MS Thesis Track

The MS Thesis track is for students who want to concentrate on research in some sub-field of Computer Science.  You are required to arrange for a Computer Science faculty member who agrees to advise the thesis and the rest of your course selection prior to selecting the track.

Summary of Requirements

Students must complete at least a total of 30 graduate points and must maintain at least 2.7 overall GPA in order to be eligible for the MS degree in Computer Science.

  1. Thesis track requires:

    - Breadth courses
    - Thesis course (9pts)
    - Track Electives

  2. 9 required points of COMS E6902.

  3. 9 additional elective points of graduate courses selected from Computer Science and/or related areas together with your faculty thesis advisor.

  4. Students using previous courses to fulfill required track courses may complete the 30 graduate points by selecting additional graduate courses; at most 3 points overall may be from "non-CS/non-technical" graduate courses.

Please use the Degree Progress Check to keep track of your requirements.

1. Breadth Requirement

Visit the breadth requirement page for more information. 

2. Required Track Courses

9 points of COMS E6902 Thesis. The points are typically spread over multiple semesters, e.g., 3 points each for 3 semesters or 4.5 points each for 2 semesters. No more than 9 points of E6902 may be taken. Sign up for the section number of E6902 associated with your thesis advisor.

3. Elective Track Courses

Students are required to complete 9 additional elective points of graduate courses (4000-level or above) selected from Computer Science and/or related areas together with your faculty thesis advisor. These would normally be strongly related to your thesis topic.

Up to 3 of these points may be in COMS E6901 Projects in Computer Science. 

Due to a significant overlap in course material, MS students not in the Machine Learning track can only take 1 of the following courses - COMS 4771, COMS 4721, ELEN 4903, IEOR 4525, STAT 4240, STAT 4400/4241/5241 - as part of their degree requirements.

The elective track courses cannot be imported from another institution. 

4. General Electives

At most 3 points overall may be from non-CS/non-technical graduate courses. All general electives must be approved by your thesis advisor.

5. Thesis Defense

A thesis proposal is presented to your thesis committee at least three months before your defense. Your thesis committee should have three members. Two of them must be internal, but one can be an outsider. Please bring the thesis defense form to your defense. Once completed, please submit the form to Kathryn Angeles in 455A Computer Science. You can also email it to Kathryn at

The thesis cannot be imported from another institution.

A publication-quality thesis document is also published as a CS department technical report. Once completed, please upload your thesis into MICE. 

6. Contact

Please direct all questions concerning the MS Thesis Track to Prof. Mihalis Yannakakis.

7. Graduation

Candidates preparing for graduation should submit a completed application for degree to the Registrar's Office and submit a track graduation form to CS Student Services.