MS Thesis Details

Students interested in gaining significant research experience during their degree may choose to complete a masters thesis.

Please note that this document was created by the faculty for student convenience. However, all Graduate School policies and forms for graduation must be used. It is the student’s responsibility to check the UMBC Graduate School website for any updates to their requirements

Registering for an MS Thesis

Students working on a masters thesis should register for HCC 799 with their thesis advisor. Two semesters of HCC 799 can be applied towards graduation as electives if the student completes the thesis. If a student does not complete the thesis, only one semester can count as an elective towards graduation.

Selecting a Thesis Topic, Finding an Advisor, and Forming a Thesis Committee

Thesis work is completed under the supervision of a faculty thesis advisor and must make an intellectual contribution to the larger field of Human-Centered Computing. The relationship between the student and the advisor commonly follows the apprentice model where the student is learning the research process from the faculty member and working on a research project related to that faculty member’s larger research agenda.

If a student elects to do a thesis, they must identify a faculty thesis advisor from the Information Systems Department and get their approval. While not required, it is often advantageous to select a faculty member the student has worked with on an independent study or taken a class from. We recommend students start this process by reading a faculty member’s publications and identifying past work they are interested in. Once the student has identified specific papers they are interested in, it is appropriate to schedule a meeting with that faculty member to discuss the faculty member’s research approach, interests, and potential topics for a masters thesis.

In addition to the thesis advisor, the student must form a thesis committee (of at least three faculty) who will attend the thesis defense and read the final dissertation.This committee oversees the student’s research and ultimately evaluates the thesis.


It is up to the student and their advisor to determine a schedule for the thesis that works for them and results in completed research. We recommend the student form their their committee during their first semester of HCC 799 and work with them to determine a meeting schedule.

In addition to completing the research, the thesis student must follow the following schedule for the Graduate School in order to complete the thesis.

Deadline Thesis Deliverable or Graduate School Form to Complete
2 months before defense Complete the Nomination of Members for the Final Masters Thesis Examination Committee Form
2 months before defense Complete the Online Application for Diploma (requires MyUMBC login)
1 month before defense Send complete draft to thesis committee for review
2 weeks before defense Complete the Certification of Readiness to Defend
Hold your oral defense and complete the Approval Sheet
Nov. 30 (F)
Apr. 30 (S)
Jul. 31 (Su)
Complete the Thesis and Dissertation Electronic Publication Form
Nov. 30 (F)
May 1 (S)
Jul. 31 (Su)
Upload final thesis to ProQuest
Last day of term Complete Certification of Completion of Masters Degree Requirements Form

Additional information

The Graduate School’s website outlines the dissertation process, and provides helpful templates and advice.