College of Science

Master's Degree Contract

Students are required to have on file a document called

Program for the Master of Science in Computer Science Degree

or, more commonly, the "Contract."

This is a document that lists the courses that the student agrees to take in order to earn the degree, and that the department agrees will constitute a satisfactory course of study. It is, therefore, a contract between the student and the department that enumerates the specific requirements that the student must meet and, having met, will entitle him or her to the MS degree. It is this document that the Evaluations Office uses to determine whether or not one is ready to graduate.

Obviously the contract must be on file by the time a student gets a "grad check." The "check" is simply to see if the student has satisfactorily completed, or will complete by the following quarter, all of the courses on the contract. Satisfactory completion means having a grade of "C" (2.0) or better in each course on the contract, an average of at least "B" (3.0) for the courses on the contract, and an overall average of at least "B" for all courses taken while a graduate student.

One should not wait until the last moment, however, to file a contract. The contract is the student's assurance that it is clear what it takes to graduate. If there are any special circumstances, then the contract should be filed as early as possible. Special circumstances would include having approved transfer credit for courses taken at another school, credit for courses taken through the Open University, or courses taken for graduate credit while in undergraduate status. Note that contract may contain no more than a total of 13 units of such credit.

To file a contract, obtain a copy of the "Contract Worksheet" from the Graduate Coordinator, or download a copy from Contract Worksheet for Thesis (DOC) or Contract Worksheet for Project (DOC).

The department office will then prepare a printed copy of the contract to be signed by the student and the Coordinator. The contract is then sent to the Graduate Studies Office. It is suggested that each party make a copy of this form before forwarding. Final approved copy will be available for viewing on STARRS.

Changes to the contract can be made (and sometimes must be made—to accomodate changes in course offerings, changes in schedule, etc.) by submitting a petition to amend the contract. The Graduate Academic Petition form is used for this purpose. This form may be obtained from, and must be approved by, the Graduate Coordinator.