Master of Science in Computer Science
All Department of Computer Science requirements are based on and follow University of Arizona Graduate College policies found here: https://grad.arizona.edu/gsas/degree-requirements/masters-degrees
Students can pursue either a thesis or a non-thesis Master’s. The non-thesis option is designed for students to develop more sophisticated programming, theoretical, and applied skills for working in industry. The thesis-based master’s degree is designed for students considering research-based careers, and may pursue a doctoral program. Only the most qualified and well-prepared students are considered for a thesis-based program, and that determination is made after a few semesters in the program. Students who successfully complete an MS degree may command a higher salary and positions with more authority and autonomy in industry.
Elective units must be graduate courses in Computer Science, only one course may be non-CS and must be selected from the list of approved electives. With prior approval, individual studies or research courses may be taken as electives. Internship credit will not count toward degree requirements.
The colloquium course (CSC 695A) consists of attending a minimum of 10 colloquia. Registration for CSC 695A takes place in the semester when a student will finish attending 10 colloquia; the GPC will enroll students.
Students who intend to continue studies in a PhD program should consider pursuing the thesis option, as it will better prepare them for research. Successful completion of a master's thesis requires adequate preparation, original research, and a high degree of independence. Permission to take the thesis option is granted to qualified, motivated, and well-prepared students. In addition to the course work outlined above, students enroll in 6 units of thesis work. Thesis students must pass a final oral examination, which includes a defense of the thesis.
*Note: How to format and archive a dissertation: https://grad.arizona.edu/gsas/dissertations-theses.
Master’s Thesis Committees
Committee must have 3-5 members.
At least half of the committee must have primary, tenure track faculty appointments in the Department of Computer Science. (ex., 2 of 3, 2 of 4, or 3 of 5)
More than half of the committee must have primary or joint tenure track faculty
appointments in the Department of Computer Science.(ex., 2 of 3, 2 of 4, or 3 of 5)
The advisor must have a primary or joint tenure track faculty appointment in the
Department of Computer Science.
Committee must meet all Graduate College Requirements.
GradPath Form Requirements
In order to graduate, students must submit forms via GradPath (found in UAccess Student):
Responsible Conduct of Research: Submit in 1st semester
Plan of Study: Submit before the beginning of 4th semester
Master’s/Specialist Committee Appointment: Submit after the beginning of the 4th semester. Master’s students who are not completing a thesis are not required to report a committee to the Graduate College, but must still complete the Master’s/Specialist Committee Appointment form in GradPath to confirm their advisor.
Verify current address via UAccess Student Center to receive diploma.
Degree Requirements: (Graduate College Requirements)
All requirements for the master's degree must be completed within 6 years to ensure currency of knowledge. Time-to-degree begins with the earliest course listed on the Plan of Study, including credits transferred from other institutions. Work more than 6 years old is not accepted toward degree requirements.
No more than 6 units can be transferred from other accredited institutions. Transfer of credit toward an advanced degree will not be made unless the grade earned was A or B, and unless it was awarded graduate credit at the institution where the work was completed. Grades of transfer work will not be used in computing the student's University of Arizona cumulative grade-point average.
Process for transfer approval:
The student will submit the evaluation of transfer credit form in Grad Path for the University to review and approve the transfer courses. This must be done before the end of the first year of study.
When the courses are approved, the student will meet with the GPC to identify which courses to request for applicability in the degree plan.
The GPC will send the proposal to the Graduate Affairs Committee for review and approval.
The GPC will communicate with the student about which courses have been approved.
Once Department approval is received, the student will submit a plan of study to include those courses and finalize the process.
Graduate Course Substitution Policy
There are times when a course substitution may be appropriate for a student’s plan of study. Master’s students should meet with the Graduate Program Coordinator to discuss the nature of the request and determine if it is appropriate. The Graduate Affairs Committee will review and approve or deny all substitution requests.
*Note: If a student wants to take a class that is not on the curriculum sheet and count it towards a core requirement, the student must petition the Graduate Affairs committee for permission and the GPC will send a request on behalf of the student justifying the use of course to the graduate coordinator.
MS students are not assigned a faculty advisor, unless they choose the thesis option. MS students are encouraged to meet with the GPC regularly to ensure progress to degree.