The Senior Thesis is an alternative to a software senior project. It may be research, expository, critical or creative work but must be original in subject matter, organization or view.

The thesis should be roughly equivalent to a master's thesis in scope – a substantial body of work worthy of its 8 credit hours.

The decision to pursue a Senior Thesis should not be made at the last minute. You should begin discussions with a thesis faculty advisor and committee members by junior year.

A thesis student must have a GPA not lower than 3.0 and must have satisfied all Senior Capstone prerequisites. Senior Thesis is open only to seniors.

Thesis students must earn a grade of C- or better in CSCI 3100, as well as in all instances of enrollment in CSCI 4950 Senior Thesis credit hours.

Thesis students must present a poster explaining their project at the year-end department or college expo.

The thesis must total 8 credit hours to be completed over the course of one year. At least 2 credit hours and not more than 4 credit hours may be taken in any one semester or summer.

Thesis students must also complete CSCI 3100 Software & Society (1 credit hour) during the fall semester of their thesis year, bringing the total credits to 9.

You must find an advisor willing to guide you through completion of the thesis. The thesis advisor must be a member of the Computer Science faculty. You and your thesis advisor must choose a committee of three CU faculty members, including the thesis advisor.

Senior Thesis is a controlled enrollment course. To enroll in the course, you must complete the Senior Thesis Course Enrollment Form each semester. The form lists the names of the thesis advisor and committee members, the thesis topic, the number of credit hours being requested for the semester, the date of the midterm proposal defense (for the first semester), and the date of the semester final exam, among other things. Students should have their thesis faculty advisor and committee members confirmed by the end of the term prior to beginning Senior Thesis.

The form must be signed by the thesis faculty advisor and delivered to the student’s undergraduate academic advisor. The form should be submitted NO LATER THAN the first day of the semester in which the student intends to enroll in Senior Thesis. Upon receipt of the completed enrollment form and verification of eligibility, the undergraduate academic advisor will enroll you into the appropriate section of CSCI 4950 Senior Thesis. For a copy of the form, please see "Milestones & Forms" section below.

Your advisor will also enroll you in CSCI 3100 Software & Society (1 credit hour, fall only).

The Senior Thesis may not be used in place of the master's thesis.

First Semester Midterm 

You must successfully defend a written research proposal before your faculty committee by midterm of the first semester. This defense is open to the public.

A First Semester Midterm Proposal Report must be completed by the thesis advisor and delivered to the Undergraduate Program Advisor, along with the written research proposal, during the ninth week of the first semester.

First Semester Final

You must present a progress report to the faculty advisor by the end of the first semester. The advisor will review the report and share it with the rest of the committee. If adequate progress has been made, the advisor will complete the First Semester Final Report form and circulate it to the rest of the student's committee and to the Undergraduate Program Advisor prior to the last day of finals for the semester.

The thesis advisor will also assign a grade. You must be on track for success and must receive a grade of at least B- for the first semester's work to proceed to the second semester. If either of these criteria is not met, the credit hours completed do not count toward completion of the thesis. (They count only as free elective or upper division Computer Science elective credit.)

Subsequent Semester(s)

At the committee's discretion, you may need to meet intermediate milestones.

Last Semester Final

You must defend your thesis before the committee of three faculty members. That committee will decide whether you have completed a satisfactory thesis. This defense is public.

You must deliver the completed thesis to the committee no later than one week before the defense date, which must be no later than the last day of finals for the semester.

Paperwork and Deadline Summary