Graduate Advising

The graduate program is listed in the catalog and linked from the graduate programs page. The present page contains advise and information about which order to take courses in, etc. For a quick introduction to the program and description of resources available on the CS website related to advising (current as of Fall 2016), see this youtube video by Jeff Kinne.

Who to Get Advice From

Each student has an official advisor who should approve your selection of courses. For most current students this is the director of CS. Students can also get unofficial advice from other CS faculty and other students.

Course Sequencing

See also the courses page for when each course is normally offered. See the CS grad couse prereq map for prerequisites and a graphical representation of the program requirements.

Academic Concentration

Students beginning the academic concentration in the fall are advised to take courses in the following sequence. Note that CS 500 is not required for students who earned their bachelors degree in CS at ISU. Students should choose electives so that (a) a total of 18 credits of 600-level courses are completed, and (b) at least 3 courses combined in 600-level Algorithms/Theory and Systems are completed.

  • Fall year 1   CS 500 Foundations of Computing, 500-level Theory/Algorithms or Systems course (520, 558, or 571), CS Elective
  • Spring year 1   600-level Theory/Algorithms or Systems course (620, 658, 670, or 671), 500-level Systems course (556, or 573), CS Elective
  • Fall year 2   600-level Theory/Algorithms or Systems course (621 or 671), CS 699 Internship, CS Elective
  • Spring year 2   CS 685 Software Project or CS 695 Computer Science Research, CS Elective

Notes for Fall 2018   For incoming students considering the academic concentration, sign up for CS 500, and at least one of - CS 571 Operating Systems, CS 558 Algorihms, CS 579 Web Programming II. It is recommended but not required to select one course from those numbered 601-618. For students who began in the the fall of 2017 or spring of 2018, sign up for at least one of CS 571, 558, 579. By the time you are done at ISU, you need to complete at least one systems II course (CS 670 Concurrent Programming, CS 671 Operationg Systems II, CS 673 Networking II), at least one theory II course (CS 621 Discrete Structures II, CS 620 Theory of Computation II, CS 658 Algorithms II), and at least three systems/theory II courses total. During your last semester you should sign up for CS 685 or CS 695.

Professional Concentration

Students beginning the professional concentration in the fall are advised to take courses in the following sequence. Students should choose electives so that (a) a total of 18 credits of 600-level courses are completed, and (b) at least 3 courses combined in Interconnected Computing (602, 603, 609) and Data Management and Analysis (610, 611, 617, 618) are completed.

  • Fall year 1   CS 500 Foundations of Computing, CS 600 Concrete Mathematics, Interconnected Computing Elective (602, 603, or 609)
  • Spring year 1   Data Management and Analysis Elective (610, 617, or 618), Core Elective (60x/61x), CS Elective
  • Fall year 2   CS 699 Internship or CS 685 Softwar Project, Core Elective (60x/61x), CS Elective
  • Spring year 2   CS Elective, CS Elective

Notes for Fall 2018   For incoming students taking the professional concentration, sign up for CS 500, CS 600, and one of the following - CS 603 Networking and Security or CS 617 Databases, Data Mining, and Big Data. Note that CS 617 is likely to be significantly more programming-intensive than CS 603. For those in the professional concentration who began in the fall of 2017 or spring of 2018, sign up for electives. By the time you are done at ISU, you need to make sure to take at least one course numbered 601-609, at least one numbered 610-618, and at least three total from 601-618. During your last semester you should sign up for CS 685.

Advising Notes

Policies and Regulations Note that all policies and regulations listed in the Graduate Catalog apply to all graduate programs. You should read through the linked policies to be aware of them (you can skip the policies related to PhD programs and to theses since these do not apply to the CS MS).

400 versus 500 level courses (if you did your BS at ISU). Note that you CANNOT count the 500 level version of a course if you have credit for the 400 level version of the course at ISU. For example, if you took CS 420 as an undergrad at ISU, you CANNOT take CS 520 to count it as part of the MS. Note that the registration system DOES allow you to register, and your advisor MIGHT not notice the problem, but nonetheless CS 520 would NOT count as part of your MS.

Courseload limit. The normal courseload for master's students is 9 credit hours per semester (fall and spring); this is 3 courses since the courses in the program are each 3 hours. Some students choose to enroll for 12 hours in some semesters due to scheduling constraints. We do not generally recommend this, especially for students who are also working part time. Moreover, for students in their first semester at ISU or who are on academic probation, the department policy is that these students should register for only 9 hours.

Applying for Graduation. See http://indstate.edu/gradexpress/graduation-apply.htm for instructions on applying for graduation. One form that is required that is not listed there is a "plan of study" that lists courses taken for the degree. For the plan of study, please download and fill out the following document, and have it signed by your advisor: http://cs.indstate.edu/info/files/CS_MS_plan_of_study_template.xlsx. The form must have all courses taken (adding up to at least 33 credit hours) along with semester taken and grades earned. Please save the file with the name "CS_MS_plan_of_study Last, First.xlsx" where you replace with your last name (according to ISU) and replace First with your first name.

Internships/Cooperative Experiences   Students are encouraged to seek internships and part-time jobs related to computer science as early as possible in your education. These experiences can greatly increase your chances of finding a good job right after graduating. Note that students who are in the US on a student visa can only be employed off campus as part of a requirement for a course. Undergraduate students can enroll in CS 399; graduate students can enroll in CS 699. Contact the director of CS for more information.