Policy on Colloquium Courses

Each semester you should explicitly register for CISC 890 – Colloquium which means sign up and satisfactorily participate in one of the Department's special research interest groups. The Colloquium courses are informally called SIGs (Special Interest Groups); they are 0 credits and taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Each semester, multiple Colloquium courses are offered in different research areas. One faculty member for each research group will be responsible for overseeing satisfactory participation for each student on an individual basis (e.g., simply attending, giving a presentation, etc.) and will assign a pass/fail grade accordingly. You should familiarize yourself with the specific requirements of the Colloquium course that you are signed up for and should make sure that you meet the requirements to avoid getting a failing grade.

Every Fall semester, the Department offers a special Colloquium course called “New Graduate Student” Colloquium or SIGNewGrad. If you are a new student entering our graduate program (either MS or PhD) in the Fall semester, then you must sign up for the SIGNewGrad Colloquium in your first semester. If you enter our program in the Spring semester, then you should take SIGNewGrad in the following Fall semester.

If you are an MS student, then you will need 3 semesters of passed CISC 890 to graduate, including SIGNewGrad in your first Fall semester. This is a requirement for graduation and it is strictly enforced. If you have not met this requirement, then you will not be able to graduate even if you have met all other requirements. If you are a PhD student, then you must complete all requirements for the MS degree (except in some situations, click here) which then means that you also must complete at least 3 semesters of CISC 890.

If you are a part-time student, then you should talk to your advisor to draw up a plan for how and when to take the Colloquium courses. You may also request the Graduate Program Committee to approve your plan to meet your special circumstances.

PhD students are strongly encouraged to enroll in and participate in the Colloquium courses even after their three required Colloquium courses have been completed.

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