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The Department of Service Systems provides three options to complete requirements to earn a Master of Science degree.  These are; completion of a thesis, capstone project and /or comprehensive examination.  Each of these options are explained below as well as the default option.

Thesis

Completion of a thesis as a culminating event following completion of core requirements in the program of study and all related course work. The thesis course is a 3 credit course offered at the end of the course of study in combination with the Principles of Research Communication course, which is also three credits, combining to contribute 2 of the 11 courses required for graduation and 6 credits. To be eligible to complete a thesis the requirements are;

  • Completion of the GRCS 700 Research Methods class with a recommendation from the professor indicating the student is capable of conducting this original research with their completed research proposal.
  • Permission of the Department Chair to complete a thesis.
  • Agreement from one of the full time program faculty to serve as the chair of the thesis committee, given their interest in the topic and their area of research.
  • Agreement to adhere to the time schedule for completion of the thesis which will coincide with the completion of core and elective courses of the program.
     

Capstone

Completion of a capstone project is an alternative option for degree completion.  The capstone is the culminating event following completion of core requirements in the program of study and all related course work.  The capstone course is a 3 credit course offered at the end of the course of study in combination with the Principles of Research Communication course, which is also three credits, combining to contribute 2 of the 11 courses required for graduation and 6 credits.   To be eligible to complete a capstone the requirements are;

  • Completion of the GRCS 700 Research Methods class with a recommendation from the professor indicating the student is capable of contributing to and conducting applied research within their completed research proposal.
  • Permission of the Department Chair to complete a capstone.
  • Agreement from one of the full time program faculty to serve as the chair of the capstone project given their interest in the topic and their area of research.
  • Agreement to adhere to the time schedule for completion of the capstone which will coincide with the completion of core and elective courses of the program.
     

Comprehensive Exam

Completion of the comprehensive exam option at the conclusion of successfully completing the core courses and all other related course work is the preferred option for completion of the Master of Science degree.  The comprehensive exam does not have credit assigned to the course so students who complete this option will take the SERQ 787 Service Design Implementation final project course, or for HRD the HRDE 785 Strategic HRD for 3 credits and another elective from the program to earn 6 credits and complete 2 out of the required 11 classes for the degree.  The requirements to be eligible to complete the comprehensive exam option are as follows:

  • 12 hours or fewer of coursework remaining to complete the program; completion of all core courses in the program; currently enrolled in the program.
  • Possess a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • No outstanding incomplete grades. Students cannot  be on academic/disciplinary probation
     

The examination is open-book and is generally provided to students with a two week timeline to complete. Students will be graded on their ability to apply core concepts and principles to resolve problems drawn from a relevant case study.  If the student fails in their first attempt to pass the comprehensive exam they will be given one more opportunity to take the exam.  Those who fail the exam the second time will not receive their degree and there are no further chances to take and pass the exam.