Masters Degree

Master of Science Degree Program

The master of science (M.S.) degree program prepares students for ever-expanding career opportunities. Possibilities range from the development of time-critical software for aerospace applications to the design of graphics and animation software to implementation and testing of next-generation Internet protocols.

The information on this page is a general outline of the steps leading up to the granting of a M.S. degree. For more details and for a list of specific requirements, refer to the Computer and Information Science section of the UO Catalog.

Overview

The M.S. degree requires 54 credits of coursework:

  • Breadth requirement: 12 credits
  • Depth requirement: 12 credits
  • Writing requirement: 2 credits
  • Electives: 28 credits
    • Electives option 1: thesis
      • Minimum of 8 graded credits
      • Maximum of 16 units (total) from CIS 503 (thesis), CIS 601 (research) and CIS 609 (final project). Also, there must be between 9 and 12 units of CIS 503.
    • Electives option 2: non-thesis
      • Minimum of 18 graded credits
      • Maximum of 10 P/NP credits

Note that classes cannot be used to meet multiple requirements. For example, a class taken to meet the Breadth requirement cannot be used a second time to meet the Depth or Elective requirements.

Breadth Requirement

To meet this requirement, students must take one class from an approved list from each of three areas: foundations, data science, and systems.

  • Approved classes to meet breadth requirement for foundations: CIS621
  • Approved classes to meet breadth requirement for data science: CIS670
  • Approved classes to meet breadth requirement for systems: CIS630 or CIS 631

Depth Requirement

To meet this requirement, students must take three classes from one of three approved lists. At least one of the three classes must be at the 600-level.

  • Approved courses for Foundations:
    • 600-level options: 624
    • 500-level options: 513, 520, 527, 543, 545, 561
  • Approved courses for Data Science:
    • 600-level options: TBD
    • 500-level options: 543, 551, 553, 571, 572, 573
  • Approved courses for Systems:
    • 600-level options: 630, 631, 632, 633, 650 - 500-level options: 531, 532, 533, 541, 561

Note that our Department currently has no 600-level options for data science. Students pursuing the data science track can use 500-level courses until new courses are added.

Writing Requirement

To meet this requirement, students must take CIS 640. This course should be taken when students are writing a document for their studies. Specifically, Ph.D. students should be writing their DRP report, their area exam document, or their dissertation. M.S. students should be writing their thesis. If an M.S. student does not plan to write a thesis, then they can take the course any time, and will write a survey on a computer science topic.

Elective Credits

Elective credits may be taken outside the department in an area closely related to the student's professional goals, subject to approval by the Graduate Education Committee; options include courses in linguistics, mathematics, physics, and psychology.

Other elective options within the department include:

  1. Up to 8 credits in Reading and Conference (CIS605), with prior approval by the advisor.
  2. Experimental Courses (CIS 510, 610), which are new courses awaiting permanent status, with prior approval by the Graduate Education Committee.

Master's Thesis / Project

Master's Thesis
The thesis option requires a written thesis and 9 to 12 credits in Thesis (CIS 503). Thesis research is supervised by a faculty advisor; this advisor and other faculty members constitute the thesis committee. The master's thesis is expected to be scholarly and to demonstrate mastery of the practices of computer science. In addition to the written document, an oral presentation of the thesis work is expected. This option is strongly recommended for students who plan subsequent Ph.D. research.
Master's Project
The project option requires a master's degree project and 8 to 12 credits in Final Project (CIS 609). Under the supervision of a faculty member, the project may entail a group effort involving several master's degree students. The project is subject to approval by the department's Graduate Education Committee.

Research credits (601) can be substituted for Thesis credits (503) if:

  1. Research performed as Research credits (CIS 601) goes on to contribute to a thesis, and
  2. The Graduate School approves.

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