This page includes information and linked resources (in a gold font color) for completing your research and development for your thesis or directed project. Some of the links on this web page are to web pages not maintained by Computer and Information Technology.

Important Deadlines for M.S. Degree Candidates

There are several deadlines and important dates during your final semester. Do not miss the deadlines. Otherwise, you might not graduate this semester, and you might have to pay some late fees. This page describes approximate dates.  To see the official dates for any given semester, check the Graduate School's Calendar.

Friday of the week before classes begin -- Last day to file a fully approved Plan of Study without paying a $200 late penalty. For more information about the Plan of Study, see the Plan of Study menu bar or icon at the top of this page.  Approved means "electronically signed by all committee members, the CIT program coordinator, and the CIT Graduate Program Chair.  Procrastination is not accepted as an excuse for not allowing enough time to secure signatures.

End of the first week of classes -- Declare candidacy of your degree by enrolling in CAND 99100. Up until the end of the first week of classes, you can do this through the CIT office. After this date (but before the university deadline), you must register for degree candidacy through the Graduate School office in Young (YONG) Hall.

NOTE: Students who are registered for exam (=defense) only, have a much earlier deadline -- sometime around mid-term. See above deadlines.

Within 30 days of the start of classes -- Submit any last minute revisions needed to your approved Plan of Study. If there are any courses on your approved Plan of Study that you later elected not to take, you must revise your Plan of Study to delete those courses, and add courses you did take (or are taking) -- with the approval of your committee chair and the Graduate Program Chair.  Otherwise, you will not pass your degree audit.

Approximately 4 weeks after classes begin -- Last day to declare yourself as a degree candidate by registering for CAND 99100 for graduation at the end of this semester. If you did not do so before the end of the first week of classes, you will have to declare this candidacy through the Graduate School in Young (YONG) Hall.

NOTE: Students who registered for "Exam Only" or "Degree Only" must declare candidacy directly through the Graduate School's main office in Young Hall. 

Approximately 6 weeks after classes begin -- For thesis students registered for "Exam Only" or "Degree Only" (neither is common), last practical day to defend thesis and secure electronic signatures on electronic Form 9 (thesis defense/exam). 

Approximately 8 weeks after classes begin -- For thesis students registered for "Exam Only" or "Degree Only" (neither is common), last day to deposit thesis, and to submit their ETAF and Required Survey(s).  The ETAF should be initiated no earlier than the day of a students defense through the plan of study portal.

Approximately 8 weeks after classes begin -- Last day to submit your electronic Form 8 to propose a date and time for your thesis or directed project oral defense. Do this through the myPurdue web portal. The Graduate School requires a minimum of two weeks notice between the date of receipt of the Form 8 (inclusive of your committee members' e-signatures to be available on the specified date), and the proposed date of your defense. If you have trouble creating your Form 8, see the CIT office.

NOTE: When you propose your defense date make sure you also schedule a separate meeting for your thesis format review with your Advisor.

At least one or two working days prior to your thesis or report format formatting -- Send your electronic thesis or directed project report to your department's Thesis Format Advisor. That electronic copy will be processed by a plagiarism detection service. Also bring a paper copy of your thesis or report to the meeting (printed on one side of the page only). Do not miss your scheduled thesis or directed project format meeting. If you do, you may not be allowed to deposit your report this semester and graduate.

At least one weekday before your oral defense -- Initiate your electronic Form 9 (via the myPurdue web portal). This form will be used later by your committee to pass or reject your written thesis or directed project report.

Day of your oral defense -- Do not miss your oral defense (also called the final exam), or you will not graduate this semester. It must occur on the approved date, and all faculty committee members must be in attendance, either in person or by way of teleconference.  You must also initiate your ETAF and complete the required survey's on the day of your defense through the plan of study portal.

At least two weeks before the end of classes (the earlier the better -- For thesis students other than "Exam Only" or "Degree Only" (neither of which is common), last practical day to defend thesis and secure electronic signatures on electronic Form 9 (thesis defense/exam). 

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Even NON-thesis students must schedule the above final exam, even though there may not be an oral defense. This is due to a bug in the Graduate School's processing. Non-thesis students can schedule their final exam thorough the CIT office.

Approximately the last day of classes (meaning prior to final exams week) -- For thesis students, last day to deposit thesis, and to submit their ETAF and Required Survey(s).  The ETAF should be initiated no earlier than the day of a students defense through the plan of study portal.

          Again, for the official deadlines and dates for any of the above, in any given semester, click on this link -->  Graduate School's Calendar.

Resources for Completing Your Research and Development

  • ​Institutional Review Board (IRB) -- also called Human Research Protection Program -- provides approvals required in many CIT theses. If you are collected data via a survey instrument, you must get PRE-approval from Purdue IRB. Federal law requires such approval. You need to account for time to get IRB approval into your research project schedule.
  • The Purdue Libraries PRIMO Search Engine is a relatively new all-in-one search engine provided by the university libraries. It can be useful for your literature research and review.
  • Google Scholar is a special Google search engine designed to find scholarly publications that have been appropriately reviewed or refereed by academic faculty. This can also be useful to your literature research and review. Google Scholar search results point to publications that may be more academically credible than information discovered via Google's standard search engine. Also note that Google Scholar search results include a "Cite" link to properly formatted publication citations, including APA.
  • Citation Machine (formerly called Son of Citation) is a simple web app for creating properly formatted APA citations for your REFERENCES. Be aware that the titles of papers, books and other publications will be properly converted to mostly lowercase, but you will need to properly capitalize any entire acronyms and first letters of proper nouns.
  • Qualtrics is a web-based survey software service available for use by all Purdue faculty, students and staff to support teaching and research at Purdue. Surveys can be created and distributed by anyone with a career account. Be aware that most surveys require pre-approval from the IRB because they implement research protocols that involve humans.
  • The Statistical Consulting Service (SCS) in the Department of Statistics provides statistical software and design consulting services for the University community – free of charge. The SCS can help you with statistical software problems and data analysis issues. SCS provides assistance with the set up and running of a wide variety of statistical analysis software programs, including SASSPSSMinitab and S-Plus. Experimental design and data analysis consulting is available during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.  Services include assistance with all phases of research projects: proposal preparation, design of studies, survey design, data input strategies, data import/export, analysis of data, interpretation of results, presentation of results, and other statistics or probability problems.

Resources for Writing Your Thesis or Directed Project Report

  • TECH 646 (a course taken by most CIT graduate students) assists the student in developing their proposal and therefore covers how to format the thesis or directed project report. Purdue has very specific standards for the written thesis (which also apply to the CIT directed project report). These standards must be followed precisely.  Additionally, CIT has a few specific standards for our discipline.
  • The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a link to Purdue's acclaimed Online Writing Lab (OWL) which can be very helpful to students with less than satisfactory writing skills. The web site also provides links into APA formatting expectations.

Thesis and Directed Project Report Templates

When writing your thesis or report, you must follow very specific Purdue and CIT standards. Theses and directed projects follow the same structure and formatting rules. Most students use either Microsoft Word or LaTeK to write their thesis or directed project report. To help you conform to Purdue and CIT standards, use the following Word or LaTeX template.

  • Students who prefer Microsoft Word should use the latest CIT Thesis Template (Word). This template conforms to the new Graduate School format standards that were announced in Fall 2016. A link is also provided in the sidebar (or menu) to this page.
  • Students who prefer LaTeK should use the CIT Thesis Template (LaTeX). This template also conforms to the new Graduate School format standards that were announced in Fall 2016. A link is also provided in the sidebar (or menu) to this page.

Required Formatting Review for Theses and Directed Project Reports

All CIT students are required to meet with the CIT Thesis and Directed Project Format Advisor at least two days before they defend their thesis or direct project. This formatting appointment is mandatory. If you do not meet with the CIT Thesis and Directed Project Format Advisor and get the appropriate approval signature on the electronic Form 9, you will not graduate on time. The Thesis Formatting Review requires the following steps:

  1. Schedule the formatting meeting to occur before the thesis defense.

  2. At least two working days before your meeting, submit an electronic copy of your thesis or directed project final report via email to the CIT Thesis and Direct Project Format Advisor. This copy will be submitted to iThenticate software service for the required plagiarism review.
  3. Attend your formatting meeting. Failure to attend the meeting may delay your graduation. Bring one printed copy of your thesis (unbound and printed on one side of the page only) to the meeting.
  4. After the meeting, make any required formatting changes. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to deposit your thesis and graduate.

For your convenience, see the CIT Thesis and Directed Project Report Checklist, in printable PDF format. This checklist contains all of the Purdue and CIT formatting rules against which your document will be evaluated.

Depositing Your Written Thesis or Directed Project Report

Written Thesis

After you have successfully defended your thesis, and made any required changes to your written thesis, and received all required approvals, you must still officially deposit your thesis. You should familiarize yourself with the Purdue Thesis Deposit Process.

Directed Project Report

There is no university-wide deposit for directed projects. Therefore, deposit appointments are not required for directed project students. Final directed project reports are deposited directly in the CIT Main Office to Kari Ludwig.

Directed project proposals and final reports do require CIT-specific cover forms (CIT DP-1 or CIT DP-3) that are listed in the sidebar menu.