CSS Honors

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Beginning in Autumn 2019, undergraduates in the B.S. Computer Science & Systems major will have the option to pursue program honors. CSS honors is an excellent opportunity for high achieving students to complete advanced coursework and an in-depth research project as preparation for graduate school or to further strengthen their educational experience for industry. 

CSS Honors Student Objectives

  • Develop the ability to understand, analyze, and synthesize scholarly work
  • Practice the work of scholars
  • Develop and practice skills as an independent and critical thinker
  • Improve written and oral communication skills

Students who meet all of the CSS honors requirements will graduate "with Honors in Computer Science and Systems" from the University of Washington. Talk with a SET academic advisor as soon as you decide to pursue honors. Your CSS honors requirements will need to be coded into your DARS and included with your graduation application. 

Find a Research Project

There are many ways for SET students to learn about undergraduate research opportunities.  

  • Check out SET research for information on faculty research areas and ongoing projects. You are welcome to contact faculty directly to express your interest in a project. 
  • Email or meet with an undergraduate advisor to discuss your research interests and to identify potential project matches.  
  • Keep an eye out for email announcements on available undergrad research positions.
  • Email or talk with faculty teaching courses you particularly enjoy. Even if your instructor doesn't have a project you could work on, he/she will be familiar with other faculty research and can point you in the right direction.
  • Email or talk with the CSS program chair Donald Chinn

CSS Honors Graduation Requirements

In addition to completing all degree requirements for the B.S. in CSS, you must meet all of the following requirements to qualify for CSS honors:

  1. Maintain and graduate with a minimum departmental GPA of 3.6 (starting with CSS 321 and 305).
  2. Complete the following as part of your CSS senior elective requirements:
  • 10 credits of graded TCSS 499 research on one project under the supervision of a CSS faculty member. 
    The faculty advisor must be a full-time CSS faculty member. If you are working on a research project in another unit or with a part-time faculty, you must have a full-time CSS faculty member approve the project and sign off on the thesis and presentation. In the rare instance that your original advisor is not able to work with you through completion of the project, another faculty member within the same research area can become your advisor.
  • TCSS 440 (Formal Models in Computer Science) or another 5 credit senior elective (400-level only) in the research area of your Honors Thesis, as determined by you and your faculty advisor. Your faculty advisor must approve the course you take to meet this requirement. 
  1. Give an oral presentation, arranged by you and your faculty advisor, on the honors project. Attendees must include your faculty advisor, the CSS Program Chair (or chair’s designee), and at least five additional people (e.g., other students, faculty). 
  2. Submit a CSS Honors Thesis that meets the following criteria:
  • Well-written, clearly presented document, typically 4000 – 6000 words, that follows CSS Honors Thesis Guidelines
  • Demonstrates original and creative thinking, as judged by the faculty advisor and CSS Program Chair (or chair’s designee).
  • Reflects work done independently under the supervision of a faculty member.
  • Includes a cover page with approval signatures by your faculty advisor and the CSS program Chair.
  • A final approved copy, with all required signatures, must be uploaded into the CSS Honors Thesis Submission Form. In order to ensure the honors designation will be marked on your diploma, thesis submission is due no later than the last day of finals during the quarter in which you plan to graduate.  Earlier submissions are encouraged. 
  1. Application for the honors designation occurs when you file an application for graduation. As stated above, please notify the SET undergraduate advisors as soon as you decide to pursue honors, and double check that honors is included on your graduation application. Your approved thesis must be submitted and all honors requirements must be fulfilled in order for you to graduate with CSS program honors.