A student may elect to write a master’s thesis, which counts as the six credit hours of concentration. The student must register for at least six credit hours under ECE 7(1–6)96. If the thesis option is chosen, all other requirements are the same. The six credit hours of thesis satisfy six of the nine required credit hours for advanced (8000 level) courses.
A master’s thesis represents one or more of the following: synthesis of divergent ideas or a scholarly critique of current literature, a creative research activity or a significant design project, the results of which must be documented in a well-written thesis. The thesis should be of publishable quality, and it is recommended that it be submitted to an appropriate conference or journal before the thesis defense.
A thesis must be supervised by a faculty adviser selected by the student. Any full-time faculty member supporting the student’s concentration area may serve as the thesis adviser. It is the student’s responsibility either to find an adviser willing to provide a thesis topic or willing to supervise a topic of the student’s choosing.
Once the student has found an adviser and a topic has been selected, the student and adviser should jointly form a thesis supervisory committee. This committee must consist of at least three members, two of whom must represent the concentration area. The adviser chairs this committee. The makeup of this committee must be approved by the chair of ECE and the director of the graduate division.
The student must provide the members of the committee with a written thesis proposal. Typically, this will be done before the faculty agrees to serve on the committee.
A thesis is judged by the supervisory committee based upon technical merit, originality and presentation. The thesis must be presented orally to the committee at a thesis defense. A copy of the thesis must be made available to each member of the committee at least two weeks before the planned defense. The defense must be scheduled with the ECE department office and posted in appropriate bulletin boards. The defense is open to the public.