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M.S. Degree Learning Goals and Assessment

Computer Science comprises an increasingly broad set of topics, with deep connections to many areas of Science, Engineering, Social Science, etc. The Masters program gives students an overall perspective of the field, its structure, its problems, and its close relationship to other domains. Students are expected to study at least one topic in some depth, and to report on it in a coherent essay.

 

Learning Goal 1 for Students:  Attain marked ability, scholarship and professional competence in a broad field of learning

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 1:

  • Grades in graduate courses
  • Semi-annual monitoring of student progress by graduate director
    • feedback to student

Roles of the Graduate School and the graduate programs in helping students to achieve Goal 1:

  • Periodic review of curricular offerings and assessment tools
    • By Program Faculty
    • With leadership in the graduate school
    • In consultation with school-wide faculty
  • Benchmark practices from comparable programs at other institutions

 

Learning Goal 2 for Students:  Engage in and conduct original research. Continue into the PhD Program  when appropriate. 

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 2:

  • Discovery of Masters students with talent for, and interest in research
    • Explore talent and interest via individual study courses and research experience in a guided project or in one of the departmental labs.
  • Assessment of Masters dissertation
    • Critical reading of dissertation by committee of graduate faculty members

Roles of the Graduate School and the graduate programs in helping graduate students to achieve Goal 2:

  • Provide exposure to research methods and opportunities for  research
    • Research seminars (1 credit “light seminars” expose students to research in a sub-field of Computer Science)
    • Advanced graduate courses on a current research topic
    • Through support as graduate research assistants, or as paid project members in one of the departmental research labs, research guidance on individual and team research. 
  • Facilitate internships at research companies (e.g. Google)  or leading research labs (e.g. Los Alamos) for experience in pure and practical research