Master of Science Degree

Oklahoma State University

The guidelines on this web site describe departmental requirements for the Master of Science degree program in Computer Science (CS) at Oklahoma State University. Admission requirements are also included.

These guidelines are those of the Computer Science Department. Certain other regulations are imposed by the Oklahoma State University Graduate School and are described in the Oklahoma State University Catalog. It is the student's responsibility to satisfy all requirements of the Computer Science Department and the Graduate College.

Graduate students are expected to participate in the professional activities of the department. This includes attending seminars and colloquia, and suggesting improvements in curriculum and teaching.

Requirements for Admission:

In addition to the requirements listed in the Catalog, students must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university;
  2. Either a "B" average or better during the last two years of studies or a substantial demonstration of mature performance in an industrial environment;
  3. A TOEFL score of 550 (213 on-line) or better for international students;
  4. Successful completion of an 8-hour calculus sequence;
  5. An undergraduate major in computer science or significant course work or work experience in computer science.
  6. Specify an area of interest for the M.S. thesis.

A student well prepared for M.S. study should have a good background in mainstream computer science. This includes experience with procedural programming languages (e.g., Ada, C, C++, Java, Pascal, or Smalltalk), and non-procedural languages (e.g., Lisp, Prolog, or ML); background in computer architecture or assembly language, data structures, operating systems, software engineering, and related mathematics (e.g., mathematical logic, discrete mathematics, and calculus). A student who lacks experience in some of these areas may be admitted with deficiencies listed.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE): Applicants must take the general test. The GRE subject exam in computer science is recommended but not required. There are no minimum requirements for admission, either on grades or on GRE scores; each application is considered and judged as a whole by the Graduate Committee.

The TOEFL for international applicants is a matter for the Graduate College rather than for the department. The Graduate College will not forward an international application to the department until the applicant has satisfied whatever TOEFL requirement, if any, is required for that applicant. Even if a TOEFL score is high enough for admission, the Graduate College may require a newly admitted international student to take one three-hour English course. If this is the case, it will be specified on the Certificate of Admission that is sent to the applicant when he or she is admitted.

For Graduate College rules and procedures, please see

http://gradcollege.okstate.edu and/or
http://grad.okstate.edu .

The Graduate College can be contacted by telephone at (405)744-6368.

For questions about Computer Science Department rules and procedures, send email to the gradcoord address at cs.okstate.edu.

Nominal deadlines for application to CS graduate study are March 1 for study beginning in a fall semester and August 1 for a spring semester. The application cannot be considered until all of these materials are received by the department. Send all application materials to the Graduate College. Application forms are available at gradcollege.okstate.edu.

Send all application materials to the Graduate College.

M.S. Degree Requirements:

  1. Thesis Option:
        1. The thesis option plan for a M.S. degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level course work. The course work must include:
          • core courses - 12 credit hours - 5113, 5313, 5323, and 5413;
          • elective courses - 12 credit hours of which at most 3 hours may be from outside the CS Department;
          • M.S. thesis research courses- 6 credit hours.
          • The student must receive a grade of "B" or better for each course used to satisfy the above requirements. However, up to a maximum of two "C" grades will be accepted, if they are offset by "A" grades in other courses. Only one "C" is accepted in a core course, and it must be offset by an "A" in a core course. All grades in prerequisite courses must be "B" or better.
          • CS 4323 and 4343 cannot be put on any plan of study of a Computer Science graduate student. This means that required prerequisites and certain other courses can no longer be counted as electives toward a graduate degree in Computer Science at OSU. For a course from any OSU department other than Computer Science to be included on a plan of study for a Computer Science graduate student, the course must carry graduate credit and be numbered 5000 or higher.
        2. Prior to enrolling in the 17th hour of course work, a student must select a graduate faculty member from within the department to serve as the student's principal advisor. The principal advisor helps the student formulate an advisory committee. The advisory committee is a group of three graduate faculty members (including the principal advisor); the committee may include up to one faculty member from outside the department. The committee members approve the student's Plan of Study and give final approval for the student's degree. The advisory committee must approve the student's performance on the Oral Qualifying Exam and the Final Oral Exam. The advisory committee can be changed by the student by submitting a new plan of study before the Oral Qualifying Exam. After the exam, any changes in the committee must be approved by the Graduate Committee.
          • Oral Qualifying Exam: The oral qualifying examination is not an examination in the true sense of the word, but a proposal for the work to be completed for the M.S. thesis. The student provides a written proposal and presents it orally to the committee. The written proposal should be delivered to all committee members at least one week prior to the presentation. It is the student's responsibility to schedule a public presentation at a mutually agreeable time and to reserve a room. The advisory committee determines whether the scope of the proposed research is appropriate for a thesis. A majority of the committee members must approve the proposed research. Committee members signify their approval by signing the M.S. Thesis Approval Form which can be obtained from the department. The committee chairman outlines suggested changes on the form. A copy of the M.S. Thesis Approval Form becomes part of the student's departmental file.

          •    Final Oral Exam: A final oral examination is given by the student's advisory committee. The student presents the thesis and answers questions regarding the work. The written thesis must be delivered to all committee members at least one week prior to the presentation. The presentation must be at least sixty days after the Oral Qualifying Exam. It is the student's responsibility to schedule a public presentation at a mutually agreeable time and to reserve a room. Only the presentation portion is open to the public. The public may ask questions on the presentation. After the presentation, committee members may ask additional questions over material related to the thesis. If the student fails, a second attempt cannot be retaken in less than one month after the failed examination, nor more than twelve months after the failed examination. A third attempt is not allowed. The examination form, obtained from the Graduate College, must be signed and returned to the Graduate College, and a copy must be filed in the department.
  2. Non-Thesis Option:
        1. The non-thesis option plan for a M.S. degree requires a minimum of 36 credit hours of    graduate-level course work. The course work must include:
            • core courses - 18 credit hours - 5113, 5313, 5323, 5413, 5423, and 5513;

            • elective courses - 18 credit hours of which at most 6 hours may be from outside the CS Department.

          The student must receive a grade of "B" or better for each course used to satisfy the above requirements. However, up to a maximum of two "C" grades will be accepted, if they are offset by "A" grades in other courses. Only one "C" is accepted in a core course, and it must be offset by an "A" in a core course. All grades in prerequisite courses must be "B" or better.

          CS 4323 and 4343 cannot be put on any plan of study of a Computer Science graduate student. This means that required prerequisites and certain other courses can no longer be counted as electives toward a graduate degree in Computer Science at OSU. For a course from any OSU department other than Computer Science to be included on a plan of study for a Computer Science graduate student, the course must carry graduate credit and be numbered 5000 or higher.

        2. Prior to enrolling in the 17th hour of course work, a student must select a graduate faculty member from within the department to serve as the student's principal advisor. The principal advisor helps the student formulate an advisory committee. The advisory committee is a group of three graduate faculty members (including the principal advisor); the committee may include up to one faculty member from outside the department. The committee members approve the student's Plan of Study and give final approval for the student's degree.
            • Creative Component: The advisory committee must approve the student's performance on the creative component. The student is required to give a public presentation of the creative component. It is the student's responsibility to schedule a public presentation at a mutually agreeable time and to reserve a room.

            • Final Oral Exam: A final oral examination is given by the student's advisory committee. The committee members may ask questions over material covered in both core courses and in all courses listed on the Plan of Study and in all prerequisites for these courses. If the student fails, a second attempt cannot be retaken in less than one month after the failed examination, nor more than twelve months after the failed examination. A third attempt is not allowed. The examination form must be completed by the committee and filed with the department.

    Unresolved Issues
    Any issues not covered on this web site shall be resolved by the departmental Graduate Committee in consultation with the graduate faculty of the Computer Science Department.

    Financial Aid for Graduate Students in Computer Science
    Several teaching and research assistantships are available each semester.
    Stipends for half-time assistantships for graduate students are $10,017 for the academic year (nine months). Recipients qualify for in-state tuition rates.

    Some graduate students are employed by other departments on campus as research assistants or as programmers. Opportunities arise at various times throughout the year for qualified applicants. Some of these jobs carry in-state tuition rates, but most do not.

    Contact Information
    Send any requests for more information to:

    All e-mail addresses in the Computer Science Department are of the form:

    userid "AT" cs.okstate.edu

    Use the appropriate userid listed below and replacing "AT" by an @ sign.

    userid = csgradinfo

    For information about the status of applications, applicants should send e-mail to the Graduate College:
    grad-i@okstate.edu or telephone 405-744-6368.