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Computer Science Department Graduate Programs

The following page is presents information on the CSUN Computer Science Department Graduate Programs.

CSUN Computer Science - Graduate Programs - Current Students

Degree Requirements

Once you have been accepted to one of the graduate programs offered by the Computer Science Department and become classified, you complete your graduate coursework and carry out your thesis work.

As part of your thesis work, you will complete a large project and prepare a Master's thesis. The work is carried out as part of a two course series, COMP 696C and COMP 698C, under the guidance of your advisor/committee chair and the other members of your committee.

Steps to Completing Your Thesis Work

  1. Become classified.
  2. Select a Computer Science Department faculty member who will agree to serve as your graduate advisor/committee chair.

    An important part of your graduate work is selecting an graduate advisor, who will serve as your committee chair. Your advisor may request that you take certain classes, complete a specific project, and/or follow certain guidelines when completing your thesis work. Choose an advisor, who will agree to serve as your committee chair, by speaking with members of the faculty whose research interests best match yours.

  3. Complete some of your coursework.

    Students often form a committee after having completed the core classes and having begun taking some electives.  This gives you the opportunity to choose some of your electives so they are relevant to your thesis topic. Do not wait to form your committee until you have completed all your course work because you may be asked by your committee to take additional classes that pertain to your thesis work.

    No course taken more than seven years prior to the date on which all requirements for the degree are completed may be counted as part of the degree program. No time limit applies to courses taken to satisfy prerequisites.

  4. Prepare a proposal.

    The proposal must be typed, is typically about 5 pages long, and should be free of spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors. Prepare your proposal with the care and precision you would any important document.

  5. With the help of your committee chair, select your committee members.

    Committees must be composed of at least three people, including your committee chair. Aside from the committee chair, another Computer Science faculty member must serve as a committee member. The third member may be from any department, including Computer Science. Normally this member is from the College of Engineering and Computer Science, but may be from any department at CSUN or from off-campus. If you select an off-campus individual to be your third committee member you must first obtain the graduate coordinator's approval.

    Discuss with each committee member what they expect in your thesis and the procedures to follow in seeking their approval. Before agreeing to serve on your committee, faculty members will want to read and approve your proposal.

  6. Obtain approval and submit your proposal to the graduate coordinator for official filing.

    Your committee chair and the graduate coordinator must sign and approve your proposal.

  7. Complete the Planning Form through the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) system.

    All committee members, including your committee chair, must agree to serve on your committee by approving your planning form on the ETD system. Also, the graduate coordinator must approve the committee on ETD. Once this is complete you will have officially formed a committee.

  8. Enroll in and successfully complete COMP 696C.

    To enroll in COMP 696C, an R-form must be completed and approved. To receive credit for COMP 696C, a proposal must have been approved by your committee and the graduate coordinator, a committee must have been formed, and all your project work must be complete.

  9. Apply for degree and diploma.

    Apply for graduation the semester before you plan to graduate. The form and payment is submitted to Admissions and Records in Bayramian Hall.

  10. In a following semester enroll in and successfully complete COMP 698C.

    To enroll in COMP 698C, an R-form must also be completed and approved.

  11. Attend at least two other defenses. Complete and submit V-forms, thesis attendance forms, to the graduate coordinator.

    All graduate students must visit two Master's defenses before presenting their own defense. You should bring a blank V-form to the defense you visit, so that you may fill it out and get the appropriate signatures.

  12. Prepare and submit your thesis.

    Thesis drafts will be reviewed by your committee chair numerous times throughout your final semester. As a minimum, submit a thesis draft to your committee chair for final review by the beginning of the ninth week of classes of the semester you intend to graduate. Submit the final review draft of the thesis to all members of the committee by the end of the twelfth week of the semester in which you wish to graduate.

    Follow the steps and deadlines outlined by the ETD system for submitting a draft thesis for formatting review and the final draft of your thesis. The Graduate Office will contact you if formatting changes need to be made to your thesis.

  13. Defend your thesis.

    To schedule your defense consult with you committee members and find a good day and time. Prepare and submit a defense announcement form to the Department office, at least one week before the scheduled date of defense. The defense must be scheduled prior to the final thesis draft submission deadline.

Coursework Requirements for M.S. in Computer Science Degree

BREADTH REQUIREMENT (9 units): Select one course each from three of the following four areas of study.
COMP 610 Data Structures and Algorithms (3 units)

COMP 620 Computer System Architecture (3 units)

COMP 615 Advanced Topics in Computation Theory (3 units)
COMP 630 Formal Semantics of Programming Languages (3 units) (Not currently being offered)

Software Engineering:
COMP 680 Software Engineering (3 units)

COMP 696C Directed Graduate Research (3 units) (CR/NC)
COMP 698C Thesis or Graduate Project (3 units)

ELECTIVES (15 units): The student will select five elective Computer Science courses at the 400, 500, or 600 level approved by the Project/Thesis Committee Chair, the Graduate Coordinator, and the Department Chair, excluding COMP 450, 480/L, 482, 490/L, 491L, 494, 496ALG, 499, 696, 698 and 699. (At least 6 units must be at the 500 or 600 level.)

Coursework Requirements for M.S. in Software Engineering Degree

BREADTH REQUIREMENT (12 units): The student must complete the following four courses:
COMP 582 Requirements Analysis and Specification (3 units) (Formerly numbered 682)
COMP 583 Software Engineering Management (3 units) (Formerly numbered 686)
COMP 680 Advanced Topics in Software Engineering (3 units)
COMP 684 Software Architecture and Design (3 units)

PROJECT/THESIS (6 units): The student must complete either a group project or a thesis in the area of Software Engineering.
COMP 696C Directed Graduate Research (3 units) (CR/NC)
COMP 698C Thesis or Graduate Project (3 units)

ELECTIVES (12 units): The student will select four elective Computer Science courses at the 400, 500, or 600 level approved by the Project/Thesis Committee Chair, the Graduate Coordinator, and the Department Chair, excluding COMP 450, 480/L, 482, 490/L, 491L, 494, 496ALG, 499, 696, 698 and 699. At least two of these courses must be from the following list of Software,
Engineering electives:
COMP 584 Advanced Web Engineering (3 units)
COMP 585 Graphical User Interfaces (3 units)
COMP 586 Object-Oriented Software Development (3 units)
COMP 587 Software Verification and Validation (3 units)
COMP 589 Software Engineering Metrics (3 units)