Thesis, Project and Course-based MS Degrees

In the CS and CNSA MS degree programs (but not CC), a student must select one of the three options of thesis, project, or course-based to complete the degree. Each option has a specific number of required courses as well as other requirements, as described below.

Thesis Option

A student under the thesis option must take, in addition to CIS 5935 Introductory Seminar on Research (2), eight (8) courses (24 semester hours) at or above the 5000 level, plus at least nine (9) hours of CIS 5970r, Thesis. At most nine (9) hours of CIS 5970r can be counted toward the required 35 hours for the MS degree. The eight courses must include at least one course from each area as described above. Approved offerings of CIS 5930/6930 Special Topics are counted towards the 8 courses, but supervised teaching, supervised research, seminars, DIS and CIS 5915 (project hours) cannot be included. The thesis is defended by registering for CIS 8976 Master’s Thesis Defense (0).

The student in the thesis option is required to propose and create an individual thesis topic of appropriate focus, size and complexity and to write a document discussing it. The thesis proposal must be approved by the supervisory committee. The thesis is to be written in accordance with the University standards. Upon completion, a thesis must be successfully defended to the department in an open forum, and be unanimously approved by the major professor and supervisory committee. An electronic version of the thesis must be submitted to the university as well as the CS webmaster, and CS graduate coordinator.

Project Option

A student under the project option must take, in addition to CIS 5935 Introductory Seminar on Research (2), nine (9) courses (27 semester hours) at or above the 5000 level, plus at least six (6) hours of CIS 5915r Graduate Software Project. At most six (6) hours of CIS 5915 can be counted toward the required 35 hours for the MS degree. The nine courses must include at least one from each of the areas described above. Approved offerings of CIS 5930/6930 Special Topics are counted towards the 9 courses, but supervised teaching, supervised research, seminars, DIS, and CIS 5970 (thesis hours) cannot be included. The student must also register for CIS 8974(0) to defend the project.

The student in the project option is required to propose and create an individual project of appropriate focus, size, and complexity and to write a document discussing it. The project proposal must be approved by the major professor and supervisory committee. The project document should be written with direction from the major professor and supervisory committee and in accordance with the description given at Master’s Project. Upon completion, both the project and the document must be successfully defended to the department in an open forum with unanimous approval from the major professor and supervisory committee. An electronic version of the project must be submitted to the CS webmaster, and CS graduate coordinator.

Course-based Option

A student under the course-based option must take, in addition to CIS 5935 Introductory Seminar on Research (2), eleven (11) courses (33 semester hours) at or above the 5000 level, including at least one course from each of the three core areas described above. Approved CIS 5930/6930 Special Topics are counted towards the 11 courses, but supervised teaching, supervised research, seminars, DIS, CIS 5970 and CIS 5915 cannot be included. A student must earn a grade of B+ or higher for at least 6 of the 11 courses in order to graduate in the course-based option. The student must also register for CIS 8966, Master’s Comprehensive Exam (0) the semester of graduation (effective Spring 2005).

Supervisory Committee

For the thesis and project options, it is the student’s responsibility to form a supervisory committee regardless of his or her selected major. No later than the start of work on the thesis or project, the student will secure the consent of an eligible computer science faculty member to serve as the major professor. In consultation with the major professor, the student will secure the consent of at least two additional graduate faculty members to serve as the supervisory committee, chaired by the major professor.