Master students are required to complete their capstone experience at the end of their graduate studies. The capstone experience is a 6-credit endeavor where a student works with a faculty advisor to develop a proposal, followed by either a research or a comprehensive special project and document the development process in the form of a formal scientific document with an oral defense.
The capstone process requires that a student first registers for CSC590: Proposal Development which is a 3-credit course where a student works with a faculty advisor in preparing the proposal. The proposal must be reviewed by the advisor, a second reader within the CSC department and finally by the CSC Chairperson. The proposal must be publicly presented to the audience of faculty and peers. Upon the successful presentation, the CSC faculty would recommend whether the proposal is a Thesis or a Special Project. Upon official approval from the School of Graduate Studies, the student next registers either for CSC591: Thesis Completion or CSC595: Special Project Development agreed by the faculty after the proposal presentation. In the Thesis Completion course, the student would proceed with the research project described within the proposal. The complete process and the final results of the research project would be presented in a Thesis document. Once the student is ready she/he would proceed with the Thesis defense. The final Thesis document is then submitted to ProQuest and the final grade for the Thesis Completion is awarded. In the Special Project Development, the student would proceed with the Special Project described within the proposal. The complete process and the final deliverable (typically a computer application) would be presented in a Special Project document. Once the student is ready she/he would proceed with the Special Project defense. The final Special Project document and the deliverable are then submitted to the department, and the final grade for the Special Project development is awarded.
Registering for the Capstone
To register for either of these courses, a student must complete the corresponding Permission to Register form which requires agreement from the student's advisor, the CSC Graduate Coordinator, and the Department Chairperson. The form should be submitted to the CSC Graduate Coordinator who will then request the course creation and automatic registration.
Capstone Document Format
The written style of the thesis must adhere to the School of Graduate Studies guidelines. Beyond the School of Graduate Studies' requirements, the Computer Science Department requires the IEEE style standard. The IEEE 2016 Style Manual can be found on the IEEE site.
After each of the steps (either 590, 591 or 595), the student must collect the committee members (advisor, 2nd reader, Chairperson) signatures in an electronic format. The form is available under the Graduate Studies website. The signed form would be then forwarded to the CSC Graduate Coordinator for further processing.
CSC 590 (Proposal Development)
CSC 591 (Thesis Completion)
CSC 595 (Special Project Development)