The Department of Computer Science at UTSA offers offers two Master of Science degrees: Computer Science and Cybersecurity Science.
M.S. Program of Study
Both the Computer Science M.S. program and the Cybersecurity Science M.S. program offer thesis and non-thesis options. See a detailed program of study.
Students should develop a thesis proposal in conjunction with their advisor that outlines the topics, scope, and objectives of the proposed thesis. The thesis topic will normally be in a common interest area to both the student and the advisor. The thesis proposal should be discussed with and approved by the student's M.S. Supervisory Committee before the student begins the research and writing of the thesis. A signed copy of the proposal must be placed in the student's permanent file prior to registering for CS 6983 Master's Thesis. Please note that the Thesis Director and Thesis Committee referred to in the UTSA Graduate Catalog are the student's advisor and M.S. Supervisory Committee, respectively, in these guidelines. The student may apply up to a maximum of six hours of CS 6983 Master's Thesis toward the master's degree. Under the thesis option, the student can also apply up to six hours of CS 5971-6 Directed Research and/or CS 6953 Independent Study (normally in the same area of the thesis research) in the required course work. The total number of credit hours on research courses (including CS 5971-6, CS 6953, and CS 6983) is limited to six.
Students must either complete a project or a program of course work. Option I may involve a project of a large programming or hardware development effort which is usually done over two semesters and includes a report or user's manual submitted as a UTSA CS Technical Report. Alternatively, Option I may involve producing a research paper or technical report which is to be submitted for publication with at least the student and advisor as co-authors. The project topic will normally be in a common interest area to both student and advisor. The project should be discussed with and approved by the student's M.S. Supervisory Committee before the student begins work associated with the project. A signed copy of the proposal must be placed in the student's permanent file. The student may apply up to a maximum of 6 hours of CS 5973 Directed Research toward the master's degree. Under the non-thesis option I, the student will typically not apply any hours of CS 6983 Master's Thesis toward the master's degree. Note that this is automatic since the only way to get a grade in CS 6983 Master's Thesis is to complete a thesis. Although the student may apply hours of CS 6953 Independent Study towards the M.S. degree under this option, the total number of hours of CS 6953 and CS 5973 is limited to six hours.
Under the non-thesis option II, students select a topic, read a list of papers in this topic which were not discussed in any of the student's courses, and do a formal oral presentation as an open seminar. The topic and list of papers should be discussed with and approved by the student's M.S. Supervisory Committee before the student begins reading the papers and preparing a presentation. A signed copy of the topic and list of papers must be placed in the student's permanent file. Under the non-thesis option II, the student will typically not apply any hours of CS 5933 Internship in Computer Science, CS 5973 Directed Research, CS 6983 Master's Thesis, or CS 6953 Independent Study toward the master's degree.
You may write your thesis using MS Word, LaTeX, or LyX.
- There is an official Word template on the UTSA Graduate School website.
- If you are a LaTeX/LyX user, there is an unofficial package including a LaTeX style, a LyX layout, and a sample thesis for UTSA thesis/dissertation. You need to have a recent TeX/LaTeX distribution (and the LyX if you want to use LyX) installed on your system. The sample thesis serves as a template, a sample, and a user manual. Compared to earlier versions of LaTeX packages, this package provides commands to collect basic thesis information and does the detailed formatting of the preliminary pages automatically. This makes the main thesis file much cleaner and easier to read. Since the package is not officially endorsed by the UTSA Graduate School, you would need to check with the Graduate School before using this for your thesis/dissertation.
Bridge Courses for Non-Computer Science Students
Interested in pursuing a Masters in Computer Science but don't have a Bachelors in the field? If you have a strong STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) background and/or related degrees, that's OK!
To accommodate the increasing interest of non-Computer Science students in our graduate programs, the UTSA Department of Computer Science developed two Bridge courses for those with STEM backgrounds to pursue the master's degree in Computer Science:
- Foundation of Software (main foci include advanced data structures and algorithms)
- Foundation of Systems (main foci include basic knowledge of computer organization and architecture, operating systems, and concepts of compilers)
Applicants are expected to be strongly self-motivated, have an undergraduate GPA higher than 3.5, and previous programming experience in C/C++. Students who satisfy the requirements will be conditionally admitted into the graduate program with the requirement of taking the two requisite bridge courses in the first year. After successfully passing the two courses with at least a B in each course, students may register for the other Computer Science graduate coursework.
Important note: The two bridge courses will NOT be counted towards the master's degree.
For more information, please email Dr. Dakai Zhu.