Jul 13, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science Major, MS

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Applicants for admission to the MS program for computer science are expected to have completed a bachelor’s degree with an average of at least 3.0 out of 4.0, both overall and in the senior year. Two semesters of calculus plus two additional semesters of college mathematics (e.g. linear algebra, differential equations, probability) and a course in formal languages, as well as in systems programming, are required for admission. Applicants are required to submit scores from the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past three years and to have these scores sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions. A TOEFL score of 550 on the written exam or 80 on the Internet-based Test is required for non-native speakers of English, including those who have earned degrees at U.S. institutions. The score must be no more than two years old from the requested date of entry. Applicants who have received a degree from an accredited U.S. institution within the past two years are exempt from the TOEFL requirement.  Applicants who hold the bachelor’s degree in fields other than computer science will be required to take selected undergraduate courses as determined by the applicant’s prior education and experience. The student will be admitted under non-degree status until the required undergraduate courses are successfully completed with a 3.0 average. An international student may not enroll as a non-degree student.


Students may choose between a thesis option, a non-thesis course-only option, and a non-thesis project option. All students must file a Master’s Program Plan with the departmental graduate committee specifying which option they have selected, a semester-by-semester schedule of the courses they intend to take, and the members of the student’s master’s committee. Students may change between options one time by filing an amended Master’s Program Plan and with approval of the departmental graduate committee. A student who receives financial support under a research assistantship is enrolled in the thesis option by default. Students who have held a research assistantship will require approval from the departmental graduate committee to change to one of the non-thesis options.

For all options, a total of 30 graduate credit hours are required. The course credits must satisfy

a. At least two-thirds of the total credit hours must be at the 500-level or above.
b. A maximum of 6 credit hours of courses outside the department may be applied toward the degree.
c. Students are required to complete COSC 530 , COSC 560 , and either COSC 580  or COSC 581 .

Thesis Option (30 credit hours)

  1. 24 credit hours of graduate course work.
  2. A master’s thesis totaling a minimum of 6 credit hours (COSC 500 ) is required, as well as a final oral exam covering the thesis and related course work.

Non-Thesis Project Option (30 credit hours)

  1. 27 credit hours of graduate course work.  Of these credit hours, at least 3 must be in a third area of focus separate from those in (c), above.
  2. COSC 501 (Project in Lieu of Thesis) with a minimum grade of B. This course will be administered by the student’s master’s committee. A written project proposal describing what the student will do in the course must be submitted in advance for the student’s master’s committee approval. A written final report and oral presentation is required and one copy of the final draft must be submitted to the graduate committee.

Non-Thesis Courses Only Option (30 credit hours)

  1. 30 credit hours of graduate course work.  Of these credit hours, at least 6 must be in a third area of focus separate from those in (c), above.
  2. The student must take course work in an area to prepare for the non-thesis master’s examination. The student’s advisor must verify that an acceptable set of courses has been taken before the student may schedule the examination.

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