The boxes below organize the steps to an MS in CS using the thesis option. Detailed requirements are contained in the MS Program Requirements and MS Thesis Option Requirements pages. If requirements conflict, requirements in the MS Program and MS Thesis Option pages take precedence.

1 Find an Advisor Before or during the first semester

Before admission, and in many cases before applying to the program, identify a professor in the CS department to serve as your advisor. This will involve communicating with potential advisors. Your advisor should be doing research you find interesting and should be someone you get along with.

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2 Form a Committee and Submit Program of Study During the first semester

With your advisor, select 2 other graduate faculty to serve on your thesis committee. Create and submit a study list that satisfies coursework requirements including thesis credit (CS 699R). The study list should also satisfy the breadth requirement.

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3 Update your Grad Profile Twice a year in September and February

Profile updates are used during twice-yearly PhD Progress Reviews. At these reviews, the graduate CS faculty review all PhD students. Students are placed on "satisfactory", "warning", "marginal" or "unsatisfactory" status.

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4 Satisfy Breadth Requirement By completing coursework

Take at least one class from 3 of 4 breadth groups. These classes should also be listed on your study list.

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5 Propose Thesis Before end of 4th semester (1.3 years from admission)

Work with your advisor and committee to create a thesis proposal and then to schedule and hold a thesis proposal presentation. Pass the proposal presentation by the end of your 4th semester. Note that Spring and Summer terms count as a single semester, so 4 semesters is about 1.3 years or 16 months.

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6 Write Thesis Before defending thesis

With your advisor and committee prepare a written thesis that makes a contribution to Computer Science research.

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7 Apply for graduation The semester in which you defend

See Jen Bonnett for details.

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8 Defend thesis Approximately 2 years from admission

When your committee agrees that the thesis is ready to defend, schedule a thesis defense. Please reach out to Jen Bonnett, the Graduate Academic Advisor, early in the semester in which you hope to defend to create a plan to accomplish your goals.

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