Thesis students, in collaboration with their major professor, thesis director, and guiding committee, choose a research area when enrolled. This research area is supported by their coursework chosen and then fleshed out in subsequent research hours. This work culminates in a thesis document and defense shared with the community of scholars.
For the MS program with thesis, the program of study requires 31 graduate credit hours:
Any required courses in the Core previously completed by a student may be applied for completion and replaced with another free course of the student’s and committee’s choosing. Students must have at least 9 8xxx credits (3 8xxx level classes) excluding thesis hours on their final program of study and the majority of credits must have course code CSE. See the Graduate Handbook for additional course policies.
The CS Core ensures students are prepared for graduate study and have a background in computer theory suitable for a graduate in computer science.
Classes designated as theory by the faculty can in advance can be used to substitute for the theory requirement on a case-by-case basis.
The depth requirement allow students to chose where to focus their studies; depth courses (listed below) delve deeper into research areas of the department. All courses in the depth requirement (9 hours) must be from the same area. Courses labeled CSE 6/8990: Special Topics may count towards depth if approved by a student's committee.
The breadth requirement allows students to gain a broader understanding of the computing discipline. These are additional courses (6 credit hours) outside of their depth area; the two courses cannot be in the same area. Courses labeled CSE 6/8990: Special Topics may count towards breadth if their area is different from the other courses.
The department has pre-identified courses and their research areas for choosing depth and breadth courses. If a course is listed in multiple areas, it can count only once on a program of study. The student’s Graduate Committee has final approval of all applicable courses. Currently approved research area courses are listed below; other courses may be used given a committee's approval including some non-CSE courses.
Graduate students must complete at minimum 6 credit hours of graduate research, indicated by CSE 9000 sections under the direction the major professor or thesis director. Thesis hours representing work as a TA or RA cannot be used for this purpose (unless the RA position is tied to the relevant research).
Thesis students have 6 additional credit hours of graduate coursework of their choosing that are not tied to Core or Depth/Breadth. The only restrictions is that CSE 8080 Directed Project cannot be applied.
The Research Concentration of the computer science Masters degree program requires that the degree candidate successfully undertake an independent research project and present the results of the research in a defensible thesis document. These guidelines supplement, but do not supersede, those provided by the Graduate School; see their guidelines for additional details such as the deadlines, exam process, submission steps, format for the dissertation, and so on.
To develop and defend a thesis, the following steps are required:
The Library provides guidelines for the format of theses. Dr. Ramkumar provides a LaTeX template for those wishing to use it, under the disclaimer that Library guidelines are the primary source of formatting and must be consulted at all times.