Computer Science and Engineering MS

The MS in Computer Science and Engineering MS (CSE MS) provides an interdisciplinary masters degree in an emerging technical area. Students in the program are required to take courses in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. The primary objective of the CSE MS program is to give students a basic understanding of the mechanical, electrical and computing systems needed to participate in advanced mobile intelligent robotics applications.

The program covers the essentials of robotics, artificial intelligence, control, communications, sensors and signal processing. Students gain advanced knowledge in focus areas such as pattern recognition, computer vision, nonlinear control, digital signal processing, and communications. Upon graduation, the student will be able to participate in commercial, military and NASA projects to design and build intelligent autonomous systems capable of interacting with the environment and performing complex tasks.

CSE MS is funded and administered by the Computer Science and Engineering Department. Degrees offered in CSE MS are through the Computer Science and Engineering Department (CSE). Although administration is through CSE, the curriculum is interdisciplinary and supported by many departments on campus:


Degree Requirements

The master's degree curriculum is designed to give the student a core experience in computer science and engineering plus some specialization in a particular area. There are two options available to the student, the  Thesis Option and the Non-Thesis Option, which are described below. Both options have a core curriculum and elective courses. Electives are selected with consultation of the student's advisor and normally are directed towards career goals. Students will form a graduate committee and select a major advisor. For the thesis option, the major advisor with input from the graduate committee will guide the student's research. This will culminate in the Master's Thesis. For the non-thesis option, the advisor and committee will help select courses to achieve the student's educational goals.

Program Notes

Depending on the student's background, students may be expected to take a background course in areas not covered by their undergraduate degrees. These courses are not counted towards the CSE MS degree.

Thesis Option

  • The program will require at minimum of 30 credits – 24 of course work plus 6 thesis credits
  • Eighteen (18) credits in the program (meaning 12 credits maximum of transfer)
    • Two (2) credits of seminar - CSC 790
    • Twenty two (22) credits in CSE MS approved electives
  • Six (6) credits thesis - CSC 798
  • At least 15 of the 30 credits in course work should be in graduate level CSC courses
  • See CSE MS Courses and Electives page
  • See Catalog Links for complete information

Non-Thesis Option

The student must complete a minimum of thirty three (33) credits.

  • Thirty (30) credits in the program
    • CSC 788 (Graduate Project) is required, three (3) credits
    • Two (2) credits of seminar - CSC 790
    • Twenty eight (28) credits in CSE MS approved electives
  • Three (3) credits of professional elective selected by the student and advisor.
    • Any CSE MS approved elective automatically counts as a professional elective
  • At least 17 credits of course work must be in graduate level CSC courses
  • See CSE MS Courses and Electives page
  • See  Catalog Links for complete information

Prospective CSE MS Students

To assist our students, below is some needed information about our new graduate program in Computer Science and Engineering MS. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the department's graduate program coordinator, Dr. Christer Karlsson.

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The M.S. in CSE MS Computer Science and Engineering MS is part of the Western Regional Graduate Program. This means that any student from the regional alliance (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) will pay their in-state rate while attending the School of Mines for this program if accepted into the WRGP.

Application Process and General Background

The application process is outlined on the Graduate School website. Applications to the CSE MS program are considered throughout the year, but a student interested in funding for the subsequent fall semester should apply before March 15. The Computer Science and Engineering MS degree is an interdisciplinary program that is project based and students can come from a variety of undergraduate programs. Entering students will normally have a four year degree (B.S.) in either Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering or some other technical program. 

After a student has applied and been accepted into the program then he/she will be assigned an advisor. The advisor and the student are the primary agents in constructing a program of study, a student pursuing a thesis option will also need the program approved by their graduate committee. The program of study is customized for each student and it is possible that some students will require taking leveling courses to meet their academic goals. In other cases, students will have deficits in their background that will need to be taken before they can pursue their program of study. It is possible for a student with deficits to be admitted on a probationary status while they make up missing courses. Students with significant deficits can apply to the graduate school as a special non-degree seeking student and apply to the CSE MS program after they have successfully taken the courses necessary to address their deficiencies in background.

Mathematics Background

  • Year of Calculus (Calculus I & II)
  • One semester of Multivariate Calculus (Calculus III)
  • One semester of Differential Equations
  • One semester of probability and statistics is strongly suggested but not required.

Physics Background

  • Two semesters of calculus based physics is strongly suggested but not required.

Programming background

  • Introductory programming course (C/C++ preferred)
  • A course in Data Structures

Exams

  • TOEFL - For international students, a minimum score of 520 on the TOEFL is required (560 for admission without additional English tutoring). Note that these numbers are for the paper exam, not the web based exam.
  • GRE - recommended but not required. Note that the graduate school application implies that the GRE is required, but this is not the case.

Academic Qualifications

One of the major considerations that the admissions committee for CSE does consider is academic performance as an undergraduate student. A cumulative GPA at or above 3.0 does grant a very favorable consideration provided candidates have sufficient technical background. A student can be admitted on a probationary status if they have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.8. A student that is not initially accepted into the program can apply to the Graduate School as a special non-degree seeking student. A non-degree seeking student can reapply to the CSE MS program if they have demonstrated sufficient competency in the courses they take at the School of Mines.

    Useful Links


    CSE MS Courses and Electives

    The CSE MS master's degree curriculum is designed to give the student a core experience in robotics plus some specialization in a particular area.   There are two options available to the student, the Thesis Option and the Non-Thesis Option.  Courses and electives are selected with consultation of the student's advisor and normally are directed towards career goals.  Students will form a graduate committee and select a major advisor.   For the thesis option, the major advisor with input from the graduate committee will guide the student's research and course selection.  This will culminate in the Master's Thesis.   For the non-thesis option, the advisor and committee will help select courses to achieve the student's educational goals.

    Additional Notes

    • The list of courses taken by a student is known as the plan of study. This must be filed in the Graduate School office in the first year. The student's major advisor must sign off on the plan of study.
    • Thesis students have to present and defend their proposal for thesis work.  This must be signed off by the student's major advisor
      • Changes to the plan of study that involve existing electives require advisor approval.
      • Changes to the plan of study that involve non-elective courses must have CSE MS faculty approval.
      • If a student switches from thesis option to the non-thesis option then three credits can be converted into a project (CSC 788), but any additional thesis credits will not count towards the program of study.

      Program Curriculum

      Courses approved by the steering committee as counting in the CSE MS program are the following:

      CSC Courses

      • CSC 510 - Parallel Computing
      • CSC 512 - Cryptography
      • CSC 514 - Computer Vision
      • CSC 515 – Introduction to Robotics
        • CSC 516 - Adv. Algorithms for Robotics
        • CSC 526 - Cybersecurity
        • CSC 533 - Computer Graphics
        • CSC 541 - Networking and Data Communications
        • CSC 542 - Image Processing
        • CSC 545 - Theory of Computation
        • CSC 547 - Artificial Intelligence
        • CSC 548 – Machine Learning
          • CSC 549 - Advanced Artificial Intelligence
          • CSC 554 - Data Mining Theory
          • CSC 563 – Data Communications
            • CSC 576 - Mobile Computing Development

            EE/CENG Courses

            • CENG 514 - Computer Vision
            • CENG 515 – Introduction to Robotics
            • CENG 521 – Communication Systems
            • CENG 542 - Microprocessor-Based System Design
              • CENG 544 - Computer Networks
              • CENG 547 - Embedded Systems
              • CENG 548 - Real-Time Operating Systems
              • EE 552 – Robotic Control Systems
              • EE 618 - Sensors and Signal Processing
              • EE 651 - Digital Controls
              • EE 624 - Advanced Digital Signal Processing
              • EE 643 - Advanced Digital Systems

              Mechanical Engineering Courses

              • ME 683 - Advanced Mechanical System Control
              • ME 673 - Applied Engineering Analysis I
              • ME 773 - Applied Engineering Analysis II
              • ME 781 - Industrial Robotics

              Mathematics Courses

              • Math 532 – Partial Differential Equations
                • Math 543 - Data Analysis
                • Math 547 - Design of Experiments
                • Math 551 - Mathematical Modeling
                • Math 552 - Advanced Studies in Math

                The Accelerated Option for CSE MS

                The Computer Science and Engineering MS (CSE MS) program and the Computer Science program have partnered to provide a five year degree program resulting in a BS in Computer Science and an MS in CSE MS. The student will begin by completing the requirements for the undergraduate degree in Computer Science. Students accepted into this special program are give the opportunity to apply a maximum of 10 credits of their undergraduate program to their graduate program of study.

                • These courses should be taken at the graduate level and should be courses that are part of the approved list of CSE MS electives
                • Any courses required for the B.S. degree are not allowed to count towards the accelerated M.S.
                • All courses counted by both the B.S. and M.S. should be taken on the campus of SD Mines

                The CS undergraduate degree has some free credits (depending on catalog year). Students following this program will obtain a B.S. in computer science after the fourth year. Admission into the CSE MS program will be done in the late Junior or Senior year. Thesis research work may begin during the summer following the Senior year and a research relationship with a faculty member should be established in the senior year (through a research group, Senior Design or CAMP). The student needs to be thesis ready at the end of the fourth year.

                Schedule

                • First - Fourth year: follow the traditional Computer Science Curriculum
                • Summer prior to Fifth year: 3 thesis credits
                • Fifth year Fall: 12 credits
                • Fifth year Spring: 9 credits coursework, 3 credits thesis research
                • Summer following Fifth year: 3 thesis credits

                Interested students should contact Dr. Karlsson or Dr. McGough as soon as possible.


                Resources

                The following resources are available to assist both students and faculty participating in the CSE MS program:

                CSE MS Thesis The thesis is a document which describes the research and results of the student's graduate work. The thesis topic is decided on in consultation with, and requires the approval of, the student's Major Advisor.  All details regarding the thesis are to worked out by the student, the student's advisor and graduate committee.  Learn more at our CSE MS Thesis webpage.


                Graduate Committee The Graduate Student Advisory Committee assists in the supervision of students enrolled in the Computer Science and Engineering MS program.  For details about the graduate committee and roles of individual committee members, please refer to our Graduate Committee webpage.


                Policies and Procedures Policies and procedures relating to the CSE MS program, including Curriculum and Academic Probation are available at our Policies and Procedures webpage. 

                Department Head
                Contact Information

                Dr. Jeffrey S McGough
                Jeff.McGough@sdsmt.edu
                Phone: (605) 394-2722
                Office: MDB 100 

                Please note:
                Due to construction in McLaury, the CSE department office is located in the lower level of the Dakota Building at 306 E. St. Joseph Street.