Students in the Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) program can choose to do a Master's Thesis, Master's Project, or coursework-only. Students in the Master of Computer Science (MCS) program can choose to do a Master's Project or coursework-only (but not a Master's Thesis).
The student must find a faculty member who is willing to work with the student and supervise the thesis or project. The advisor and the student should formulate a plan for the work to be done. A Master's Project can consist of a high-quality paper or piece of software.
Faculty members will customarily agree to serve as a thesis or project advisor only when they have an interest in the topic and a high degree of confidence in the ability of the student to complete the thesis or project. Students cannot do a thesis or project unless they find a faculty advisor.
Once the work to be done has been planned, a thesis or project defense committee must be formed. With the concurrence of the advisor, the student should ask at least one other member of the faculty to serve on the committee. Once the members of the committee have been identified, the student must prepare a written description of the thesis or project.
Once the thesis or project work has been completed and a document describing the results prepared, the student must orally defend the work.
Should a student fail the oral defense of a thesis or project for a second time, the committee must decide whether the student will be required to pursue the coursework-only option for the degree. A student has the right to appeal the result of a project or thesis defense by submitting an appeal in writing to the Department Chair within two weeks of notification of the result.