DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

http://www.cse.msu.edu

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

GRADUATE HANDBOOK

Ph.D. and M.S. Programs

February 2005

Revised: May 2005, August 2005, August 2007

DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

GRADUATE HANDBOOK

1.      Overview of Graduate Programs in Computer Science and Engineering

2.      Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program: Components and Requirements

2.1.   Admission Requirements and Process

2.2.   General Requirements

2.2.1.      Collateral Course Work

2.2.2.      Credit Load for Full-Time Status

2.2.3.      Grade Point Average

2.2.4.      Evaluation of Academic Performance

2.2.5.      Grade Point Requirement

2.2.6.      DF-Deferred Grades

2.2.7.      Dismissal from Primary Status

2.2.8.      Academic Advisor

2.2.9.      Dissertation Advisor

2.2.10.  Ph.D. Guidance Committee

2.2.11.  Guidance Committee Membership

2.2.12.  Change of Membership

2.2.13.  Ph.D. Degree Program Plan

2.2.14.  Ph.D. Degree Program Requirements

2.2.15.  Modification of Ph.D. Degree Program Plan

2.2.16.  Residency Requirements

2.3.   Primary Status

2.3.1.      The Ph.D. Qualifying Examination and Its Time Limit

2.4.   Qualified Status

2.5.   Candidacy Status

2.5.1.      The Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination

2.5.2.      Time Limits

2.5.3.      Expectations of Candidacy Status

2.6.   Graduation from Candidacy Status

2.6.1.      Dissertation Credit Requirements

2.6.2.      Final Oral Examination

2.6.3.      Registration Requirement

2.6.4.      Completion

2.6.5.      Required Copies of Dissertation

2.7.   Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Programs in Computer Science

2.7.1.      Program Outline

2.7.2.      Course Requirements

3.      Master's Degree Program: Components and Requirements

3.1.   Admission Requirements and Process

3.2.   General Requirements

3.2.1.      Credit Load for Full-Time Students

3.2.2.      Transfer Credit

3.2.3.      Grade Point Average

3.2.4.      DF-Deferred Grades

3.2.5.      Probational Status

3.2.6.      Evaluation and Academic Performance

3.2.7.      Limitations

3.2.8.      Academic Advisor

3.2.9.      M.S. Degree Program Plan

3.2.10.    Modification of M.S. Degree Program Plan

3.2.11.    M.S. Degree Program Requirements

3.2.11.1.        Plan A: Thesis

3.2.11.2.        Plan B: Course Work

3.2.11.3.        Breadth Requirement

4.      Department Policies:  Integrity and Safety in Research and Creative Activities

4.1.   Key Principles

4.2.   Misconduct in Research and Creative Activities

4.3.   Research Involving Human Subjects

4.4.   Research Involving Animals

4.5.   Office of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Safety (ORCBS)

5.      Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution

5.1.   Student Conduct

5.2.   Conflict Resolution

5.3.   Department Procedures

6.      Financial Support and Work Related Policies

6.1.   Teaching Assistantships

6.2.   Research Assistantships

6.3.   The Graduate Employees Union (GEU)

6.4.   University Graduate Assistantship Policies

6.5.   Graduate Assistants Not Covered by the GEU Agreement

6.6.   Graduate Assistants Covered by the GEU Agreement

6.7  External Fellowships

6.8.   Use of Department Facilities and Supplies

6.9.   Fees and Rates

6.10.   Outside Work for Pay

7.      University Resources

7.1.   The University

7.2.   The College

7.3.   The Department

7.4.   The Campus

7.5.   The Lansing Community


1.                       Overview of Graduate Programs in Computer Science and Engineering

Today is an exciting time for Computer Science and Engineering! Advances in computing have transformed our world in the last several decades in ways that were once considered the substance of only dreams. Computing transcends boundaries---enabling multiple disciplines, connecting diverse peoples and cultures, and globalizing economies and work forces. At Michigan State University, Computer Science and Engineering has become a true microcosm of this important and exciting field.

Completion of a graduate degree in Computer Science and Engineering provides you with an opportunity to pursue career opportunities that would not otherwise be possible. Examples include cutting-edge research and development in business, industry, or a national laboratory, or a position in academia to engage in teaching and research. A graduate degree provides you with a deeper exposure to the field of computer science and engineering, and enhances your ability to pursue further independent study of new emerging areas of our discipline.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers graduate study leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Science (M.S.) degrees. Advanced study and research are available in four general areas:

Software Systems:

  • Code generation
  • Component-based software engineering
  • Computer security
  • Database systems
  • Formal methods
  • High assurance software
  • Model-based development

Intelligent Systems:

  • Computational linguistics
  • Computer vision
  • Data mining
  • Human computer interaction
  • Humanoid robots
  • Machine learning
  • Natural language processing

Networking and Ubiquitous Computing:

  • Adaptive software/middleware
  • Augmented and virtual reality
  • Distributed systems
  • Mobile computing
  • Parallel and distributed processing
  • Peer-to-peer systems
  • Real-time systems
  • Sensor networks

Biological Computing:

  • Artificial life
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biometrics
  • Computational biology
  • Evolutionary computing

Interdisciplinary work with other departments is encouraged, and faculty and students involved in many of the research areas listed above are working with colleagues in other disciplines.

Our M.S. Program prepares students for professional opportunities as well as for moving on to a Ph.D. program. In completing a M.S. degree, a student has the options of doing a thesis. The thesis option places emphasis on new research. All M.S. students must satisfy breadth requirements as well as taking enough high-level courses.

The Ph.D. degree, whose bearer is generally regarded as having an expert understanding of a particular area, is appropriate for people who are committed to pursue a deep intellectual commitment in education and research. A Ph.D. program is qualitatively different from a M.S. program. It is an open-ended commitment, normally taking three or more academic years of study and research.

The requirements for the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees are described in other sections of this handbook. However, graduate students are engaged in educational and research activities outside of the classroom. Most M.S. students are involved in thesis research, and all Ph.D. students are engaged in dissertation research. Both of these activities provide students with the opportunity to work with faculty and other graduate students in research groups and laboratories within the CSE department and other departments. The Department hosts many guest speakers and visitors from academia and industry throughout each academic year. These visitors present lectures open to all students. In addition, all graduate students who are in their first year of study in the Department attend a research seminar series during the fall semester, where they learn about many of the ongoing research activities in the Department.

Graduate students can also participate in academic governance at the Department, College and University levels. At the Department level, graduate students elect voting members to the Department Advisory, Graduate Study and Research and Computing Environment Committees as well as a voting representative to the general Department Faculty Meeting. At the College level, graduate students have voting representation on the Engineering College Advisory Council and on the Engineering Research and Graduate Studies Committee. At the University level, graduate students elect voting members on the University Graduate Council, Academic Council and other committees as specified by the University Bylaws for Academic governance.

2.                       Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program: Components and Requirements

Doctoral study is appropriate for people who are committed to intellectual achievement in education and research. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University offers a doctoral program leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. A Ph.D. program is qualitatively different from a Master of Science program. It is an open-ended commitment, normally taking three or more academic years of study and research, and not exceeding an 8-year limit. The doctoral program is signified by conferral of three statuses, Primary, Qualified and Candidacy, each recognizing certain achievements toward the completion of the Ph.D. degree.

A student accepted into the Ph.D. program typically is conferred the Primary Status. In this status, the student must pass the Doctoral Qualifying Examination and complete most of his/her course work. Upon passage of the Qualifying Examination, the student is given Qualified Status, which signifies the student has demonstrated research ability. Upon completion of the course work, the student prepares for the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination. Successful passage of the Comprehensive Examination will earn the student Candidacy Status, which signifies that the student has begun steps toward joining the Computer Science research community. Defending the doctoral dissertation is the final stage of the doctoral program.

2.1.               Admission Requirements and Process

Maintenance Note : 5-08-2007

In order to better serve our applicants, we are in the process of upgrading our admissions software. Please check back later for detailed information on how to apply.

Thank you for your patience during this time of transition!

Admission Deadlines

To receive full consideration for admission and possible financial assistance, complete applications must be received by the following deadlines:

For Spring Semester:            September 15- Application Acceptance Closing Date

For Fall Semester:                     January 15- Application Acceptance Closing Date

Incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed.

Note that we will accept a complete application after these deadlines, but there is no guarantee that a late application will be processed.

Decision Dates

The GTS system allows you to inquire about the status of your application at any time. For fall semester admission, admission offers will be sent out by the end of March. For spring semester admission, admission offers will be sent out by the end of October.

2.2.               General Requirements

Students should become familiar with both the University and College of Engineering requirements.

2.2.1.        Collateral Course Work

Admission to the doctoral program may be provisional implying that the student must complete specific collateral courses deemed necessary for the student to successfully pursue the Ph.D. Unless otherwise specified, a maximum of one year is allowed for completion of such provisional requirements.

2.2.2.        Credit Load for Full-Time Status

The minimum credit load requirement for full-time status for academic purposes for all semesters prior to the completion of the Comprehensive Exam is as follows:

1.      Students without a graduate assistantship must carry a minimum of 6 credits.

2.      Students with a graduate assistantship must carry a minimum of 3 credits.

3.      Students engaged in department-approved off-campus fieldwork related to preparation of their dissertation must carry a minimum of 1 credit.

After the completion of the Comprehensive Exam, the minimum credit load requirement for full-time status for academic purposes is one credit if students are actively engaged in dissertation research; this is true whether or not the student is receiving financial support.

2.2.3.       Grade Point Average

The student must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 in all courses listed on the student's Program Plan. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the doctoral program. Collateral and transfer credits are not included in calculating the grade-point average. If a course is repeated, grades and credits for all courses repeated are included in the calculation of the grade-point average.

2.2.4.        Evaluation of Academic Performance

The dissertation advisor annually evaluates both the academic progress and the professional potential of the student. A copy of this evaluation will be communicated to the student, and a copy shall be placed in the student's academic file. A student whose performance does not meet the standards of quality will not be permitted to continue to enroll in the doctoral program, and the College and Department will take appropriate action.

2.2.5.        Grade Point Requirement

While the University requires a 3.0 average, the Department expects a Ph.D. student to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 on all course work. A student who is unable to meet the standards of quality of work may be asked to withdraw at the end of the semester.

2.2.6.        DF-Deferred grades

The required work must be completed and a grade reported within 6 months with the option of a single six-month extension. If the required work is not completed within the time limit, the DF will become U-Unfinished and will be changed to DF/U under the numerical and Pass-No Grade (P-N) grading systems, and to DF/NC under the Credit-No Credit (CR-NC) system. This rule does not apply to graduate thesis or dissertation work.

2.2.7.        Dismissal from Primary Status

Dismissal from Primary Status is possible if some provisional conditions are not met on schedule or because of inadequate academic performance. The University requires a yearly review of the performance of each Ph.D. student. A student who has some deficiency will be informed in writing and may be given an opportunity to take corrective action.

2.2.8.        Academic Advisor

At the time of admission, a temporary academic advisor is assigned by the Graduate Director to give a student a point of contact. A student may request the Graduate Director change his/her advisor.

2.2.9.        Dissertation Advisor

A dissertation advisor is found by the student, appointed by the Department Chairperson and approved by the Dean of Engineering. The dissertation advisor chairs the student's Ph.D. Guidance Committee and becomes the student's academic advisor.

2.2.10.        Ph.D. Guidance Committee

The student has the responsibility to form a Guidance Committee within the first year after admission to the doctoral program. The guidance committee is formed by the student in consultation with his/her dissertation advisor and must be approved by the Department Chairperson and the Dean of Engineering.

2.2.11.        Guidance Committee Membership

The guidance committee shall consist of at least four members of Michigan State University regular faculty, at least two of whom are from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and one of whom is from a department outside the CSE Department. More than four persons may be members of the guidance committee, and persons who are not MSU regular faculty may serve as members provided the number of such persons does not exceed the number of regular faculty. At least three of the committee members, including the committee chairperson, must possess an earned doctoral degree. If appropriate, the guidance committee may have two members serve as co-dissertation advisors.

2.2.12.        Change of Membership

The student may make any desired or required changes in the membership of the guidance committee with the concurrence of the dissertation advisor and the Department Chairperson. The membership of the guidance committee, with the concurrence of the student, may be changed as appropriate to the dissertation topic.

2.2.13.        Ph.D. Degree Program Plan

No later than the end of the student's second semester of enrollment in the Ph.D. program, the student must file a Ph.D. Degree Program Plan with the Dean of Engineering listing all courses the student should take. The Ph.D. Program Plan should be developed in consultation with the Guidance Committee. The Ph.D. Program Plan can be modified after full consultation between the student and his/her Ph.D. Guidance Committee with the approval of the Department Chairperson and the Dean of Engineering. The course work prescribed by the Guidance Committee insures the student has a comprehensive knowledge of a major field and necessary related subjects. The program plan must be submitted using the College of Engineering Graduate Tracking System.

2.2.14.        Ph.D. Degree Program Requirements

The Ph.D. Program plan must include 30 credits of courses at the 8XX/9XX levels (excluding independent study (890)). At least 24 credits must be in CSE courses.

Students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.S. degree can apply a maximum of 24 credits from their M.S. degree towards the 30 credits requirement. The Graduate Director will determine which credits apply. In order to request that some M.S. degree credits be used to apply towards the 30 credits requirement, students must supply the Graduate Director a transcript along with course syllabi for the appropriate courses within their first five weeks in the Ph.D. program. The transcript and course syllabi should be translated into English if they are not originally written in English.

The Ph.D. Program plan must satisfy the breadth requirement as defined by the Master's Degree Program Requirements. For students admitted to the Ph.D. Degree Program with an M.S. degree, the breadth requirement must be completed by the end of the third semester (excluding summer semester) in the Ph.D. program. Credits from the M.S. program that are approved by the Graduate Director can be used to satisfy some or all of the breadth requirement. For students admitted to the Ph.D. with only a B.S. degree, the breadth requirement must be completed by the end of the fourth semester (excluding summer semester) in the Ph.D. program.

In addition to the Ph.D. Program plan, it is a university requirement that students are required to take 24 credits of CSE 999 Doctoral Disseration Research. A student may not enroll in CSE 999 until the Qualifying Examination has been passed.

The student is also required to complete the no-credit Graduate Seminar Course offered by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, typically the first fall semester that the doctoral candidate is enrolled.

2.2.15.        Modification of Ph.D. Degree Program Plan

With reference to the Ph.D. Degree Program Plan, the following actions will not be approved:

1.      Adding or deleting a course for which a grade has already been assigned under any of the three grading systems (numerical, Pass-No Grade, or Credit-No Credit).

2.      Adding or deleting a course for which grading was postponed by the use of the DF - Deferred marker.

3.      Adding or deleting a course which the student dropped after the middle of the semester and for which W or N or 0.0 was designated.

4.      Adding or deleting a course during the final semester of enrollment in the doctoral degree program.

5.      Adding or deleting an enrolled course after the middle of the semester.

6.      Repeating a course in which a passing grade (2.0) has been received.

2.2.16.        Residency Requirements

The student may, with the approval of the Guidance Committee, carry on some of the work in absentia. The University requires at least one year of residency (two consecutive semesters, six semester credits per semester.)

2.3.         Primary Status

A student is admitted to the Ph.D. program in Primary Status. However, a student who has completed an M.S. thesis in Computer Science at Michigan State University will be admitted with Qualified Status. The Ph.D. Qualifying Examination is required of all students admitted with Primary Status. Successful completion of the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination moves the student from Primary to Qualified status. A student may not stay in primary status for longer than two years.

2.3.1.        The Ph.D. Qualifying Examination and Its Time Limit

1.      The Ph.D. Qualifying Examination consists of two parts: a written survey of a research area approved by the Guidance Committee, and an oral presentation of the survey to the Guidance Committee.

2.      When scheduling a Ph.D. Qualifying Examination, the student must submit a Qualifying Examination Proposal by email to the Graduate Secretary and the Guidance Committee. The Qualifying Examination Proposal should include the following:

3.      Unless a Guidance Committee member objects in writing (email included) to the student and the Graduate Secretary within two weeks, it is assumed that all Guidance Committee members approve the Qualifying Examination Proposal.

4.      The oral component of the Examination will include a prepared presentation by the student summarizing the main points of the written survey. The Committee members may ask questions in order to assess the student's knowledge of the area and his/her ability to compare and contrast different research contributions.

5.      The student must complete the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination by the end of his/her second year in the Ph.D. program.

6.      Following the oral presentation, the Guidance Committee will decide whether the student has passed or failed the Qualifying Examination. In the latter case, the Committee may decide to allow the student to retake/revise one or both parts of the exam.  The student's performance on the Examination must be approved by a positive vote of at least three-fourths of the Guidance Committee members with not more than one dissenting vote from among the Michigan State University regular faculty members of the Guidance Committee.

7.      A student with Qualified Status can change advisor and/or research area without losing his/her Qualified Status.

8.      The Ph.D. Qualifying Examination will satisfy the University required written component for the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination. Note:  a Ph.D. Guidance Committee may require an additional examination.

2.4.               Qualified Status

The Qualified Status signifies the student has demonstrated research ability. A student is either given Qualified Status upon admission, or after the successful passage of the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination. A student may not stay in Qualified Status beyond the fifth year after his/her first semester enrolled in the Ph.D. program.

2.5.               Candidacy Status

The student's Guidance Committee uses the student's Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination performance to confer Candidacy Status on the student.

2.5.1.        The Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination

The Comprehensive Examination is administered by the student's Guidance Committee, and is expected to be a formal written and oral examination covering the student's background and testing whether the student is prepared to write a dissertation. The Comprehensive Examination consists of a thesis proposal and a background examination. The background examination is separate from the thesis proposal.

The Comprehensive Examination must be taken when the prescribed course work as specified on the student's Ph.D. Program Plan has been substantially completed, as defined by the Guidance Committee.

The student's Guidance Committee has the final responsibility for setting the format of the Comprehensive Examination. At least one component of the Comprehensive Examination must be written and must be maintained in the Department office for three years.

The format of the thesis proposal is determined by the Guidance Committee, but normally contains the equivalents of: Chapter 0 - Background and related material for the area of the dissertation; Chapter 1 - Review of current research topics, results and methods of the field; Chapter 2 - Proposed research. In addition to the written thesis proposal, the student will present an oral presentation of the thesis proposal summarizing its main points.

The written proposal should be submitted to the Graduate Secretary and the Guidance Committee members at least two weeks in advance of the oral presentation. The thesis proposal is approved or rejected by the committee after the student's oral presentation of the proposal.

The student's performance on the Comprehensive Examination must be approved by a positive vote of at least three-fourths of the Guidance Committee members with not more than one dissenting vote from among the Michigan State University regular faculty members of the Guidance Committee.

The student is allowed to have one additional opportunity to retake the Comprehensive Examination if the student should fail. A student may be required by the Guidance Committee to re-take the Comprehensive Examination if the student changes his/her major field of research. The duration of each Comprehensive Examination normally will not exceed one month, but in no case may exceed a three-month period.

Usually, the student must be registered during the semester when the Comprehensive Examination is taken. However, if a student takes the comprehensive examination during summer semester and is enrolled in the preceding spring semester or will be enrolled in the ensuing fall semester, the student may apply for a waiver of the enrollment requirement. The waiver request must be sent to the Graduate School and endorsed by the student's department and college.

The date the student passes the Comprehensive Examination is the date on which she/he passes the final component of the Comprehensive Examination. The results of the Examination are recorded and submitted to the Department Chairperson and the Dean of Engineering.

2.5.2.        Time Limits

A student may not stay in Candidacy Status beyond the eighth year after their first semester enrolled in the Ph.D. program. A student must complete all graduation requirements for a Ph.D. degree within eight years of the first enrollment date. In exceptional circumstances, the Department may allow a student more than eight years to complete graduation requirements. In such a case, the student must retake and pass the Comprehensive Examination.

2.5.3.        Expectations of Candidacy Status

The student should begin to show participation in the scholarly research community. The student may show evidence of the ability and of the desire to obtain new knowledge from its source by:

2.6.               Graduation from Candidacy Status

The student shall fulfill the requirements listed in the University and College of Engineering regulations and procedures.

2.6.1.        Dissertation Credit Requirements

In addition to the courses on the student's Ph.D. Program of Study, at least 24 credits of CSE 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research are required. A student should be enrolled in every semester in which the student is using University facilities.

2.6.2.        Final Oral Examination

The Final Oral Examination in defense of the dissertation is conducted and evaluated by the Guidance Committee. The dissertation and the student's performance on the Examination must be approved by a positive vote of at least three-fourths of the Guidance Committee members with not more than one dissenting vote from among the Michigan State University regular faculty members of the Guidance Committee. Results of the vote must be recorded and submitted to the Department Chairperson and the Dean of Engineering. The Final Oral Examination must be scheduled for a date not earlier than two weeks after the dissertation and abstract have been submitted to the Guidance Committee members.

2.6.3.        Registration Requirement

Students must be registered during the semester in which the Final Oral Examination is taken.

2.6.4.        Completion

A student completes Candidacy Status upon passing the Final Oral Examination defense of his or her dissertation and having the corrected copy accepted by the Graduate School for distribution.

2.6.5.        Required Copies of Dissertation

Students should be familiar with the requirements for completing the dissertation including the final dates for submission of the dissertation. Hardbound copies of the dissertation made from the original unbound manuscript, approved and signed by the chairperson of the Guidance Committee, and submitted to the Office of the Graduate School shall be provided as follows:

2.7.               Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Programs in Computer Science

2.7.1.        Program Outline

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering supports interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs centered on the student's pursuit of an interdisciplinary research project. The primary goals of such programs are to attract excellent graduate students to Michigan State University, to provide an educational experience making them highly competitive in the future job market, and to foster cutting-edge interdisciplinary research.

Under MSU guidelines, research-based graduate degrees can be designed across disciplines/graduate programs, with the concurrence of the graduate programs involved (see Dual Major Doctoral Degrees). The interdisciplinary graduate degrees outlined here involve the Department of Computer Science and Engineering together with another department (e.g., Biochemistry), with one department  being the student's primary affiliation (and home of the principal advisor), and the other a secondary affiliation (home of a secondary advisor). Admission requirements to graduate school are based on the primary department. The student's coursework is split 60%:40% between the primary and secondary departments, with no more than 125% of the typical course load of a single Ph.D. degree required for the interdisciplinary degree. The degree is called, for example, a Ph.D. in Computer Science & Engineering and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, when the primary affiliation for the Ph.D. is Computer Science and the secondary affiliation is Biochemistry. Obligations for teaching are met in the primary department. Comprehensive examinations are specified according to the guidelines of the primary department and must meet the standards of a guidance committee including members from both departments, with ~60% members from the primary department and ~40% members from the secondary department. If a student decides to leave the interdisciplinary degree program, he/she can revert to the requirements of the primary affiliation. A student could be admitted as an interdisciplinary degree student with concurrence of the two departments. Currently it is typical that the student is admitted into the primary program and then arranges the secondary affiliation upon choice of a research project and advisor.

2.7.2.        Course Requirements

(The following is a template for Interdisciplinary Ph.D.s involving Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) as the primary department.)

A Ph.D. Program plan for a traditional CSE Ph.D. student includes at least 30 credits of coursework at the 8XX/9XX level. The following interdisciplinary coursework requirements are based upon requiring no more than 125% of the traditional plan requirements and reflect the 60%:40% coursework ratio desired for interdisciplinary Ph.D. training in two areas.  

  1. When CSE is the primary affiliation:  the student is still required to complete 30 credits at the 8XX/9XX level. However, only 15 of these 8XX/9XX credits are required to be in CSE as opposed to 24. At least 9 of these 8XX/9XX credits will be taken in the secondary affiliation. The no-credit Graduate Seminar Course offered by the CSE Department must also be taken.

  2. When CSE is the secondary affiliation: the student is required to complete 30 credits at the 8XX/9XX level unless this exceeds the 125% typical course load for the primary affiliation. In that case, the student is required to take this maximum number of credits at the 8XX/9XX level. At least 9 of the 8XX/9XX credits will be required to be in CSE.

If the student enters the program with an M.S. degree, some credits may be waived. Typically, up to 24 credits can be waived unless they use a lower credit load than 30. The number of credits that can be applied will be determined by the Graduate Director in this scenario.

3.                       Master's Degree Program: Components and Requirements

The Master's Degree Program prepares students for professional opportunities as well as for moving on to a Doctoral Program. In completing a M.S. degree, a student has the option of doing a thesis. The thesis option places emphasis on new research. All M.S. students must satisfy breadth requirements as well as taking a sufficient number of high-level courses.

3.1.               Admission Requirements and Process

The application for admission, application fee, and all the required supporting documents should be received at least two months prior to your desired semester of enrollment (see the deadlines below). All outstanding applicants are automatically considered for graduate assistantships (teaching and research), and fellowships.

A complete application consists of the following:

1.      College of Engineering Graduate Application: Please use the Graduate Tracking System to self-report some of your information. This system is also used to provide you with feedback about missing application items, decisions, etc. Note you must submit a Statement of Purpose for graduate study and a Resume via this on-line application.

2.      MSU Graduate Application: Please use the on-line application at the MSU Graduate School. You are also required to pay an application fee. 

Note: we no longer process paper applications. In filling out the two on-line applications listed above, it is imperative that you provide a correct and working email address. Almost all of our correspondence is conducted via email.

3.      Two official transcripts of all college work (undergraduate and graduate). Applicants should have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.

4.      TOEFL scores (international applicants whose native language is not English). Applicants should have a score of at least 600 (or 250, for the new computer-based TOEFL) with all subscores above 60 (or above 25, for the new computer-based TOEFL). Substantially higher scores are the norm for admission and assistantship/fellowship consideration. The Section 1 score is regarded as the most important subscore

5.      Test of Spoken English (TSE) is encouraged strongly for international students applying for teaching assistant positions. Such applicants should have a TSE score of at least 50.

6.      General GRE. Applicants should have a total (verbal, quantitative, analytical) score of at least 2000. For the new GRE, the total of Verbal and Quantitative scores should be at least 1360, and the Analytical Writing score should be at least 4.5.

7.      Three letters of recommendation. Any appropriate letter format is acceptable, or you may download our form from here.

8.      Sample (in English) of published papers or course project reports (optional).

Admission decisions are based on the overall academic record, grades, test scores (GRE, TOEFL, TSE), letters of recommendation, work experience, and other information provided in the application material. The scores mentioned above are generally considered as minimum requirements and do not guarantee admission if met.

All non-online application items mentioned above should be sent to:

Graduate Admission Processing

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Michigan State University

3115 Engineering Building

East Lansing, MI 48824-0590

U.S.A.

Admission Deadlines

To receive full consideration for admission and possible financial assistance, applications must be received by the following deadlines:

For Spring Semester:            September 15-Application Acceptance Closing Date

For Fall Semester:            January 15-Application Acceptance Closing Date

Incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed.

Note that we will accept an application after these deadlines, but there is no guarantee that a late application will be processed.

Decision Dates

The GTS system allows you to inquire about the status of your application at any time. For fall semester admission, admission offers will be sent out by the end of March. For spring semester admission, admission offers will be sent out by the end of October.

3.2.               General Requirements

Students should become familiar with both the University and College of Engineering requirements.

3.2.1.        Credit Load for Full-Time Status

The minimum credit load requirement for all semesters except last is defined as follows:

1.      To be considered full time for academic purposes, students without a graduate assistantship must carry a minimum of 9 credits.

2.      An international student without a graduate assistantship must carry a minimum of 9 credits.

3.      Students with 1/4 or 1/2 time graduate assistantship must carry a minimum of 6 credits.

4.      Students with 3/4 time graduate assistantship must carry a minimum of 3 credits.

During the last semester in which all the requirements for the degree will be completed, the minimum enrollment is one credit.

3.2.2.        Transfer Credit

Up to a maximum of nine graduate credits (excluding research, thesis and independent study credits) earned in another graduate program may be accepted by the Department. Students from the Michigan Coalition for Engineering Education (MCEE) institutions are allowed up to 14 credits. In such a case, the completed Credit Evaluation: Graduate Program form is to be included with the program plan. Transfer credit will be given only for courses in which a grade of 3.0 (out of 4) or better was earned and whose content is still relevant and timely.

3.2.3.        Grade Point Average

The student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in all courses listed on the student's Program Plan. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the master's program. Collateral and transfer credits are not included in calculating the grade-point average. If a course is repeated, grades and credits for all courses repeated are included in the calculation. Students appointed as graduate assistants are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5.

3.2.4      DF-Deferred grades

The required work must be completed and a grade reported within 6 months with the option of a single six-month extension. If the required work is not completed within the time limit, the DF will become U-Unfinished and will be changed to DF/U under the numerical and Pass-No Grade (P-N) grading systems, and to DF/NC under the Credit-No Credit (CR-NC) system. This rule does not apply to graduate thesis or dissertation work.

3.2.5.        Probational Status

A student having an overall grade-point average below 3.0 will be placed on probational status. In such status, the student cannot take any non-competitive special problems courses as part of the Master's Degree Program. In addition, there may be additional restrictions imposed by the Graduate School.

3.2.6.        Evaluation of Academic Performance

Both the academic progress and the professional potential of the student are evaluated annually by the student's advisor. A copy of this evaluation will be communicated to the student and a copy shall be placed in the student's file. A student whose performance does not meet the standards of quality will not be permitted to continue to enroll in the master's program, and the College and Department will take  appropriate action.

3.2.7.        Limitations

The requirements for the M.S. degree must be completed within five calendar years of the date of enrollment in the first course included for degree certification. Normally, teaching assistantship support for students in the M.S. program is limited to two years.

3.2.8.        Academic Advisor

At the time of admission, an academic advisor is assigned by the Graduate Director to give a student a point of contact. A student may request the Graduate Director change his/her advisor.

3.2.9.        M.S. Degree Program Plan

A Master's Degree Program contains the list of the courses the student is planning to take and the M.S. Plan option (thesis or course work). All M.S. students, with the help of their advisors, must file a formal Master's Degree Program before the completion of 6 credits of graduate work. Failure to file such a form on time will result in enrollment blockage. The program plan must be submitted using the College of Engineering Graduate Tracking System.

3.2.10.    Modification of M.S. Degree Program Plan

Given the approval of their advisor, students may make changes in their Master's Degree Program. However, the following actions will not be approved:

1.      Adding or deleting a course for which a grade has already been assigned under any of the three grading systems (numerical, Pass-No Grade, or Credit-No Credit).

2.      Adding or deleting a course for which grading was postponed by the use of the DF - Deferred marker.

3.      Adding or deleting a course which the student dropped after the middle of the semester and for which W or N or 0.0 was designated.

4.      Adding or deleting a course during the final semester of enrollment in the master's degree program.

5.      Adding or deleting an enrolled course after the middle of the semester.

6.      Repeating a course in which a passing grade (2.0) has been received

3.2.11.         M.S. Degree Program Requirements

The student must complete a minimum of 30 credits in 4XX-, 8XX- and 9XX-level courses under Plan A or Plan B. Further, a student's M.S. degree program under either plan must satisfy the Breadth Requirement.

3.2.11.1.     Plan A: Thesis

Under this plan, 20 of the required 30 credits must be at the 8XX-9XX level (excluding CSE 890). Further, the student must complete at least 6, but not more than 8, credits in Master's Thesis Research offered as CSE 899.

1.      The student has the responsibility of finding an M.S. thesis advisor. The thesis advisor chairs the student's M.S. thesis review committee and becomes the student's academic advisor.

2.      The student, in consultation with his/her advisor, forms an M.S. thesis review committee consisting of at least three MSU regular faculty members, including the thesis advisor. One of the committee members may be from outside the Department.

3.      The thesis review committee must be formed and the committee must approve the thesis proposal before the student may enroll in CSE 899.

4.      The student is required to make a public presentation and pass an oral certifying examination in defense of his/her M.S. thesis. The M.S. thesis and the student's performance on the examination must be approved by a positive vote of at least two-thirds of the thesis review committee members.

5.      The student is expected to provide to his/her thesis advisor a hardbound copy of the thesis along with any product (software, hardware, etc.) constituting his/her thesis work. The student must abide by other submission requirements set by the Department, College and the University.  In particular, students should be familiar with the University requirements for completing the thesis including the final dates for submission of the thesis.

3.2.11.2.     Plan B: Course Work

Under this plan, 24 of the required 30 credits must be at the 8XX-9XX level (excluding CSE 890 and CSE 899).

3.2.11.3.     Breadth Requirement

The student's M.S. degree program plan must contain at least one course from each of the following four groups.

Group 1: Software Systems:

CSE 814 Formal Methods in Software Development

CSE 870 Advanced Software Engineering

CSE 872 Advanced Computer Graphics

CSE 880 Advanced Database Systems

CSE 881: Data Mining

Group 2: Systems:

CSE 812 Advanced Operating Systems

CSE 820 Advanced Computer Architecture

CSE 824 Advanced Computer Networks and Communications

CSE 825 Computer and Network Security 

Group 3 Theory:

CSE 830 Design and Theory of Algorithms

CSE 835 Algorithmic Graph Theory

CSE 860 Foundations of Computing

Group 4 Intelligent Systems:

CSE 802 Pattern Recognition and Analysis

CSE 803 Computer Vision

CSE 841 Artificial Intelligence

CSE 842 Natural Language Processing

CSE 847 Machine Learning

CSE 848 Evolutionary Computing

4.     Department Policies: Integrity and Safety in Research and Creative Activities

Integrity in research and creative activities is based on sound disciplinary practices as well as on a commitment to basic values such as fairness, equity, honesty and respect. Through interaction with faculty and students, with their faculty advisors, and by emulating exemplary behavior, students learn to value professional integrity and high standards of ethical behavior.

Every graduate student should become familiar with the resources available relate to the issues of integrity and safety, in particular, the MSU Graduate School website on the Responsible Conduct of Research and the MSU Graduate School Research Integrity Newsletter. In the Spring 2004 issue of the Research Integrity Newsletter, there is a special section on Guidelines for Integrity in Research and Creative Activities. The Graduate School also provides information concerning student workshops on a variety of topics including responsible conduct of research.  A listing of presentations for the academic year at Michigan State University on aspects of research integrity can be found at the Responsible Conduct of Research website.

4.1.         Key Principles

As discussed in detail in Guidelines for Integrity in Research and Creative Activities, integrity in research and creative activities embodies a range of practices includes:

In a community of scholars such as Michigan State University, understanding these guidelines in order to promote high professional standards by everyone, faculty, staff and students, is essential.

4.2.         Misconduct in Research and Creative Activities

Federal and University policies define misconduct to include fabrication (making up data and recording or reporting them), falsification (manipulating research materials, equipment or processes, or changing or omitting data such that the research is not accurately represented in the record), and plagiarism (appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit). Serious or continuing non-compliance with government regulations pertaining to research may constitute misconduct as well. University policy also defines retaliation against whistle blowers as misconduct. Misconduct does not include honest errors or honest differences of opinion in the interpretation or judgment of data.

The University views misconduct to be the most egregious violation of standards of integrity and as grounds for disciplinary action, including the termination of employment of faculty and staff, dismissal of students, and revocation of degrees. It is the responsibility of faculty, staff and students alike to understand the University's policy on misconduct in research and creative activities, to report perceived acts of misconduct of which they have direct knowledge to the University Intellectual Integrity Officer, and to protect the rights and privacy of individuals making such reports in good faith.

4.3.         Research Involving Human Subjects

UCRIHS stands for the University Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects. It is an Institutional Review Board (IRB), and is charged with ensuring the rights and protection of all human subjects of research conducted at MSU.

Federal and University regulations require all research projects involving human subjects and materials of human origin be reviewed and approved by an IRB before initiation. Approval of the research protocol must be in place BEFORE the investigator begins data collection. These regulations are of specific concern to graduate students because research includes the preparation of Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations. By regulation, UCRIHS may not approve data gathered without its prior review and approval of the project. Only in exceptional circumstances will the Graduate School accept a thesis or dissertation containing data from human subjects does not have UCRIHS approval. Therefore, if you do not receive UCRIHS approval for your project prior to beginning data collection, and keep your approval current during the entire time you collect data, your project may not receive approval by the Graduate School.

Details on what constitutes research using human subjects can be found in the Spring 2000 and Fall 2000 issues of the MSU Research Integrity Newsletter. Instructions for applying for approval are available on the UCRIHS website.

4.4.    Research Involving Animals

The use of vertebrate animals in research, teaching and outreach activities is subject to state and federal laws and guidelines. University policy specifies all vertebrate animals under University care (i.e., involved in projects under the aegis or sponsorship of the University) will be treated humanely, and prior to their start, all vertebrate animal projects must receive approval by the All University Committee on Animal Use and Care (AUCAUC). Information concerning policies and procedures can be found at the AUCAUC website.

4.5.          Office of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Safety (ORCBS)

Surveillance of University practices dealing with radiation, chemical and biological hazards will reside with the Office of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Safety (ORCBS). The ORCBS will report directly to the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. Protective services, fire safety, accident prevention and general safety will be the responsibility of the Department of Police and Public Safety (DPPS). DPPS reports to the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Operations, and Treasurer. The special matter of risk management in the course of delivering treatment in MSU clinics or by MSU physicians, nurses and other licensed clinicians comes under the special risk management procedures of the respective clinic and the All University Risk Management Committee.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies and the Office of the Provost are responsible for promoting liaison between the University faculty, students and staff engaged in interaction, research and service, activities involving radiation, chemical and biological hazards including related moral and ethical issues.

The ORCBS provides live and on-line training classes throughout the year to educate the employees and students of Michigan State University on safe work practices. Completion of these courses by MSU personnel ensures the university is fulfilling local, state and federal requirements in radiation, chemical, biological, hazardous waste and environmental safety. The type of training you require depends on the nature of your duties and responsibilities. Details about available and required training can be found at the ORCBS website.

5.       Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution

5.1.   Student Conduct

Michigan State University expects student conduct and behavior to reflect qualities of good citizenship. The out-of-classroom activities of University students should favorably reflect upon the institution and should demonstrate the personal integrity of the individuals. Spartan Life: Student Handbook and Resources Guide provides information on specific policies, ordinances, and regulations define some of the relevant University expectations.

5.2.         Conflict Resolution

The University has established a judicial structure and process for hearing and adjudicating alleged violations of recognized graduate student rights and responsibilities.

Conflict involving a graduate student may be handled informally or, at the request of a party or parties, formally. The document Academic Freedom for Students at Michigan State University contains details of students' rights and responsibilities as well as grievance procedures. Part II of Spartan Life contains a section on Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities. The College of Engineering's Hearing Board follows specific procedures to deal with such issues, as does the Department of Computer Science and Engineering's Hearing Board. The Office of the Ombudsman is a resource for additional information. Grievance procedures outlined in these documents shall be followed, and the College of Engineering Advisory Council is responsible for the interpretation and execution of these procedures in the College.

5.3.   Department Procedures

Grievances initiated by a graduate student shall be handled by the procedure defined in Article 5 of the Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities document augmented by the document: Academic Freedom for Students at Michigan State University.

A grievance should be brought to the attention of the department chairperson.  If informal resolution of the grievance is not possible and the graduate student initiates a request for a formal grievance, the chairperson will bring the matter to the attention of the Department Hearing Board for adjudication of the grievance in a timely manner.

6.        Financial Support and Work Related Policies

This section provides current and prospective graduate students in Computer Science and Engineering with information regarding work related policies, information regarding financial support and information regarding tuition and fees.

Financial support for graduate students takes different forms and may include one or more of the following: fellowship, research assistantship, or teaching assistantship. Specific award amounts change with time to reflect changes in tuition, fees, and the general cost of living. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering has a limited number of fellowships and assistantships available for qualified graduate students. Applicants for admission into either the M.S. or Ph.D. programs are automatically considered for financial support.

Sources of financial support include the University, the College of Engineering, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and off-campus organizations in both the public and private sector. Qualifications for receiving specific types of aid vary depending upon the funding source. Some financial aid packages place certain restrictions/responsibilities upon the recipient. For example, a half-time graduate assistantship would require the recipient to perform an average of twenty (20) hours per week of duties in service on the average to the University during the appointment period.

Most financial support packages require that the student make satisfactory progress toward completing a degree of study. The Department's criteria for satisfactory academic progress includes: course credits completed per semester, the nature of these courses, the grades received, successful completion of required qualifying/comprehensive examinations, and progress in completing M.S. thesis or Ph.D. dissertation research.

In addition to satisfactory progress toward completing the degree, continuation of graduate support depends upon the following: the recipient has performed the assigned duties satisfactorily; past level of support and total number of semesters of support; the availability of funds to continue the current level of financial assistance; the needs of the Department for the particular services for which the recipient is qualified to perform. When resources for financial support are limited and the demand for support exceeds the funds available, continuation of financial support for an individual student will depend upon merit relative to others requesting aid and the needs of the Department.

For graduate assistants holding an appointment during the spring semester, the Department will advise each assistant by March 31 whether or not the assistantship will be renewed for the following academic year. The notification will provide details as to the type of assistantship support and the length of the appointment (fall semester or the entire academic year).  For graduate assistants appointed only for the fall semester, the Department will provide notification of renewal for the following spring semester by December 1.

6.1.   Teaching Assistantships

In considering the assignment of Teaching Assistantships (TA), the Department Graduate Studies and Research Committee uses a set of criteria as a guideline for selecting applicants for TA positions. These criteria are intended to support the Department's teaching and research missions. The criteria for TA appointment decisions listed in order of priority are:

1.      Those students to whom the Department has a prior commitment to provide support, such as students who have received a multi-year support offer on admission.

2.      Ph.D. students actively involved in research who do not have a research assistantship, fellowship or other support. Normally, a Ph.D. student will not receive more than six semesters (excluding summer semesters) of support as a TA.

3.      M.S. students in a thesis (Plan A) who do not have a research assistantship, fellowship or other support. Normally, an M.S. student will not receive more than four semesters (excluding summer semesters) of support as a TA.

4.      M.S. students in the course work option (Plan B) who do not have a research assistantship, fellowship or other support.

Academic performance and qualifications to teach a particular course will also be considered in all TA appointment decisions. For students for whom English is not the official language of their home country, a minimum score of 50 on the SPEAK test is required.

6.2.   Research Assistantships

Individual faculty members generally select research assistants from the graduate student body and qualified applicants. Research assistants are often selected to work on a specific research project or projects for which the faculty member has funding. Often, but not necessarily always, the work is related to the thesis work of the student. Renewal of research assistantships is based on satisfactory performance and availability of funds.

6.3.   The Graduate Employees Union (GEU)

All teaching assistants should be aware of their rights and responsibilities under the current version of the contract between MSU and the GEU. The Department provides each student appointed as a TA with a copy. The agreement is also available online .

6.4.   University Graduate Assistantship Polices

Graduate Assistants (including research assistants and teaching assistants) are available only to graduate students who are making satisfactory progress toward their degree, including maintaining at least a 3.00 grade point average. Graduate assistants are appointed on a quarter-time, half-time or three-quarter time basis. The academic year encompasses two appointment periods- August 16-December 31 and January 1-May 15. Summer appointments cover the period from May 16-August 15. During each appointment period a graduate assistant's duties to the University require an average of:

The student is expected to be available during the appointment period. Any absences, including for attendance of professional meetings, must be arranged with the supervising faculty member and the Department.

Graduate assistants must be registered each semester in which they hold assistantships. For quarter-time appointments, the minimum enrollment is 6 credits for master's degree students and 3 credits for doctoral students prior to completion of the comprehensive examination (including credits in 899 and 999) and the maximum enrollment is 16 credits (excluding credits in 899 or 999). For half-time appointments, the minimum enrollment is 6 credits for master's degree students and 3 credits for doctoral students prior to completion of the comprehensive examination (including credits in 899 and 999) and the maximum enrollment is 12 credits (excluding credits in 899 or 999). For three-quarter time appointments, the minimum enrollment is 6 credits for master's degree students and 3 credits for doctoral students prior to completion of the comprehensive examination (including credits in 899 and 999) and the maximum enrollment is 12 credits (excluding credits in 899 or 999). The minimum enrollment for doctoral students who have successfully completed all comprehensive examinations is 1 credit for all graduate assistantship levels.

International students should also be aware of minimum credit enrollments to satisfy visa requirements. The MSU Office of International Students and Scholars is an important resource of information in this regard.

6.5.    Graduate Assistants Not Covered by the GEU

For all graduate research assistants and all graduate teaching assistants who are not included in the GEU agreement, current information concerning stipends, tuition and fee benefits, health insurance and other benefits can be found at the Graduate School web site.

6.6.    Graduate Assistants Covered by the GEU

For GEU covered assistantships, please see the current MSU/GEU agreement for information regarding stipends, tuition and fee benefits, and health insurance coverage.

6.7.   External Fellowships

Receipt of externally funded fellowships by students who have written their own grant applications and worth at least $20,000 (direct costs) now makes the students eligible for in-state tuition rate. The in-state tuition rate applies only to the semesters during which the student is supported by the fellowship. This policy applies only to grants funded through a competitive process by a US institution/agency/foundation. Funds obtained through non-competitive processes (e.g., need-based fellowships) or from international sources do not qualify the students for in-state tuition rates. For more information contact Melissa Del Rio (mdelrio@msu.edu) in 110 Linton Hall.

6.8.    Use of Department Facilities and Supplies

Graduate students supported as graduate assistant in the Department are provided with a campus mailbox in the Engineering Building. All graduate students in the Department have access to computer systems maintained by the Department as well as facilities provided by the Division of Engineering Computing Services. Graduate assistants are provided with office space and telephone access for local and campus calls. Copy machines are available in the Engineering Library with a customary charge per page. Teaching assistants may have required materials copied for their teaching duties by the office copying machine without charge.

6.9.    Fees and Rates

For current information regarding tuition, fees and housing rates associated with enrolling in the Graduate Programs in Computer Science and Engineering, please see the Online Calculator.

6.10.    Outside Work for Pay

Outside work for pay must be undertaken within any guidelines established by Michigan State University or the College of Engineering.

7.       University Resources

7.1.    The University

Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. It is known worldwide as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 14 degree-granting colleges and affiliated private law school offer 200 programs of study. They attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.

Students from all 83 counties in Michigan, all 50 states in the United States, and about 125 other countries are represented in the student body of 44,452 students (fall, 2003). There are approximately 4,500 faculty and academic staff, and approximately 6,000 support staff employees. Library resources include a research collection of approximately 4.5 million volumes housed in the main library and nine branch libraries across campus. More than 500 registered student organizations include honoraries; professional organizations and professional fraternities and sororities; recreational and athletic groups; and international, racial/ethnic, religious, academic interest area, political, social service, volunteer, and media organizations.

The Graduate School at Michigan State University provides programs to serve all graduate students, including a variety of free workshops throughout the year. One example is the PREP program for graduate students' professional development (http://grad.msu.edu/cpd.htm). The Council of Graduate Students represents all registered MSU graduate and graduate-professional students. The Graduate Employee's Union represents Teaching Assistants.

7.2.    The College

Michigan State University's Engineering College offers graduate programs through six academic Departments: Agricultural Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. The college houses many research centers and laboratories, which vigorously promote the interdisciplinary collaboration of its faculty members with each other, and with other university Departments, other universities and the general public.

A $34.5 million addition and renovation in 1989 provided 167,000 square feet of space for laboratories, classrooms, offices and the engineering library. The Engineering Building, constructed in 1962, underwent a $14-million, 46,000-square-foot addition in 1997, accommodating the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Institute for Materials Research, one of the premier facilities in the world for the study of composite materials. Other facilities include the Engineering Facility at the MSU Research Complex; the Jolly Road Research Facility; and the Automotive Research Experiment Station located in the Hulett Road Research Facility.

7.3.    The Department

The computer science and engineering graduate program has approximately 120 students, of which about 70% are doctoral students and 30% are master's students. The graduate students work in close relationship with the approximately 25 faculty in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in a strong and growing research program. Students also engage in interdisciplinary research through extensive collaborative research projects conducted by faculty of Computer Science and Engineering together with faculty colleagues from many other disciplines at Michigan State University. Indeed, interdisciplinary research collaboration is a hallmark of the computer science and engineering discipline, and is a strength of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

7.4.        The Campus

Campus cultural and other special centers include the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, Kresge Art Museum, MSU Museum, Kellogg Center, Abrams Planetarium, WKAR-AM/FM public radio and WKAR public television. Sports devotees can follow the performance of any of the 25 men's and women's intercollegiate teams on campus. Those wishing to participate in athletics can take advantage of any of the many facilities available. These include gymnasiums for basketball and racquet sports, an indoor ice-skating rink, five swimming pools, a number of outdoor tennis courts and two 18-hole golf courses. The intramural sports program is one of the largest in the nation.

The campus has been called an "academic park" and the beautiful gardens and landscaping are testimony to many generations of careful stewardship. The 5,200 acres, located three miles east of Michigan's Capitol in Lansing, represent a unique blend of the traditional and the innovative and is adjacent to its college town, East Lansing. The Red Cedar River traverses the campus and offers opportunities for lively activities such as canoe races or quiet reflection for those who wish to walk or study along its tree-lined shores.

7.5.        The Lansing Community

The greater Lansing area, with a population of approximately a half-million, boasts a fine symphony orchestra which performs at the Wharton Center; several dance and theater groups, art galleries; the state capitol building, museums, state and local libraries; an arboretum, a zoo, a variety of parks, and a number of restaurants to suit most pocketbooks and tastes.

Graduate students in need of a change of scene can take the train to Chicago from East Lansing or drive an hour or two to Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids or Detroit. In addition, day or weekend jaunts can be made to such attractions as Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum, the Irish Hills, the Kellogg Biological Station, numerous National and State Forests in the lower and upper peninsulas, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron beaches and parks, and Mackinac Island. Recreational activities in Michigan are highlighted by water sports in the summer months and skiing in winter.