M.S. Completion Steps

Steps in a CIT Graduate Student's Program

  1. During Semester 1 - When offered, complete CIT Research Seminar course (CNIT 58100-CIT) in first semester. Repeat in second semester if you have not yet identified a research or direct project area of focus.
  2. During Semester 1 - Select a major professor. This is usually the same as your initial faculty advisor, and if so, that person has already agreed to be your major professor. But you may change major professor if you choose to do your research or directed project in a different area. When changing major professors, the new major professor must agree to serve in that capacity.
  3. By the End of Semester 2 - Select remainder of your faculty advisory committee. Your major professor is the chair. The other faculty members can come from any college, school, or department. You must have at least two other professors. You may need more to bring necessary expertise to your research or directed project.
  4. By the End of Semester 2 - Develop your Plan of Study by the end of the second semester. There are many resources in these web pages to explain the degree requirements and plan of study instructions.
  5. By the End of Semester 2 - File your electronic Plan of Study (ePOS). There are late fees for failure to complete this step before your last semester. After it has been electronically filed and approved, you can make changes without late fees.
  6. During Semester 3 - Establish your examining committee. This is almost always the same as your faculty advisory committee (above). Changes are usually the result of changes in research or project direction, or the need to bring additional faculty expertise into your research or directed project.
  7. During Semester 3 - Develop your thesis or directed project proposal (CNIT 69800 or 59800, respectively -- one credit). Most students simultaneously complete TECH 64600 because that course uses the proposal as its semester project. Thus, you can complete two requirements simultaneously.
  8. By the End of Semester 3 - Defend your proposal to your examining committee. This must occur in your next to last semester.
  9. During Semester 4 - After your proposal is approved, complete your research or project, and write your thesis or direct project report (CNIT 69800 or 59800, respectively -- remaining credits). If your research extends into additional semesters, you must sign up for at least one additional credit of CNIT 59800 (directed project), or CNIT 69800 (thesis) in each semester. 

    IMPORTANT RESTRICTION: It is required that the proposal and thesis/project, respectively, be completed in separate semesters. You cannot do the proposal and thesis.project in one semester. This is a quality management policy.

  10. By the End of Week 3 in Your Last Semester - You must declare your degree candidacy. Each semester, the university declares a deadline for completing this step, and late fees or delays to the next semester may result if you miss the deadlines.  See Stacy Lane in the main CIT office to declare your degree candidacy the first week.  After that, you have to register for candidacy yourself -- Stacy can explain how.  There is an absolute deadline to declaring candidacy.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:  If you declare candidacy in more than two semesters without graduating in those semesters, there is a financial penalty for each subsequent semester to declare candidacy. Why? Because after declaring candidacy, a lot of processes get started, and these processes cost considerable effort and money.

  11. ASAP During Last Semester -- Schedule the following meetings early, to occur near the end of the final semester: (a) thesis deposit, (b) thesis/directed project oral defense, and (c) thesis/direct project written format advising. You must do the first Directed projects only require the format review meeting.

    INSTRUCTIONS: The thesis deposit is scheduled through the Graduate School's web site (not to be confused with our graduate web site). It only applies to theses; not directed projects. You want as late a time slot as possible, so register early -- ideally the first week of the semester!

    INSTRUCTIONS: The thesis/directed project oral defense, and the thesis/directed project written format are scheduled through Stacy Lane in our CIT Department main office.  You must schedule the oral defense at least two weeks prior to its scheduled date - no exceptions; the Graduate School rejects all defenses otherwise.

  12. A Few Days Prior to Your Defense - Meet with your program's Thesis and Directed Project Format Advisor (Prof. Whitten) to review your final written report's compliance with university format requirements. Your report will also be checked for plagiarism using a software tool.
  13. Defend your thesis or directed project to your examining committee. This oral defense is also called the final exam.  Make changes to your thesis or directed project report as specified by your Examining Committee and your Thesis/DP Format Advisor.
  14. For thesis students only, attend your previously scheduled thesis deposit meeting.
  15. For thesis students only, deposit your thesis in the university electronic repository.
  16. Deposit your thesis or directed project report in the college electronic depository (e-pubs).
  17. Complete the university exit survey (online).  Your degree can be withheld if you do not complete this survey.
  18. Complete the program exit survey (online). Your degree can be withheld if you do not complete this survey.
  19. Celebrate your successful graduation!