UAH

Graduate Degree Programs

Degree Requirements and Restrictions (Master of Science in Computer Science)

The Master of Science degree is conferred under Plan I or Plan II.

Plan I.
A minimum of 24 semester hours of coursework and the writing of an acceptable thesis is required. At least six hours of thesis credit (CS 699) must be earned. A student must present his/her thesis and pass an oral examination based on the thesis and related coursework. Plan I students must register for CS 699 each term they receive supervision from their advisor.

Plan II.
Plan II. A minimum of 33 semester hours of coursework is required. A student must pass a written comprehensive examination over the four core courses given below. Plan II students must complete at least 18 hours of coursework before taking the written comprehensive examination. The examination may only be taken twice.

The following requirements and restriction apply to a student in either plan.

Course Requirements
All students must take the following four courses:

  • CS 617 Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • One of either:
    • CS 650 The Software Engineering Process 
    • CS 687 Database Systems
  • One of either:
    • CS 613 Computer Architecture
    • CS 690 Advanced Operating Systems

If a student has not had an undergraduate course in programming languages, CS 524 must be included in the program of study. No more than 50% of the hours in the program of study may be 500-level courses. No more than three hours of selected topics or independent study courses may be included in a program of study. Exceptions must be recommended by the student’s advisor and approved by the department chair.

Degree Requirements and Restrictions (Master of Science in Software Engineering)

The Master of Science in Software Engineering is conferred under Plan I or Plan II

Plan I. (thesis)
A minimum of 27 semester hours of coursework and the writing of an acceptable thesis is required. At least six hours of thesis credit (CS 699) must be earned. A student must present his/her thesis and pass an oral examination based on the thesis and related coursework. Plan I students must register for CS 699 each term they receive supervision from their advisor.

Plan II. (non-thesis)
A minimum of 33 semester hours of coursework is required. A Plan II student must pass a written comprehensive examination over the four core courses given below. Plan II students must complete at least 18 hours of coursework before taking the written comprehensive examination over material from the three core courses taken. The examination may only be taken twice.

The following requirements apply to a student in either plan.

Course Requirements
All students completing the M.S.S.E. must take the following three core courses (9 semester hours):

  • CS 617 Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • CS 650 The Software Engineering Process
  • One of either
    • CS613 Computer Architectures 
    • CS 690 Advanced Operating Systems

Additional required software engineering courses (12 semester hours):

  • CS 652 Object Oriented Design
  • CS 656 Object Oriented Testing
  • Two of the following options (6 hours)
    • Option 1: One of either:
      • ISE 601 — Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Engineers
      • ISE 690 — Statistical Methods for Engineers
    • Option 2: One of either:
      • MGT 601 — Introduction to Technology Development
      • MGT 622 — Management of Technical Professionals
    • Option 3: 
      • CS585 — Intro. to Software Security

Students completing the M.S.S.E. must take appropriate electives to bring the total number to:

Non-thesis option (33 hours):  4 elective courses

Thesis option (33 hours):          2 elective courses plus 2 thesis courses

Available Software Engineering Electives:

  • CS 553 Client/Server Architectures
  • CS 655 Formal methods in Software Engineering

A general elective can be any graduate level course that is pre-approved by the advisor.

No more than 50% of the hours in the program of study may be 500-level courses. No more than three hours of selected topics or independent study courses may be included in a program of study. Exceptions must be recommended by the student’s advisor and approved by the department chair.

Degree Requirements and Restrictions (Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science)

The general requirements for the Ph.D. degree comply with those of the School of Graduate Studies. The requirements include a preliminary examination, completion of coursework, a qualifying examination, completion of significant research documented in a dissertation and the dissertation defense.

Major/Minor Subjects
A minimum of 54 hours of graduate course credit plus a minimum of 18 dissertation credit hours is required for the Ph.D. in computer science. The program of study will be approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee. Coursework grade requirements are the same as for the M.S. degree. Coursework taken as part of a graduate degree program at another institution may be applied to the degree with permission of the student’s Supervisory Committee. The program must include CS 524, CS 603, CS 613, CS 617, CS 650 and CS 690 and must have a coherent area of emphasis, of which at least 6 semester hours must be at the 700 level. At least 9 semester hours of graduate level mathematics must also be included in the program.

Preliminary Examination
Ph.D. students will be required to take a preliminary examination, consisting of (1) a written test covering fundamental concepts in Computer Science and (2) an evaluation by the graduate faculty of the student’s overall academic potential.

The examination must be taken within a year after admission to the Ph.D. program, or at the earliest opportunity upon completion of the core coursework. Successful completion of the examination will provide evidence of the student’s ability to continue in pursuit of the Ph.D. degree. The examination can be taken no more than twice.

Admission to Candidacy:
To be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, students must first pass the qualifying examination. The qualifying examination can cover any aspect of the student’s program and is taken after completion of the student’s coursework and upon recommendation of the student’s supervisory committee. It is designed to test students’ fitness for pursuing research projects in their chosen areas and to test their general knowledge of computer science. As part of the qualifying examination, each student will present a research proposal to the supervisory committee.

Residency Requirements
According to graduate school policy, residence may be established through either (i) being enrolled as a full-time student (at least 9 graduate semester hours) either for one continuous academic year, or for Spring and Fall semesters in the same calendar year, or (ii) being enrolled in at least 6 hours of graduate course work in at least three of four consecutive semesters.

Other Requirements:
The program must be completed within five years after admission to candidacy.
The Qualifying Examination may be taken no more than twice.
CS 799 is required each semester a student is receiving direction on the doctoral dissertation.
For additional requirements, consult the Academic Information Section of this Graduate Catalog.

Dissertation
The research described in the dissertation must be submitted for publication in an approved journal prior to defense of the dissertation. A public defense of the dissertation is required.

Catalog materials