Thesis/Project Proposal

All MSCS students are required to complete either a research or design project. Design projects must result in a working algorithm or system. Research projects (thesis) must answer a significant research question. All projects (whether research or design) must be approved by the faculty. To get your project approved, you will need to write a project proposal listing your description of your project, specifically:

  • The purpose or problem that the project is meant to address,
  • The approach you plan to employ,
  • The research that justifies your approach,
  • The criteria that determines when the project is complete.

It is recommended that you use the Project Proposal Form as a starting point for your proposal.

All projects require a supervisory committee consisting of your advisor (who will serve as chair) and two other MSCS faculty. Your advisor will be assigned to you when you are accepted into the program, but this assignment may be changed by mutual consent (see the advisors page). The second and third committee members will be assigned later when you propose your project (see below). You may petition for one of the members of your supervisory committee to be outside of the MSCS faculty if you can show the they are an expert in the subject matter.

Once your advisor is comfortable with your proposal, you will need to do the following:

  • Submit your proposal to the program director for assignment of additional committee members, and
  • Schedule an oral presentation of your project proposal and invite all the MSCS Faculty. At a minimum, your supervisory committee should attend.

If, after the presentation, the faculty approves your project, your committee will sign the proposal. Once you have submitted the signed proposal to program director, you will be allowed to register for either CS 6010 (for design projects) or CS 6020 (for research projects). 


Project Proposal Form (Word)