Master of Science Degree Requirements

Below is a brief overview of degree requirements within the Department of Computer Science. For an full explanation of requirements please visit the Graduate School, Master of Science requirements page.

General Requirements

MS Options

  • Choose an a plan. (A, B, or D)
  • Present a research/project proposal. (A or B)
  • Complete a thesis or project. (A or B)
  • Complete an oral thesis or project defense. (A or B)
  • File the oral examination form. Use the Pre-defense and Verification of Degree Requirements Completion form for all MS degree options.

Thesis Option (Plan A)

The CS Department allows up to 6 of the 30 hours of credit required for graduation to be in CS5990. In addition to completing the 30 hours of credit in approved courses (including CS5990 and up to 3 hours of CS5999 credit though not more than 9 total hours may be taken in CS5990 and CS5999), a student following the thesis option is expected to:

  1. Prepare a written plan describing the thesis research.
  2. Defend the research plan in an oral seminar presentation or meet with the advisory committee to discuss the research plan. The student and her/his advisor will determine whether the plan is to be presented in a department-wide seminar, or will be presented to faculty members individually.
  3. Prepare a final thesis.
  4. Defend the thesis in an oral seminar presentation.

The department recommends the following timetable for the milestones along the way to a thesis masters. (Note: items marked with a ‘+’ are milestones; items marked with a ‘*’ are requirements.)

  • + present a thesis plan by the end of the 3rd semester in residence (not counting summers).
  • * provide a defendable thesis to the entire committee no later than two weeks prior to the thesis defense. In addition, make a copy available in the CS main office for other interested parties.
  • * defend the thesis in a public forum. This includes two question and answer sessions:
    • the first consists of both students
    • and faculty; the second being closed to the general audience consists of faculty only.

Project Option (Plan B)

The project option allows up to 3 of the 30 hours of credit required for graduation to be in CS5990. In addition to completing the 30 hours of credit in approved courses (including CS5990 and up to 3 hours of CS5999 credit), a student following the project option is expected to: present written and oral project reports at the conclusion of the project. Thus, the student should

  1. Prepare a written project plan which describes any background work necessary for completion of the project and a project plan.
  2. Present the project plan to the advisory committee.
  3. Prepare a final report at the conclusion of the project.
  4. Defend the project report in a public oral seminar presentation.

The department recommends the following timetable for the milestones along the way to a project masters. (Note: items marked with a ‘+’ are milestones; items marked with a ‘*’ are requirements.)

  • + find a major advisor during the first year in the program.
  • + present a project plan by the end of the 3rd term in residence (not counting summers).
  • * provide a “defendable” project report to the entire committee no later than two weeks prior to the oral defense. In addition, make a copy available in the CS main office for other interested parties.
  • * defend the project in a public forum. This includes two question and answer sessions:
    • the first consists of both students and faculty;
    • the second being closed to the general audience consists of faculty only.

Coursework Option - No Oral Examination (Plan D)

The course work option requires 30 hours of graded course work. None of the 30 hours of credit required for graduation may be in CS5990 and no more than 3 hours of CS5999 credit may be applied to the 30-hour requirement. Course work option students have the graduate director as their advisor.