Computer Science - M.A., M.S. and Ph.D.
DEPARTMENT: Department of Computer Science
241 Mathematics and Computer Science Building
The M.A. in Computer Science emphasizes breadth of knowledge in advanced computer science topics to augment the student's bachelor's degree.
The M.S. in Computer Science Thesis Option is for students who seek academic careers or positions in research and development industry, or for students who want to continue their education into the Ph.D. program. The Non-Thesis Option supports the needs of persons seeking graduate education for entry into non-academic careers or to enhance and expand their career options.
The Ph.D. in Computer Science provides students with an educational and research environment that fosters personal and intellectual growth, flourishes academic goals and develops career paths through necessary training with emerging technologies. The program promotes research, discovery and integration, and is designed for students interested in becoming professional scholars, college and university teachers or independent research workers in private, industrial or government research institutions.
M.A. and M.S.: Official transcript(s), goal statement, résumé and three letters of recommendation. A student entering the program must have the core components of an undergraduate computer science curriculum. Students are required to have successfully completed coursework equivalent to Computer Science I - Programming and Problem Solving (CS 23021), Discrete Structures (CS 23022), Computer Science II - Data Structures and Abstraction (CS 33001), Operating Systems (CS 35211), Computer Architecture (CS 35101), and Design and Analysis of Algorithms (CS 46101). In mathematics, they are required to have successfully completed coursework equivalent to Calculus I (Math 12002), Calculus II (Math 12003), and Linear Algebra (Math 21001).
Ph.D.: Admission into the Ph.D. also requires a master's degree in computer science (or closely related field) and the preliminary examination within 20 months of entrance into the doctoral program.
M.S. and M.A.: The master’s program requires a total of 32 graduate-level credit hours in computer science (courses outside computer science must be approved by the advisor and graduate coordinator).
Candidates for the Master of Science with a non-thesis option must successfully complete 32 credit hours of graduate courses in CS excluding Research (CS 69098) and including 2 credit hours of Master s Seminar (CS 69191) that incorporates a project and a final examination on the project. Of the remaining 30 credit hours, at least 24 credit hours must be at the 60000-level or above, and up to 6 credit hours can be at the 50000-level.
Candidates for the Master of Science with a thesis option must successfully complete 24 credit hours of graduate courses in CS, of which at least 16 credit hours must be at the 60000-level, at most 6 credit hours can be at the 50000-level. In addition, 2 credit hours of Master s Seminar (CS 69191) are required. Only a total of 3 credit hours of Research (CS 69098) may be counted toward the degree, however, students are permitted to take these courses multiple times. Students must write and defend a Master s thesis for which 6 credit hours are earned in Thesis I (CS 69199) and Thesis II (CS 69299).
Ph.D.: A doctoral student must complete 60 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree—30 credits of which are CS 89199 Dissertation I and 30 credits (excluding Dissertation I and II) are coursework at the 70000 level or above. Only 9 credits of CS 89098 Research or CS 89991 Research Seminar in Computer Science may count towards the degree (however, students can take more than 9 credit hours of these courses).
The student will develop a Doctoral Plan of Work that is approved by the advisor and the graduate coordinator. Students are highly encouraged to select an advisor and develop a Plan of Work as early as possible (i.e., before the end of their second term in the program). The Plan of Work must be filled out and submitted to the graduate coordinator within 18 months of entrance to the program.
All students must take 3 credit hours of CS 89191 Doctoral Seminar and make a public presentation of project and/or research work (excluding dissertation defense and candidacy examination) at least two times before graduation. The presentation must take place in the doctoral seminar at least one full term before graduation and not more than two years after entering the program. The doctoral seminar is offered for 1 or 2 credit hours; therefore the student must enroll in this course at least two times. This course can be taken multiple times but only 3 credit hours count toward the degree.
M.A.: Candidates for the Master of Arts degree are required to enroll for 3 credit hours in CS 69098 Research under the direction of a graduate faculty member and to develop a master’s project. A master’s project committee must be formed that includes the advisor and at least two other graduate faculty members. The committee and project topic must be approved by the graduate coordinator. The student must present and defend the project to the committee.
CANDIDACY: Ph.D.: The candidacy examination is a comprehensive examination in the field of the major subject. The format of the candidacy examination will be determined by the student’s Candidacy Examination Committee, which is composed of the student’s advisor and two other graduate faculty members. The Candidacy Examination Committee must be approved by the graduate coordinator. The student must complete the candidacy examination at least one year before the dissertation defense.
DISSERTATION: M.S. thesis option: Candidates for the Master of Science degree must write and defend a suitable master’s thesis for which 6 credit hours are earned in CS 69199 Thesis I. A master’s thesis committee must be formed that includes the advisor and at least two other graduate faculty members. The thesis topic and committee must be approved by the advisor and graduate coordinator. The final version of the thesis must be approved by the advisor, committee and graduate coordinator.
The M.S. also offers a Non-Thesis option in Computer Science.
Ph.D.: A dissertation describes original research performed by the student. The dissertation topic must be approved by the advisor and graduate coordinator. A dissertation committee, made up of graduate faculty, must be formed to assess the quality and value of the work. A public dissertation defense is made by the student. The final dissertation and defense must be approved by the advisor and dissertation committee. Further details can be found on the department’s Web site.
Summary of doctoral degree requirements: preliminary examination plus the Doctoral Plan of Work; 3 credits of CS 89191 Doctoral Seminar; 9 credits major concentration coursework; 9 credits minor concentration coursework; 9 credits elective coursework or research; the candidacy examination; and 30 credits of CS 89199 Dissertation I along with the dissertation and defense.
PROGRAM FEE: None