Computer Science

Current Students


Contacts

Student Affairs Officer

Jessica Stoller
Email: stoller@cs.ucdavis.edu
2063 Kemper Hall
530-752-7224

Graduate Advisors:

Prem Devanbu – devanbu@cs.ucdavis.edu
Matt Farrens – farrens@cs.ucdavis.edu
Vladimir Filkov – filkov@cs.ucdavis.edu
Dipak Ghosal – ghosal@cs.ucdavis.edu
Phil Rogaway – rogaway@cs.ucdavis.edu

To schedule an appointment with an advisor, please email the advisor directly.

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Forms

Forms and information materials can be found at the Office of Graduate Studies’ website.

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Links

Campus

Departmental

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Frequently Asked Questions

Students

BS / MS Students

Master’s Specific

Ph.D. Specific


Students

How do I get a PTA for a class?

The first step is to contact your professor to request PTA consideration. If your professor agrees, they must send an email to Melinda Curry at curry@cs.ucdavis.edu. Next, go to the department office with your printed email request and student ID number. Melinda Curry can assist you.

Why / when / how should I become a California resident?

Students who are not California residents must pay non-resident tuition. To become a California resident you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You should start this process as soon as possible after you arrive at UC Davis. Please contact the Registrar’s Office for assistance with forms and to start the process to establish California residence for tuition purposes.

I have a hold on my registration, what should I do?

There are various reasons you could have a hold on your registration. Please see Jessica Stoller for assistance with this.

How do I reserve a room?

To reserve a room, please go to COWS for the College of Engineering.

How do I get a CRN number?

A CRN is a Course Registration Number. CRN numbers are distributed in the Friday Update email and are also posted outside of the department office, 2063 Kemper Hall.

I would like to be a TA, what is the process?

Teaching Assistant positions are limited and competitive. They are open to all graduate students but subject to the rules and selection procedure outlined in the Graduate Studies Guidelines.

TA selections are made on a quarterly basis. A month and a half prior to each quarter, an application is sent via email to all CS graduate students. If a student is selected for a TA position, they are notified via email 30 days before the quarter begins.

As a TA in the Computer Science Department, you must take ECS 390: The Teaching of Computer Science. If you are a new TA, you must also attend the TA Orientation at Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. It is offered once a year in the Fall. If you are an international student, you must pass the SPEAK test in order to be a TA.

Students can contact Jessica Stoller via email for additional questions regarding TAships.

I have payroll questions, who do I talk to?

Payroll is handled in the department office in 2063 Kemper Hall. Please see Jane Ryan for answers to payroll questions.

I need a key, who do I talk to?

If you need a key, please see Melinda Curry in 2063 Kemper Hall.

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BS / MS Student (UC Davis undergraduates only)

I am a B.S. student, what is the application process?

The application process begins in your junior year. During the first quarter of your junior year, meet with an adviser to set your program of study. Begin to explore undergraduate research opportunities and develop a research focus. Also, prepare for the GRE (if necessary).

During the third quarter of your junior year, take the GRE if necessary. Students with a UC GPA above 3.5 and at least 3 quarters in residence will have the GRE exam requirement waived. The GRE is required (as for normal applicants) for those with a UC GPA below 3.5.

Speak with faculty about writing a letter of reference for your application. Three letters of recommendation (preferably from faculty) are required.

Complete the standard application form for the M.S. program. Indicate in your statement of purpose the quarter you expect to begin graduate study.

Have all official undergraduate transcripts sent to the Department of Computer Science.

Pay the application fee.

The admissions standards for the regular M.S. Program also apply to BS / MS applicants.

How long will it take to complete my M.S. degree?

Careful adherence to the application guidelines presented above make it possible for a student to complete all degree requirements in five quarters of graduate study. Some students may take additional time to complete the M.S. degree. About 25% of our B.S./M.S. students choose to remain to complete a Ph.D.

More details on the BS / MS degree program can be found at the BS / MS information page.

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Master’s Specific

How do I get a M.S. in Computer Science?

This varies from student to student but the following list shows the right order of steps and approximate time frame to follow:

Thesis Option – Time to Degree: 2 – 3 Years
Complete Undergraduate Proficiency (UGP) requirements (Masters Degree Requirements)
Complete 6 graduate courses (Masters Degree Requirement)
Complete 12 units of research (ECS 299)
Additional coursework to total 36 units (can include up to 6 units of UGP)
Approved thesis

Project Option – Time to Degree: 2 – 3 Years
Undergraduate Proficiency (UGP) requirements (Masters Degree Requirements) 7 graduate courses (includes MS Breadth Requirements (Masters Degree Requirements) 8 units of research (ECS 299) Additional coursework to total 36 units (can include up to 6 units of UGP) Successful completion of MS project (Masters Degree Requirements)

Exam Option – Time to Degree: 2 – 3 Years
Complete Undergraduate Proficiency (UGP) requirements (Masters Degree Requirement)
9 graduate courses (includes MS Breadth Requirements (Masters Degree Requirement)
Additional coursework to total 36 units (can include up to 6 units of UGP)
Successful completion of MS comprehensive Exams (Masters Degree Requirement)

What courses are required?

Thesis option
Thirty-six (36) units of upper-division and graduate course work are required. (Masters Degree Requirement)
At least six (6) graduate courses are required, excluding 290, 290C, 298, and 299.
No more than nine (12) units of 299 may be counted toward the 36-unit requirement.
At most six (6) units of undergraduate course work, completed to satisfy the breadth -requirements, may be counted toward the 36-unit requirement.
A grade of B or better must be obtained in all coursework used to satisfy degree requirements.

Project option
Thirty-six (36) units of upper-division and graduate course work are required. (Masters Degree Requirement)
At least eight (7) graduate courses are required, excluding 290, 290C, 298, and 299.
No more than three (8) units of 299 may be used to full fill the 36-unit requirement.
At most six (6) units of undergraduate course work completed to satisfy the undergraduate breadth requirements may be counted toward the 36-unit requirement.
A grade of B or better must be obtained in all coursework used to satisfy degree requirements.

Examination option
Thirty-six (36) units of upper-division and graduate course work are required. (Masters Degree Requirement)
At least eight (9) graduate courses are required, excluding 290, 290C, 298, and 299.
At most six (6) units of undergraduate course work completed to satisfy the undergraduate breadth requirements may be counted toward the 36-unit requirement.
A grade of B or better must be obtained in all coursework used to satisfy degree requirements.

Can I take courses outside of Computer Science?

Yes – you can take courses outside of Computer Science. They must be graduate level courses related to Computer Science or your research if you want them to count towards the 6-9 graduate courses required.

What is the breadth requirement?

The breadth requirement includes demonstrated proficiency in three of four areas of computer science at the graduate level: Theory, Systems, Architecture, and Applications (Masters Degree Requirements).

What is the M.S. thesis option?

A Master’s thesis is usually based on six to nine units of laboratory research carried out under the 299-course number. The thesis should demonstrate the student’s proficiency in research methods and scientific analysis, and a thorough knowledge of the state of the art in the student’s chosen area. A Master’s thesis is a description of an original technical or research contribution of limited scope, or an advanced design project.

What is the M.S. comprehensive exam option?

Students who wish to develop breadth at the graduate level in computer science may choose the Master’s examination option. The M.S. comprehensive option requires students to pass two examinations from the areas of Architecture, Programming Languages and Compilers, Theory, and Operating Systems. The third examination may be taken from any of the remaining areas.

Architecture
ECS 154 A, B Computer Architecture
ECS 250A Advanced Computer Architecture

Programming Languages
ECS 140A Programming Languages
ECS 142 Compilers
ECS 240 Programming Languages

Operating Systems
ECS 150 Operating Systems
ECS 151A, B Operating Systems Design
ECS 251 Operating Systems Models

Theory
ECS 122A Algorithm Design and Analysis
ECS 120 Introduction to the Theory of Computation
ECS 222A Design and Analysis of Algorithms
ECS 220 Theory of Computation

Software Engineering
ECS 160 Introduction to Software Engineering
ECS 260 Software Engineering

Data Base Systems
ECS 165A, B Database Systems
ECS 265 Database Systems

These examinations may be oral, written or a combination of both and must be administered prior to the eighth week of the quarter in which the student plans to graduate. A student is allowed to repeat the Comprehensive Examination only once.

How do I set up my comprehensive exams?

When you are ready to take your exams, you must email Jessica Stoller at stoller@cs.cdavis with a note that you need your exams administered. Specify the areas you are to be tested in, and she will set them up with the appropriate faculty.

How do I choose a M.S. committee?

You are required to form a committee of three faculty members to review your thesis or exam. The committee must be composed of three members. Any member of the Graduate Group in Computer Science may chair this committee. At least two members of this committee must be members of the Academic Senate of the University of California. At least two members of this committee must be members of the Graduate Group in Computer Science.

What is Advancement to Candidacy?

Advancing to candidacy occurs after completing all the coursework required for the degree. For the M.S. degree, this means completing all undergraduate proficiency requirements, all breadth requirements with a B or better and all graduate courses required. Every student must file a Candidacy for the Master’s Degree – Thesis Plan 1 or Candidacy for the Master’s Degree – Comprehensive Exam Plan II after they have completed at least one-half the course requirements for the degree. Please submit the form to Jessica Stoller at least one full quarter before completion of all degree requirements and before going on filing fee status.

How do I switch from the M.S. to the Ph.D. program?

As a Master student, you must formally apply to the Ph.D. program. You can do so by completing the Change of Degree Objective. You will also need to speak to your Advisor to make sure funding will be available for you. Once both are complete, submit your form to Jessica Stoller.

What is going on Filing Fee and when and how do I apply?

The Filing Fee program is for students who have completed all requirements for degrees except filing theses and/or taking final examinations, and who are no longer using University facilities. The Filing Fee is a reduced fee, paid in lieu of registration fees. It is assessed only once. The Filing Fee option preserves your candidacy status with the University; however, you are no longer considered a full-time registered student by the University and are not entitled to the same benefits and privileges as a registered student. You are allowed one quarter of Filing Fee. To file, complete the Filing Fee Request and submit to Jessica Stoller.

How do I submit a completed comprehensive exam?

Once your exams are complete, the faculty administering the exam should email the result to Jessica Stoller at stoller@cs.ucdavis.edu.

How do I file a completed thesis?

When your thesis is complete, it must first be approved by a committee of three members. The committee membership must be approved by Graduate Studies (accomplished through the “Advancement to Candidacy” petition). The committee members are restricted by the requirements stated in Appendix C. Second, it must be filed with The Office Of Graduate Studies, process can be found at http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/students/degree_candidates.html under “Master’s.” The Calendar and Deadlines for filing can be found at http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/students/calendar.html.

I have an academic question, whom do I talk to?

If you have an academic question, talk to your Advisor or you can schedule an appointment with a Graduate Advisor at by using their email address.

I have a non-academic question, whom do I talk to?

If you have non-academic questions, you can talk to Jessica Stoller, Graduate Program Coordinator, 2063 Kemper Hall, stoller@cs.ucdavis.edu or 530-752-7224.

I am graduating, after I file my thesis is there any additional paperwork I need to complete?

Yes! Please complete the Graduate Exit Checklist and return to Jessica Stoller.

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PhD Specific

How do I get a Ph.D. in Computer Science?

The requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy are the satisfactory completion of the advanced proficiency requirements and qualifying examination, completion of an approved program of study, and writing a dissertation approved by your thesis committee. The time frame varies but the following list shows approximate time frame and sequence to follow:

Typical time to Degree: 4-5 years
Undergraduate Proficiency (UGP) requirements – (Masters Degree Requirement)
Major and Minor area of study
10 graduate courses (includes Advanced Proficiency Requirements- (Masters Degree Requirment) Qualifying Exam (taken when all coursework is complete: 6th-9th quarter of study)
Approved Dissertation and Exit Seminar

How many courses must I take?

At least ten graduate courses are required, exclusive of seminar (290, 290C, 298) and research (299) units. This may include all courses taken in the Master’s program if applicable. (Masters Degree Requirement).

A grade of A- or better in four core areas and a grade of B or better must be obtained in all coursework used to satisfy degree requirements.

I took classes at another institution that I want to get credit for. What is the process?

Up to 15 units of prior coursework can be transferred with approval. Please fill out the Evaluation of Graduate Coursework Taken At Another Institution. On the form, you’ll also need to include the grade you received in the course along with a course description. When complete, submit the form to Jessica Stoller. She will submit to the Graduate Advisor and email you the result.

What is a Program of Study?

The student, in conjunction with the faculty/dissertation advisor, develops the Program of Study (link to form). For a Ph.D. student this includes both a major and minor area of study. The major area must include at least thirty units of coursework (six units of the 30 come from 299) that form a consistent program in a research area of Computer Science. The minor area must include at least fifteen units of coursework, including at least three graduate courses, and excludes any 299 units. No course with a grade less than a B can be used on the program of study. When complete, the student must submit the form to Jessica Stoller for approval from the Educational Policy Committee.

What is the Qualifying Examination?

The Qualifying Examination is a formal, oral examination to determine the student’s readiness to conduct Ph.D. level research in the major area of study. Prior to the Qualifying Examination the student must prepare a paper containing a thorough discussion of a proposed thesis topic. This paper must be submitted to the Qualifying Examination Committee at least two weeks prior to the examination.

The Qualifying Examination is administered by a faculty committee (typically 5 members) appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies, in conjunction with the student’s faculty advisor. Student input into the selection of the committee is sought and encouraged (http://www.cs.ucdavis.edu/graduate/masters-degree-requirements/#c).

The examinations differ in structure, depending on the area of research and the members of the examining committee. In this examination the student gives a formal presentation of the thesis proposal. The committee will question the student on this proposal, and will question the student to determine the student’s competence in both the major and minor areas of study.

The committee can issue the following grades for the examination:

Pass – In this case student can apply to the Graduate Studies for Advancement to Candidacy for the degree. At this time a dissertation committee is officially selected to direct the student in the research, and to guide the student in the preparation of the dissertation. The committee must be approved by Graduate Studies.

Not Pass — In this case, the committee has two options:

Fail—In this case, the student is not permitted to continue in the Ph.D. program if this is the student’s second attempt.

The committee can meet with the major advisor as part of its deliberations.

The student can only retake the qualifying examination once. If a passing grade is not achieved by the second attempt, the student cannot continue in the Ph.D. program.

To be eligible for the Qualifying Examination, the student must have satisfied all course requirements, have removed all deficiencies, and must have at least a 3.5 GPA in courses taken in the program of study.

What is the process for setting up my Qualifying Exam?

At least two months before you plan to take your Examination, find a suitable time when your planned committee members can attend (allow 2.5-3 hours). Next, coordinate a room reservation at http://cows.ucdavis.edu/engr. Once the date is set, submit the Application for Qualifying Examination to Jessica Stoller who will get the signatures needed and forward it to The Office Of Graduate Studies.

What is Advancement to Candidacy?

Advancing to candidacy means completing all the prerequisites for doing research toward the degree. For the Ph.D. degree, this means completing all course requirements and passing the Qualifying Exam. Please submit the Candidacy For The Degree Of Doctor Of Philosophy to Jessica Stoller.

What is Filing Fee?

The Filing Fee program is for students who have completed all requirements for degrees except filing theses and /or taking final examinations, and who are no longer using University facilities. The Filing Fee is a reduced fee, paid in lieu of registration fees. It is assessed only once. The Filing Fee option preserves your candidacy status with the University; however, you are no longer considered a full-time registered student by the University and are not entitled to the same benefits and privileges as a registered student. You are allowed two quarters plus one extension of Filing Fee. To file, complete the Filing Fee Request and submit to Jessica Stoller.

I have questions about preparing and filing my dissertation?

For assistance in the preparation of your dissertation, please contact The Office Of Graduate Studies at http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/students/filing.html. You must make an appointment with the Student Affairs Coordinator in order to file your dissertation.

You are responsible for observing the filing dates and for preparing the dissertation in the proper format. The dissertation must be accompanied by either the UMI Doctoral Dissertation Agreement form (Ph.D. students) on which you indicate your willingness either to have the University supply copies of your dissertation to interested persons immediately, or that such permission should be withheld for a period of time, up to a maximum of three years.

Filing your dissertation is the last step in the process leading to the awarding of your degree. The final copy of your dissertation, which is ultimately deposited in the University Library, becomes a permanent and official record. You have the choice of submitting either your entire manuscript or only your dissertation abstract to University Microfilms International (UMI) Dissertation Publishing. Both options provide higher visibility of your achievements. If you submit your entire dissertation to UMI, it will be returned to Shields Library where it will be bound and stored. The packet of information that was sent to you when we returned your approved candidacy form contained the forms you need to submit with your manuscript.

The Calendar and Deadlines for filing can be found at http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/students/calendar.html.

What is the exit seminar?

In the exit seminar the candidate’s research is presented to the UC Davis academic community. This seminar is administered by the dissertation committee and takes place after all committee members have approved the dissertation, but (usually) before the dissertation has been filed with the Office of Graduate Studies.

What is the teaching requirement?

The Graduate Group requires all Ph.D. candidates to demonstrate at least one quarter of college level teaching experience. We strongly recommend that at least one of these quarters includes lecturing or leading a discussion section.

I have an academic question, whom do I talk to?

If you have an academic question, you’ll need to talk to your Advisor or you can schedule an appointment with a Graduate Advisor by using their email address.

I have a non-academic question, whom do I talk to?

If you have a non-academic question, you can talk to Jessica Stoller, Graduate Program Coordinator, 2063 Kemper Hall, stoller@cs.ucdavis.edu or 530-752-7224.

I need advice on courses and/or research?

If you need advice on courses and/or research first talk to your Research Advisor or you can also schedule an appointment with a Graduate Advisor.

I am graduating, after I file my dissertation is there any additional paperwork I need to complete?

Yes! Please complete the Graduate Exit Checklist and return to Jessica Stoller.

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Deadlines

For deadlines, see the Office of Graduate Studies’ calendar.

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