer Science at Sofia University provides students with a broad background in software development and other core disciplines of computer science. It also gives them the opportunity to further their knowledge in foundational and applied topics. Located in Palo Alto, the heart of the Silicon Valley just minutes away from top companies such as Google, Apple, HP and Facebook provides the students with an environment rich in opportunities.

Download the Catalog

MSCS 2017-2018 Course Catalog

Program Requirements

  • 12 subjects – Computer Science courses: 5 core, 7 electives
    • 3 – Interdisciplinary courses (These are elective classes in Business, Psychology, Liberal Arts or any other subject outside of Computer Science; These are to provide a broader background upon graduation and the type of soft skills employers are seeking.)
    • 1 − Internship/Practicum

    Note: The internship requirement can be substituted with elective credit with Program Chair approval. Internship units taken beyond 3 units will NOT count towards degree requirements.

Course Transfer Information

Do you have courses you want to transfer in? Nine (9) units can be transferred in from other Master's programs (based on approval).

Tuition: Estimated total cost of tuition: $21,600.00

Contact: or call 650-493-4430


About the Concentrations

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software, which is regarded as the core knowledge of any Computer Science degree. It is also an academic field of study. Artificial intelligence covers the many aspects of how human intelligence might be encoded in computer programs and mechanisms such as robots. This course introduces the foundation of simulating or creating intelligence from a computational point of view. It allows the students to gain generic problem solving skills that have applicability to a wide range of real-world problems. It covers the techniques of reduction, reasoning, problem solving, search, knowledge representation, and machine learning.

Machine learning is a fast-moving field with many recent real world commercial applications. The goal of Machine Learning is to build computer model that can produce useful information whether predictions, associations, or classifications. The ultimate goal for many machine learning researchers is to build computing systems that can automatically adapt and learn from their experience. This course will study the theory and practical algorithms, basic concepts and paradigms, what key techniques, challenges and tricks. It also cover examples of how machine learning is used/ applied today in the real world, and expose students to some experience in building and using machine learning algorithms. This course will also discuss recent applications of machine learning, such as to robotic control, speech recognition, face recognition, data mining, autonomous navigation, bioinformatics, and text and web data processing

Holistic Leadership & Management

Leadership development and practice have traditionally been very narrow, with a focus on the analytical realm of leadership. However, the contemporary climate of corporations, coupled with the evolving demands, needs and expectations of employees, point to the potential need for a more holistic approach to leadership. This certificate / concentration is designed for individuals who wish to develop the communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills needed to facilitate change within an organization. It proposes how management education and leadership development programs can develop holistic leaders that are adept at operating in the analytical, conceptual, emotional, and spiritual domains of leadership practice within and organizational context.

Human Computer Interaction

With the system’s backend implementation standardized on the cloud computing technologies, usability becomes the main selling tool of software applications. If people do not know how to use and cannot easily use the software, they won’t use it, especially the competitor products are just one-click away. Increasing user adoption by enhancing the usability is the mainstream strategy from high-tech companies. On the other hand, the user-centered process for user interface design and development has not been widely adopted in the high-tech industry. Not enough attention has been focused on the user involvement and the customer validation in the software development.

In this concentration, students will learn the highly-iterative user-centered design process for user interface development. They will learn user interface design principles and guidelines based on industry practice and the human cognitive characteristics. They will learn different techniques to do contextual inquiry and analysis and effective user evaluation. Without contextual inquiry and analysis, you do not know what your target users really need and expect from your software; without user evaluation, your user interface design is just a hypothesis and is simply wrong most of time. The concentration also introduces cutting-edge technologies, innovations, and emerging trend in HCI, including ubiquitous computing, gamification, Lean UX, etc.

The objective of this concentration is to develop MSCS students to become the professional user interface / user interaction designer and usability engineer/researcher that are highly demanded in the high-tech industry.

Transformative Computing

This concentration provides the computer science and computer systems foundations for the latest cutting edge computational technologies. Critical concepts of big data, invention and innovation, transformation, and security are presented and coupled with a set of trailblazing concentrations to form the first of its kind, groundbreaking certificate program. It covers the leading computational technologies in the industry and reflects current trends and future technologies that are transforming the fields of computer science and information technology and ultimately transforming our lives.

Transformative Unmanned Aircraft Systems Computing (Drone)

The era of unmanned aircraft in the national airspace is upon us. With the Federal Aviation Administration slated to integrate unmanned aircraft into the country’s airspace as early as 2015, the demand for safe, reliable, and resilient unmanned aircraft is growing exponentially. Estimates project that sales of civilian unmanned aircraft will reach over $20 billion within the next 5 years. As such, the demand for unmanned aircraft researchers, developers, pilots, and operators will become exponential within the next few years. These professionals will be tasked with developing and implementing safe, reliable unmanned aircraft with advanced functionality that are ready to be fielded by operators all across the country including public service organizations such as police and fire departments, the media, academic institutions, agricultural companies as well as myriad commercial entities. The keys to highly functioning, safe and reliable unmanned aircraft are robust, well architected software and highly reliable computer systems.

Sofia University is proud to lead the industry with this groundbreaking forward looking concentration. The program covers the critical areas of unmanned systems computer science and technology that are central to safe and reliable unmanned aircraft systems operations. It covers unmanned aircraft computer and software technologies, vital algorithms that support unmanned aircraft operations and system autonomy, as well as critical software architectures that support anti-collision and auto-land technologies that are central to safe unmanned aircraft operations.

Additionally, the concentration covers unmanned aircraft aeronautical architecture and the legal regulations which govern the research, development, and application of critical technologies to unmanned aircraft to ensure that they all implemented technologies are compliant with FAA, FCC, and other federal and state regulations. The program is comprised of seven highly specialized and technologically transformative courses focusing on unmanned aircraft computational systems and other vital supporting technological and legal areas.

Click to download the Drone powerpoint to learn more about the concentration.