Forms and Policies

Apply to a Computer Science Program

Undergraduate Program Policies

Course Prerequisites

Before enrolling in any Computer Science course, students should read the course description and ensure that they have completed all prerequisites with a grade of C or better. Students who have not met this requirement may be administratively dropped from the course.

Continuation Criteria

Admitted CS undergraduate students who are not making acceptable progress towards their degree requirements will be dropped from the program and required to reapply for admission. Acceptable progress is defined as completion of at least 8 credits of coursework with acceptable grades (C or better for required CS courses, C- or better for required non-CS courses) satisfying departmental requirements, over the preceding 12 months. Readmission will be determined by the CS Appeals Committee.

Differential Tuition

Undergraduates admitted to the CS program will be assessed tuition at the Undergraduate Engineering rate (see “Differential Programs-Undergraduate” in the PSU fee schedule).  Post Baccalaureate students will be assessed tuition at either the Undergraduate or the Graduate Engineering rate, depending upon the level of course taken.


Graduate Program Policies

Planning your Course of Study

All newly admitted Masters students work with the Graduate Advisor to develop a plan of study.  Doctoral students are assigned additional faculty members to make up a preliminary Ph.D. committee.

When you begin research work on a Ph.D. dissertation, or if you choose to do a master's project or thesis, you should change your adviser to the person who will supervise this process. Your adviser must be a full-time faculty member.

You may change advisers, but since the new adviser must agree to the change, and there are PSU regulations about advising duties (particularly for doctoral degrees), you must make sure that any change has been properly recorded and processed by the CS Office. When you apply for graduation, your current adviser must approve your program, and is not necessarily bound by the decisions of a different, earlier adviser. For this reason it is recommended that students discuss their study plans with advisers regularly.

Course Load

Full-time graduate students typically take 9 to 12 credits per term. If you register for more than 16 credits, you must obtain the approval of your adviser. Part-time students are defined as those taking fewer than 9 credits per term. 

Teaching and research assistants are required to complete at least 9 graduate credits each quarter with a grade of B- or better, or a Pass; some of these can be CS 501 (Research) credits that will not count toward the credits required for a degree, and should normally be graded Pass/No-Pass. 

International students must normally take a minimum of at least 9 credits per term to maintain their status, but there are some exceptions. Information and help on this topic may be found here.

Pass/No Pass

Usually, other than specifically designated independent study or research classes, courses graded Pass/No-Pass cannot be used toward a graduate degree. Classes taken Pass/No-Pass at PSU (prior to admission) or other institutions may not be transferred for credit. 

Leaving the Program

If you are unable to register for any coursework during a given term, it is your responsibility to inform the CS Department and the Office of Graduate Studies. For details, see the sections on Leave of Absence or Cancellation of Admission and Re-enrollment in the PSU Bulletin.

Minimum Grade Point Average

Students in the graduate program must maintain a 3.00 cumulative GPA and a 2.70 term GPA at all times. Any student who has a cumulative GPA below 3.00 at the end of a term (based on at least 9 credits), or a term GPA below 2.70 (based on at least 6 credits) will be put on academic probation. A student who has been placed on probation and subsequently violates these GPA limits will be terminated from the University.