Master’s Thesis

A Master’s Thesis is expected to contain the following items:

  1. Introduction and Motivation
  2. Background of the Research Problem
  3. Related Work (state of the art)
  4. Problem Definition
  5. Technical Solution
  6. Evaluation of Developed Solution
  7. Major Contributions
  8. Conclusions
  9. References/Bibliography

In particular, the review of the state of the art should be thorough and the work performed should advance the state of the art.

Each Master’s Thesis will be read and judged by a thesis committee consisting of the candidate’s supervisor, a faculty member appointed by the supervisor, and a faculty member appointed by the Department through the GPD. The candidate is required to present a seminar on the thesis topic.

To register for MS Thesis (CS 699), the candidate must first obtain the approval of the GPD on the proposal.

Required Format

For more information on the format and procedure for completing the thesis, see ODU’s Thesis & Dissertation Guide. Also see the guides under “Electronic Theses and Dissertations” at the Graduate School page.

Model Journal: Before you submit your thesis to ProQuest, the format must be approved by the College of Sciences.  The College expects that you submit a “model journal” article along with your thesis.  Your thesis format should match the journal for placement of table titles, placement of figure titles, and reference format.  Your advisor may suggest a different model journal, but IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing has been used in the past (see for a model article).

LaTeX Template

Students in the WS-DL group created a Github repository ( for the thesis/dissertation template files.  MS students are encouraged to report issues, fix issues, or contribute useful macros through the Github repo.

The CS Department does not guarantee that the use of this template will result in no formatting edits required by the College, but is just advertising this Github repository for convenience.

Recommended Deadlines

  • Submission of thesis to committee – six weeks prior to the last day of classes for the semester (must be at least two weeks before the defense)
  • MS thesis defense – four weeks prior to the last day of classes for the semester
  • Submission of committee-approved thesis to College of Sciences – three weeks prior to the last day of classes for the semester
  • Submission of approved thesis to ProQuest – generally the last day of exams for the semester (see the official academic calendar for exact deadlines)