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A Guide to Completing the Thesis or Project Concentration. For the Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences School of Computer and Information Sciences University of South Alabama April 06. Table of Contents. Quick Links & Downloads. Objective.

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A guide to completing the thesis or project concentration l.jpg

A Guide to Completing theThesis or Project Concentration

For the

Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences

School of Computer and Information Sciences

University of South Alabama

April 06

Table of

Contents

Quick Links &

Downloads


Objective l.jpg
Objective

  • The objective of this document is to provide guidance to the School of Computer and Information Sciences graduate student in the completion of either the thesis or project concentration option for the Master of Science.

  • Guidance consists of a sequence of required events, as well as associated forms, that must be completed.

  • A quick access to forms is also provided to the student who is already familiar with the process.

  • Please advise the Director of CIS Graduate Studies of any errors, omissions, or suggestions for improvement.


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Terminology

The following terms will be used though out this document:

  • Advisor: Your thesis/project advisor

  • Committee: Your thesis/project committee

  • Director: Director of CIS Graduate Studies

  • Graduate Dean: Dean of the Graduate School

  • Graduate Faculty: USA graduate faculty


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Table of Contents

  • Initial Phase (518)

    • Steps required to begin developing a plan, which is called a prospectus for the thesis concentration or a proposal for the project concentration.

  • Planning Phase (595)

    • Steps required to prepare and defend the plan.

  • Completion Phase (598/599)

    • Steps required to prepare, defend, and submit the thesis/project to the Graduate School.

  • Quick Links to Forms and Sites

    • For the student familiar with the process

  • References and Web Sites


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Initial Phase (518)

  • Events in this phase:

    • Complete CIS 518

    • Get a Thesis/Project Advisor

    • Declare Thesis/Project Concentration

    • Apply for graduation


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Complete CIS 518-Research Methods

  • Required course for all CIS graduate students.

  • Objectives: to be able to describe research methods employed in computing research papers and to discuss issues related to integrity in research such as

    • recognition of prior work,

    • protection of human subjects in research,

    • confidentiality in peer review,

    • honesty in data collection,

    • honesty in reporting of research, and

    • ethical guidelines for collaboration between student and mentor


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CIS 518 (continued)

  • Emphasis is on experiencing the process of developing a document depending on the choice of concentration

    • Course-Only option students demonstrate an understanding of CIS research methods by preparing a document in the style of one submitted to a journal.

    • Thesis/Projects option students demonstrate an understanding of CIS research methods by preparing a prospectus/proposal for their thesis/project problem.

  • Thesis/Project students can use this course to save time by preparing their literature review, initial draft of their plan, and a timeline for completion during this course.


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Get a Thesis/Project Advisor

  • Must be a CIS member of the Graduate Faculty

    • Do not assume that your choice will agree to be your advisor—make a formal request of the CIS Graduate Faculty member.

    • Ideally you would have already chosen one of the CIS Graduate Faculty to mentor your final document and presentation in CIS 518.

  • The Thesis/Project Advisor

    • Will advise you regarding the selection of other members of your committee (see committee selection)

    • Will work with the other committee members to guide you through all of the steps involved in completing the thesis or project

    • Must approve your requests for enrollment in any of the special courses associated with the thesis/project concentration—these are CIS/CSC/ISC 595, CIS 599, and CSC/ISC 598.


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Declare a Concentration Choice

  • There are three concentration choices for the Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences

    • Thesis Concentration

    • Project Concentration

    • Course-only Concentration

  • When you have made a decision for a concentration, complete a Concentration Declaration and submit it to the Director of CIS Graduate Studies

Get Concentration

Declaration Form


Thesis concentration l.jpg
Thesis Concentration

  • Choose the Thesis Concentration if you…

    • have good problem-solving skills*

    • have good written and oral communication skills*

    • can work independently with minimal guidance in an unstructured learning environment

    • have identified an area of personal interest that is not covered in-depth in a traditional course

    • are willing to extend graduation by one semester

    • plan to pursue a Ph.D.

      *Common to all concentrations


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Project Concentration

  • Choose the Project Concentration if you…

    • have good problem-solving skills*

    • have good written and oral communication skills*

    • can work independently with minimal guidance in an unstructured learning environment

    • have identified a project that is innovative and that is not typically addressed in a course

    • are willing to extend graduation by one semester are more interested in applications

    • may pursue a Ph.D. in an applied area

      *Common to all concentrations


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Course-Only Concentration

  • Choose the Course-only Option if you…

    • have good problem-solving skills*

    • have good written and oral communication skills*

    • work best in collaborative and cooperative activities in a structured learning environment

    • have interests in a large variety of topics that are available in traditional courses

    • are unable to extend graduation by one semester

    • do not have immediate plans to pursue a Ph.D.

      *Common to all concentrations


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Apply for Graduation

  • It may seem obvious: don’t forget to Apply to the Registrar for Graduation

    • Application must be made at least two terms before the expected date of graduation

    • The minimum time to complete the Thesis/Project concentration after CIS 518 is two semesters

    • If you are unable to complete the requirements during the requested semester, the application will be advanced to the next semester.


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Planning Phase (595)

  • Events in this phase:

    • Enroll in the Thesis Prospectus/Project Proposal Course

    • Form your Committee

    • If your work includes Human Subjects…

    • Defend your Plan

    • After your successful defense


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The Thesis Prospectus/Project Proposal Course

  • You must request permission to enroll.

    • Your Advisor must approve the request.

    • The Director must approve the request.

    • An override must be given before you can enroll

  • Which 595?

    • CSC and ISC thesis students enroll in CIS 595 to prepare a Thesis Prospectus

    • CSC Project students enroll in CSC 595 to prepare a Project Proposal

    • ISC Project students enroll in ISC 595 to prepare a Project Proposal


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The Thesis Prospectus/Project Proposal Course (continued)

  • Prerequisites: Successful completion of CIS 518 is required for enrollment in CIS 595, CSC 595, or ISC 595

  • A minimum of 3 hours of

    • CIS 595 is required for the Thesis Option

    • CSC 595 is required for the CSC Project Option

    • ISC 595 is required for the ISC Project Option

  • Continuous enrollment in the appropriate 595 is required until the Prospectus/Proposal is satisfactorily defended

  • Current enrollment in the appropriate 595 is required when the Prospectus/Proposal is defended


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The Thesis Prospectus/Project Proposal Course (continued)

  • To request permission to register in a 595 course

    • Complete the Special Course Permission Form:

      • Indicate the specific 595 and the number of hours requested.

      • Obtain approvals from your thesis/project advisor and your coordinator (CSC or ISC).

      • Attach your 595 objective document—this could be

        • an output document from CIS 518, or

        • a description of the research or project problem/goal, or

        • a document developed from a previous enrollment in 595.

    • Submit the completed form for final approval to the CIS office.

    • If approved, an override will be given for the approved 595 and section.

    • Register for the approved 595 and section.

Get Special Course

Permission Form

Get Special Course

Permission Form


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Form Your Committee

  • Your Thesis/Project advisor is the committee chair

  • Consult the Guidelines for Thesis and Dissertations section of the currentUSA Bulletin.

  • These guidelines, as they apply to Thesis/Projects in the School of CIS, are summarized below:

    • Your Thesis/Project advisor must be a member of the School of CIS Graduate Faculty.

    • With guidance and approval of your Thesis/Project advisor, contact University of South Alabama Graduate Faculty for agreement to be members of your Thesis/Project committee.


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Form Your Committee (continued)

  • Your Committee must consist of at least three University of South Alabama Graduate School Faculty:

    • A majority of the committee members must be CIS Graduate Faculty.

    • A Thesis committee must have at least one non-CIS Graduate Faculty member.

    • A Project committee may have a non-CIS Graduate Faculty member.


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Form Your Committee (continued)

  • As soon as the composition of your committee members has been decided, you and your Advisor should complete the Thesis/Project Committee Appointment Form and submit it for approval to the Director, who then forwards it to the Graduate Dean for final approval.

  • Consult the CIS 518 required text, Writing the Doctoral Dissertation: A Systematic Approach, 2nd Edition, by Gordon E. Davis and Clyde A. Parker, Barrons, 1997 for insight into the following topics:

    • Thesis/Project Advisor responsibilities

    • Student responsibilities

    • Thesis/Project committee responsibilities

Get Committee

Appointment Form


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If Your Work Will Involve Human Subjects…

  • Study The IRB Handbook for the Student Researcher

  • Obtain the NIH Office of Humans Subject Certificate on the Protection of Human Research

  • Complete the Student Application to IRB for approval to use Human Subjects

Get IRB Handbook

Student Researcher

Get Student

Application to IRB


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Your Prospectus/Proposal Defense

  • You must be currently enrolled in

    • CIS 595 for a Thesis Prospectus defense,

    • CSC 595 for a CSC Project Proposal defense,

    • ISC 595 for an ISC Project Proposal defense.

  • Must have approval to proceed from your Committee

  • You are responsible for scheduling your defense date, time, and location with your Committee, the Director, and the room reservation coordinator.


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Your Prospectus/Proposal Defense (continued)

  • Your defense request must be submitted at least one week prior to the defense and it must be made Monday - Friday at any time during the instructional period of a semester.

  • When scheduling the Prospectus/Project defense, consider defending during CIS 518 class time:

    • This gives current CIS 518 students an opportunity to witness first-hand how a prospectus defense is conducted.

    • Time and location are already known.

    • Contact the current CIS C18 professor for a convenient date.

    • Check with your committee to see if the date and time are acceptable.


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Your Prospectus/Proposal Defense (continued)

  • Submit to the Directoran electronic copy of the completed CIS Defense Request Form indicating the appropriate defense type, Thesis Prospectus or Project Proposal.

  • The Directorwill forward notification of your defense to all other individuals:

    • theGraduate Dean,

    • the School of CIS faculty,

    • CIS Graduate students,

    • Committee members, and

    • the School of CIS webmaster for insertion in the School of CIS Current Events Calendar.

  • Defend your Prospectus/Project as scheduled.

Get CIS Defense

Request Form


After the successful defense of your plan l.jpg
After the Successful Defense of your Plan…

  • Modify the Prospectus/Proposal document according to directives from your Thesis/Project committee.

  • The Graduate School staff reviews the document according to standards for publishing as provided in the Guide for Preparing Thesis. Projects are held to the same standard of publishing as are Theses.

    • Dr. Hain’s Template for CIS Theses and Projects is an invaluable tool for compliance with document formatting and style requirements.

Get Guide for

Preparing Thesis

Get Dr. Hain’s

Template


After the successful defense of your plan continued l.jpg
After the Successful Defense of your Plan… (continued)

  • Submit your final Prospectus/Proposal document and the completed Thesis Prospectus/Project Proposal Defense Report with committee member signatures to the Director within 10 class days of the defense.

    • All committee members must approve your Prospectus/Proposal.

    • These documents are filed in your folder in the School of CIS and become a contract for completing the Thesis/Project.

    • Any changes to your Prospectus/Proposal must be approved by all committee members and the Director.

Get Proposal/Prospectus

Defense Report Form


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Assignment of Prospectus/Proposal Grades

  • Your Advisor will then recommend grades for your outstanding CIS 595/CSC 595/ISC 595 grade(s) to the Director, who is responsible for recording the grade(s).


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Completion Phase (598/599)

  • Events in this phase:

    • Enroll in Thesis/Project Course

    • Thesis/Project Defense

    • Oral Comprehensive Examination

    • LAST Revision for your Committee

    • Originality and Citation Review

    • FIRST Submission to Graduate School

    • FINAL Submission

    • Grade Assignment


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The Thesis/Project Course

  • You must request permission to enroll.

    • Your thesis/project advisor must approve the request.

    • The Director must approve the request.

    • An override must be given before you can enroll

  • In which course should you enroll?

    • Thesis students, who have defended their Thesis Prospectus, will enroll in CIS 599 to prepare a Thesis according to their defended Thesis Prospectus.

    • CSC Project students, who have defended their Project Proposal, will enroll in CSC 598 to prepare a Project according to their defended Project Proposal.

    • ISC Project students, who have defended their Project Proposal, will enroll in ISC 598 to prepare a Project according to their defended Project Proposal.


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The Thesis/Project Course (continued)

  • Notes

    • A minimum of 3 hours of

      • CIS 599 is required for the Thesis option,

      • CSC 598 is required for the CSC Project option,

      • ISC 598 is required for the ISC Project option.

    • Continuous enrollment in CIS 599, CSC 598, or ISC 598 is required until the Thesis/Project is satisfactorily defended.

    • Current enrollment in CIS 599/CSC 598/ISC 598 is required for a Thesis/Project defense and for submission of the final document.


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Enroll in Thesis/Project (continued)

To obtain permission to register for CIS 599/CSC 598/ISC 598

  • Complete the Special Course Permission Form

    • Indicate the specific course and the number of hours requested.

    • Obtain approvals from your thesis/project advisor and your coordinator (CSC or ISC).

    • Attach your timeline for completing the Thesis/Project.

  • Submit the completed form for final approval to the Director—this will result in an override for the approved course and section.

  • Register for the approved course and section.

Get Special Course

Permission Form


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Your Thesis/Project Defense

  • You must be currently enrolled in

    • CIS 599 for a Thesis defense,

    • CSC 598 for a CSC Project defense,

    • ISC 598 for an ISC Project defense.

  • You are responsible for scheduling defense date, time, and location with your Committee members, the Director, and the room reservation coordinator.

  • Your defense request must be submitted at least one week prior to the defense and it must be made Monday–Friday during the instructional period of a semester.


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Your Thesis/Project Defense (continued)

  • To complete the degree requirements in the semester in which you are enrolled, all required steps must be completed successfully, according to the deadlines for First Submission and Final Submission as reported on the University of South Alabama’s Graduate School Calendar for the semester during which your defense is to be made. These required steps are

    • Final Defense,

    • Oral Comprehensive Exam,

    • Final Revision,

    • Originality and Citation Review,

    • First Submission, and

    • Final Submission


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Your Thesis/Project Defense (continued)

  • When scheduling the Prospectus/Project defense, consider defending during CIS 518 class time:

    • This gives current CIS 518 students an opportunity to witness first-hand how a prospectus defense is conducted.

    • Time and location are already known.

    • Contact the current CIS C18 professor for a convenient date.

    • Check with your committee to see if the date and time are acceptable.


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Your Thesis/Project Defense (continued)

  • Submit to the Director an electronic copy of the completed Defense Request Form indicating the appropriate defense type, Thesis or Project.

  • The Director will forward notification of your defense to all other individuals:

    • the Graduate Dean,

    • the School of CIS faculty,

    • CIS Graduate students,

    • Thesis/Project committee members, and

    • the School of CIS webmaster for insertion in the School of CIS Current Events Calendar.

Get CIS Defense

Request Form


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Your Thesis/Project Defense (continued)

  • Request that the Director prepare and submit a Comprehensive Examination Committee Appointment Request and Evaluation Report to the Graduate Dean for committee appointment approval


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Your Thesis/Project Defense (continued)

  • Prepare the Thesis/Project Defense Report with your information for committee member signatures following your successful defense.

  • Defend your Prospectus/Project as scheduled.

Get CIS Defense

Report Form


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Your Thesis/Project Defense (continued)

  • After your successful defense, have your committee members record their judgment of your defense on the Thesis/Project Defense Report that you have prepared.

  • A majority of the thesis committee must render a judgment of success. Note: this is not the signature page for your Thesis/Project.

Get CIS Defense

Report Form


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Oral Comprehensive Examination

  • An Oral Comprehensive Examination is conducted by your CIS Thesis Committee Members immediately following a successful Thesis/Project defense.

    • Results are reported by your Thesis/Project advisor to the chair of the Comprehensive Examination Committee and the Director.

  • The members of the Comprehensive Examination Committee initial the final result on the Comprehensive Examination Committee Appointment Request and Evaluation Report.

  • The Director submits the completed Comprehensive Examination Committee Appointment Request and Evaluation Report to the Graduate Dean.


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LAST Revision for Your Committee

  • The thesis committee may require modifications to the Thesis/Project document.

    • These revisions must be made before the document is submitted for review for originality and citations.The document must be consistent with the Graduate School’s Guide for Preparing Thesis

    • The content of the Thesis/Project document should not change after the final revisions are made.

    • Note: Committee members may reserve the right to sign the CIS Thesis/Project Defense Reportafter they have reviewed your Final Revision for the required modifications.

Get Guide for

Preparing Thesis

Get CIS Defense

Report Form


Originality and citation review l.jpg
Originality and Citation Review

  • Turnitin.com is used by the School of CIS for originality and citation review

    • You will be required to submit an electronic copy of the Thesis/Project document to turnitin.com

    • You must email the Director, for Turnitin.com submission instructions

    • YourAdvisor and the Directorexamine the turnitin.com reports for any problems with originality and citations.

    • You will be required to resolve any and all problems with originality and citations and to resubmit the resolutions to turnitin.com if necessary.

    • When all problems have been resolved, the thesis committee, the appropriate CIS Coordinator, and the Director complete the First Submission Approval Form, which the student submits with the First Submission.


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Originality and Citation Review (continued)

  • Turnitin.com originality and citation review

    • When all problems have been resolved, the thesis committee, the appropriate CIS Coordinator, and the Director of CIS Graduate Studies complete the First Submission Approval Form, which the student submits with the First Submission.

Get First Submission

Approval Form


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FIRST Submission of your Thesis/Project Document

  • Submit your Final Revision along with the completed Thesis/Project Defense Report and the First Submission Approval Form to the Graduate School

  • The Graduate School staff reviews the document according to standards for publishing as provided in the Guide for Preparing Thesis. Projects are held to the same publishing standard as Theses.

Get CIS Defense

Report Form

Get First Submission

Approval Form


First submission of your thesis project document continued l.jpg
FIRST Submission of your Thesis/Project Document (continued)

  • The Graduate Dean reviews thesis documents according to established scholarly standards for USA theses.

    • Consult the Guidelines for Thesis and Dissertations section of the current USA Bulletin.

  • The Dean’s review may result in suggestions for modifying the organization, content, and presentation of the document.

  • The Graduate Dean does not usually review projects.


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FINAL Submission of Your Thesis/Project Document

  • A Graduate School Corrections Check Report of the problems with the standards for publishing the document (for thesis and projects) and the Graduate Dean’s suggestions for conforming to standards of thesis scholarship are sent to you, your Advisor, and the Director.

  • Using the Guide for Preparing Thesis, the Graduate School Corrections Check Report, and the Graduate Dean’s suggestions, you will revise the document for Final Submission

    • Dr. Hain’s Template for CIS Theses and Projects is an invaluable tool for compliance with document formatting and style requirements.

Get Guide for

Preparing Thesis

Get Dr. Hain’s

Template


Final submission of your thesis project document continued l.jpg
FINAL Submission of Your Thesis/Project Document (continued)

  • The Guide for Preparing Thesis indicates the minimum number of bound copies required by the Graduate School (excluding personal copies). The School of CIS requires additional copies.

  • Graduate School: Four copies required as follows:

    • Two copies are deposited with the library

    • One copy is deposited with the Graduate Dean’s office

    • One copy is given the Thesis Advisor

  • School of CIS: Additional copies required as follows:

    • One copy to the Dean of the School of CIS

    • One copy to all other members of the thesis committee

  • Personal Copies: as many as desired by the candidate

  • Paperwork for microfilming and receipt from the Bursar for binding must be submitted to the Graduate School at this time.


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Assign Thesis Grades

  • Once the thesis has been accepted by the Graduate School, the Dean of the Graduate School grants permission to the Director to assign grades for the Thesis/Project work.

  • The Director requests that the Thesis/Project Advisor recommend final grade(s) for Thesis/Project courses.


Quick links to forms and sites l.jpg

Download Forms and Documents

INITIAL PHASE (518)

Concentration Declaration Form

PLANNING PHASE (595)

Special Course Permission Form

Committee Appointment Form

Guide for Preparing Thesis

Dr. Hain’s Template

CIS Defense Request Form

Proposal/Prospectus Defense Report Form

IF HUMAN SUBJECTS ARE INVOLVED

IRB Handbook-Student Researcher

Student Application to IRB

COMPLETION PHASE (598/599)

Special Course Permission Form

Dr. Hain’s Template

CIS Defense Request Form

CIS Defense Report Form

First Submission Approval Form

Web Links

Apply to the Registrar for Graduation

University of South Alabama Graduate Faculty

Guidelines for Thesis & Dissertations

NIH Office of Humans Subject Certificate

Graduate School Calendar

Location of Graduate School

Special

PREPARED BY ACADEMIC COUNSELOR

Comps Committee Form

REQUEST FOR TURNITIN.COM INSTRUCTIONS MUST BE MADE EACH SEMESTER

email the Director of CIS Graduate Studies, for the current instructions

Quick Links to Forms and Sites


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References And Web Sites

  • [Davis, 1997] Writing the Doctoral Dissertation: A Systematic Approach, 2nd Edition, by Gordon E. Davis and Clyde A. Parker, Barrons, 1997.

  • University of South Alabama Bulletin (current year) http://www.southalabama.edu/bulletin/

  • University of South Alabama Graduate School Bulletin Information http://www.southalabama.edu/bulletin/graduate.htm

  • The Graduate School Websitehttp://www.southalabama.edu/graduateprograms/

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