Degree Options

There are three options for completing the master of science in CSS degree:

Thesis option

The thesis option was designed for graduate students who are prepared and want to engage in a research project working with one or more Institute faculty members. This research often results in publication in journals or conference proceedings.

If you select the thesis option, you will work with a faculty adviser to produce a thesis proposal. The proposal along with a Proposal to Enroll in MSCSS Capstone is submitted to the Graduate Committee for approval.

After the Graduate Committee approves the proposal, you can register for TCSS 700. A total of 10 credits of TCSS 700 must be completed to meet the degree requirements. These credits are typically taken over two quarters. TCSS 700 is graded as "credit/no credit" so the grades do not count toward your grade-point average.

Capstone project option

The capstone project option was designed for graduate students who want to work on a significant project as part of their graduate program but do not want to take on the responsibility of conducting detailed research. Capstone projects often involve the design, construction and testing of a moderate to large programming project.

If you select the capstone project option, you will work with a faculty adviser to produce a project proposal. The proposal along with a Proposal to Enroll in MSCSS Capstone is submitted to the Graduate Committee for approval.

After the Graduate Committee approves the proposal, you can register for TCSS 702. A total of 10 credits of TCSS 702 must be completed to meet the degree requirements. These credits are typically taken over two quarters. TCSS 702 is graded the same way core and elective courses are graded so the grades count toward your grade-point average.

Course-only option

Students may choose to take an additional three 500-level electives (15 credits) to satisfy their degree requirements in place of capstone courses. This option is provided for students who are primarily interested in a broader education in computer science. Credits awarded for 700 and 702 cannot be counted toward the course-only option.