Computer Science Graduate Thesis Information


Most students write a thesis for their capstone experience in our MS in CS program. The thesis is a 6-credit endeavor where a student works with a thesis advisor to develop a thesis proposal, conduct research and document the research in the form of a formal thesis with an oral defense.


The thesis process requires that a student first registers for CSC590: Thesis I which is a 3-credit course where a student works with an advisor in preparing a thesis proposal (registration described below). The proposal must be read by a second reader within the CSC department and then gets read by an outside reader who assigned by the School of Graduate Studies. Upon official approval from the School of Graduate Studies, the student next registers for CSC591: Thesis II which is also a 3-credit course. For this course, the student conducts the research, defends the work orally, and writes a formal thesis. Again, the written thesis is read by a second reader in the CSC department and by several outside anonymous readers. To successfully pass CSC591, the student must have a successful oral defense and have the approval of the thesis by the School of Graduate Studies. Once both of these milestones have been achieved the thesis advisor will assign a grade for CSC591.

Registering for CSC590 and CSC591

To register for either of these courses, a student must complete the Permission to Register for Thesis form which requires signatures from the student's advisor, the CSC Graduate Coordinator and the Department Chairperson. The form should then be submitted to the Department Chairperson who will then request that a course be created in Banner under your advisor's name. After this is done, the Registrar's Office will contact the student to let he/she know that they can now register for the newly created course.

Thesis Format

First and foremost, the written style of the thesis must adhere to the School of Graduate Studies thesis format guidelines (see "Thesis Format" section). Beyond the School of Graduate Studies' requirements, the Computer Science Department uses the IEEE style standard. This is the style format that the School of Graduate Study is expecting from our department. The IEEE Style Manual can be found on the IEEE site or is also available as a pdf. Here is another site that has proved to be helpful with the proper format and style particularly for references.

Thesis Proposal

When your advisor agrees that you are ready to submit your thesis proposal to the graduate school, complete the Thesis Proposal Signature Sheet, get the necessary signatures and attached the completed form to your proposal. When your thesis proposal is approved by the graduate school, please be sure to send an electronic copy (pdf preferred) to the CSC Graduate Coordinator so that your work can be posted on our Graduate Work web page.

Thesis Procedures

  1. Select the topic of your interest.
  2. Research the current developments in the area, "state-of-the-art".
  3. Develop a thesis to add something new to the area of your interest.
  4. Approach one of our graduate faculty members, someone with expressed interest in the area and obtain her/his agreement to work with you.
  5. Register for CSC590. Please note, completion of 15 credits in Master's program and departmental permission will be required to register for CSC590
  6. Develop your proposal. Proposal should be expressed in "future tense" and followIEEE format. The Office of Graduate Studies has a complete set of guidelines you can find.
  • Cover page
  • Title
  • Literature review
  • Purpose
  • Contributions of the project to the field of study
  • Methodology
  • References
  • Submit your proposal to your faculty advisor for approval.
  • After obtaining your advisor's approval, obtain the approval of the chairperson of the department.
  • The copy of proposal with both signatures should be submitted to the office of graduate studies for their approval.
  • Once approval of all parties granted, you have completed the requirements of CSC590, your advisor may give you a passing grade.
  • Register for CSC591.
  • Develop your thesis using the SCSU thesis guidelines.
  • Submit final report to your advisor for approval.
  • Submit final report to department chair for approval.
  • Submit final report to graduate studies for approval.
  • Have your thesis microfilmed by Bell and Howell.
  • If you wish to copyright your thesis contact the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • Arrange a date and time for presentation of your thesis to the members of the department and SCSU community.