An overview of requirements and deadlines for non-thesis MS degrees is available.

Listed below are the major steps that should be completed for the MS degrees (thesis Master degrees) in computer science and computer engineering. Much of this information is taken from the Steps to Fulfill Master's Degree Requirements on the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (OGAPS) website and from the Department's Graduate Brochure (pdf).

As noted below, many of the steps have associated OGS forms that need to be submitted. These forms are available on the OGAPS website. In all cases, the student is responsible for filling out the form and getting the signatures of all committee members before bringing the form to the advising office for Departmental approval. In most cases the advising staff will submit the forms to the OGS for the student.

Advisory Committee and Degree Plan

MS students must form an Advisory Committee and file an approved degree plan. Requirements for the composition of the Advisory Committee and degree plans can be found in the Department's Graduate Brochure (pdf).

OGAPS Forms: Degree Plan

Deadline: By the end of the first semester after the student has completed 9 credit hours (normally their second semester) and no later than 90 days prior to the final oral or thesis defense (see OGAPS Dates and Deadlines calendar for precise deadlines).

Thesis Proposal

The student must submit a Master of Science thesis proposal as described in the graduate catalog. An electronic copy in PDF format of the proposal approved by the committee must be emailed to the advising office ( before the student brings the Proposal Approval Page, already signed by the committee, to the advising office for the Department approval signature.

If the thesis research will involve human subjects, animals, infectious biohazards, or recombinant DNA, then the student must check with the Research Compliance Division to ensure that they have met all compliance responsibilities. A copy of the appropriate approved research compliance approval form must be submitted with the research proposal. See the FAQ for information on how to submit the necessary approval forms to the Research Compliance Division.

The department has no additional requirements for the proposal beyond that it be approved by the student's advisory committee (as shown by the submission of the signed Proposal Approval Page) and that it meets any OGAPS requirements. Thus, students should consult with their advisor for guidance on preparing their proposal. As a rule of thumb, most proposals are about 10 pages long (single spaced) and include a description of the problem to be studied, an overview of the related work, a brief summary of any preliminary results, and a description of the research objectives and the planned approach.

OGAPS Forms: Proposal Approval Page

Deadline: The thesis proposal cannot be submitted before the degree plan and it must be submitted at least 15 working days before the the Request to hold the Final Examination (defense) is submitted to OGAPS (or about 4 weeks before the defense). (This is a decrease - it used to be 14 weeks before the defense.) Precise deadlines are listed on the OGAPS Dates and Deadlines calendar.

Apply for Graduation

Students must submit a Degree Plan in order to graduate.

Online Degree Plan Submission System:

Deadline: Normally in the first 1-2 weeks of the semester the student wishes to graduate. Late application will be allowed for an additional fee until later in the semester. Precise deadlines are listed on the OGAPS Dates and Deadlines calendar.

Final Examination (Thesis Defense)

The student must pass a final oral examination given by the Advisory Committee as described in the graduate catalog. Please consult Procedures for M.S. Thesis Defenses for more information on eligibility requirements, and scheduling and administration practices for M.S. Final Exams in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

OGAPS Forms: Request and Announcement of the Final Examination, Report of Final Exam (sent by OGAPS to the Advising Office)

Deadlines: As described in Procedures for M.S. Thesis Defenses, there are eligibility requirements and deadlines for scheduling and reporting on M.S. Final Exams. Final exam deadlines are listed on the OGAPS Dates and Deadlines calendar (usually about 8 weeks before graduation).


A Master of Science thesis as described in the graduate catalog and on the OGAPS website must be submitted. After the thesis has been approved by the student's committee, the student should submit the following items to the advising office:

  • an electronic copy of the thesis in pdf format submitted by email to,
  • a hardcopy of the thesis approval page, already signed by the committee (but not the Department Head), and

The advising office will obtain the Department approval signature. The student will receive an email notifying them that they need to pick up the approval page from the advising office. The student must submit the approval page to the thesis office. Then, the student should submit an electronic copy (PDF format) of the thesis to the Thesis Office.

OGAPS Form: Approval Form

Deadline: Thesis submission deadlines are listed on the OGAPS Dates and Deadlines calendar (usually about 6 weeks before graduation). Final corrected copies of the thesis must be accepted by the thesis clerk no later than one year after the final examination or within the 7-year time limit, whichever occurs first. Failure to do so will result in the degree not being awarded.