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USC Master's (thesis/non-thesis) (California, not South Carolina)


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I intend to apply to M.S. programs for Spring admission this summer, and one program with Spring admission is USC. Does anyone have any knowledge of how likely one is to be able to do the thesis option? Their program page says the following:


"With the approval of a supervising professor, qualified students may be allowed to pursue a thesis option."


From reading the department's website, this program does look more legit than those professional CS degrees for people with no prior background like at Penn or Illinois. But it also requires no statement of purpose and no letters of recommendation, which seems fishy to me (their Ph.D. program does require these documents for admission).


USC would probably be a reach school for me, but if that means I won't have a realistic option of doing a thesis and it's really just a big cash cow program (moreso than a "real" Master's would be anyway) that wouldn't give me much benefit in terms of job prospects or even future Ph.D. admissions if I eventually went that route (which I doubt, but you never know), I'd rather just go to a lower ranked school. Of course, I'd still have to get in first.

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