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CS Grad Program Graduation Requirements

The Master of Science degree in computer science requires completion of 30 graduate-level credit hours with a grade-point average of 3.0. One half of these are core courses completed by all students. The remainder are options selected in consultation with an advisor. In addition, each student must fulfill the WKU Research Tool requirement.

There are thesis and non-thesis options.


Specific degree requirements are as follows:


CS 500 Research Tool 
Passing grade for the course: B or higher. What to do to pass the course: Evaluation Exam: This exam is to write/implement a program to solve a given problem. The exam is given in the second week of the semester. This exam will contain the following topics: variable type and declarations, file input and output, functions (methods), conditional statements, loops processing of arrays (sorting, searching, finding minimum/maximum/average), string manipulation, mathematical operations, and classes and objects (aggregate types). In this exam student should use meaningful variables, inline comments and method descriptions, appropriate classes and methods in those classes. Below are examples from old exams.


Test Summary




Sample Questions


If students passes the evaluation exam with B or better grade:

If student decided to do thesis and has a thesis advisor, then thesis advisor will guide the student for the rest of the semester to determine thesis topics, work towards the thesis or do a project, etc. Thesis advisor will give the grade for the courses at the end of the semester. Student does not have to attend regular lectures for CS 500.

If student decided on non-thesis option, then student needs to find a suitable project topic, which is verified by the instructor. Student, then, work on the project for the rest of the semester. Student will give a presentation in the class at the end of the semester and will submit a report submitted to the instructor before the presentation. The instructor determines meetings for the project but student does not need to attend the CS 500 lectures.

If student decided to do thesis but has not a thesis advisor, then student will work on the project explained the previous step.


If student fails the evaluation exam:

Student must attend lectures. The instructor will determine attendance policy. Instructor will cover all topics listed above so that student will have problem-solving techniques and skills for computer-based systems including solution design and implementation.

  1. Complete core courses

  2. Five elective computer science courses approved by the graduate advisor.

  3. A minimum of six 500-level computer science courses.

  4. Comprehensive Exam

    All Master's degree candidates at WKU must pass a comprehensive examination. There is a written exam covering material from our 500 level core courses. We have prepared an outline of topics to be covered including chapters from some popular books. If a student is writing a thesis, then student will not take the comprehensive exam .

    Students typically take the exam in their last semester. It is administered once each semester, typically on the first Saturday in November and the first Saturday in April. Students who do not pass on their first attempt will be given a second opportunity in the same semester, typically 2 or 3 weeks after the first attempt.

    If a student fails the second attempt, they have one more chance in a later semester. If a student fails 3 times, they will not receive a masters degree in computer science from WKU.


Outlines and Reading Lists for CS Comprehensive Examinations:

 If any of the required courses have been completed for undergraduate credit, electives will be substituted.

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 Last Modified 6/27/19