Graduate Studies in Computer Science

REQUIREMENTS

1. Students with a B.Sc. (Honours), accepted into the M.Sc. program, usually will spend at least 12 months in residence. “In residence” means work at St. Francis Xavier University that involves research and/or courses for the M.Sc. program on a full-time basis.

2. The M.Sc. candidate must earn a total of 36 graduate credits.  Course work will count for 12 credits and must cover at least two of the areas of Theory, Applications, and Systems. See the current course listing for courses and the areas.  Research work will count for 6 credits and thesis work will count for 18 credits.

3. Full-time students usually will complete the M.Sc. within two years of initial registration. All degree requirements must be completed within four years of registration in the program.

Program Completion Process and Requirements

Arrival    STEP 1:
Arrival STEP 2: Formation of a supervisory committee
~1 week after arrival      

STEP 3: Course Selection and Graduate Study Plan
i. Graduate Study Plan Agreement - Graduate Studies Page
ii. Graduate Student Supervisor and Committee Identification.
iii. Course Agreement Form - Graduate Studies Page

  STEP 4: Written Thesis Proposal
i. Sample Latex Thesis Proposal Template
~12 months after arrival STEP 5: Thesis Proposal Presentation (30-40 minutes)
i. Thesis Proposal Approval Form
  Is the proposed research satisfactory?
If Yes, continue to Step 5
If No, return to Step 3
  STEP 6: Written Thesis
i. Sample Latex Thesis Template
  STEP 7: Formation of Examination Committee
i. Information for M.Sc. External Examiner Request
ii. Thesis to external Examiner Form
~ 24 months after arrival

STEP 8: Thesis Defense Presentation (30-40 minutes)
i.Notice of Thesis Defence Template
ii. Masters Thesis Examination Form
ii.Graduate Thesis Final Approval Form
Normally, the presentation and the camera examination will not exceed 120 minutes.

  STEP 9: Final Thesis Submission
i. Thesis Submission Guidelines

Other Forms:
Annual Student Progress Report Form
Graduate Program Extension Request

STEP 2. Formation of Supervisory Committee: A thesis supervisory committee will be formed at the beginning of the M.Sc. candidate’s graduate studies. This committee will include the candidate’s thesis advisor and at least one other faculty member, normally chosen from the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science.

STEP 3. Course Selection and Graduate Study Plan: The M.Sc. candidate meets with the Supervisory Committee to discuss a graduate studies plan. At such meeting, a Graduate Study Plan Agreement (Faculty of Science)is completed. The Chair of the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee keeps the original and a copy is given to the student and to each supervisory committee member. For each chosen course, the M.Sc. candidate and the corresponding course instructor complete a Course Agreement Form (Faculty of Science). The Chair of the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee keeps the original course forms and delivers copies to the Dean of Science. The student is responsible for ensuring that the progress of his/her graduate studies follow the Graduate Study Plan Agreement. If any changes to the Graduate Study Plan Agreement are needed, the M.Sc. candidate is responsible for requesting a meeting with the Supervisory Committee to address the change. The student must deliver the updated Graduate Study Plan Agreement to the Chair of the departmental Graduate Studies Committee. Similarly, if any changes are made to course selection or course forms, updated Course Forms must be delivered to the Chair of the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee.

The M.Sc. candidate must earn a total of 36 graduate credits or the equivalent of 5 full courses in graduate work. Research and thesis work may count for up to 18 of these 36 credits. Course work will count for 12 credits and must cover at least two of the areas of Theory, Applications, and Systems. See the current course listing for courses and the areas. See course listings.

STEP 4. Written Thesis Proposal: The thesis proposal format will follow the layout provided in the sample thesis proposal template. LaTeX is encouraged to be used to generate the thesis proposal. After obtaining approval from the supervisor, the M.Sc. candidate is responsible for ensuring that each member of the Supervisory Committee receives a hardcopy of the Thesis Proposal at least 2 weeks in advance of the proposal presentation.

STEP 5. Thesis Proposal Presentation: The M.Sc. candidate must make a formal presentation of the thesis proposal. The formal presentation is normally made to the Department for which the thesis is being written, and it is open to the public. The proposal presentation will normally be chaired by the Department Chair. The student is responsible for scheduling a date and time for the Thesis Proposal Presentation that is mutually agreeable to all the members of the Supervisory Committee and to the Department Chair. The student will ensure that the Department Chair receives the proposed date and time at least 16 days in advance so a formal annoumcement can be made at least two weeks in advance.

A Thesis Proposal Approval Form is filled after the presentation. If the Supervisory Committee finds that the proposed research is inadequate or insufficient, the M.Sc. candidate will have one more opportunity to redo Steps 3 and 4.

STEP 6. Written Thesis: The written thesis will follow the layout provided in the sample thesis template. LaTeX is encouraged to be used to generate the thesis.

STEP 7. Formation of Examination Committee: The written thesis must be submitted to the Supervisor for approval before moving on to this Step. The Examination Committee normally will consist of the Supervisory Committee and an external examiner. The external examiner is a faculty member external to the candidate’s Department and may be, as appropriate, external to the University. In consultation with the members of the supervisory committee, the supervisor shall forward to the Department Chair the names and full contact information for three possible external examiners. The Department Chair will select and formally request one of the proposed external examiners to serve as a member of the Examination Committee. After receipt of positive confirmation, the Examination Committee will be formed. The student should ensure Dept Chair receives a copy of the thesis and a completed and signed Submission of Thesis to External Examiner Form.

The M.Sc. candidate is responsible for ensuring that each member of the Supervisory Committee receives a hardcopy of the Thesis. The Department Chair will send a copy of the Thesis to the external examiner. The external examiner must submit a report on the thesis to the Department Chair. The Department Chair will forward the report to the Supervisor and to the Chair of the Committee on Graduate Studies.

STEP 8. Thesis Defense Presentation:

Before moving on to this Step:

  • The External Examiner’s report must be received
  • The Supervisory Committee must agree that the Thesis is ready for defense

The student is responsible for scheduling a date and time for the Thesis defense that is mutually agreeable to all the members of the Examination Committee. The student will ensure that the Department Chair receives the scheduled date and time at least 16 days in advance. The Department Chair will make a formal announcement of the upcoming Thesis defense at least 2 weeks in advance.

The Department Chair will ensure that the Chair of the Graduate Studies receives the announcement at least two weeks in advance. The Thesis defense presentation will normally be chaired by the Department Chair. Immediately following the public presentation, an examination of the candidate is held. The Chair of Graduate Studies or his/her designate will be a non-voting member the Examination Committee. If the external examiner cannot attend the defense, he/she should submit (to the Department Chair) a list of questions to be asked to the candidate during the examination. Normally, the public presentation and examination will not exceed 120 minutes.

The examining committee will then, in-camera, arrive at a unanimous decision, agree on any changes to be made to the thesis, and consider whether the student is to be nominated for an Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award. Should the Committee not be able to arrive at a decision on the disposition of the thesis, the matter will be referred to the Committee on Graduate Studies. The decision of the Examining Committee, along with their names and, as appropriate, signatures, will be recorded on the thesis examination form, with a copy retained by the Department and a second copy sent to the Chair of Graduate Studies.

 

STEP 9. Final Thesis Submission: A final, corrected copy of the successful thesis must be submitted by the candidate to the Chair of the Committee on Graduate Studies for approval at least two weeks prior to the date of the convocation at which the candidate expects to graduate. Students are responsible for providing copies of the approved thesis, as per the approved Thesis Submission Guidelines, so that they may be deposited with the University Library and the National Library of Canada, for completing and submitting the required ‘non-exclusive use’ form, and for paying the appropriate thesis fee.

Students are responsible for ensuring that they have registered for convocation by the required date and that they have fulfilled all degree and program requirements by the requisite deadlines.