Computer Science & Information Systems

MS-CSIA Master's Capstone (Thesis/Internship Report) Guidelines and Requirements 

Whether your Capstone project involves an internship or thesis, begin with thinking about the topic/context that you are interested in exploring in the field of Cybersecurity and information assurance and what would you like to know more about. The capstone project will involve a formal academic thesis report and presentation (e.g. via Adobe connect, poster presentation at SUU’s Annual Festival of Excellence, and/or other professional academic conference presentations).  Overall a thesis or an internship report should articulate your knowledge of the topic, and the purpose and significance of the project to the field of cyber security.  

Document (Internship and thesis) criteria includes:

Proposed Checklist/Timeline - Capstone Project

  1. First semester
    • Preliminary discussion with a potential Advisor/Mentor
    • Identify topics of interest
  2. Second semester
    • Follow up discussion with the potential Advisor/Mentor
    • Identify a research topic and associated resources
      • IRB approval needs to be planned in advance if human subjects would be part of your study (see IRB process)
    • Finalize proposal
      • Check Proposal form/template provided to student (see next section of formatting guidelines)
        • Title
        • Background and study objectives
        • Research questions and/or hypotheses
        • Proposed study design and implementation
        • Proposed data analyses
        • Expected contribution to existing field of research/project
        • Timeline of project - proposed milestones
        • Proposal Approval form (coming soon)
  3. Third semester
    • Ongoing discussions with Advisor/Mentor
    • Project execution
    • Start documentation
  4. Fourth semester
    • Ongoing discussions with Advisor/Mentor
    • Finalize Thesis/internship Report

CSIA Master’s Thesis/Internship report (section structure format):

Research based project - How does it contribute to the body of knowledge in the field?

  • Title page
    • Project title
    • Student name
    • Cyber Security and Information Assurance Graduate Program
    • Mentor/Advisor name
    • Semester/year at SUU
  • Approval page (must be signed by all parties prior to the awarding of your degree)
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgement page (optional)
  • Introduction (Research question must be approved by mentor/Adviser prior to moving on with research)
    • Research question 
      OR
      Purpose of the capstone project
      • Goals, benefits etc
  • Literature review
    • General background of the researched field
      • If a real world company is associated with your project, please also provide company information/background.
    • Strengths
    • Weaknesses
      • Identify gaps in research
    • How your current thesis/internship project would address the identified gaps/weaknesses
  • Study design and implementations
    • Methodology
      • Method used to achieve the objective(s)
      • Timeline (outlines specific milestones for performing the actual research of your project)
    • New field contributions
      • Contribution to the existing field of study
      • Must be beyond normal job duties
  • Data analysis
  • Findings and discussions
    • Discussion (including challenges, limitations, by-product, lessons/insights learned)
  • Conclusion (including future research direction)
  • References using Standard APA style
  • Appendices
    • Supporting documentation

Formatting Requirements:

  • Main body text:
    • Times New Roman 12pt
    • 1.5 line spacing
    • Justified
    • Margins
      • Top = 1 inch
      • Right = 1 inch
      • Bottom = 1 inch
      • Left = 1.5 inch
    • End notes only
    • Page numbering - bottom right
  • Heading 1 - Times, 14pt, bold - Main section title
  • Heading 2 - Times, 12pt, bold - subsection titles
  • Heading 3 - Times, 12pt, bold and italics - next level of subsection titles
  • Tables and figures
    • Using Heading 3 font style