I am a programmer working 6 years in the industry. I am proficient in Javascript/JQuery, PHP, Java, c/c++, MASM Assembly, MySQL/SQL, together with accessory tools/technologies like Git/Github, UML, XML, JSON, etc and the Drupal and Zend CMS/framework.

Is there any way of getting accepted into a computer science, Masters degree program in universities in Europe, USA or Canada?

  • 1
    Why you want a Msc degree and not a bachelor one?
    – Alexandros
    Dec 4, 2015 at 18:46
  • 5
    A bachelor in computer science is not just programming. It is mostly Math and other subjects.
    – Bart
    Dec 4, 2015 at 18:48
  • Do you actually want to attend a masters program? In the first version of this question, it sounded like you didn't want to be a student right now.
    – ff524
    Dec 4, 2015 at 19:49
  • 1
    @ff524 I do want to get an academic certification for the skills and experience I acquired in the industry. But it doesn't seem to make much sense to start fresh and do 4 years of computer science courseworks, trying to learn things I already have expertise in. I am looking for fast track routes, with exemptions on skills I'm already proficient in.
    – okey_on
    Dec 4, 2015 at 20:00
  • I strongly suspect you'd be happier in software engineering than CS -- and no, they are not at all the same.
    – D.Salo
    Dec 4, 2015 at 20:03

6 Answers 6


What You study in the bachelor in computer science is different from what you do in a working environment. In the bachelor's degree they teach you the basis to achieve a master's degree, like math, science and other subjects that probably you've never studied from an academic point of view. I live in europe and I believe all the european universities require a bachelor's degree in order to be admitted to the master programme.


You probably don't need a bachelor's degree in computer science to be admitted to a master's program in computer science, but you probably need a bachelor's degree in something.

If what you're looking for is academic certification for skills you've acquired (and honestly this seems unnecessary given your extensive proficiency and experience) you probably wouldn't want to go the route of B.S. then a Masters.

I'm aware there are some software certifications you can acquire as proof of proficiency, but they're perhaps controversial.

What about sucessfully completing an online course like those offered by coursera in one or more of the languages you already know? Some courses provide certificates of completion and even grades.


You need a bachelor degree in something if the institute that is going to give you a Msc is accredited. (e.g. by ABET or similar provisioning institutions)

And a MSc degree from an institute/university that does not require a BSc would probably will not be standing on the same foot when it comes to be used as a university degree.


No, I don't think you'll find anyone who will admit you to a Master's program without some sort of Bachelor's degree. But I will offer some ideas specific to your field.

If your goal is to have something to frame and hang on the wall, you might consider getting a Certificate in Computer Programming (sample description).

If your goal is to satisfy your intellectual curiosity, just enroll in whatever graduate level course(s) you're interested in, as an auditor. But if you'd like to have the credits to show for what you did, you might be able to enroll as a non-matriculated student. But note, I'm not at all sure this latter idea would work without a Bachelor's degree.

If your goal really is to get a Master's degree to frame and hang on the wall, here are some ideas about how to get a jump start:

  1. Find the right institution -- it may be a two-year college to start with; it may be a university that wants you as a Master's student and works with you to help you speedstart; and it may be an online program (but stay away from the private schools that charge an arm and a leg). You're looking for a place where

    • Very few non-major courses are required for the program.

    • You can sign up for a wheelbarrow of credits each semester, and churn out the homeworks and projects with minimal attendance; ideally, they would allow you to simply sit a final exam and then give you the credits.

    Note that the best way to sound out a department to find out how flexible they are going to be would be by meeting with a professor or dean in the department. Yours is not an uncommon problem in your field, and most professors will not laugh you out of the water if you come in and state clearly that in order to advance in your profession, you need a degree to substantiate your expertise. You'll want to target primarily departments that have more of an Information Systems focus than a Computer Science focus.

    Consider getting the non-major credits you need with some CLEP credits. However, note that this may not be necessary, since frequently departments will have their own internal procedures for waiving prerequisites or giving credit by examination. (CLEP has some disadvantages, compared to the internal route, such as cost of exam, the challenge of finding an institution that offers the exam you want, and the limited list of exams available through CLEP.)

  2. As a first step, you might want to enroll as a non-matriculated student in an upper-level undergraduate course that you are truly interested in, and give it your all. The professor may be blown away and mentor you based on what you did in that course.

    Note that in this option, you would have to convince the instructor and/or the department to waive the prerequisites. This is quite doable in your situation, however.


No, all higher academic institutions in the US would require you meet prerequisites before being able to attend. This means that even English 101 and such would need to be completed before even being considered. That said, I do know of situations where if you already have your B.S. you can go straight to Doctorate's without Master's.


In Canada yes. You have at least two options:

1) if you're willing to learn French, you can be accepted at UQAM in Montreal. See here for the conditions for the Master in computer science(Bachelor or two years + experience).

What they usually do is that they might ask for what they call a "propedeutique". It means a one or two semesters at undergraduate level with specific courses chosen by the department to put you up at the proper level (in your case it could be French and maybe pure Math, for example). Application to this university cost less than $100, try it.

Note that for the French part, it's not as hard as it sounds. Programming language are the same, the books and resources will be in English and all of your teacher and most of your fellow students will speak some English. Montreal is a very active city computer wise and is bilingual.

2) If you want to go the Master with Thesis route you can study at ETS, a top school for Engineers very industry oriented, again in Montreal.

For nearly all their Masters the requirements are

Hold a Bachelor’s degree .../... OR have acquired the required knowledge, appropriate training and experience that is deemed to be relevant. You can write your thesis in English and as for the French requirement you only need to pass a ridiculously small 3 credit course.

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