Graduate Assistantship Policies


The MS in Data Science and Analytics has been allocated six graduate assistantships with three beginning in 2019 and the remaining three beginning in 2020 (see sentate proposal for documentation). Determination of these assistantships will be merit-based with emphasis placed on potential for future graduate research success and diversity. Applications will be reviewed by the director of the program in addition to the chair of any department teaching in the required core courses of the program. At present this is Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics. In addition to the standard admission materials, each candidate will submit an essay no longer than one page that describes their interests and goals for graduate research. Each graduate assistant is expected to complete a thesis which is proposed no earlier than the second semester of the program. Each assistant is responsible for finding a thesis mentor at that time. Preference for mentors will not be used for awarding the assistantships. In the case of two or more students selecting the same mentor, the aforementioned review committee will make the final determination and may decide that an alternative primary mentor should be selected.


A three page research proposal (not including references) must be submitted and approved by the primary mentor and a secondary mentor/committee research committee member. This must be completed during the second semester after receiving the assistantship.

Thesis Defense

A research paper must be in submission (or near submission) to a peer-reviewed conference or journal prior to scheduling the thesis defense. This is in addition to the thesis guidelines and requirements prescribed by the university The thesis will be a public defense and must be advertised to the department and campus community with at least 30 days notice. The defense will last approximately 30 minutes with 20 minutes for presentation followed by 5-10 minutes for questions. The candidate will then leave the room while the committee deliberates and may reach the following conclusions: pass or fail with the following qualifiers: pass with no revisions or pass with revisions. If the committee determines the candidate did not pass, then they must propose a follow-up study and/or modifications to satisfy the committee.