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  1. Computer Science Graduate Program Processes & Procedures

  2. Slide Access • This presentation is available as a powerpoint presentation • Go to the department web site and follow the links to Dr. Watson’s website • http://www.cs.usu.edu/~watson/cs6900 • The video is also available on this site

  3. What is CS6900? • CS6900 is the department Seminar • Introduces students to the faculty in the department, and their research interests • Gives guidance for choosing a research topic (Plan A ,B, or C) • Familiarizes students with the rules and requirements of the graduate program • The grade for Seminar is P (pass) or F (fail)

  4. CS6900 Grading – On Campus Lecture • You may miss no more than 3 lectures. • How do I miss a lecture? • Not attend • Come to class after roll has been taken (No you can’t sign in after roll is taken, you have missed!) (That’s ~5 minutes) • What happens if I miss more than 3 lectures? • YOU FAIL

  5. CS6900 Grading – On Campus Lecture • What if I have a really good reason for missing more than three lectures? • You Don’t!! • Do a (late) withdrawal, in which case you will not have met placement requirements for that semester

  6. CS6900 Grading – On Campus Lecture • Is there any other way I can fail CS6900 • Sign in on the roll for other than yourself. Also, in addition to failing CS6900, you will lose all opportunities for financial aid, and you may be terminated in the program.

  7. Definition • Tuition Waiver • This is an award from the department, paid by the graduate school which covers the cost of the out of state portion of your tuition. • It does NOT cover the cost of fees or the in-state portion of your tuition

  8. Definition • Department employment • There are two ways to be funded (employed) within the department. • Department funded employment means employment in which funds for which the department has oversight are used. This includes such jobs a grader, tutor, and lab consultant. • Non-department funded employment is employment paid out of a faculty member’s external grants

  9. MS PLANS – A, B, & C • Plan A • 30 semester credits • Exactly 6 credits of which are thesis (CS6970) • Plan B • 34 credits • Exactly 3 credits of which are report (CS6970)

  10. MS PLANS – A, B, & C • Plan C • 37 semester credits • At least one two-course sequence selected from the following

  11. MS PLANS – CApproved Two-course Sequences • CS5200, CS6200 (CS6200 is taught every other year) • CS5300, CS6300 • CS5500, CS6500 • CS5600 or CS6600, CS6610 • CS5650, CS6650 • CS5700, CS6700 • Are other sequences accepted? • Yes, sometimes – make a proposal

  12. MS Common Course Requirements • For Plans A,B, and C, a student must: • Complete four >=6000 level computer science classes • CS6900 (required) and CS6250 (Coop, not required) do not count among these four • These 6000-level classes must be CS • Complete CS6900 (seminar) • Meet ALL department GPA requirements • Meet placement requirements in first 12 months.

  13. MS Common Course Requirements • Count no more than 15 semester credits of course work below 6000-level as part of program of study • Form a graduate supervisory committee • Submit the form through Secretary (first semester for tuition waiver if hired) • Submit and have approved a program of study (second semester) • Does not have to include thesis/report topic on program of study, but this must come

  14. MS Common Course Requirements • Plan A or B: • Submit and successfully defend report or thesis proposal – Must be done before registering for CS6970 or in same semester • Successfully defend report or thesis • Have thesis approved by Department Reviewer ($18/hour) and by Graduate School • Pay binding & graduation fees, and deliver or have delivered two copies of bound thesis or report to department

  15. MS Common Course Requirements • CS 5950 or CS 6950 or CS7950 can be taken only with advisor's prior permission and only for 3 credits at a time. • CS6950 or CS7950 can count as one of the (4) >= 6000-level courses • The maximum total number of credits allowed for CS 5950 plus CS 6950 plus CS7950 is 3.

  16. MS Common Course Requirements • CS 5950 or CS 6950 or CS7950 Form • Any student registered for one of these classes must see the CS secretary and get a form filled out • Signed by supervisor • Signed by department head • If the form is not signed, the student will be disenrolled by the second week

  17. GPA Requirements • The department's GPA requirements for graduate students are more stringent than the Graduate School's

  18. GPA Requirements (MS) • Must have a GPA of 3.0 on the Program of Study • After a semester in which your GPA (semester or cumulative) for that semester is <3.0 you will be notified (warned) • If your semester or cumulative GPA is <3.0 for two semesters (not necessarily consecutive) you will likely be dropped from the program • Once dropped from the program, or the student voluntarily withdraws, a student cannot be readmitted to the program

  19. Grade Requirements • No classes with grades below C and only two with grades below B- may be included on the program of study form. • A single class (any level) may be repeated only once. • In calculating GPA's, original grades for repeated classes will not be included.

  20. Added Department GPA Requirements • Students must maintain a GPA >= 3.0 in eachof the following categories: • all courses shown on their program of study • all courses taken as a matriculated graduate student • all CS courses numbered 5000 or above • If a student's GPA falls below 3.0 in one or more of the preceding categories for two semesters, that student will likely be terminated.

  21. Department GPA Requirements • First year Criterion • A student whose GPA is below 3.0 at the end of their second semester will likely be terminated, even if that <3.0 GPA is only the result of a single “bad” semester.

  22. GPA Misconceptions • In the Graduate School, the GPA requirement is simply to have a 3.0 in the courses shown on their program of study. • NOT TRUE IN CS • “My friend fell below 3.0 for 3 semesters and he/she was not terminated.” • They were lucky, you won’t be.

  23. Misconceptions • “If I have GPA problems, I will be warned and given a chance to improve before I am terminated” • Not necessarily true. Your “warning” may simply be a notification of termination

  24. Misconceptions • As long as my GPA is OK, I’m OK • WRONG!!! • In addition to meeting GPA requirements, it is expected that a student is making progress to the completion of their degree.

  25. Misconceptions • How can I not be making progress if my GPA is ok? • More than 3 consecutive semesters of continuing graduate appointment (CS6990) or simply non-registration means you are not making progress. Unless your major professor writes a letter of support for each semester after the third indicating specific progress made, you will be terminated

  26. Misconceptions • How can I not be making satisfactory progress if my GPA is ok? • It is your second semester(MS) and you have not formed your committee • It is your third semester and you have not submitted your program of study • You have been at USU for 12 months (this may count the summer you took off) and you have not met placement requirements. In this case, you will be terminated

  27. Definable Progress • An example of non-progress is the student that goes for a year of CPT before completing their thesis/report, and during that year does not stay in touch with their adviser and does not make significant progress on their thesis or report. • When you return, you should be able to present to your major professor a completed report • Continually registering for CS6990 does NOT constitute definable progress.

  28. The “Cheap” ($15) CS6990 • Some students believe that CS6990 always costs just $15/semester • You must pay full tuition when you defend your thesis or report, i.e. must be registered for at least 3 credits the semester in which you defend • Must pay full tuition if you use facilities or faculty during a semester.

  29. Algorithms & Data Structures Placement Requirement • For your first semester, you must have gotten a B- or better in CS5050, or CS2420, or had the requirement waived because of an equivalent class taken at another school, or passed the GRE/CS exam at >= 50th percentile, or pass the placement test for algorithms and data structures.

  30. Placement Requirement • All on campus MS/CS students must meet the algorithms placement requirement by the end of their first year or they will be terminated from the CS program.  • In order to be eligible for department funded employment a student must meet this requirement by the end of their 1st semester.

  31. Placement Requirement • Distance Ed Students should pass the algorithms placement requirement before they can submit a Program of Study

  32. Placement Requirement • A student meets the algorithms placement requirement by  • Passing CS 2420 or CS 5050 with a grade of B- or better • Show completion of course work from an ABET accredited computer science or computer engineering program equivalent to CS2420 with a grade of  B- or better

  33. Placement Requirement • Pass the algorithms placement exam on the first try • To facilitate studying for the exam the department has provided the study materials Go to http://cs.usu.edu/htm/placement-requirements

  34. CS 5050 – Adv’d Algorithms • A student is allowed to take the algorithms placement exam a maximum of two times.  • If they pass this test on the first try, they can take CS 5050 if they desire, and it can be counted in their program of study. This meets the placement requirement.

  35. CS 5050 – Adv’d Algorithms • If they take the exam a second time before the end of the first week of the semester, and pass, they must then take CS 5050 or CS 2420 and receive a grade of B- or better in order to meet the placement requirement. • If they do not pass the on the second or do not complete the exam before the end of the first week of the semester, they must register for CS2420 and receive a grade of B- or better in order to meet the placement requirement.

  36. Off-Campus • Off-campus students – since you are not a full time student • The GPA requirements hold • The times for committee formation and program of study submission do not

  37. Problems – What should I do? • The decision on whether to terminate a student not making satisfactory progress weighs heavily in terms of what progress they have made to date: • Have they completed Placement Requirements? • Have they formed their committee? • Have they submitted their program of study?

  38. Problems – What should I do? • Have they submitted their thesis/report proposal • Is it a GPA problem due to a single bad class or semester, or several classes or semesters? • Have they violated the honor code of the department? (cheated) • Are they working (RA/TA) for a faculty member who will “vouch” for them?

  39. Problems – What should I do? • If you have any problem(s), don’t ignore them thinking they will not be noticed, or they will go away. • Talk to your adviser and establish a plan to correct the problem(s) immediately.

  40. Time Limits • A Master’s degree student must complete their degree within six years of matriculation • Course work for a Master’s degree is good for eight years • Yes – that makes little sense, but that’s the rule • Because of the first rule, you really only have six years to complete the MS

  41. Incompletes • After 12 months, an I grade will change to whatever grade was given with the I; normally a F. • Only variance is for CS6970 • Once the grade change has occurred, i.e. 12 months have passed, departmental policy does not allow the grade to be made up, it is a permanent grade.

  42. CS6970 (MS) • CS6970 is for thesis(6) or report(3) credits • Thesis/report grades are given as an I until the student has successfully defended, at which time they become a P. • This means they cannot “help” your GPA. • A letter of completion for the degree is not sent until the student has completed everything.

  43. CS6970 (MS) • Completion of everything means the student has shown the CS secretary a copy of their receipt for their thesis, or report binding; and the receipt indicates that two copies have been designated for mailing to the department (one for the department and one for the major professor). • At this time, the department will mail a letter of completion to the graduate school, and/or employers, etc. as requested

  44. Plan A 30 credits total 6 credits for thesis CS6900 thesis must have component of originality Plan B 34 credits total 3 credits for report CS6900 report need not be an original idea, but it must be your work, and use current technologies Thesis (Plan A) vs Report (Plan B)

  45. Plan A thesis reviewed by department & Graduate school for form etc. need 4 copies (minimum) library, advisor, department, self 1 hour public defense letter of completion Plan B report reviewed by adviser for form etc.(and possibly department) need 3 copies (minimum) advisor, department, self 1 hour public defense letter of completion Thesis (Plan A) vs Report (Plan B)

  46. English Proficiency • If a student's writing skills are not adequate, it is the student’s responsibility and not the major professor’s responsibility to improve those skills. • It is the committee’s prerogative to require that the candidate complete additional English class(es)

  47. Thesis/Report Questions • Should my research topic and the interests of the faculty member be compatible? • Yes • Do I have to come up with the topic? • that’s one way, or you can choose one that your major professor has interest in.

  48. Graduate Committee • The following, in terms of timing does not apply to off-campus students.

  49. Graduate Committee - MS • A student is required (to qualify for a tuition waiver, and to be considered making satisfactory progress) to form their graduate committee before the start of their second semester (matriculated). • In order to submit a graduate committee form, a student must be meeting all GPA and placement requirements at the time of submission of the form.

  50. Meeting GPA & Placement Requirements For Committee Formation • First Semester • Fall or Spring • Have met the Algorithms & Data Structures placement requirement or are registered for CS2420 or CS5050 • Registered for CS6900 • Summer • No requirement, but be advised that you MUST meet the Algorithms & Data Structures requirement and complete CS6900 by the end of your second semester