In order to help you plan and record your progress toward a degree, an excel workbook is available from your adviser or the Director.
The M.S. in Computing program has two main options. In the coursework option, students compile 36 semester hours through classes, seminars, independent study, and optional practicum credits. Credits for a practicum are not available in the thesis option. The thesis option requires 24 semester hours and a thesis that adds another 6 semester hours for a total of 30 semester hours. More details are presented below.
The thesis process generally begins with student interest in a problem. This leads to a more formal identification of a problem and a compelling reason why the problem needs a solution or needs a better solution. The problem must be one faced by multiple organizations and the findings of the research must be widely applicable. In the M.S. in Computing program, the problem may arise from any of the perspectives of computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, information technology or information systems.
The six thesis credits are awarded for the preparation and deliver of a written report and oral defence of research and findings. Research efforts vary from proposing and analyzing algorithms (the computer science perspective) to increasing the understanding of the role of information in business operations (the information systems perspective).
The practicum is not required for most students in the coursework option, but it is required in some specializations; it is available to the student approaching graduation. It consists of applying knowledge gained in the course of study to a challenging assignment and reporting the results. The practicum focuses on the delivery of a practical solution to a problem faced by an organization engaged in applying computing. The problem addressed and the solution delivered can be specific to the organization sponsoring the practicum. It is typically a work assignment resulting from either full-time employment or an internship. The practicum requires a faculty sponsor.
The Integrated Practicum is a variant of the practicum that is a element of a special curriculum path. In this curriculum path, students must work part time each semester in the program while they study full time. More information about this option is available at Integrated Practicum.