Requirements

The requirements for the MS in Computer Science are listed below and are also described in the MS in Computer Science entry in the Graduate Catalog. All of these requirements must be satisfied in addition to the University requirements outlined under the University Requirements for Graduate Degrees in the Graduate Catalog.

Masters of Science (MS) Requirements

Three options are available:

  • Courses-only Option: A minimum of 34 credit hours is required, including 33 credits of course work and one credit of colloquium.
  • Project Option: A minimum of 34 credit hours is required, including 30 credits of course work, three credits of project work and one credit of colloquium. The candidate is required to prepare a written report on the project and to present it orally. The project proposal must be approved by the GPD. For more information, see Master’s Project Details.
  • Thesis Option: A minimum of 31 credit hours is required, including 24 credits of course work, six credits of thesis research and one credit of colloquium. The candidate is required to write a thesis and make an oral presentation of the results. For more information, see Master’s Thesis.

The following core courses are required:

Fall 2017 Catalog (and later) Fall 2016 Catalog (and earlier)
CS 665 (Computer Architecture) CS 550 (Database Concepts)
and one of CS 555 (Intro to Networking and Communication)
CS 500 (Foundations of Computing) CS 600 (Algorithms and Data Structures)
CS 600 (Algorithms and Data Structures) CS 665 (Computer Architecture)

MS students in the thesis option are required to take CS 600 and CS 665 to satisfy the core requirements.

MS with Concentration in CIS Requirements

Three options are available:

  • Courses-only Option: A minimum of 34 credit hours is required, including 33 credits of course work and one credit of colloquium. 18 credits (6 courses) must be CS graduate courses, and 15 credits (5 courses) must be IT graduate courses.
  • Project Option: A minimum of 34 credit hours is required, including 30 credits of course work, three credits of project work and one credit of colloquium. 15 credits (5 courses) must be CS graduate courses, and 15 credits (5 courses) must be IT graduate courses. The candidate is required to prepare a written report on the project and to present it orally. The project proposal must be approved by both the IT GPD and CS GPD. For more information, see Master’s Project Details.
  • Thesis Option: A minimum of 31 credit hours is required, including 24 credits of course work, six credits of thesis research and one credit of colloquium. 12 credits (4 courses) must be CS graduate courses, and 12 credits (4 courses) must be IT graduate courses. The candidate is required to write a thesis and make an oral presentation of the results. For more information, see Master’s Thesis.

There are no core requirements for the CIS concentration.

For all options in the CIS concentration, at least 6 of the CS graduate credits must be taken at the 600-level or 700-level from courses other than CS 697, CS 791, and CS 796.

For more information on IT courses, contact Dr. Li Xu, GPD for the IT program.

Common Requirements

The following requirements are common to both the General MS and the MS with Concentration in CIS.

Colloquium: A one-credit course, CS 690, is required for all students. Register for it in any semester and attend 10 talks before you graduate over any number of semesters. Do not forget to get the attendance forms signed and to submit them to the CS office. See Colloquium Activities for more information.

Comprehensive Examination: Each student is required to pass both an oral and a written comprehensive examination. The outcome of each exam is Pass/Fail. A student who fails either exam will be advised of what to do to improve and must take the exam again. The format of the examination depends upon the option the student is completing:

  • Courses-only – Each student will write a report that includes a listing of all the courses taken, the knowledge gained from these courses, suggestions for improvements, and the overall impression of the MS program experience. The student will then meet with a graduate advisory committee and orally present the report. During the meeting the student will be asked fundamental questions pertaining to the set of listed courses.
  • Project – The final comprehensive examination consists of the project presentation and report.
  • Thesis – The final comprehensive examination consists of the thesis defense and thesis document.

Course Restrictions:

  • At most 12 credits of 500-level courses are counted for your Masters degree.
  • At most 9 credits of any combination of CS 697, 791, and 796 are counted for your Masters degree.
  • At least 3 credits must be taken at the 700-level from courses other than CS 791 and CS 796.
  • You must submit a proposal to the GPD to register for CS 697, CS 698, CS 699, or CS 796.
  • For CS 667 (co-op), go to the Career Management Center for registration. Note that CS 667 does not count towards your degree.

Responsible Conduct of Research Training: Before completing 12 hours of graduate work, all graduate students must complete training on the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). The most applicable RCR course is the one for Engineers.

Time Limit: All requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within eight years.

Graduation: You must apply for graduation at least six months before you plan to graduate. For more information, see the Graduation Checklist and the ODU Graduation Candidates page (make sure to view all of the tabs).