by Sophie Engle on Aug 2013
This guide will answer several advising-related questions for MSCS and MSWS students.
See http://www.usfca.edu/artsci/csg/ for details.
Students that do not have a CS background may have additional foundational requirements for their degree.
See http://www.usfca.edu/artsci/msws/ for details.
Students that do not have a CS background may have additional foundational requirements for their degree.
See the General Catalog for details.
Students must maintain a B average (3.0 GPA) on all degree requirements. Students that fall below this average will be placed on a academic probation. Students on academic probation who fail to raise their cumulative grade point average to 3.0 by the time they have completed the next six (6) credit hours of graduate work are subject to disqualification from the program. See the General Catalog for details.
Keep in mind these are unofficial checklists provided for planning purposes.
To be considered a full-time student, graduate students need 6+ credit hours and undergraduate students need 12+ credit hours. Since most courses are 4 units each, this works out to a minimum of 2 graduate courses or 3 undergraduate courses a semester. See the General Catalog for details.
Most semesters you should take 2 graduate classes at once, although there often be at least one semester you must take 3 classes to finish within 2 years.
For an undergraduate course, students are expected to spend a minimum of 2 hours outside of class for every 1 credit hour. For example, a 4 credit hour course requires a minimum of 8 hours of out-of-class work.
For graduate courses and upper-division courses, you should raise this expectation significantly. For example, a 4 credit hour graduate course will often take an average of 10 to 20 hours of outside work. Taking 3 graduate courses at once could result in anywhere between 30 to 60 hours of outside work!
See the Credit Hour Policy for details on the minimum number of out-of-class hours for a course.
All Master's degree programs in the College of Arts and Sciences must be completed within 4 years, whether you are a full-time or part-time student. See the General Catalog for details.
You should contact the graduate advisor, Sophie Engle, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You should contact the graduate director, Terence Parr via email at email@example.com.
You may register for graduate courses online in USF Connect. See this page for instructions. If you run into any holds that prevent you from registering for graduate courses, please contact the graduate advisor.
Since most of our undergraduate courses have prerequisite requirements, you will be unable to register for these courses the same way as graduate courses. There are two options for registering for undergraduate courses:
You can contact the instructor of the class and ask to have your prerequisite requirement waived in USF Connect. Make sure you include your CWID/student ID number. The instructor can waive the prerequisite by logging into Banner, clicking the "Faculty Services" tab, and selecting "Registration Overrides".
You must still enroll in the course. This process only waives the prerequisite requirement in the system, and does not actually register you in the course. Once the instructor confirms the requirement has been waived, you must still register for the course in USF Connect (see above).
Note that if you attempt to register for a course after the first week of class, you will need additional signatures to complete the registration process.
You should contact the graduate advisor.
For MSCS, you must have 5 elective courses or 20 units of electives total. For MSWS, you must have 3 elective courses or 12 electives total.
For MSCS, you must have 2 electives at a 600-level, even if you are enrolled in the Emphasis for Entrepreneurship. For MSWS, you must have ONE 600-level elective.
These electives may NOT be substituted with directed study units, practicum units, or units from the Emphasis in Entrepreneurship. They must be from graduate courses offered by our department.
Only 1 elective may be 200-level, with permission of the graduate advisor. This is generally used to take CS 212 Software Development your first semester.
Only TWO foundational requirements may be used as electives. For example, if you have 4 foundational requirements, only 2 of those courses may be counted as electives. As such, you may need additional time to complete the Master's degree.
You may only use up to 4 units of directed study or practicum for electives. These units do NOT count towards a 600-level elective.
The Emphasis in Entrepreneurship program replaces 2 courses or 8 units of CS electives. Note that you must still complete the required number of 600-level CS electives.
No, you may not apply units used for your another degree at USF for your graduate degree (i.e. double-dipping of units is not allowed). The only exception is CS 490 Senior Team Project and CS 690 Master's Project. If you took CS 490 as an undergraduate student in our program, your CS 690 Master's Project requirement will be waived.
The practicum option allows students to gain practical experience in industry while earning credit towards their degree. It is primarily used by international students. See http://www.usfca.edu/artsci/csg/practicum/ for more details.
Any graduate student may take the practicum option. However, it is most useful for full-time international students.
US citizens and part-time students may take the practicum option, but restrictions apply. For example, US citizens may not use their current job for practicum units and part-time students may not exceed 20 hours per week during the school year.
The practicum option is 2 units per semester enrolled, even in the summer.
Yes, you may enroll in a maximum of 8 practicum units total (four semesters). Keep in mind, however, that only 4 practicum units may be used as an elective for your degree.
Yes, students should work no more than 20 hours a week during the school year. However, students may work 40 hours a week during the summer.
Yes, the practicum is a 2 unit course, and you will be billed accordingly.
No, students are solely responsible for finding internships for the practicum. Faculty will not place students in internships.
The position must be related to computer science, and must not exceed the hour restrictions (see above).
US citizens may not use their existing job for practicum credit, but may obtain a separate internship to receive credit.
International students are not eligible for their first 9 months (or 2 semesters). If you start in the fall semester, you will be eligible for practicum in the following summer semester.
Please note that practicum is not an option your second summer semester—you must have already completed all of your degree requirements by that time.
Students must have an offer letter from their employer, and need a 3.3 GPA or above. The offer letter must contain a job title, job description, dates of employment, number of hours per week, and contact information for your supervisor.
If you are an international student, you must also provide a signed CPT letter to ISSS.
You must first contact the graduate advisor via email with a copy of your offer letter and contact information for your supervisor. The offer letter must contain a job title, job description, dates of employment, number of hours per week, and contact information for your supervisor.
After receiving confirmation from the graduate advisor, you may enroll in the CS 695 Practicum Study course in USF Connect.
Contact the graduate advisor with the offer letter as detailed above, and mention you need a letter for CPT. You will be notified when the letter is ready. After you pickup the latter, you must then take it and (the remainder of the necessary documents) to ISSS. See http://www.usfca.edu/ISSS/Curricular_Practical_Training/ for details.
The practicum course requires that you complete 300 hours of work in the course of the semester. You may register for the course at anytime as long as you are able to fulfill this requirement.
The lastest day you may work for this course is the last day of final exams. You must complete your 300 hours by that point. For most students, this means you must register and start working by the second week of class.
No, while up to 4 units of practicum may be counted as an elective, it does not count as a 600-level elective. It is not equivalent to our traditional graduate-level course electives.
Yes, but at the same restrictions as full-time students apply to part-time students as well.
You may not earn practicum units for a full-time position during the school year, but may earn 2 units during the summer. US citizens may not use their existing job for practicum credit, but may obtain a separate internship to receive credit.
Students enrolled in the entrepreneurship emphasis take a standard MSCS or MSWS degree, but take their electives in the top tier Entrepreneurship Program from the business school alongside MBA students.
You must still fulfill all of the requirements of the MSCS/MSWS programs, except that you will replace 8 units of CS electives with 8 units of MBA courses in the Entrepreneurship Program. Note that you must still complete the required number of 600-level CS electives.
You should contact the graduate advisor and express your interest in the program.
If approved, you will need to fill out a "Change of Academic Program" form (under "Records and Registration" at OneStop Forms) and get the necessary signatures.
You may take any of the following classes:
* Recommended Courses
You must first enroll in the Emphasis in Entrepreneurship program (see above). You will then be able to enroll in the approved MBA courses online. If you run into issues with registration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org AND the graduate advisor with your registration request. Your request will not be successful if you do not include BOTH email addresses!
No, only traditional graduate courses offered by our department may be used to satisfy the that requirement.
You should start taking these courses as soon as possible. Since these courses are offered by a separate program, we do not control when and how often these courses are scheduled.
Keep in mind that some of these courses may be offered on a separate campus, which will add to your commute time. You also should not miss a core computer science course to take an entrepreneurship course.
These are requirements you must take in addition to the requirements for the MSCS or MSWS degrees. These are courses that provide the foundation necessary for being successful in graduate-level courses in computer science.
Keep in mind that if you have more than 2 foundational requirements, you may not be able to complete your degree in 2 years.
Foundational requirements are included on your offer letter. If you are unable to find your offer letter, please contact the graduate advisor.
The following are the possible foundational requirements for a MSCS degree:
See information on the MSCS Bridge Program for more information.
You should start satisfying your foundational requirements right away, as you generally need the skills taught in these courses for the other graduate-level courses. However, many foundational courses (except for CS 212 Software Development) may be full by the time you arrive at USF. As such, most students start taking foundational requirements during their second semester.
Yes, you may enroll at USF as a visiting student. This will allow you to sign up for courses to fulfill your foundational requirements before you are officially accepted to the program. See http://www.usfca.edu/registration/visiting/ for more information.
Only 2 foundational requirements may be used as electives. For example, if you have 4 foundational requirements, only 2 of those courses may be counted as electives. As such, you may need additional time to complete the Master's degree.
No, you may take these requirements at another reputable university (not a community college) if you wish. Please contact the graduate advisor to get approval BEFORE enrolling in courses at another institution.
You will need to submit an official transcript from this institution before your foundational requirement will be waived. As such, many online courses will not fulfill these requirements.
For the most part, you may not test out of the foundational requirements. The exceptions are listed below:
You may waive CS 212 Software Development by passing the test provided at your first orientation.
You may waive CS 245 Data Structures and Algorithms if you receive a B or higher in CS 673 Algorithms.
You may substitute CS 652 Programming Languages for the CS 414 Compilers requirement, but in that case CS 652 may only count as a 600-level elective and not a core requirement.
If a foundational requirement is waived, then it is removed from your degree checklist entirely. If a foundational requirement is substituted, then it is still considered a foundational requirement on your degree checklist.
No, you may not use this course to fulfill both requirements. If you take CS 652 to fulfill your foundational requirement, you may not also use it to fulfill a core requirement. However, you may use up to two foundational courses as electives.
You must take 4 units of English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. Generally, you can take these courses in addition to two CS courses. See the ESL Department for a list of courses.