Computer Science Departmental degree requirements for the master’s degree, which are in addition to those established by the College of Engineering and the Graduate School, are as follows for Plan I and Plan II students.

Master of Science–Thesis Option (PLAN I): 30 Credit Hours

Each candidate must earn a minimum of 24 semester hours of credit for coursework, plus a 6-hour thesis under the direction of a faculty member. Unlike the general College of Engineering requirements, graduate credit may not be obtained for courses at the 400-level.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Credit Hours
The student must successfully complete 30 total credit hours, as follows:

  • 24 hours of CS graduate-level course work
  • 6 hours of CS 599 Master’s Thesis Research: Thesis Research.
  • Completion of at least one 500-level or 600-level course in each of the three core areas (software, systems and theory). These courses must be taken within the department and selected from the following:
    • Software: CS 503, CS 507, CS 515, CS 516, CS 520, CS 534, CS 544, CS 545, CS 600, CS 603, CS 630
    • Systems: CS 526, CS 538, CS 548, CS 567, CS 581, CS 606, CS 613, CS 618
    • Theory: CS 570, CS 575, CS 602, CS 612
  • No more than 12 hours from CS 591, CS 592, CS 691, CS 692 and non-CS courses may be counted towards the coursework requirements for the master’s degree. Courses taken outside of CS are subject to the approval of the Graduate Program Director and the student’s advisor (where applicable). Students should contact the Graduate Program Director and their Advisor (where applicable) prior to registering for courses outside of CS.

Additional Requirements

  • The student will select a thesis advisor and a thesis committee. The committee must contain at least four members, including the thesis advisor. At least two members are faculty of the Computer Science department, and at least one member must be from outside the Department of Computer Science.
  • The student will develop a written research proposal. This should contain an introduction to the research area, a review of relevant literature in the area, a description of problems to be investigated, an identification of basic goals and objectives of the research, a methodology and timetable for approaching the research, and an extensive bibliography.
  • The student will deliver an oral presentation of the research proposal, which is followed by a question-and-answer session that is open to all faculty members and which covers topics related directly or indirectly to the research area. The student’s committee will determine whether the proposal is acceptable based upon both the written and oral presentations.
  • The student will develop a written thesis that demonstrates that the student has performed original research that makes a definite contribution to current knowledge. Its format and content must be acceptable to both the student’s committee and the Graduate School.
  • The student will defend the written thesis. The defense includes an oral presentation of the thesis research, followed by a question-and-answer session. The student’s committee will determine whether the defense is acceptable.
  • The student will complete an oral comprehensive exam. This exam is scheduled with the Department Head prior to the semester in which the student intends to graduate.
  • Other requirements may be specified by the Graduate School and by the College of Engineering.

Master of Science–Non-Thesis Option (PLAN II): 30 Credit Hours

Each candidate must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit for coursework, which may include a 3-hour non-thesis project under the direction of a faculty member. Unlike the general College of Engineering requirements, graduate credit may not be obtained for courses at the 400-level.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Credit Hours
The student must successfully complete 30 total credit hours, as follows:

  • Completion of at least one 500-level or 600-level course in each of the three core areas (software, systems and theory). These courses must be taken within the department and selected from the following:
    • Software: CS 503, CS 507, CS 515, CS 516, CS 520, CS 534, CS 545, CS 600, CS 603, CS 630
    • Systems: CS 526, CS 538, CS 548, CS 567, CS 581, CS 606, CS 613, CS 618
    • Theory: CS 570, CS 575, CS 602, CS 612
  • No more than 12 hours from CS 591, CS 592, CS 691, CS 692 and non-CS courses may be counted towards the coursework requirements for the master’s degree. Courses taken outside of CS are subject to the approval of the Graduate Program Director and the student’s advisor (where applicable). Students should contact the Graduate Program Director and their Advisor (where applicable) prior to registering for courses outside of CS.
  • The student may elect to replace 3 hours of course work with 3 hours of CS 598 Research Not Related to Thesis: Non-thesis Project. This course should be proposed in writing in advance, approved by the instructor, and a copy placed in the student’s file. The proposal should specify both the course content and the specific deliverables that will be evaluated to determine the course grade.

Additional Requirements

  • The student will complete an oral comprehensive exam. This exam is scheduled with the Department Head prior to the semester in which the student intends to graduate.
  • Other requirements may be specified by the Graduate School and by the College of Engineering.

Timetable for the Submission of Graduate School Forms for an MS Degree

Plan I (thesis option) students

  • After a successful thesis proposal defense, the student should submit the Appointment/Change of a Masters Thesis Committee form
  • After a successful thesis defense, the student should submit the Committee Acceptance Form for Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (Contact your advisor or the Graduate Program Director to initiate this form)
  • The semester before, or no later than the first week in the semester in which you plan to graduate, you should Apply for Graduation in myBama

Plan II (courses-only) students

  • The semester before, or no later than the first week in the semester in which you plan to graduate, you should Apply for Graduation in myBama.
  • In the semester in which you plan to graduate, the Graduate Program Director will contact you about the Comprehensive Exam.

Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP)

The Computer Science Department participates in the Accelerated Masters Program (AMP). This program allows undergraduate students to earn both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in 5 years. Learn more about AMP on the graduate school’s Accelerated Masters Program page.

Begin an AMP application

When applying to the AMP program please note the following:

  • You must have completed CS300 and CS301 before applying.
  • You must have a major GPA of at least 3.3.
  • You do not need to take the GRE.
  • You do not need to provide letters of recommendation.
  • You will need a statement of purpose that explains why you want to get a Master’s degree.
  • In the “Specialty Area” portion of the application, enter “AMP”

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For additional information about the master of science program, contact Dr. Jeffrey Carver or your thesis advisor.