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Graduate Program

Guidelines for Computer Science Master's Thesis

Candidates in the Computer Science Master of Science degree program must complete a Master's Thesis based on original research. The thesis is six credits, supervised by a faculty advisor, graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis, and submitted to the Office of Graduate Education.

The thesis should present an original research contribution, which is also the subject of a paper submitted for publication. The research contribution may be part of a larger project with multiple investigators. In this case, the paper submitted for publication may have multiple authors, including more than one MS student; however, each MS student must submit an individual thesis that clearly identifies the student's individual contributions.

In addition, the thesis should demonstrate a student's skill in problem-solving and application of software engineering principles such as algorithm and data-structure design, programming language and software systems usage, program testing and debugging, and software documentation.

Students must register for CSCI-6990 Master's Research prior to completion of the thesis, but normally earlier (even in the first semester of the program) as they begin exploratory research for the thesis. It is not necessary to take all six of the required CSCI-6990 credits in the same term.

The Office of Graduate Education regulations in the Rensselaer Catalog for Master's Theses apply, including the following. Theses are graded either S (satisfactory) or U (failed). The thesis must be presented to the candidate's advisor for review at least one week before the Office of Graduate Education's MS thesis submission deadline. The candidate must deposit a copy of the thesis, together with the advisor's written approval of both content and format, at the Office of Graduate Education by the MS thesis submission deadline. The Office of Graduate Education must certify that the approved document has been deposited before the degree is awarded. Only work meeting the highest standards of integrity will be accepted for degree requirements at Rensselaer. Academic integrity is a requirement of continued good academic standing and for the awarding of a graduate degree.

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