Projects and Theses

All CIS students are required to complete CIS 692, or CIS 693, or both CIS 690 and 695 to complete the Master's degree.

Comparison

This page will help determine which option is right for you.

Projects


Starting a Project

  1. Several weeks before starting their project, students must complete the top portion of the Project Form. Students decide upon a topic for their project and write up a brief project proposal outlining the work to be done. When complete, students obtain a faculty member's agreement to serve as their project advisor. Generally, students solicit faculty members that are likely to have specialization in the topic area. 
  2. After a general consensus has been reached regarding its scope and quality, the student completes the second portion of the project form while the advisor completes the third section.
  3. The project advisor then sends the completed form to the Graduate Program Director who will enter a registration permit allowing the student to enroll in CIS 693.
  4. The form is then sent to the School's secretary for archiving.

Project Expectations

  1. Throughout the semester in which CIS 693 is taken, students have three responsibilities:  complete the project work, complete a written report of the project, and prepare an oral presentation.  CIS 693 is not considered complete until all three components are satisfactorily finished.  Throughout the semester, students will make periodic reports to their advisor.  At least ten days prior to the end of the semester, students give their project advisor a copy of the project report in order to solicit feedback.  Improvements to the report typically continue until the end of the semester. Here is a Microsoft Word template for the project report.
  2. During the final exam week of classes students give a formal, oral presentation of their project to the project advisor and to other members of the GVSU community.  
  3. When the project work, report, and oral presentation have been satisfactorily completed, the advisor signs the final section of the project form indicating final approval of the project, and assigns students a grade.
  4. Fill out the ScholarWorks Submission Form. Submit this to your advisor, who will submit your materials to the library.

Theses


Starting a Thesis

  1. Several weeks before starting their thesis, students must complete the top portion of the Thesis Form. Students decide upon a topic for their thesis and write up a brief thesis proposal outlining the work to be done. When complete, students obtain a faculty member's agreement to serve as their thesis advisor. Generally, students solicit faculty members that are likely to have specialization in the topic area. 
  2. After a general consensus has been reached regarding its scope and quality, the student completes the second portion of the thesis form.
  3. The student and thesis advisor will work together to select thesis thesis committee.  The committee consists of two other members in addition to the advisor.  The other committee members are usually CIS faculty, but faculty from other departments and from local industries are eligible. The thesis advisor will complete the third portion of the thesis form specifying the committee members.
  4. The thesis advisor then sends the completed form to the Graduate Program Director who will enter a registration permit allowing the student to enroll in CIS 690.
  5. The form is then sent to the School's secretary for archiving.

General Expectations

Throughout the semesters in which CIS 690 and CIS 695 are taken, students have four primary responsibilities: develop a thesis topic (CIS 690), perform research in support of the thesis, produce a written thesis document, and prepare an oral defense of the thesis research (CIS 695).  A thesis is not considered complete unless all four components are satisfactorily finished.

CIS 690 Expectations

  1. During the CIS 690 semester, students research and develop their thesis topic. Prior to the end of the CIS 690 semester, students prepare a formal written presentation of their thesis topic, which must be orally presented to the thesis committee.  The thesis proposal acts as a contract specifying the work to be done by the student, and is used to judge completion of the thesis. 
  2. Once the committee approves the thesis proposal, the advisor signs the thesis proposal form and sends the completed form to the Graduate Program Director who will enter a registration permit allowing the student to enroll in CIS 695.
  3. The form is then sent to the School's secretary for archiving.

CIS 695 Expectations

  1. Throughout the semester in which CIS 695 is taken, students perform research to support their thesis and work in close conjunction with their thesis advisor to prepare both the written thesis and the oral defense.  At least four weeks prior to the end of the semester, students distribute copies of the written thesis to all members of the thesis committee in order to solicit feedback.  Improvements to the written thesis typically continues until the end of the semester. The GVSU Library has full information regarding the preparation of theses. At minimum, the thesis must include a thesis final approval form.
  2. During the final exam week of classes students give a formal, oral presentation of their thesis to the thesis committee and to other members of the GVSU community. 
  3. When the written thesis and oral defense have been satisfactorily completed, the advisor and the two members of the thesis committee sign the thesis proposal form as their final approval of the thesis, and submit a final grade. Theses are graded as “NC” (no credit), “P” (pass), or “PD” (pass with distinction). Criteria for grading theses is given here.

Thesis Continuation (CIS 696)

CIS 696 is our thesis continuation class. It is used when students don’t complete their thesis (CIS 695) in one semester. It is a 1 credit course that simply allows students access to university services (library, computer labs, etc.) while they are finishing their thesis.

If a student doesn’t complete their work in CIS 695, they should be given an “X” (deferred) grade. They should then be given a permit to enroll in CIS 696. Assuming they finish the work in CIS 696, they are given a grade of “R” (research) in CIS 696, and then the “X” in CIS 695 should be resolved into a grade (see above). If not resolved, the “X” will be converted into “NC” after two years.

Page last modified December 9, 2014