Computer Science Master's Degree - Network Systems

Network Systems

Online Program Overview

Degree Level
Master's Degree
Total Credits
Fully Online
Contact Us
Minimum GPA
Qualifying Exam
GRE Required

The Network Systems track is intended for students who wish to develop state-of-the-art knowledge of network systems technologies and the underlying principles, protocols and algorithms. Networking technologies play a central, driving role in shaping the directions of both the IT and communication industries. This track will help you develop leading-edge knowledge of these technologies.

"CVN provides a first class educational opportunity that fits both my work and personal schedule!"
John A. Taylor III, Lucent

Admissions Requirements

Degree required for admission: Most candidates have completed an undergraduate degree in computer science. Applicants with degrees in other disciplines and a record of excellence are encouraged to apply; these applicants are required to have completed at least six prerequisites: 4 computer science courses covering the foundations of the field and 2 math courses. 

Examples of computer science courses would be courses offered through an undergraduate computer science program: Intro to Computer Science (COMS W1004 or COMS W1007), Advanced Programming (COMS W3157), Data Structures and Algorithms (COMS W3134 or W3137), which is a prerequisite for most of our graduate-level courses, or/and Discrete Math (COMS W3203).  For the math prereqs, students are encouraged to take linear algebra and differential equations. 

Please note that these must be taken at a university (can be online) and must be grade- and credit-bearing.  MOOCs such as courses on Coursera and edX do NOT meet this requirement. These courses are not offered here at Columbia Video Network, but may be taken at another online institution or your local university.  Work experience does not waive this requirement. 

GPA required: Most students admitted have earned a grade point average above 3.5 (out of 4.0); a GPA of at least 3.3 is required. 

GRE requirements: General test required. A subject GRE test is not required but may be helpful in strengthening your application. 

Competence in English: Applicants whose native language is not English and who have not studied at schools where English is the primary language must complete the TOEFL exam with a minimum grade of 600 on the written TOEFL, or 250 on the computerized version. 

Other application requirements: 3 recommendation letters, transcripts, resume, and a personal-professional statement are required. All application requirements in the Graduate Application must be completed as specified in the application. 

For answers to your most common admissions questions, please review our FAQ page here.  Advising questions can be emailed to


Students must complete all core courses and selected electives for a total of 30 graduate points of academic work via CVN while maintaining a minimum grade point average of 2.7. All degree requirements must be completed within 5 years of the beginning of the first course credited toward the degree. This includes courses taken in the non-degree program.

Course List

Core Breadth Requirement

Students are required to satisfy Breadth Requirements by taking one course from Group 1, one course from Group 2, one course from Group 3, and one more course from any of the three groups. Track courses taken at Columbia can also count towards the breadth requirement.

Group 1 - Systems

  • COMS W4111: Database Systems
  • COMS W4112: Database System Implementation
  • COMS W4115: Programming Languages and Translators
  • COMS W4118: Operating Systems
  • CSEE W4119: Computer Networks
  • COMS W4156: Advanced Software Engineering
  • COMS W4130: Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming
  • COMS W4180: Network Security
  • COMS W4187: Security Architecture and Engineering
  • CSEE W4824: Computer Architecture

Group 2 - Theory

  • COMS W4203: Graph Theory
  • CSOR W4231: Analysis of Algorithms 
  • COMS W4236: Introduction to Computational Complexity
  • COMS W4241: Numerical Algorithms and Complexity
  • COMS W4252: Introduction to Computational Learning Theory
  • COMS W4261: Introduction to Cryptography
  • COMS W4281: Introduction to Quantum Computing

Group 3 - Artificial Intelligence & Applications

  • COMS W4701: Artificial Intelligence
  • COMS W4705: Natural Language Processing
  • COMS W4706: Spoken Language Processing
  • COMS W4733: Computational Aspects of Robotics
  • COMS W4735: Visual Interfaces to Computers
  • COMS W4771: Machine Learning
  • COMS W4772: Advanced Machine Learning

Candidates must complete the core courses W4115 and W4118 or equivalent courses, to develop a fundamental understanding of computer systems. Ideally, students should complete these courses prior to pursuing track courses, but they may be taken concurrently with track courses.

Required Track Courses

Candidates are required to complete the following courses:

  • COMS W4115: Programming Languages & Translators
  • COMS W4118: Operating Systems
  • CSEE W4119: Introduction to Computer Networks

Students who have completed an equivalent course with a grade of at least 3.0 may apply this course to satisfy the requirement and devote more credits to pursue elective courses.

Elective Track Courses

Candidates are required to complete four (4) courses from the following list; at least two courses must be 6000 level CS courses:

  • COMS E6181: Advanced Internet Services
  • COMS E6998: Advanced Internet Routing
  • COMS W6998: Content Networking
  • COMS W4180: Introduction to Network Security
  • COMS W4261: Introduction to Cryptography
  • COMS W4995: VOIP Security
  • COMS W4995: Social Information Networks
  • COMS E6998: Advanced Topics in Security
  • COMS E6184: Anonymity & Privacy
  • COMS E6185: Intrusion and Anomaly Detection Systems
  • COMS E6118: Operating Systems II
  • COMS E6180: Modeling & Performance Evaluation
  • COMS E6125: Web Enhanced Information Management
  • COMS E6901: Projects in Computer Science
  • COMS E6998: Virtual Machines
  • COMS E6998: Content Networking
  • COMS E6998: Internet Economics
  • COMS E6998: Mobile Computing
  • COMS E6998: Cloud Computing
  • ELEN E6717: Information Theory
  • ELEN E4703: Wireless Communications
  • ELEN E6761: Computer Communication Networks
  • ELEN E6950: Wireless & Mobile Networks, I
  • ELEN E6951: Wireless & Mobile Networks, II
  • IEOR E4106: Stochastic Models
  • IEOR E6704: Queuing Theory and Applications

General Electives

Candidates are required to complete at least one Columbia graduate course, approved by your Advisor.

Note: The list of electives may be updated to reflect changes in the schedule of course offerings.

Tuition & Fees

2018 - 2019 Tuition & Fees

Please note that all tuition and fees are in U.S. dollars and are estimated. Tuition and most fees are prescribed by statute, and are subject to change at the discretion of the Trustees.

CVN Credit Tuition: $2,018 per point (Credit Hour)
CVN Fee: $395 non-refundable fee per course
Transcript Fee: $105 non-refundable one-time fee

Estimated cost of each nondegree course: $6,554
Estimated total cost of certification (four online courses) : $25,901

Estimated total cost of MS (ten online courses): $64,595
Estimated total cost of DES (ten online courses plus a minimum of 12 research credits) : $90,391

Graduate Admission Application Fee: $150 non-refundable one-time fee
Certification Program Application Fee: $150 non-refundable one-time fee

Late Registration Fee: $100 non-refundable fee

CVN Withdrawal Fee: $75, plus prorated tuition and all non-refundable fees
For example: A three credit course would be $6,054 + transcript fee $105 (one-time) + CVN fee $395 = $6,554

Please note: CVN no longer offers courses for audit.


Payment should be mailed to:

Columbia Video Network
540 S.W. MUDD Building, MC4719
500 West 120th Street
New York, NY 10027


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