All CIS majors perform significant research in their fields of study, which they subsequently compile into a substantial senior thesis, project or examination. 

Students must work with faculty to design capstone experiences that work for their majors.  For example, the comprehensive examination experience requires students to conduct extensive literature reviews across multiple disciplines. The student and faculty advisers will work to create a reading list for students to master key debates, questions, disagreements, and discoveries across and within multiple fields. The thesis and project experience are more traditional and designed based upon the expectations and requirements of the advisers. 

Thesis Capstone Experience 

Writing a thesis counts for two course credits (CIS 495 and 496). In order to graduate with a CIS major, you must complete CIS 495 (fall) and 496 (spring) successfully.

While a seemingly daunting task, a thesis is an opportunity to:

  • Explore a topic of your own choosing in depth
  • Hone the skills that you've learned and learn new skills along the way
  • Perform substantive work eligible for honors and, not infrequently, publication
  • Enhance your candidacy for admission to graduate school

Your thesis is a major part of your CIS experience and your faculty advisers are aware of the challenges. Be assured of our respect for your enterprise and our knowledge of your future satisfaction in having conducted your own research. You can depend on our encouragement and support.

To ensure that you stay on schedule with the development and writing of your thesis, multiple deadlines and milestones have been established during your junior and senior years.

Project and Comprehensive Examination Experience

Students work closely with their advisers to design experiences that have rigor and integrity. All projects must have rubrics so that students will know early how they will be evaluated. All comprehensive examinations must have reading lists that seek both breadth and depth and addresses both theoretical and methodological issues within a field or fields.