Note: This track is no longer an option. It is only valid for students who selected this track prior to fall semester 2012.

Students on the project track must complete a Program of Study of at least 30 credits which includes at least 26 credits of coursework and exactly 4 credits of CSCI 580, Master's Project (formerly CS 575). The Program of Study is to be filled out during a student's first semester of graduate school in consultation with his or her advisor.

Credit Requirements

Students on the project track must complete a program of study of at least 30 credits, including

  • CSCI 532, Algorithms, 3 credits (formerly CS 515)
  • CSCI 538, Computability, 3 credits (formerly CS 510)
  • CSCI 580, Master's Project, 4 credits (formerly CS 575)


  • exactly four credits of CSCI 580 (formerly CS 575) must appear on the program of study.
  • the number of credits listed at the 500 level or higher (including CSCI 580) on the program of study must total at least 21.
  • no more than three credits total can appear on the program of study from CSCI 592 (formerly CS 570) and CSCI 594 (formerly CS 500) combined.
  • CSCI 598 (formerly CS 576) may not appear on the program of study as part of the minimal 30 credits.
  • credits at the 400 level may be listed on the program of study, excluding CSCI 482 (formerly CS 489), CSCI 483 (formerly CS 490), CSCI 490 (formerly CS 490), CSCI 491 (formerly CS 480), CSCI 492 (formerly CS 470), CSCI 494 (formerly CS 400), CSCI 495 (formerly 474) and CSCI 498 (formerly CS 476).
  • No course at the 400 level whose subject matter was taken in fulfillment of a previous degree (e.g., a BS in computer science degree) may be used. One exception to this rule arises if a student's advisor determines from an interview with a student and from a description of a course taken by the student with a title similar to a CS 400 level course offered at MSU that the subject matter of the previously taken course does not match the similarly-titled MSU course. In such a case, the student may include the similarly titled MSU course on the Program of Study at the advisor's discretion.
  • No course that is a required deficiency course or is a course listed on the Program of Study may be taken pass/fail.

Elective coursework listed on the program beyond CSCI 532 and CSCI 538 is determined by the student in consultation with his or her graduate advisor.

The Project

The project is to be determined by the student in consultation with his or her MS advisor, and consists of tackling some computer science problem, most often resulting in a software solution. A paper must be written that describes the problem and solution. The format of the paper should follow the outline given for a thesis above, but it generally will be substantially shorter than a thesis. The paper must be submitted for publication on the Gianforte School of Computing website as a requirement of completing the degree.

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