Requirements specific to the MS Project program are given below. These requirements are in addition to the general MS in CS Requirements. Requirements specific to the MS Project program do not apply to the MS Thesis program.

The MS Project itself is completed during a single semester. Before that semester, the student completes and turns in a 698R Proposal Form. During the semester, the student and completes CS 698R. At the end of the semester, the student presents the project to a faculty committee.

MS Project Coursework Requirements

The thesis option requires 24 credits and the project option requires 30 credits subject to the requirements below:

  • Take at least one course from three of the breadth groups listed below.
  • All courses must be at the 400-level or above, including at least 4 500- or 600-level CS courses and no more than 3 400-level CS courses (excluding CS 404 & 405).
  • Graduate Studies does not accept online courses to count towards the Program of Study.
  • Up to 4 500- or 600-level courses, that are relevant to your CS research, may come from outside the CS department.
  • Only one CS 697R may be used. A CS 697R proposal form must be completed, signed and emailed to the Graduate Academic Advisor by the first day of classes in the semester/term you intend to take the course.
  • Complete any background courses specified in admission letter. This might include CS 240 or CS 312, or both.
  • For the project option, complete an additional 3 hours of CS 698R. Note that CS 698R includes a proposal which must be completed by the first day of classes in the semester in which CS 698R is taken. See the Project Requirements section for details.

Fill out your program of study here. This should be completed by the end of the first semester in the program.

Initiating a CS 698R Project

By the end of the 3rd semester, find a graduate faculty advisor who agrees to work with you on a project.

By the first day of classes in the semester/term you intend to take the course, the student and faculty advisor complete the CS 698R Proposal Form and prepare a short proposal describing the project. The proposal focuses on specific activities and clearly-defined deliverables, approved by the faculty advisor and then by the Graduate Coordinator.  The proposal should include a checklist of deliverables that will be demonstrated in the final presentation. Plan to meet weekly with your faculty advisor during the semester you work on the project. Email the form and the proposal to the Graduate Academic Advisor. After the project is approved by the Graduate Coordinator, an add code for CS 698R will be emailed to the student. The add-code must be used prior to the add/drop deadline.

You will be expected to put 125-150 hours of work into the project during that semester. CS 698R is a pass/fail class. It is expected that you will only take this class once.

Working on a Project

Track hours worked on the project and keep a week-by-week log of hours spent working on the project, split into categories such as design, coding, writing, etc.

By the middle of the semester (by the end of the 9th week or during the 4th week in a term), produce a draft report, also focused on deliverables. Email a copy of the draft to the Graduate Academic Advisor, the Graduate Coordinator, and faculty advisor. The student and faculty advisor discuss the draft report, review the time log, go over the write-up, and make scope adjustments if needed. This contributes to the student having a meaningful and culminating writing experience.  Additional reviewing iterations are recommended, but optional.

Prepare a final written scientific project report, including at least an executive summary, an introduction, a project description, a validation section, and a conclusion.

Completing a Project

Written Project Report

The MS project report document should be submitted to the Graduate Academic Advisor, the Graduate Coordinator, and the faculty advisor by the final day of classes in the semester in which the student takes CS 698R. The document must be about 15 double-spaced pages. The project report should provide necessary background and then argue that a significant piece of work was needed. The contributions should reflect the importance of the work. A summary of the project's time log must also be included.

Under the "Ready for Defense" milestone in Graduate Progress, send requests to committee members to "Certify Ready for Defense" and fill in project title.

Project Presentations

Oral Presentation:

Project presentations will be held at the end of the semester during finals week. Two members of the Graduate Committee, together with the faculty advisor for each project, make up the student's committee. The committee members may not be acquainted with the topic of the presentations. The student presents for 15 minutes after which there are 5 minutes for questions and comments. During the project report presentation, the student must answer committee member's questions on such areas as method, significance, organization, and project itself. The Committee reviews the time log, and checks off deliverables as the student presents. If all deliverables are satisfactory, the student passes. If not, the Committee may discuss and advise as to whether the student passes with qualifications or fails.

Possible Examination Outcomes:

  • Pass
  • Pass with qualifications - Revisions to project may be required.
  • Fail - Fail the oral exam and be terminated from the graduate program.

Each faculty member will enter the decision in Graduate Progress under the "Project Defense" milestone.

MS Project Graduation Instructions

  • Schedule an appointment with the Graduate Academic Advisor (graduate@cs.byu.edu) at the beginning of the semester in which you would like to graduate.
  • Be registered for at least 2 credit hours (either 2 hours of 698R or a class that is on your program of study)
  • Check your Graduate Progress Report (in myBYU) for any deficient courses. Submit a Program of Study Change Form if necessary.
  • Apply for graduation by the Graduate Studies Deadline.

Application for Graduation

If students miss the graduation deadlines for any given semester they must register for at least 2 hours or pay the equivalent minimum registration fee and will graduate the following semester. Please contact the Graduate Academic Advisor with questions about these deadlines. You can apply online at the Graduate Studies website.

Students cannot apply for MS graduation unless they have (a) completed all of their coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, (b) are enrolled in or have successfully completed CS 698R, and (c) have a current ecclesiastical endorsement.

If a student does not successfully meet all the graduation requirements for the semester in which they applied to graduate, the student needs to contact the Graduate Academic Advisor to have their name removed from the graduation queue. They will need to reapply for graduation at a later date. There is no fee for graduate students to apply for graduation.