The Network Systems Track

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.

Summary of Requirements

Students must complete at least a total of 30 graduate points and must maintain at least 2.7 overall GPA in order to be eligible for the MS degree in Computer Science.

  1. Network Systems track requires:

    - Breadth courses
    - Required Track courses (9pts): COMS W4115, COMS W4118, and CSEE W4119
    - Track Electives I (3pts)
    - Track Electives II (9 pts)
    - General Electives (3pts)

  2. 4 elective courses (12 points) selected from the list of Elective Track Courses; at least 2 of these courses must be 6000-level CS courses.

  3. 1 general elective. One Columbia Computer Science graduate course (3 points) at 4000-level or above.

Please use the Degree Progress Check to keep track of your requirements.

1. Breadth Requirement

Visit the breadth requirement page for more information. 

2. Required Track Courses

Students are required to complete the following courses. Students who have taken equivalent courses in the past and received grades of at least a B may apply for waivers and take other CS courses instead.

Course ID


CSEE W4119

Computer Networks

COMS W4118

Operating Systems

COMS W4115

Programming Languages and Translators

3. Elective Track Courses

Students are required to complete 4 courses out of the following list; at least 2 courses must be 6000-level CS courses:

Course ID


CSEE W4140

Networking Laboratory 

COMS W4180

Intro to Network Security

COMS W4261

Intro to Cryptography

COMS W4737


COMS W4995

Visit the topics courses page to see which COMS 4995 courses apply to this track.

COMS E6118

Operating Systems, II

COMS E6125

Web-enhanced Info Management (Whim)

COMS E6180

Modeling & Performance

COMS E6181

Advanced Internet Services

COMS E6184 

Anonymity and Privacy 

COMS E6185

Intrusion and Anomaly Detection Systems 

COMS E6717 (ELEN E6717)

Information Theory

COMS E6737


COMS E6901

Projects in Computer Science

COMS E6998

Visit the topics courses page to see which COMS 6998 courses apply to this track.

ELEN E4703

Wireless Communications

ELEN E6761

Computer Communication Networks

ELEN E6770

Next-Generation IP Networks 

ELEN E6771

Next Generation Networks

ELEN E6950

Wireless & Mobile Nets, I

ELEN E6951

Wireless & Mobile Nets, II

SIEO (STAT) W4606/4207/5207

Elementary Stochastic Processes


(or, substitute with IEOR-W4106)

IEOR E6704

Queueing Theory and Applications

IEOR E6801

Monte Carlo & Discrete Event Simulation

IEOR E4406

Facilities Location, Routing, Network Design

4. General Electives

Remaining points from any qualifying Computer Science graduate course (4000- and 6000-level). Students may take up to 3 points of non-CS/non-tech course approved by the advisor. Please complete a non-tech approval form, get your advisor's approval, and forward it to CS Student Services. 

*Due to a significant overlap in course material, MS students not in the Machine Learning track can only take 1 of the following courses - COMS 4771, COMS 4721, ELEN 4903, IEOR 4525, STAT 4240, STAT 4400/4241/5241 - as part of their degree requirements. 

5. Track Planning

Please visit the Directory of Classes to get the updated course listings. Please also note that not all courses are offered every semester, or even every year. A few courses are offered only once every two or three years or even less frequently. For more information, please see the SEAS Bulletin CS course-offering schedule (This schedule can change due to unforeseeable circumstances; thus, it should only be used as a reference).

6. Track Advisor

Please direct all questions concerning the Network Systems track to Prof. .

7. Graduation

Candidates preparing for graduation should submit a completed application for degree to the Registrar's Office and submit a track graduation form to CS Student Services.

Last updated 4/21/16