University, College & Department Rules

University & College Rules

Please see the FSU Graduate Bulletin (hard copy or on-line) for more details. The following are rules that apply from the college &/or university:

  • Students in the thesis master’s program or PhD program must register for thesis/dissertation credits each term in which a substantial amount of work is being done on the the thesis/dissertation, even if the minimum of six (6) semester hours of thesis, or 24 semester hours of dissertation, has already been met. Students who have completed the required course work and who continue to use campus facilities and/or receive faculty supervision but who have not made a final thesis/dissertation submission shall include in the required full-time load two (2) hours of thesis/dissertation. Students who have left the campus must register for at least two (2) semester hours of thesis or dissertation credit per term as long as they are receiving faculty supervision.
  • Students must register for at least one (2) semester hours of thesis or dissertation credit in the final term in which a degree is granted even if ALL the requirements for the degree have been completed in previous semesters. This is to cover the costs of manuscript clearance and final degree clearance. Any work with the major professor, committee members or use of university facilities would require registration for two (2) hours of thesis or dissertation.
  • Twelve (12) semester hours per semester constitutes a full-time load for graduate students and fellowship holders in the university. However, nine (9) semester hours is considered a full-time load in the Computer Science department for international students and students with an assistantship. International students must obtain the corresponding form from International Studies to be signed to verify this.
  • The maximum number of hours which a graduate student may carry without special permission is fifteen (15). A heavier load requires approval by the dean.
  • Students who have been out of school (i.e. not registered for) two or more consecutive semesters (including summer) must submit an application for readmission to the readmissions section of the Office of the University Registrar. This application must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the beginning of the term for which readmission is desired.
  • International students are required to be full-time students fall and spring semesters but not during summer unless summer is the first semester for which they are on campus.
  • The major professor of a doctoral student in candidacy must submit a PhD progress report each year. This can be done via the department by completing this on-line document and submitting it to the CS Director of Graduate Studies. This is completed in January of each year.
  • Once admitted to candidacy, a “Doctoral Supervisory Committee” form and a “Admission to Candidacy” form must be completed and filed with the department Graduate Coordinator. Such forms are available from the Graduate Coordinator or Director of Graduate Studies.
  • A doctoral student must be admitted to candidacy at least six (6) months prior to the granting of the degree.
  • The Office of Graduate Studies requires notification of thesis/dissertation defense two weeks prior to the defense. It further requires that a doctoral student submit a completed copy of the dissertation to the doctoral committee at least four (4) weeks prior to the defense. See GradSpace on Canvas for deadlines.
  • An electronic version of a completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to the university.
  • During the first two weeks of the term in which a candidate expects to receive a degree, application should be made for a diploma at the office of the University Registrar. If a candidate previously filed for a diploma but did not receive the degree, the application must be repeated.


Additional Department Rules

  • The department extends the University policy about thesis/dissertation hours to include students who are working on a master’s project. Thus, a student who is using University resources or receiving faculty supervision is required to register for at least two (2) hours of project even if the course requirements are complete.
  • Each graduate student is required to meet with his or her advisor at least once per semester. The department advising form is to be completed at each such meeting and should be returned to the Graduate Coordinator in 203 Love. The forms will remain in the student’s file until graduation and will be used as part of the graduation check. Advisors and students are advised to keep copies for their records.
  • A graduate student is automatically dropped from the graduate program after three or more U’s in any graduate course.
  • The department has a guideline that a student will only receive a S (satisfactory) for a CGS5xxx course for an undergraduate prerequisite when the student achieves a B- or better in the equivalent undergraduate course.
  • Many fellowships have load requirements that are higher than our departmental requirements. In such cases, the fellowship rules supersede those of the department.
  • It is the responsibility of the major professor of the student doing a project, thesis, or dissertation to submit to the director of graduate studies the names of the major professor and committee members as soon as such committee has been formed. This is necessary before signing up for project, thesis, or dissertation hours.
  • Masters students doing the thesis or project option are usually restricted from taking Directed Independent Study courses CIS 5900 and CIS 6900. Rather, such students should take thesis or project hours, respectively.
  • A student defending a project, thesis, dissertation or area paper is required to inform the graduate coordinator of the title and date, time and location of the defense at least two (2) weeks prior to the defense.
  • It is not required by the department that the chair of Computer Science sign the signature page of the thesis or dissertation.
  • Upon completion of a thesis, project or dissertation, a student must submit an electronic copy of such to the CS department webmaster. Additionally, theses and dissertations must be electronically submitted to the university.
  • Graduate studies should be engaged as a full-time endeavor. Students who are supported on a qualifying assistantship are expected to be fully engaged with their studies. Additional employment or activity, especially outside the Program is discouraged to ensure timely completion of one’s degree. Requests for additional or outside, employment or activity will be evaluated for conflicts of interest in accordance with the CBA.
  • A PhD CS student cannot be admitted to the MS degree program if they already have a MS in Computer Science or MS in Computer Engineering from another institution. Note that a student must be admitted to the MS program before they can obtain an MS degree.
  • Priority for continued departmental support will be given to students who are in good academic standing and are making timely progress towards completion of their degree. A graduate student who has completed all of the requirements for the degree can take additional courses, but will not be eligible for departmental support. Lower priority for support may be given to: (1) MS students who have been in the MS program for 2 full years; (2) PhD students with an MS from another institution who have (a) not passed the qualifying exam after 2 years, (b) not passed the qualifying and preliminary exams after 3 years, and (c) not completed the degree after 5 years; (3) PhD students starting with the BS or completed the MS at FSU who have (a) not passed the qualifying exam after 3 years, (b) not passed the qualifying and preliminary exams after 4 years, and (c) not completed the degree after 6 years.
  • ALL graduate students must complete an Exit Survey before graduation.
  • The minimum satisfactory progress of a CS PhD student is given at the following link:
    PhD Progress Milestones