Khoury College of Computer Sciences

Align Master of Science in Computer Science


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Northeastern’s Align program gives students without a background in computer science a direct path to an MS in computer science and a rewarding tech career, with professional experiences and connections in Seattle, a leading center of innovation in STEM, tech, and social movements.


Domestic students entering for the 2025 academic year are eligible for a scholarship of up to 25%. This scholarship is not transferable to alternative programs of study, terms or campuses outside of Seattle, WA.

Break into tech with any background

You don’t need a background in tech to have a future in it. Break into tech with Align, a program designed for motivated students and professionals with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline outside of computer science. Earn your master’s in computer science from Northeastern University on the Seattle campus, where diverse and unexpected ideas are encouraged.

Attend a Break into Tech Event

Curious about whether Align is right for you? Join this free 2-hour workshop (virtual or in-person) on how computer science touches our world. You’ll even get to try out a hands-on project with peers from non-computer science backgrounds like you.

Increase your impact with a computer science degree


With the Align MSCS program, you can increase your earning potential and the impact you’ll have in your areas of interest—and influence the direction of computer science itself. Employers are actively looking for computer scientists with diverse backgrounds in law, music, biology, business, physics, education, biomedical science, language, and more.  Progress in your current industry or pivot to a new career.

You’ll build skills in the core areas of computer science and even select from exciting areas like AI, Game Design, Information Security, Networks, Programming Languages, Software Engineering, Systems, and more.

Gain the opportunities of Seattle

Seattle is where entrepreneurs go to scale up. It’s the #1 city for STEM professionals and in the #1 state for healthcare, economy, and education. Known as a leading center of innovation in STEM and tech—and social consciousness—there are a wealth of opportunities.

  • Top 5 most concentrated tech market, creating a strong environment for innovation and scaling up businesses (CBRE Tech Talent 2021)
  • #10 Best Startup Ecosystems in the World (Startup Genome 2021)
  • Top 5 state for venture capital deals and investments (Best of the Northwest, 2019)

Key Seattle industries

The information, communications, and technology (ICT) sector has grown faster than any other sector in Seattle’s innovation economy (Best of the Northwest, 2019). The city is known for excellence in aerospace, computer software, bioinformatics, genomics, environmental engineering, economy, and education industries. It’s home to companies like:

Outreach, PitchBook, Avalara, Remitly, Tamarac, Tableau Software, Cray Inc., NanoString Technologies, ExtraHop, and Instructure

Gain the CS skills employers want

You’ll begin the program with a two-semester introductory sequence designed specifically for students without a background in computer science. Your cohort will be made of students like you who are coming from outside the field. You’ll then be able to choose from a range of electives—such as Artificial Intelligence, Computer-Human Interface, Graphics, Software Engineering, and more—in important breadth areas.

View full curriculum

Hear from Our Students

Learn what students are saying about the Align MSCS program.

Learn From Industry Experts

Align faculty are talented computer scientists with real-world connections to Seattle industry. But don’t be intimidated. All Align faculty understand the necessary approach to teach graduate-level computer science to beginners—and enjoy doing it. Some faculty have even been through the Align program themselves.

Industry connections of Seattle faculty

Get individualized attention from dedicated faculty. Seattle faculty have backgrounds at companies like Amazon, Pinterest, Disney, Salesforce, and Boeing.

Featured Faculty: Seattle Campus

Featured Faculty: Seattle Campus
Dr. Ian Gorton

Dr. Ian Gorton

Director of Computer Science

Ian Gorton joined Northeastern University in Seattle as the Director of the Computer Science Masters programs in 2015. Prior to this role, he worked at the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute as a Senior Member of the Technical Staff. He worked on several projects focused on the principles of designing massively scalable software architectures for big data applications, and building knowledge bases both manually and using machine learning to support engineering tasks.

Before joining the SEI, Gorton was a Laboratory Fellow in Computational Sciences and Math at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. I managed the Data Intensive Scientific Computing research group, and was the Chief Architect for PNNL’s Data Intensive Computing Initiative. He was also PI for multiple projects in environmental modeling, carbon capture and sequestration, and bioinformatics. This experience has led to a particular interest in the design of large scale, highly customizable cyber-infrastructures for scientific research.

Gorton has a PhD in Computer Science from Sheffield Hallam University and is a Senior Member of the IEEE Computer Society and a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society. Until July 2006, he led the software architecture R&D at National ICT Australia (NICTA) in Sydney, Australia, and previously worked at CSIRO, IBM, Microsoft and in academia in Australia. His passion is analyzing and designing complex, high performance distributed systems, and embodying design and architecture principles in methods and tools that can be exploited by architects in other projects.

You can see all Gorton’s publications and citations on Google Scholar and in dlbp.

View all Seattle Khoury faculty.

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Hold a co-op or internship in an industry-preferred program

Khoury College can help connect you with co-op, internship, and project opportunities with the college’s 700+ established corporations and unique startups, nonprofits, and organizations.

  • Apply for a paid, full-time computer science co-op or internship (4-8 months)

Align MSCS prepares you to meet “preferred” qualifications for job postings with top companies. Many companies offer co-op students full-time employment.

Key co-op employment partners in Seattle

Amazon, Facebook, Google, Coinbase, Intuit, Linkedin, Nordstrom, Mercari, Zillow, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Snowflake

On either side of your work experiences, you’ll be learning industry-relevant CS skills in a program supported by corporate and philanthropic partners like Facebook, Google, Dell, Travelers, and Pivotal Ventures. Co-op is closely integrated with the course curriculum and advising system. Graduate co-op faculty within the Khoury College of Computer Sciences will support you in preparing for and succeeding in your co-op.

Learn more at a drop-in session

From the Dean

Elizabeth Mynatt

"Our Align students have fascinating and unique backgrounds – with recent undergraduate majors ranging from economics, journalism, political science and theatre. Whether you’re a recent college graduate interested in complementing your current knowledge with CS, or a professional looking to pivot careers completely, the Align master’s in computer or data science can take your career farther than you ever imagined."

— Elizabeth Mynatt, Dean, Khoury College of Computer Sciences

Life in Seattle

Seattle continues to be ranked as one of North America’s most sought-after places to live. The city has a thriving culture of music, innovation, and the arts, as well as a rich culinary scene. With a strong sustainability movement and beautiful forests, mountains, and oceans nearby, Seattle is the #2 healthiest city in the US.

Home to the fastest growing millennial population in North America, and offering a reasonable cost of living to salary (on average, rent is 16.5% of tech wage salary), Seattle is a great place for young people in tech (CBRE Tech Talent 2021).

Ask a Student about Seattle

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Minimum GPA for bachelor’s degree (any field)
3.0 on a 4.0 scale
8.0 on a 10.0 scale
80 on a 100 scale
Upload a PDF of your transcripts in the application.

Letters of recommendation
2 academic and 1 professional reference if applying from undergraduate studies
2 professional and 1 academic reference if applying after professional experience
Submit letters via the ApplyYourself system.

Complete 2 of 3 essay prompts. See online application for prompts.

Tuition and funding
Students have the opportunity to pay for the program with a combination of paid, full-time co-op or internship placements, teaching assistant and tutor positions, Federal Student Aid, and scholarships. Learn about financial support.
Align is a total of 44 credits. Check costs per credit here.

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