Computer Science - Theoretical Computer Science, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English (book IELTS)
University rank #201 (ARWU) ,
In the Computer Science - Theoretical Computer Science program at Charles University, students are given a broad overview of their field, helping them to think independently, to distinguish between important and marginal problems, and to accommodate quickly to novel technologies. The focus is on understanding the core principles of how and why things work and on the application of these principles within modern technologies.


The strong theoretical basis of the Computer Science - Theoretical Computer Science program at Charles University gives our graduates a competitive advantage in a dynamically evolving world where today’s technologies are often obsolete tomorrow.

Studies usually take two years and finish with a state final exam and Master’s thesis defense. After successful completion the student is awarded the title of a Master of Science.

Theoretical Computer Science provides comprehensive education in theoretical aspects of computational models, algorithm and data structure design, and structural properties of Boolean functions. Students gain understanding of the state-of-the-art techniques in the design of efficient algorithms and data structures, and also learn the limits and possibilities for solving algorithmic problems. In addition to that students acquire mathematical tools necessary to analyze and model algorithmic processes. Students can utilize gained knowledge in practical setting or they can continue by a doctoral study in theoretical computer science or related areas.

The graduate thoroughly understands the limits and possibilities of computational systems, has a broad overview of algorithmic techniques, and is able to apply these techniques to new problems. He also has skills necessary to convey abstract ideas with precision and clarity. The graduate can apply his skills in the design and analysis of complex systems and in the development of innovative solutions and transformative technologies. The graduate is also well prepared for doctoral studies in theoretical computer science and related areas.

Charles University ranks among the top 2% of universities worldwide, a fact that has been repeatedly confirmed by international university rankings. In computer science and mathematics it does even better. We provide the facts below.

  • Wikipedia-Mining Algorithm Reveals World’s Most Influential Universities – Charles University in Prague: rank 34.
  • Microsoft Academic Search: Charles University is among the 10 top institutions in Discrete Mathematics worldwide and among the 100 top institutions in Algorithms and Theory
  • The Times Ranking: rank 301–350
  • Top universities: rank 200–300
  • Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan: overall rank 247 and 167 in Computer Science and Mathematics
  • Mathematics programs included in the Excellence group of top European universities by the CHE Excellence Ranking 2010.
  • Charles University is consistently ranked as the No. 1 Computer Science school in the Czech Republic.
  • The education programs at Charles University are accredited by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic and the degrees awarded to our graduates are internationally recognized.


The education programs at Charles University are accredited by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic and the degrees awarded to our graduates are internationally recognized.

Programme Structure

The study program is very flexible and students can customize their set of attended courses based on their particular interests and needs. In the first year, there are mandatory foundational courses such as data structures and theory of complexity and computability. Students of Computational Linguistics also have courses on natural language processing and statistical methods and they begin work on a group software project, while students of Discrete Models and Algorithms have courses on combinatorics, graph theory, and optimization. Some courses on specific subjects, as described next, are also included in the first year.

The second year of studies is organized according to the student’s own selection of courses. This is based on the choice of study plan within the study branch. We offer courses on artificial intelligence and its sub-areas such as machine learning, planning, declarative programming, and neural networks, several linguistics courses, courses on speech recognition and machine translation, and courses on optimization techniques (non-linear, combinatorial, multi-criteria), integer programming, mathematical structures, algorithms and their complexity, and approximation and probabilistic algorithms. Students may attend some of these courses already in their first year, so that in their second year they can focus on finishing their master’s thesis.

Obligatory courses

  • Introduction to Complexity and Computability
  • Data Structures I
  • Probabilistic Techniques
  • Complexity
  • Introduction to Information Transmission and Processing
  • Diploma Thesis I
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Diploma Thesis II
  • Diploma Thesis III

Elective courses

  • Boolean Functions and Their Applications
  • Representations of Boolean Functions
  • Decision Procedures and Verification
  • Introduction to Complexity of CSP
  • Graph Algorithms
  • Combinatorial and Computational Geometry II
  • Approximation and Online Algorithms
  • Randomized Algorithms
  • Flows, Paths and Cuts
  • Algorithms and Their Implementation
  • Algorithms for Specific Graph Classes
  • Graph Algorithms II
  • Logic and Complexity
  • Proof Complexity and the P vs. NP Problem
  • Logic in Computer Science
  • Mathematical Programming and Polyhedral Combinatorics
  • Data Compression Algorithms
  • Algebraic Algorithms
  • Parallel Algorithms
  • Probabilistic Analysis of Algorithms
  • Experimental Analysis of Algorithms
  • Computability
  • Data Structures II
  • Recursion
  • Structural Complexity
  • Computational Complexity
  • Bioinformatics Algorithms
  • Master of Computer Science
  • Selected Topics in Computational Complexity I
  • Selected Topics in Computational Complexity II
  • String Algorithms
  • Algorithmic Randomness
  • Pseudo-Boolean Optimization
  • Hypercube Problems
  • Advanced Data Structures
  • Algorithmic Aspects of Boolean Functions and Parameterized Complexity

Other recommended courses

  • Integer Programming
  • Constraint Programming
  • Dynamic Graph Data Structures

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score (Grade C):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

To apply for a Master’s program delivered in English you must

  • hold or be working towards a bachelor’s or master’s diploma and provide a certified copy thereof; in cases required by law, a certification of equivalence of education must accompany the application,
  • have sufficient academic background in the relevant fields (see below for details); this can be demonstrated by passing the specialized entrance examination in June 2016 in Prague that is organized by the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, or by providing transcripts (academic records) of your previous education accompanied by syllabi of the completed courses; promising students who do not have this background may be admitted with the provision that they complete the missing Bachelor’s courses,
  • have sufficient command of the English language; this can be demonstrated by providing your results in one of the standardized English tests that we recognize (see below for details).

You are also welcome to accompany your application by

  • a statement of purpose in which you describe your reasons for applying to the proposed programme, your study and possibly also research interests and future career plans,
  • letters of recommendation as recent as possible from professors and employers who can comment on your recent professional accomplishments and your qualifications for pursuing a Master’s degree in mathematics or computer science.

Academic background

In this paragraph we summarize the minimum knowledge required for applicants in the various study programmes and study branches offered at our faculty.

Master of Computer Science

Study branches Theoretical Computer Science, Computational Linguistics, Discrete Models and Algorithms, Computer Graphics and Game Development, Software and Data Engineering, Software Systems, Artificial Intelligence: background in calculus, linear algebra, discrete mathematics, probability, computer programming, algorithms and data structures, computer organization, and the theory of automata and formal grammers.

Entrance examination

Applicants who will not sufficiently demonstrate the necessary background listed above by May 9, 2016, or with their application, will be invited to take the entrance examination in Prague. The entrance examination for a Master’s programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University consists of four problems, each worth 25 points. In case of an incomplete solution a proportional number of points will be given. The maximum total score is 100. The minimum score for admission is 40 points out of 100. Depending on the study programme and study branch, the examination has the following structure :

Master of Computer Science

All study branches: Computer Science (4 problems, e.g., logic, automata theory, programming, theoretical computer science).

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    5100 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 5100 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    5100 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 5100 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
140 000 CZK (5100 EUR) per academic year; students from the EU are eligible for a 40 percent discount

Living costs for Prague

13900 - 19500 CZK/month
Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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