Thesis Grades

Evaluation of theses is based on the following areas:

  • initiative and self-direction

  • significance and originality of the topic

  • quality and originality of the research

  • quality and style of the writing

  • quality of the oral defense


Pass with Distinction is granted only to those candidates whose performance is superior in most of the above areas and if the draft presented at the defense requires only minimal revision. The decision of the committee must be unanimous to earn distinction.

Additional guidelines that might be helpful include, but are not limited to:

  • The student's performance on the oral defense is superior.

  • The student showed extraordinary initiative and originality.

  • The thesis is clearly in the top 10 percent of theses within the School of Computing and Information Systems.

  • The thesis is publishable at a peer-reviewed venue, in part or whole.

  • The thesis had a significant impact on a company or industry.


Pass is the usual decision. It is awarded to students whose thesis work is good in all of the areas above, or whose work is superior in a few, but not most of the areas of evaluation.

No Credit is given when the work does not merit a passing grade.

Adapted from

Page last modified February 3, 2015