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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. The Master's thesis 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.

    Students often find a committee chair 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.

  3. 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 Department's approval.

    Discuss with each committee member what they expect in your thesis and the procedures to follow in seeking their approval.

  4. 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 Department Chair must approve the committee on ETD. Once this is complete you will have officially formed a committee.

  5. 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 committee must have been formed and all the work required by your committee chair must be complete.

  6. Apply for degree and diploma.

    Apply for graduation the semester before you plan to graduate.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

BREADTH REQUIREMENT (12 units):

Select one course each from four of the following five areas of study.

Algorithms

COMP 610 Data Structures and Algorithms (3)

Systems

COMP 620 Computer System Architecture (3)

Computer Networking

COMP 529/L Advanced Network Topics and Lab (2/1)

Software Engineering

COMP 680 Software Engineering (3)

Foundations

COMP 615 Advanced Topics in Computation Theory (3)
COMP 630 Formal Semantics of Programming Languages (3)

PROJECT/THESIS (6 units)

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 COMP 400, 500, or 600 level, excluding at a minimum COMP 450, 480/L, 482, 490/L, 491L, 494, 496ALG, 499, 696, 698 and 699. 400-level courses can count as electives only if they are "approved for graduate credit" as noted in the University Catalog. (At least 6 units must be at the 500 or 600 level.)

Note: Students with a catalog year before Fall 2020, can select an elective course in place the COMP 529/L breadth requirement.

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 COMP 400, 500, or 600 level, excluding at a minimum COMP 450, 480/L, 482, 490/L, 491L, 494, 496ALG, 499, 696, 698 and 699. 400-level courses can count as electives only if they are "approved for graduate credit" as noted in the University Catalog. At least two of these courses must be from the following list of Software Engineering electives:
COMP 584 Advanced Web Engineering (3)
COMP 585 Graphical User Interfaces (3)
COMP 586 Object-Oriented Software Development (3)
COMP 587 Software Verification and Validation (3)
COMP 589 Software Engineering Metrics (3)