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Guidelines for MS students in preparation for graduation

  1. Students must have met the following criteria to schedule the defense:
    1. 30 credit hours for option A (thesis option) and option B (project option). Option A requires at least 24 credit hours of regular coursework in CS and up to six credits of CS 768
    2. Residence Credit for Master’s Degree. Option B requires 30 credit hours and a project. Option B may include CS 610. In either option, students may take up to 6 credits of CS 612, and at least half of the credit hours must be in higher than 500-level courses (excluding CS 768 and CS 680). Courses from other departments require a prior DGS approval.
    3. All courses other than CS 768 for option A must have regular letter grades, that is, no pass/fail, and the overall GPA in these classes must be 3.0 or higher.
  2. Set up an advisory committee.  The student should consult with the supervising professor in choosing a committee. The committee must have at least three members; at least one must be a full member of the graduate faculty. The student should present all the committee members with a clean draft of the project/thesis report and get their agreement to serve on the committee.
  3. Schedule the defense
    1. All master's students need to take the master's exam that is related to the thesis or the project, depending on the student's option. The student initiates the request for the master's exam, specifying the committee, the date, the time and the place through an online form at least three weeks before the intended exam date
    2. The student should list the title of the project/dissertation in the comments section of this form. Before submitting this form, the student should present all the committee members with a clean draft of the project/thesis report and get their agreement to serve on the committee
    3. The director of graduate studies (DGS) will verify (1) that the student has completed the CS requirements for the M.S. degree, and (2) that all the committee members are available at the specified time and believe that the student is ready to take the exam. The DGS uses an online form to approve the exam and announces the exam to the department faculty and students
    4. A written report is required for the completion of a master's degree (whether thesis or project). The writeup must be of sufficient quality to enable committee members to determine the general nature, scope and quality of the project, and must be provided (in hard copy, if requested) to each committee member at least 10 calendar days before the scheduled examination date
  4. The master's exam is "open," meaning that the DGS announces it and that all members of the university community are invited to attend it. It is not a party, however; the student should not provide refreshments.