The Master’s thesis option consists of 8 semester hours of research, culminating into an MS thesis. This can be accomplished through taking a Project Course CS 8674, followed by an MS Thesis course CS 7990.

Semester One | Project Course

The student must find a thesis advisor who is willing to commit two semesters to working with the student. Once the student has found an advisor, he or she will need to complete an MS Project Course Authorization Form (link). The student should work with his/her advisor to complete this form. It should be noted on the form that this course is intended to lead into an MS Thesis.

Thesis Proposal

The thesis proposal must be submitted to the Graduate Committee by the student approximately two to three weeks BEFORE the end of the Project Course. The proposal should describe the project, list the official reader(s), and be signed by the thesis advisor. (A sample MS proposal can be provided upon request to the student by the administration for guidance.) An official reader may be chosen from the faculty of the college, from another NU department, or from another institution or the industrial community when appropriate. Once submitted, the Graduate Committee may accept or reject the proposal, ask for revisions, or ask that additional readers be added to the proposal. Both the merits of the proposal and the academic performance of the student will be considered in deciding whether to accept a proposal for the M.S. Thesis.

Semester Two | Thesis Course

If the proposal is approved, the student will be directed to register for CS 7990 the following semester.


The thesis advisor guides the research topic. The result of the research is to be an original contribution to the field of Computer Science. The thesis should be developed in terms of the current literature and will include a thorough literature search and review. Emphasis is to be placed upon clear writing, logical development, and significance of the issues. Acceptance of the thesis requires the agreement of the thesis advisor and the reader(s).

Thesis defense

The student will defend the thesis at a public presentation during the last two weeks of the semester. The defense will be directed by the thesis advisor and the reader(s) will be in attendance. The thesis defense is open to anyone who wishes to attend. The candidate will give a lecture on the subject of the thesis and this will be followed by questions from those in attendance concerning the results of the thesis as well as related matters.


Upon acceptance, the MS thesis will be issued as a College of Computer and Information Science technical report and a copy will be archived at the university library.