MS Non Thesis Requirements | Graduate | Computer Science | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics

MS Degree Non-Thesis Requirements



1.Transferring prior credits - If you have any CS Master's program courses from prior programs (including courses taken as a non-declared graduate student) that you want credit to be transferred to our program, you must submit a memo from your prior program's Graduate Program Director or Computer Science Chair to our Graduate Program Assistant. The memo must be on School of Computing letterhead, indicate the course numbers, the semester and year the courses were taken, and the statement that the courses were not used to meet the requirements of any previous degree program.

2.Meet with Graduate Program Director - You must meet with the Graduate Program Director as soon as possible to discuss your program agenda, course selection, possible research advisor choices, etc.

NOTE: If you did not take CS 401, CS 420, and CS 455 in your prior degrees, then you must register for CS 401, CS 420, and CS 455 as soon as possible. If you have questions about this you must make an appointment to see the Graduate Program Director for him to review your file.


1.Non-Thesis Option Project Topic and Project Advisor - You must select a Project Advisor and project topic area no later than the end of the semester before the one in which you wish to register for Graduate Project (CS 598).

2.Project Committee Member(s) - Prior to the start of the semester in which you plan to register for CS 598 and carry out your project work, you and your advisor should select at least one additional faculty member to serve on your Project Committee. The information about your Project Advisor and additional Project Committee member(s) must then be provided to the Graduate Program Assistant.

3.Project Proposal - Prior to the start of the semester in which you plan to register for CS 598, you should present an outline of the project to your Project Committee and solicit their comments and suggestions. The presentation will be done in a manner to be decided on by your committee members. If you need to set up a meeting of the committee, reserve the Conference Room and any necessary presentation equipment through the same steps outlined below under Item 3. As part of this process, your Project Committee will determine what form the final Project Report should take. In particular, the amount of writing required can vary significantly. For example, if you are building a software system, the Report may involve only a brief user manual along with the code. By contrast, if you are carrying out a survey of some field, the Report will probably need to be equivalent to a survey article in a journal.


In order to meet the requirements for the Master's of Science degree, a student in the graduate program in Computer Science who is pursuing the non-thesis option must not only complete the required 27 credit hours of approved coursework, s/he must also adhere to the following constraints:

1.Register for Graduate Project - Having secured the approval of your Project Committee, you should register for the Graduate Project, CS 598, using your advisor's 700-section number.

2.Apply for Graduation - No later than the Friday of the second week of the semester in which you wish to graduate, you must apply for graduation with the Graduate School. The form may be obtained on the Graduate School Forms web page. This is the only form from the Graduate School which does not have to be given to the Graduate Program Assistant first; it can be given filled out directly by you and your Project Advisor.

3.Project Report - At least one week prior to the end of the semester in which you wish to graduate, you must submit your Project Report to your Project Committee members for their approval. The format for submitting the report will be determined by your committee. It might involve a presentation by you to the entire committee (e.g., to demonstrate your software system), individual discussions with each member, or simply the submission of a written report. If you need to schedule a presentation to the entire committee, follow this procedure:

A) Confirm a date and time for the presentation with all members of your Project Committee.

B) Check with the Main Office Assistant to confirm availability of the Conference Room and time for the presentation.

C) Arrange for any needed presentation equipment through the link in this sentence( lin to 7.4.3). It will connect you to an online reservation form.

4.Forms - Fill out the Graduate Project Approval form and Exit Survey here & print it. When your committee has approved your Project Report, obtain signatures from all members of your committee, and leave the Graduate Project Approval form with your advisor. S/he will submit it to the Graduate Program Assistant. The student must submit the Exit Survey to the assistant.

5.Computer Science Program Submissions - Fill out the Exit Survey and submit it to the Graduate Program Assistant. Submit your project files to the Graduate Program Assistant via email ( You should submit any written Project Report and other files as determined by your Project Committee. For example, if you have written a software system, you will also need to submit all of your source code. With written documents, you should try to provide both the source (e.g., Word file) and a PDF version. You should package all your submitted files into a single archive file, which you should email as an attachment. Please use only standard archive formats such as .zip and .tar (or .tgz). Do not use proprietary formats such as .rar.

6.You must return all keys, FOBs and/or books belonging to the School of Computing to either the Graduate Program Assistant or the Main Office Assistant.

NOTE: If you are an international student going on Optional Practical Training you must turn in all of your School of Computing issued keys, FOBs, software or textbooks before leaving for OPT. If you should return, you may make arrangements to be reissued a FOB for the time you are here.

7.The Computer Science Program Graduation Clearance form received by the School of Computing from the Graduate School will be signed only when the Graduate Program Assistant has received all the above required items (forms, files, textbooks, keys, etc.).

SPECIAL NOTE: If CS 601 Continuing Enrollment is needed, the following restrictions pertain –

  1. Project faculty advisor must agree since you will register under their section number.

  2. Continuing Enrollment will be limited to one semester ONLY (International students).

  3. No I-20 extensions will be allowed by the computer science program for this purpose (International students).