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  Nov 21, 2017
 
 
    
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Computer Science, MS


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College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics  >Department of Computer Science  >Computer Science, MS

About the Master of Science Degree Program

The University of Houston, Department of Computer Science offers an M.S. in Computer Science degree, which has the choice of a thesis or non-thesis option. Students in the program must comply with all the rules and satisfy all the requirements set by the University, in addition to the Department rules and regulations detailed below.

For details on Admission to the Graduate Program of the Computer Science Department, please visit the Admissions page.

Program Prerequisites


Students admitted to the graduate program of the Computer Science department are required to demonstrate an appropriate level of proficiency in computer science. Level of proficiency is defined to mean either (a) having an equivalent course for each category listed below, (b) complete the corresponding course with a grade of “B-” or better at the University of Houston, or (c) obtain advanced placement in every one of the prerequisite categories.

Any course in this categories in which a grade of “B-” or better is not made must be repeated the next semester after having attempted the course originally. Each course can be taken maximum two times to obtain the required grade of “B-” or better.

Advanced placement can be obtained by passing an examination administered by the instructor of that course. A student can make a request to take advance placement test(s) up to the first week of his/her first graduate study. If approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, the test must be completed within his/her first semester. The instructor shall report the result to the Director of Graduate Studies.  The result of the placement tests will be included in the students academic file. If the student fails the placement test, the assigned prerequisite must be taken the semester immediately following.

Prerequisite courses must be completed before a student will be allowed to register in other courses which are to be counted towards his/her degree. The only exception is that a student will be allowed to register for other courses in the semester in which he will complete all prerequisite courses.

Program Requirements


Tracks allow MS students to specialize in key areas within computer science.  The MS core computer science track is the default track for unless an alternate track is declared.   A track can be changed while enrolled in the MS program.  To graduate students must complete all track requirements which includes completing all track courses, maintaining a 3.0 or higher GPA in all track courses, and all other MS degree requirements including the total number of credits to complete the degree.

MS Tracks


Core Track


This track balances core components of the computer science program including theory, systems and computational science.

Thesis option requires taking at least 4 courses listed below, two courses each from Block 1 and Block 2. Non-thesis option requires taking at least 5 courses listed below, with at least two courses from Block 1 and at least two courses from Block 2.

Data Analysis Track


This track emphasizes a practical approach to the study of data analytics, imparting fundamentals supported by hands-on skills acquisition and problem solving involving real-world applications.  The track facilitates preparation for positions in product development and research in industries pursuing image computing, data mining, and data analysis as well as for advanced studies in the field. 

Thesis option requires taking at least 4 courses listed below, with at least 3 courses from Block 1. Non-thesis option requires taking at least 6 courses, with at least 4 courses from Block 1.

Parallel and Distributed Systems Track


A systems focused track with emphasis on theory, design and evaluation of parallel computations, protocols, and vector and distributed data applications. 

Thesis option requires taking at least 4 courses listed below, with at least 3 courses from Block 1. Non-thesis option requires taking at least 6 courses listed below, with at least 3 courses from Block 1.

Interactive Media Track


This track studies theoretical and applied aspects of interface, visualization, graphics and gaming.

Thesis option requires taking 4 courses listed below, with at least 2 courses from Block 1. Non-thesis option requires taking at least 6 courses listed below, with at least 2 courses from Block 1.

Thesis Option


A student must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours subject to the following restrictions:

  • No less than 15 credit hours of Computer Science courses numbered COSC 6318 - COSC 6393 or COSC 7340 - COSC 7388.
  • An additional 9 credit hours must be taken from: regular COSC courses, special topics COSC 6397 (limit 2), special problems COSC 6398 (limit 2), outside department courses (limit 2-requires permission), or courses transferred from previous college (limit six credit hours).
  • 6399, 7399 in two consecutive semesters.

A student in the thesis option of the M.S. degree program must complete a thesis. Details on preparation of a thesis document can be found on the Thesis Guidelines page.

After completing 18 credit hours of course work toward the degree, a student must enroll in 6399. He/she must subsequently enroll in 7399 each semester until graduation.

No later than one semester before the anticipated graduation date of the student, a Thesis advisory committee must be formed, which consists of the advisor himself and at least two other members: one other member of the Computer Science faculty and one from outside the Department of Computer Science, either faculty from another department, another university or from industry. The thesis advisory committee will be the comprehensive examination committee. The Thesis is not considered to be complete until the student passes a comprehensive examination, which is primarily a defense of the thesis. The examination will be given upon the request of the student with the approval of his advisor.

The comprehensive examination is open to the University community and must be publicized at least two weeks in advance. Details on how to announce the defense can be found on the Thesis Guidelines page.

 

Non-Thesis Option


A student must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours subject to the following restrictions. There is no thesis requirement.

  • No less than 24 credit hours of Computer Science courses numbered COSC 6318 - COSC 6393 or COSC 7340 - COSC 7388.
  • An additional 12 credit hours must be taken from: regular COSC courses, special topics COSC 6397 (limit 2), special problems COSC 6398 (limit 2), outside department courses (limit 2-requires permission), or courses transferred from previous college (limit six credit hours).

General Rules


Students are reminded that they must complete their degree within 5 years of their initial enrollment in the program.(See time limitation in the graduate school catalog).

A student will be removed from the program if he has earned a grade of “C+” or lower in 12 hours while he is enrolled as a Graduate Student in Computer Science. All other scholastic regulations as specified in the Graduate School catalog must be satisfied.

A student must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better for all prerequisites (if assigned) and all graduate courses taken at the University of Houston.

No more than 6 hours of coursework outside computer science in related fields of science, engineering and business may be counted. All these courses have to receive specific approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

Upon admittance to the department and prior to registration for any subsequent semester, every graduate student must consult the Director of Graduate Studies to set up a tentative program for course work and obtain approval for registration.

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