Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science
Effective starting Fall 2014
Approved by the CECS department on October 1, 2014.
Candidates for the Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) degree at California State University, Long Beach must successfully complete either (a) a comprehensive examination or (b) a thesis with oral defense. This document spells out the policies that are in effect regarding the comprehensive examination.
Graduate students may satisfy the written comprehensive examination requirement by achieving a PASS score on each of the sections making up the written comprehensive examination.
A candidate must have Advanced To Candidacy before registering for the written comprehensive examination.
The written comprehensive examination shall be offered once each fall and spring semester. It is normally scheduled approximately two/three weeks prior to the last day of instruction. The exam is not administered in the summer. The duration of the written comprehensive examination shall be two hours for each section making up the written comprehensive examination as listed in 6.0 below.
The written comprehensive examination will be administered and evaluated by a committee of faculty selected by the Graduate Curriculum Committee.
The comprehensive examination consists of three sections covering undergraduate and graduate material. The sections are as follows:
6.1. MSCS Option in Computer Science
6.1.1. Any THREE of the following subjects such that NO MORE THAN ONE subject chosen is in each of the following four groups:
(i) Theory: Analysis of Algorithms
(ii) Systems: Operating Systems,Fundamentals of Computer Architecture.
(iii) Software: Software Engineering. Object Oriented Programming, Database and
(iv)Networking and Security: Computer Networking, Computer Security, Distributed Computing, Fault Tolerant Computing.
6.2. MSCS Option in Computer Engineering
6.2.1. Computer Organization and Architecture
6.2.2. System on Chip Designs
6.2.3. A subject to be selected by each student from the list of approved "Application" courses. A reading list prepared by faculty will be available for all subjects.
Faculty evaluating the comprehensive examination shall assign either a PASS or FAIL grade to each of the sections described above.
A student is required to pass all three sections of the written comprehensive examination to graduate.
8.1 A student must attempt all sections of the comprehensive examination not yet passed.
8.2 A student who fails the comprehensive examination needs to repeat only the failed sections of the examination.
8.3 A student shall be allowed a maximum total of two attempts on the comprehensive examination (effective Fall 2011).
Appealing results on the comprehensive examination:
9.1 Candidates who appeal must submit a written statement to the MSCS Graduate Advisor within five working days after receipt of the written notification of failure from the department.
9.2 This written appeal must document the alleged prejudicial, capricious, and/or arbitrary action including the names of individuals who are thought to have been involved.
9.3 A special appeals committee composed of two faculty members who were involved in the comprehensive examination evaluation and three faculty who were not involved will hear the grievance. The two faculty members who evaluated the examination will not have voting status on the appeals committee
9.4 The appeals committee will read and evaluate the written appeal, interview the candidate, and interview separately the individuals named in the written appeal, and make a judgement. The judgement may be to deny the appeal or to grant the appeal with direction that either the comprehensive examination be re-evaluated by a new committee or that the candidate be allowed to take another comprehensive examination at a regularly scheduled time without penalty.
9.5 The decision of the faculty appeals committee shall be final. There is no appeal to a higher (i.e. college) committee. However, if the judgement of the appeals committee is not satisfactory to the candidate on the basis of issues of due process, the candidate may appeal to the CSULB Graduate Council.