Thesis and Directed Project Resources

The following links provide useful information and resources for completing your research 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.

Please report any broken links to the M.S. CIT Webmaster.  

IMPORTANT Deadlines for This Semester's Graduating Students

The Graduate School publishes this official Calendar of Deadlines for Graduating Students.  It documents important deadlines and requirements for students who are in their LAST semester (the university calls these students degree candidates). The consequences of missing deadlines can be costly, both in successfully graduating and costs to graduate.

Please note that beginning with the Fall 2013 semester, there is a thesis deposit fee.

Course Enrollment Requirements for the Final Semester

Students must declare their degree candidacy by the end of the first week of classes to the CIT Program Coordinator, Stacy Lane. If you miss this date, you will need to declare candidacy by going to the Graduate School. There is an absolute deadline, after which, you can no longer declare candidacy. This is documented each semester on the Graduate School's Calendar of Deadlines for Graduating Students.

Students should enroll in the remaining CNIT 69800 (thesis) or CNIT 59800 (directed project) needed for graduation. Even if you have already accumulated the minimum total number of thesis credits (6) or project credits (3), you MUST be enrolled in at least one credit hour of that 59800 or 69800 course. Failure to enroll in at least one credit of 69800 or 59800 has significantly delayed several CIT students from receiving their diplomas. The CIT Program Coordinator will try to audit this requirement when you declare degree candidacy at the beginning of the semester; however, it is ultimately the student's responsibility to register for the required thesis or direct project course.

Ideas for Your Thesis or Directed Project

You should begin thinking about ideas for your thesis or directed project during your very first semester of graduate study. You should have a good idea for the research area by the end of your second semester. The following resources have been created to help you generate ideas:

  • Every fall and spring semester, CIT offers a CIT Research Seminar course (1 credit; attendance only) in which faculty and guest speakers present their research and project agendas. This seminar is intended to stimulate your own thinking about areas for your thesis or directed project. All CIT graduate students should take this course their first semester, and every semester thereafter until they have identified their research or project idea.
  • e-Pubs -- See what other students have researched as part of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute graduate programs. This is a repository of past theses and directed project reports.

The remainder of this web page is targeted to those students who are working on their thesis or directed project.

Other Useful Resources

Graduate School Resources for Theses --this is a web link to the Graduate School's Thesis Office where you will find many useful resources such as:

Templates, Tools and Checklists

CIT Thesis and Directed Project Requirements -- This link provides comprehensive requirements for a CIT thesis or directed project.

Microsoft Word Templates for Theses (also to be used for Directed Project Reports) -- Please note that these Graduate School templates may or may not include two important front matter sections required in all CIT theses and direct project reports. These sections are LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS and GLOSSARY, to immediately precede the ABSTRACT section. Depending on when you took TECH 64600, the GLOSSARY will replace what used to be a Definitions subsection in Chapter 1.

LaTeX Instructions for Theses -- Some students (and graduate faculty) prefer to use LaTeX to format their thesis or directed project (instead of Microsoft Word). Purdue Polytechnic students (including CIT) should NOT use the LaTeX template provided on the Graduate School's website. Instead, they should use the Purdue Polytechnic specific template published here.

APA Son of Citation Formatting App --this web application may prove useful for correctly formatting APA-style citations for your thesis or directed project. Please note that the application is not aware of proper nouns and acronyms. Thus, you will still need to capitalize the first letter of proper nouns, as well as full acronyms.

APA Style Tips -- Need a refresher on APA formatting and styles? This is a direct link to their web site.

Thesis and Directed Project Format Checklist -- this is a link to a compilation of formatting requirements for a thesis or directed project report. Following this checklist can minimize the risk of the Purdue Graduate School rejecting your thesis for deposit (which would delay your graduation until at least the next semester).

Services for Research, Theses, and Directed Projects

Institutional Review Board (IRB) -- The IRB provides mandatory review of research protocols that involved humans. This includes surveys conducted by many graduate students as part of their research. Any graduate student research requiring the use of humans for data collection and reporting requires IRB pre-approval; before you conduct the survey.

Qualtrics -- Qualtrics is a web-based survey software 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 surveys may require approval from the IRB because they implement research protocols that involve humans.

Statistical Consulting Service (SCS) -- The Department of Statistics provides statistical software and design consulting services for the University community – free of charge.  The Statistical Consulting Service can help you with statistical software problems and data analysis issues.  Statistical Software Consulting provides assistance with the set up and running of a wide variety of statistical computing programs, including SAS, SPSS, Minitab and S-Plus. Software consulting is available in MATH G175 on a drop-in basis.  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.

NVivo research software -- NVivo, popular qualitative research software designed to help researchers analyze unstructured data ranging from interview content and survey results to audio and video, is now available at no charge for faculty, staff and students on the West Lafayette campus. ITaP is ready to assist individuals interested in using the software.  Individuals who want NVivo should follow the request process detailed on ITaP’s Nvivo product Web page. Currently, the software is available for Windows machines, and a Mac OS version is expected to be released in June.  A detailed description of NVivo can be found on the QSR International website:

The Purdue University Psychometric Instruction / Investigation Laboratory (PUPIL) is a consulting service located in Beering Hall (BRNG Room 3157; phone: 496-3233). They are available to respond to and provide resources for questions involving the following: measurement/assessment, psychometrics, and educational and behavioral sciences empirical research.

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) -- this 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.

Purdue Libraries PRIMO Search Engine -- this is a new all-in-one search engine provided by the university libraries.

Google Scholar -- this is a link to a special Google search engine designed to find scholarly publications that have been appropriately reviewed or refereed by academic faculty. Such publications should be more credible than information discovered via Google's standard search engine.

Thesis-Specific Purdue University Forms

Directed Project-Specific Purdue Polytechnic Forms

Continuing Your Studies to the Ph.D. in Technology Program

For information about continuing from your M.S. in CIT to the Ph.D. in TECH with a CIT specialization, see