Coursework Policies and Procedures (M.S. and Ph.D.)

Status -- University and Departmental

Students admitted to the department's Master's program in a conditional (X) status should verify through the Graduate Program Coordinator that they have met specific criteria for changing to regular (M) status before completing the change of status form found on the Graduate School's web site. Credits earned while in X status count towards degree requirements exactly as those earned in M status. Masters students must have M status in order to graduate.

All Ph.D. students are admitted with a conditional (Y) status. Change of status to Doctoral (D) is accomplished through the Graduate Program Coordinator, following the completion of the Directed Research Project.

Policies/Regulations on Coursework Completion


Though the minimum number of graduate credits required by the Graduate School for a master's degree is 45, the CIS Department requires 54. Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) in all graduate courses taken with graded option. The maximum number of credit hours transferable, through the Graduate School, from another institution or another classification is 15. A student may also petition (unofficially, within the department) to have specific course requirements waived, based on their previous coursework. All petitions (obtained through the Graduate Program Coordinator) must be submitted to and approved, in writing, by the Graduate Education Committee.

Coursework required for M.S. here


Ph.D. students who enter the program without a Masters degree in computer science are required to take 48 credits in graduate classes.  Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) in all graduate courses taken with graded option.

Coursework required for Ph.D. here

Electives: Ph.D. students must take an additional 24 credits of graduate-level courses, 12 of which must be from 600-level courses. Courses numbered 510 which appear on the approved course list may be included in any 500-level credits. For graduate level courses taken in other departments on campus, a petition to the Graduate Education Committee is required.

Minimum Annual Enrollment: Ph.D. students are expected to enroll in at least six credits worth of 600-level courses each year. These six credits can be any 600-level course used to complete the core, cluster, or elective requirements, as described above. Note that Research (CIS 601), Dissertation (CIS 603), and Readings (CIS 605) cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.

Course Load

Nine credit hours is considered a full-time course load for graduate students. Graduate Employees are required to register for and complete a minimum of nine graduate credits each term to maintain their GE teaching status. The same is true for International students here on an F-1 visa to maintain their immigration status. A fixed tuition rate is assessed for 9-16 graduate credits per term. The minimum required to remain "in" the program is three graduate credit hours, but this should be discussed with student's adviser and the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Courses Needing Faculty Approval

Individualized Study Courses include Thesis (CIS 503), Research (CIS 601), Internship (CIS 604), Reading (CIS 605) and Final Project (CIS 609). Preauthorization to register for these courses is done by the Graduate Program Coordinator after receiving the completed Permission to register for Individualized Study form (located in the CIS front office). If you wish to identify a reading or project course and have this title appear on your transcript, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator before the end of the fifth week of the term. Titles are limited to 22 characters (including spaces) and must include Read or Proj at the beginning of the title.

Grade Policy/GPA

Each graduate student should be familiar with satisfying both department and Graduate School regulations for maintaining graduate status and graduation requirements. Students who fail to maintain a cumulative 3.00 GPA in two successive terms may be dropped from the M.S. program. Ph.D. students must earn a minimum of B- and an overall GPA of 3.5 in the six courses they use to satisfy the Breadth and Depth requirements.  Students should becom familiar with the Graduate School's web site.

Pass/No Pass

Please note that P indicates satisfactory performance, which is defined by the university as a grade of B- or better for graduate students.

CIS Department Incomplete Policy

An "I" is appropriate only in an extraordinary circumstance, such as serious illness or injury, which precludes completion of the course before the end of the term, and then only if the completed coursework is satisfactory (B- or higher). In particular, "I" may not be used to forestall a failing or otherwise undesirable grade. When an incomplete grade is submitted, the instructor will file the departmental form "Report of Incomplete Grade" describing the reason for that mark and the conditions for its removal, including a deadline for completion of coursework. The instructor must also specify the grade that will be assigned if the work is not completed by the stated deadline. If possible, the report should be signed by the student. If the conditions for the removal of the incomplete grade are not fulfilled by the date specified on the form, the department will submit the grade specified by the instructor for this eventuality. If no grade was specified, an "F" will be reported.

University Incomplete Policy

An incomplete may be issued when the quality of work is satisfactory, but some minor yet essential requirement has not been completed, for reasons acceptable to the instructor. Faculty and students should develop a contract outlining the requirements and specific deadlines for making up the incomplete. Contracts should be filed in the departmental office through which the course is taught.

Please note that it is not appropriate to direct a student to sit through the same class in a future term as a way to make up an incomplete, as that implies that the student has more than a "minor requirement" outstanding, and should not have been given an "I". Further, students are required to be registered for and pay for all classes that they are "taking."

Graduate students must convert incompletes within one calendar year of the assignment of the incomplete. Students may request additional time for the removal of the incomplete by submitting a petition stating the course requirements that were not initially completed, with the instructor’s signature, to the dean of the Graduate School for review. This policy does not apply to incompletes routinely assigned to courses applying to the completion of research (601), thesis (503), dissertation (603), and terminal or master's projects.

For students graduating, removal of incompletes awarded must be submitted on DuckWeb no later than the Friday following exam week of the graduating term. Grade changes must be submitted no later than thirty days after the degree is awarded. Incompletes will remain on the academic record after the degree is awarded and cannot be removed.

Classes required for the Ph.D. degree may be waived if taken at another university, however they can't be transferred. The Graduate Education Committee should be petitioned to waive the course, after an advisor or course instructor agrees that equivalent coursework has been met.

Degree Completion

Master's Thesis

A master's thesis is an option for completing the CIS master's program. If you are planning to write a master's thesis, you should contact the Graduate School for the latest version of the University of Oregon Style and Policy Manual. The Graduate Program Coordinator has samples of previous master's theses for you to review. A minimum of nine thesis credits are required, a maximum of 12 is allowed.

Application for Degree

It is the student's responsibility to file an application for degree through the Graduate School by the second week of the term in which they will graduate. Graduation forms, policies and resources are found online. Reminder: Graduate students must register for, and successfully complete, three graduate credits in residency for the term in which the degree is received.

Degree Checklists

Two separate handouts are used by the Graduate Program Coordinator to track graduate progress. One is for use in the tracking of a Master's program, the other is for a Doctoral Program. Though they may prove to be helpful in your own particular planning and execution of a study plan, they in no way take the place of regular consultation with an academic advisor.