Master’s Program

Master’s Degree Overview

The CISE Department offers the Master of Science degree through the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering:

  • M.S. in Computer Engineering
  • M.E. in Computer Engineering
  • M.S. in Computer Science
  • M.S. in Digital Arts and Sciences

The M.S. in Digital Arts and Sciences is a computer science degree for students with an interest in the technical aspects of graphics and simulation. Students take a core of 6 credits in this area and can then take additional computer science and art courses to finish their degrees. For further information, contact the director of the program, Joshua Fox.

and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences:

  • M.S. in Computer Science

Master’s Degree General Requirements

Master’s students may choose between the thesis and the non-thesis options. The total credit hours required for either option are 30. Up to 9 credits earned from another accredited institution may be transferred and must be applied during the first term of enrollment. For the thesis option, 6 credits of CIS 6971 are required and counted towards the 30-credit requirement. The student should choose one option when the supervisory committee is formed, and any subsequent change in option is subject to approval by the supervisory committee. The Graduate School requires that any change in option be completed at least one full semester prior to the intended date of graduation. (Note that once a student has taken the master’s examination or has attempted a thesis defense, the option cannot be changed.)

A student seeking a Master’s degree in the College of Engineering may become a candidate for the Master of Engineering degree, provided the student has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from an ABET-accredited program or has taken sufficient engineering core coursework to meet the minimum requirements specified by ABET. Students who do not meet this requirement will be candidates for the Master of Science degree.

Master’s Supervision

Every entering M.S. graduate student should attend the New Student Orientation, usually given right before or at the beginning of Fall and Spring semester. The Graduate Advisor provides general advisement for all new students upon entering the graduate program.

If the thesis option is chosen, the student must form a supervisory committee no later than the end of the second semester of enrollment. The committee chairman henceforth becomes the student’s advisor. The student should consult the advisor for advice in creating and pursuing a plan of study. The supervisory committee must comprise of at least two members (including the committee chair).

Course and GPA Requirements

All Master’s students must satisfy core and elective course requirement. The course requirement varies from Master’s degree programs. Transferring any core course from outside of CISE to satisfy any course requirement must be approved by the Graduate Affairs Committee (see “Establishing Equivalencies for Core Courses” below).

According to Graduate School rule, students must maintain a 3.0 overall GPA, as well as a cumulative 3.0 GPA for all courses taken from CISE, to graduate.

Course and Credit Requirements

Through the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

M.S. in Computer Engineering

Required Core Courses:

  • CDA 5155 Computer Architecture Principles
  • COT 5405 Analysis of Algorithms
  • Two from the following three courses:

Course and Credit Requirement for Thesis Option:

  • 12 CISE Graduate core credits
  • 6 Master thesis research credits (CIS 6971)
  • 12 other CISE graduate-level credits:
    • Minimum of 6 credits MUST be taken from CISE graduate-level courses.
    • Maximum 6 credits outside the department MAY be taken with approval from the Graduate Affairs Committee.
      • Up to 3 credits of EGN 5949 (Internship) allowed.

Course and Credit Requirement for Non-Thesis Option:

  • 12 CISE graduate core credits.
  • 18 other CISE graduate-level credits.
    • Minimum of 9 credits MUST be taken from CISE graduate-level courses.
    • Maximum 9 credits outside the department MAY be taken with approval from the Graduate Affairs Committee.
      • Up to 3 credits of EGN 5949 (internship) allowed.
M.E. in Computer Engineering

Required Core Courses:

  • COT 5405 Analysis of Algorithms
  • Three from the following five courses:

Course and Credit Requirement for Thesis Option:

  • 12 CISE Graduate core credits
  • 6 Master thesis research credits (CIS 6971)
  • 12 other CISE graduate-level credits:
    • Minimum of 6 credits MUST be taken from CISE graduate-level courses.
    • Maximum 6 credits outside the department MAY be taken with approval from the Graduate Affairs Committee.
      • Up to 3 credits of EGN 5949 (Internship) allowed.

Course and Credit Requirement for Non-Thesis Option:

  • 12 CISE graduate core credits.
  • 18 other CISE graduate-level credits.
    • Minimum of 12 credits MUST be taken from CISE graduate-level courses.
    • Maximum 6 credits outside the department MAY be taken with approval from the Graduate Affairs Committee.
      • Up to 3 credits of EGN 5949 (internship) allowed.
M.S. in Computer Science

Required Core Courses:

  • COT 5405 Analysis of Algorithms
  • Three from the following five courses:

Course and Credit Requirement for Thesis Option:

  • 12 CISE Graduate core credits
  • 6 Master thesis research credits (CIS 6971)
  • 12 other CISE graduate-level credits:
    • Minimum of 6 credits MUST be taken from CISE graduate-level courses.
    • Maximum 6 credits outside the department MAY be taken with approval from the Graduate Affairs Committee.
      • Up to 3 credits of EGN 5949 (Internship) allowed.

Course and Credit Requirement for Non-Thesis Option:

  • 12 CISE graduate core credits.
  • 18 other CISE graduate-level credits.
    • Minimum of 12 credits MUST be taken from CISE graduate-level courses.
    • Maximum 6 credits outside the department MAY be taken with approval from the Graduate Affairs Committee.
      • Up to 3 credits of EGN 5949 (internship) allowed.
M.S. in Digital Arts and Sciences

Required Core Courses (6 credits):

Additional core courses (12 credits):

Course and Credit Requirement for Thesis Option or Project in Lieu of Thesis Option:

  • 18 CISE graduate core credits.
  • 6 master thesis credits (CIS 6971)
  • 6 additional 5000 or 6000-level credits (May include a maximum of 3 credits CIS 6905)

and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences:

M.S. in Computer Science

Required Core Courses:

  • COT 5405 Analysis of Algorithms
  • Two from the following five courses:
    • COT 5615 Mathematics for Intelligent Systems
    • COT 6315 Formal Languages and Computer Theory
    • CNT 5106C Computer Networks
    • COP 5536 Advanced Data Structures
    • COP 5556 Programming Languages Principles

Course and Credit Requirement for Thesis Option:

  • 9 CISE Graduate core credits
  • 6 Master thesis research credits (CIS 6971)
  • At least 15 other graduate-level credits:
    • Minimum of 6 credits MUST be taken from CISE graduate-level courses.
      • Up to 1 credit of CIS 6935 (Graduate Seminar) allowed.
      • Up to 3 credits of CIS 6905 (Individual Study) allowed.
      • EXCLUDES CIS 6910, CIS 6940.
    • Minimum 6 credits MUST be taken outside the department - courses must have the approval from the Graduate Affairs Committee
      • At least 3 credits must be offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (taken from the approved list of courses).
      • Up to 3 credits of EGN 5949 (Internship) allowed.
  • The student's program must form a coherent specialization which must be approved by the CISE Graduate Affairs Committee.

Course and Credit Requirement for Non-Thesis Option:

  • 9 CISE graduate core credits.
  • 21 other graduate-level credits.
    • Minimum of 9 credits MUST be taken from CISE graduate-level courses.
      • Up to 1 credit of CIS 6935 (Graduate Seminar) allowed.
      • Up to 3 credits of CIS 6905 (Individual Study) allowed.
      • EXCLUDES CIS 6910, CIS 6940.
    • Minimum 9 credits MUST be taken outside the department - courses must have the approval from the Graduate Affairs Committee.
      • At least 3 credits must be offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (taken from the approved list of courses).
      • Up to 3 credits of EGN 5949 (internship) allowed.
  • The student's program must form a coherent specialization which must be approved by the CISE Graduate Affairs Committee.

Establishing Equivalencies for Core Courses

If you believe that you have taken a course, including undergraduate coursework that is equivalent to a graduate-level core course in our department, you will need to:

  • Obtain a copy of your complete final transcript from your prior institution.
  • Prepare a copy of the course syllabus and catalog description of the equivalent course as well as any supporting material such as exams, projects, and homework.
  • Bring these items and a completed Equivalency Form to the instructor who teaches the core course for an equivalency decision.
  • Return the completed Equivalency Form to Adrienne L. Cook, E405 CSE.

Note: The equivalency process differs from the process of either transferring your degree or transferring credits toward your degree. The transfer of credit process may be initiated with the graduate academic advisor after the third week of classes.

Master’s Examination

All Master’s students are required to pass an examination within six months prior to graduation. Students must be appropriately registered in their final term (three credit hours for Fall and Spring semesters and two credit hours for Summer semesters. Students with thesis option must register for three credits of CIS 6971 Master’s Research in the final term. A graduation workshop is held every semester for graduating students to review graduation requirements.

Students with thesis option are examined primarily on their thesis topic. The scope of the thesis will be determined by the student’s supervisory committee. Each student must request that the oral examination be scheduled, in concurrence with the Supervisory Committee Chair. The examination announcement must be posted by the Student Services Center a minimum two weeks prior to the examination. Committee members must be provided a copy of the thesis one week prior to the examination.

Non-thesis option students are given a brief written examination after they have satisfied all course and grade requirements. The exam requires general computer science engineering knowledge and may be administered in conjunction with the Exit Interview. Questions regarding the exam and/or Exit Interview should be directed to a graduate advisor.

Applying to Enter the Ph.D. Program for CISE Master’s Students

CISE Master’s students may apply to enter the Ph.D. program. A statement of purpose and three reference letters from CISE graduate faculty are required. The student’s graduate record will be reviewed and evaluated by the admissions committee for entry into the Ph.D. program.

All Master’s-to-Ph.D. decisions will be made in the early spring for the fall semester entry date. All materials should be submitted to the grad admissions officer at the Student Services Center before February 1.

Progress Toward the Master’s Degree

All requirements for the Master’s degree shall be completed within seven years after enrollment. Full-time students are expected to finish their requirements within three years. If a student fails to do this, a decision will be made by the Graduate Affairs Committee as to whether the student should continue in the program. The decision is based on a recommendation by the student’s advisor as well as on each student’s progress towards the completion of the master’s degree.

Masters Minor

To obtain a Master’s minor, a non-CISE student earning a Master’s in another department must complete one systems area graduate core course, one theory area graduate core course, and one elective graduate course, each with a grade of B or better. In addition, the Graduate Coordinator will serve as a minor representative on a Master’s committee of the major department. See information sheet.

Systems Core Courses:

  • CDA 5155 Computer Architecture Principles
  • CNT 5106C Computer Networks
  • COP 5556 Programming Language Principles
  • COP 5615 Distributed Operating System Principles

Theory Core Courses: