The Network Systems Track

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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 direction of both the IT and communication industries. This track will help you develop leading-edge knowledge of these technologies.


  • Complete a total of 30 points (Courses must be at the 4000 level or above)
  • Maintain at least a 2.7 overall GPA. (No more than 1 D is permitted).
  • Complete the Columbia Engineering Professional Development & Leadership (PDL) requirement
  • Satisfy breadth requirements
  • Take at least 6 points of technical courses at the 6000 level
  • At most, up to 3 points of your degree can be Non-CS/Non-track If they are deemed relevant to your track and sufficiently technical in nature. Submit the Non-CS/NonTrack form and the course syllabus to your CS Faculty Advisor for review

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 Biometrics
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 Biometrics
COMS E6901 Projects in Computer Science (Advisor approval required)
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 Topics: 5G Programmable Networks
ELEN E6771 Topics: Next Generation Networks
ELEN E6950 Wireless & Mobile Nets, I
EECS 4951 Wireless Networks & Systems
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

Students must complete the remaining credits with General Elective Courses at the 4000 level or above. At least three of these points must be chosen from either the Track Electives listed above or from the CS department at the 4000 level or higher. Students may also request to use at most 3 points of Non-CS/Non-Track coursework if approved by the process listed below.

  • Non-CS/Non-Track: CS MS students may request up to 3 points of Non-CS/Non-Track points to count toward their 30-point MS program. CS Track advisor may review and approve if the course is determined to be relevant to the CS MS track and sufficiently technical in nature. Students should send the Non-CS/Non-Track Form and the course syllabus to your Track Advisor for review.
Please note:
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Students who waive track requirements by using previous courses must still complete 30 graduate credits. This can be done by expanding their elective selection to include courses listed as required track courses and elective track courses; or by taking other graduate courses
  • The Degree Progress Checklist should be used to keep track of your requirements. If you have questions for your Track Advisor or CS Advising, you should have an updated Checklist prepared


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.

Updated 3/26/2024