Masters Research

Our M.S. students are interested in more than just taking classes. Many enhance their studies with an internship, but quite a few also choose to participate in research. Doing so offers the chance to contribute to a cutting-edge project, gain experience as a member of a broader team, and explore what research as a Ph.D. student might be like if you are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. degree.

To facilitate this, both our M.S. programs, informatics and software engineering, provide a thesis option. While it is not required to pursue this option if you want to do research, the thesis track formalizes the research work: students take two fewer regular courses and instead receive credit for participating in the research project. The work culminates in a thesis, which is defended in front of a faculty committee to round out the research experience.

We encourage participation in all aspects of the research, from formulating projects and deciding on research trajectories, to hands-on field and development work, to collaborating with other team members and authoring publications. Our M.S. students are regularly the first authors on papers, present at conferences, and demo their work to researchers from all over the world. Many choose to continue as Ph.D. students, sometimes in our department, sometimes elsewhere.

If you are curious about M.S. research, use this website to find possible projects and faculty members of interest, and feel free to contact professors directly expressing your interest. Alternatively, make an appointment with our vice chair for graduate affairs to talk it over and get some pointers. We look forward to hearing from you!


‘The Brain’ project served as a stepping stone for Vijay Palepu, who began the project as a M.S. student in Software Engineering, but enjoyed research so much that he now is a Ph.D. student pursuing the project in much more depth.