MS in Cybersecurity Thesis
The thesis option allows students to plan, execute, and report on an individual project that addresses a substantial problem covering both practical and scientific aspects. Through the thesis project, students demonstrate their understanding of and ability to apply the concepts, methods, and techniques covered in the MS in Cybersecurity core and elective courses. Students planning to pursue a PhD degree after completing the MS in Cybersecurity degree are particularly encouraged to pick the thesis option.
Thesis Scope and Content
The thesis must represent an independent effort to address a significant and well-scoped problem. The thesis should present a treatment of this problem that has both practical and academic merit. Although some thesis projects may have a more practical focus and others a more academic focus, both aspects should be covered.
The thesis must be much broader in scope than a one-semester class project. It should address a topic that supersedes the content of a single course. The thesis topic can be proposed by the student. Inspiration for possible topics comes from exposure to the materials covered in the core courses and the concentrations, from current articles in vocational and academic publications, and from ongoing research projects from graduate faculty.
33 semester hours
The student is responsible for finding a Graduate Faculty Member to approve the thesis topic and agrees to supervise the thesis. Next, the student prepares a thesis proposal.
While preparing the proposal, the thesis supervisor and student form a thesis committee. The committee must be composed of three Graduate Faculty Members. Non-graduate faculty members can participate as co-chair or member of the committee. Ex-officio members (e.g., representatives from the organization where the thesis project is executed) can be included on the committee. The composition of the committee has to be approved by the MS in Cybersecurity Graduate Program Committee and the Dean for Graduate Studies.
The student can enroll in thesis hours:
- after successfully defending the thesis proposal to the thesis committee and delivering the signed thesis proposal form to their advisor, and
- after successfully completing 18 hours on the Plan of Study
The 6 thesis hours are expected to be taken over two semesters. However, the student's thesis supervisor can petition the Graduate Program Committee to grant registration of all 6 hours in a single semester.
The student must defend the thesis during a public oral examination by the thesis committee in the last semester of enrollment. The thesis committee may decide to:
- pass the student, or
- pass the student, contingent upon specified revisions, or
- fail the student.
Graduate Program Requirements for International Students
International students should register for thesis along with other coursework, when possible. If the international student has not finished his/her thesis after two semesters (excluding summers), he/she will need to meet with his/her thesis supervisor and submit a projected date of completion form for an International Student Advisor's approval. It is recommended that the international student register for credit each semester in which he/she is working on the thesis.