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Thesis Information


Most students write a thesis for their capstone experience in our MS in CS program. The thesis is a 6-credit endeavor where a student works with a thesis advisor to develop a thesis proposal, conduct research and document the research in the form of a formal thesis with an oral defense.


The thesis process requires that a student first register for CSC590: Thesis I which is a 3-credit course were a student works with an advisor in preparing a thesis proposal (registration described below). The proposal must be read by a second reader within the CSC department and then gets read by an outside reader who assigned by the School of Graduate Studies. Upon official approval from the School of Graduate Studies, the student next registers for CSC591: Thesis II which is also a 3-credit course. For this course, the student conducts the research, defends the work orally, and writes a formal thesis. Again, the written thesis is read by a second reader in the CSC department and by several outside anonymous readers. To successfully pass CSC591, the student must have a successful oral defense and have approval of the thesis by the School of Graduate Studies. Once both of these milestones have been achieved the thesis advisor will assign a grade for CSC591.

Registering for CSC590 and CSC591

To register for either of these courses, a student must complete the Permission to Register for Thesis form which requires signatures from the student's advisor, the CSC Graduate Coordinator and the Department Chairperson. The form should then be submitted to the Department Chairperson who will then request that a course be created in Banner under your advisor's name. After this is done, the Registrar's Office will contact the student to let he/she know that they can now register for the newly created course.

Thesis Format

First and foremost, the written style of the thesis must adhere to the School of Graduate Studies thesis format guidelines (see "Thesis Format" section). Beyond the School of Graduate Studies' requirements, the Computer Science Department uses the IEEE style standard. This is the style format that the School of Graduate Study is expecting from our department. The IEEE 2007 Style Manual can be found on the IEEE site or is also available as a pdf. Here is another site that has proved to be helpful with the proper format and style particularly for references.

Thesis Proposal

When your advisor agrees that you are ready to submit your thesis proposal to the graduate school, complete the Thesis Proposal Signature Sheet, get the necessary signatures and attached the completed form to your proposal. When your thesis proposal is approved by the graduate school, please be sure to send an electronic copy (pdf preferred) to the CSC Graduate Coordinator so that your work can be posted on our Graduate Work web page.

Click Thesis Procedure to view the steps involved with developing a thesis.