MS Advising

MS Requirements

Below is a brief overview of degree requirements within the Department of Computer Science. For a full explanation of requirements please visit the Graduate School Master of Science requirements page. Note that Department of Computer Science rules may be stricter than Graduate School rules.

General Requirements

  • Choose an advisor.  Choose an advisor in your first year (no later than the middle of the second semester). For coursework option students, the graduate director is your default advisor. You do not need to file the advisor form.
  • Complete a total of 30 approved credits.
  • Earn a grade of "B" or better in all but one course. At most one “BC” grade is allowed.
  • Satisfy theory requirement by successful completion of CS 3311, CS 4321, and one of CS5321 or CS5311.
  • Satisfy breadth requirement by successful completion of two graduate or senior-level undergraduate courses in each of Category A and Category B as listed in the Graduate Student Handbook, Section 4.2.2.
  • Complete a Breadth Requirement Waiver form if you wish to count non-Michigan Tech courses toward the breadth requirement. 

MS Options

  • Choose 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)

MS Procedures

Below is a general overview of tasks you will need to complete each semester:

  1. First Semester
  2. Second Semester
    • Choose the thesis (Plan A), report (Plan B), or course work (Plan D) option.
    • Choose an advisor. (Thesis or report option students only.)
    • Complete your final MS Degree Schedule.
    • Register for third semester courses.
    • Complete Advanced RCR training
  3. Third or Final Semester
    • Present your thesis or project proposal. (Plan A or B)
    • Begin work on thesis or project. (Plan A or B)
    • Submit MS Degree Schedule to the Graduate School and provide a copy to the Department of Computer Science graduate assistant.
  4. Final Semester
    • Begin writing thesis or report. (Plan A or B)
    • Submit draft of thesis or report to your advisor. (Plan A or B)
    • Submit final draft of thesis or report to your advisor (Plan A or B).
    • Schedule your degree-required presentation. (Scheduling a final oral examination ("Defense") is now completed in MyMichiganTech. Please see the student and advisor tutorial for additional assistance. This process replaces the "Pre-defense" form. This includes MS project defenses, optional MS thesis proposals, and MS thesis defenses. Announcements should be built and sent at least two weeks prior to a presentation. Include an abstract of the presentation and the date, time, and location. First, reserve a room by contacting the Department of Computer Science graduate assistant or emailing Then, create a Zoom meeting and Google Calendar invitation. Send the invitation to this list: Creating and sharing detailed invitations is the responsibility of the graduate student, not Department of Computer Science staff.
    • Present your public oral defense of thesis or report. (Plan A or B). Submit the Report on  Oral Exam Form, and MS Thesis and Defense Assessment form (Plan A) or MS Report and Defense Assessment form (Plan B).
    • Upon passing your defense, make final required revisions to your thesis or report.
    • Submit your final copy to Digital Commons.
    • Submit your final copy to ProQuest. (Dissertations and theses only)
    • Submit your final copy to the Computer Science department.
    • Submit the Verification of Final Degree Requirements form. (Not required for students completing a research-based degree.)
    • Submit the Degree Completion form.
    • Submit the Graduate Student Workspace Cleanout form. If you have difficulty downloading the form, please visit the Leaving the University webpage for instructions.
    • Complete the Exit Survey.
    • Graduate!