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PhD Students Frequently Asked Questions

1) Can you tell me if I will get into your program?
2) How to apply?
3) What GRE scores do you require?
4) What are your requirements?
5) What is the cost?
6) Where do I send my application materials?
7) What kind of financial aid do you offer?
8)What kind of assistantship do you offer PhDs What GRE scores?
9) When is my deadline to apply?
10) If I am transferring, how many credits can I transfer?
11) Are jobs with the Department available?
12) Who is my advisor?
13) How can I change advisors?
14) Where do I find information about PhD requirements?
15) Will a 7000 level ECE class count as one of the required 12 credits of 7000 level CS classes in PhD?
16) What classes can I take outside the Department?
17) I have a MS in something other than Computer Science, and I am getting my Phd in CS, do I only need 60 more credits?
18) I just retook a class and the second time I received a C-. What can I do?
19) I was in the PhD program but my GPA fell below the minimum and so I changed to the MS program. It is now to 3.5 can I transfer back to the PhD program?
20) I am getting a PhD. Can I get the MS plan C along the way?
21) When will my grades be posted?
22) Can I take Classes not on my POS, and/or take more classes then on my POS?
23)  have already taken 13 5000 level credits. Can I take another 5000 level class that is 3 credits?
24) What happens if I quit my job during the middle of the semester?
25) There are only 7 days before the end of the semester, and everyone on my committee has read my thesis and they say it’s ready to defend. Graduate school says they will waiver the 10 day requirement for the defense if the Department will. Will it?
26) How many credits am I required to take each semester?
27) A full-time matriculated graduate student must be one of the following.
28) What is a reduced course load form and where do I get it?
29) How do I take an independent study course (5950, 6950, 7950)?
30) How do I register for Thesis Credits (6950 and 7950)?
31) If I drop classes after grades are posted will the grade count against me?
32) When do I have to have my committee formed?
33) When do I need to turn in my POS?
34) What will happen if I turn in my POS late?
35) What if I take a different class that is not listed on my POS?
36) I am a PhD student but I want to switch to MS. What do I need to do?
37) Who does what kind of research?
38) Are research assistantships available?
39) How do I write and/or format a thesis/report/dissertation?
40) How long are my GRE Scores Valid?
41) As a PHD student, how many credits of nonresident and resident tuition award am I eligible for?
42) When is the deadline to apply for the PhD program?
43) Will you do a conditional pass if my TOEFL score is not high enough?
44) How long are my TOEFL scores valid? And what do I do if they are not?
45) Is it possible to waive the requirement for GRE test?
46) How many credits can I register for as a non-matriculated graduate student?
47) How long can I take to finish my degree?
48) What do I do after I defend?
49) What is USU 7777?
50) If I am a Utah Resident and do not have a bachelors in CS, what do I need to do to get into the program?

51) If I am an undergraduate student working on my bachelors, how many credits can I split and count towards my Master's Degree?

1) Can you tell me if I will get into your program?

We cannot tell you if you will get into the program or not. It depends on if a faculty member wants to support you or not, and if you meet the minimum requirements

2) How to apply?

To apply, go to:

http://usu.edu/graduateschool/apply/

3) What GRE scores do you require?

We require you receive at least an 80% in the Quantitive and 40% in Verbal and Analytical. If you fall below this, you must make up for it in other areas. It will be up to the review committee to decide if you make up for it in another area. The review committee will only look at completed applications forwarded to them from graduate school.

4) What are your requirements?

Our requirements can be found here.

5) What is the cost?

http://usu.edu/budget/documents/tuitionfees/

6) Where do I send my application materials?

School of Graduate Studies
Attention: Joan Rudd
0900 Old Main Hill
Logan , UT 84322-0900

7) What kind of financial aid do you offer?

For information on Financial aid, visit here.

8) What kind of assistantship do you offer PhDs What GRE scores?

Most PhD students will receive 4660 per semester. This includes a waiver for out of state and instate tuition for up to 70 credits. The amount of credits that will be waived each semester will depend on available funding. Summer semester may or may not be included, depending on the funding for the summer.

Please familiarize yourself with the rules regarding tuition waivers and assistantships. These can be found on graduate schools website.
(http://www.usu.edu/graduateschool/finances/). If you lack any of the criteria during any given semester you may lose your assistantship.

9) When is my deadline to apply?

PhD Application Deadlines

March 1st.

10) If I am transferring, how many credits can I transfer?

Your committee and the dean of graduate school will have to approve of any credits you transfer. If approved, you can transfer as many credits as you like. However, the credits cannot have been used for another degree. Credits with a P grade cannot be transferred. Transfer credits cannot replace required residency credits. You must take at least 33 credits at USU. Transfer credits will be shown on official USU transcripts upon completion of the degree

11) Are jobs with the Department available?

Email Vicki Anderson ( vicki.anderson@usu.edu )

12) Who is my advisor?

Upon admissions. all graduate students are given a temporary advisor. Email Genie Hanson ( genie.hanson@usu.edu ) if you do not know who your advisor is.

13) How can I change advisors?

PhD Students don't generally change their initial, temporary advisor, until they form their graduate committee. If you already have a permanent advisor and want to change because you are not making progress contact Genie Hanson ( genie.hanson@usu.edu ) if you have additional questions.

14) Where do I find information about PhD requirements?

They may be found here.

15) Will a 7000 level ECE class count as one of the required 9 credits of 7000 level CS classes in PhD?

No, it will not.

16) What classes can I take outside the Department?

In order for a class to count outside the Department, it must be a 5000 or above level class, and must have a letter grade. Also, all your committee members must approve of the class.

17) I have a MS in something other than Computer Science, and I am getting my Phd in CS, do I only need 40 more credits?

The review committee will need to review your masters and see how many (up to 30) will count towards the 70 credits you need.

18) I just retook a class and the second time I received a C-. What can I do?

You are not allowed to take the course a third time. That course and grade will remain on your transcript and be computed in your matriculated graduate and CS 5000 level GPA.

19) I was in PhD program but my GPA fell below the minimum and so i changed to the MS program. It is now to 3.5 can I transfer back to the PhD program?

No.

20) I am getting a PhD. Can I get the MS plan C along the way?

Yes, but unfortunately you will be charged tuition (in-state) for all the MCS credits

21) When will my grades be posted?

All grades will be submitted with in 96 hours after the final examination for the course.

22) Can I take Classes not on my POS, and/or take more classes then on my POS?

Yes but graduate school will charge you for tuition even if you have the waiver.

23) I have already taken 13 5000 level credits. Can I take another 5000 level class that is 3 credits?

Yes, however, you can only count two credits on your POS. So you will be responsible for all tuition on the 1 credit you can not include on the POS.

24) What happens if I quit my job during the middle of the semester?

Change in employment may cause you to lose your tuition waiver. It is expected that when you accept the job, you stick with it for the entire semester.

25) There are only 7 days before the end of the semester, and everyone on my committee has read my thesis and they say it’s ready to defend. Graduate school says they will waiver the 10 day requirement for the defense if the Department will. Will it?

No.

26) How many credits am I required to take each semester?

If you are an international student you must always have at least 9 credits, otherwise you will need to fill out a reduced course load form with graduate school. You can take 6 if you are on an assistantship.

27) A full-time matriculated graduate student must be one of the following.

Registered for 9 or more graduate credits; or
Registered for 6 or more graduate credits if employed as a graduate assistant for 15 hours per week or more; or
Registered for 3 graduate credits with all required coursework completed and only the research component of the degree remaining (the student’s Program of Study must have been submitted to the School of Graduate Studies); or
Registered for at least 3 graduate credits during the semester of the final thesis/dissertation defense or, in a non-thesis degree program, the last semester of coursework required on the student’s Program of Study.
Registered for at least 9 graduate credits for each semester in which the doctoral resident tuition award is received.

28) What is a reduced course load form and where do I get it?

As an international student, you must always take at least 9 credits per semester, or fill out a reduced course load form. There are only a few reasons why a student can fill out a reduced course load form.

They are:
They hold a graduate assistantship and are registered for 6 semester hours
This is their final semester before graduating (plan C)
Student is completing formal coursework and is working full time on thesis or dissertation
Student has completed formal coursework and is working full time on thesis or dissertation
Medical reasons

The form can be found here.

29) How do I take an independent study course (5950, 6950, 7950)?

This form is available online here. Please fill out the form and hit submit. Once approved Genie Hanson will unlock the course for you so you can register.

30) How do I register for Thesis Credits (6950 and 7950)?

This form is available online here. Please fill out the form and hit submit. Once approved Genie Hanson will unlock the course for you so you can register.

31) If I drop classes after grades are posted will the grade count against me?

You cannot drop a class after grades are posted. However, you can remove it from your POS. The grade will be counted on your Matriculated Graduate GPA, CS 5000+GPA but not your POS GPA. Please remember, you must keep at least a 3.5 in your PhD program.

32) When do I have to have my committee formed?

You must have formed your committee by the last day of classes in your second semester of your PhD Program.

33) When do I need to turn in my POS?

All on campus students must turn in their POS by the end of their second semester in your PhD program.

34) What will happen if I turn in my POS late?

Graduate school will do an audit the first two weeks of the semester, if you have not turned it in you will receive an email saying you will need to repay any tuition you received if you do not turn it in.

35) What if I take a different class that is not listed on my POS?

You will need to turn in a change of program of study form to make the change. Everyone on your Committee must approve of it. Graduate school will accept just a letter from your major professor; however Department rules require everyone on your committee to approve and not just your major professor. If you take a class and do not change it on your POS, you will have to repay back the tuition if you received a waiver on it, and you will also not be able to graduate .

36) I am a PhD student but I want to switch to MS. What do I need to do?

If you are admitted as a PhD student and want to change to a MS, you can do so within 3 weeks of the start of your second semester. If you choose to make the change after that date, you can only change to the MCS, or terminate in the Program.

To change, you will need to get a degree form change from graduate school. Once it has been approved you will neeed to form a new committee and POS.

You will have to pay back any instate tuition you received. Because as a MS student you are not eligible for the PHD remission of instate tuition.

37) Who does what kind of research?

To see a list of faculty and featured research in the Department, go here.

38) Are research assistantships available?

Generally, individual professors who have research funds to pay the salaries of research assistants do hiring of those assistants.It is not a Department matter.

39) How do I write and/or format a thesis/report/dissertation?

You must use IEEE as the format. In addition, you will need to make sure you are following graduate schools requirements found in the publication guide here.

40) How long are my GRE Scores Valid?

5 years

41) As a PHD student, how many credits of nonresident and resident tuition award am I eligible for?

You are eligible for up to 70.  However, depending on what is required on your POS this may be limited to a smaller amount.

42) When is the deadline to apply for the PhD program?

March 1st

43) Will you do a conditional pass if my TOEFL score is not high enough?

No we can no longer offer conditional passes if you have not passed the TOEFL

44) How long are my TOEFL scores valid? And what do I do if they are not?

2 years, retake the test or take the IELT classes.

45) Is it possible to waive the requirement for GRE test?

The GRE is  required to be admitted and so they cannot be waived.

46) How many credits can I register for as a non-matriculated graduate student?

No more than 12 credits taken at USU or another institution prior to matriculation at USU may be used in

a program of study.

47) How long can I take to finish my degree?

PhD students have 8 years to finish their degree.

48) What do I do after I defend?

Please see the graduation steps for more detailed information that Genie Hanson will email to you in your final semester.  This is just a summary:

You must make any corrections your committee member requires.  If you are A PhD student or Plan A, and your committee chooses, you will need the writing center to look it over, and then the Dean of graduate studies must approve.  This can take up to 6 weeks so please plan ahead.  After the Dean has approved it you will take it to the library.  If you are Plan B, if your committee wants the writing lab to look it over then they will need to look it over first otherwise take it to the library.  If you want a personal copy you will need to bring 4 copies with you to the library.  If you do not need a personal copy then you can take three copy.

If you don’t won’t to bind the Departmental copies at the library, you can get them online. In order to get 2 Department copies’ s you  must go to www.thesisondemand.com

Click on Get started now, and upload your document and fill in the blanks.  You will need to make sure You pay for 2 copies on this site (one for the major professor and one for our Library). You will need to put in our address to mail it to.

USU Computer Science Department, Attention Genie Hanson, 4205 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-4205.

You will need to bring a copy of the receipt to me with the library binding receipt. And then take the library receipt with the graduation paperwork to graduate school.

49) What is USU 7777?

A Grace semester course for International Students. A student must have defended already in order to take this course.

This course will alow international students to have a semester similar to the grace semester available to domestic students. There is no cost for the course. It is non-repeatable and non-graded and will not be calculated towards degree completion. These credits cannot be used towards a tuition award. The prerequisite for the course is a successful Record of Examination form. The purpose of USU 7777 is to maintain the "in-status" classification with ICE without paying tuition cost. Special approval is required for registration.

50) If I am a Utah Resident and do not have a bachelors in CS, what do I need to do to get into the program?

We are receiving many applications for the master’s program from in-state students who do not have a conventional CS/ECE background.  If you can demonstrate you have a sufficient background in CS you may get accepted.  You will need to meet with Dr. Nick Flann for him to review it, and see if he suggest any additional courses.   After he has reviewed your background the review committee will meet to review your completed application to see if you can be admitted.

51) I am an undergraduate student working on my bachelors how many credits can I split and count towards my Master’s Degree?

A student can transfer 9 credits if they do a split form from there undergraduate degree at USU.  You must split out the credits before your bachelor’s degree is posted.  After it is posted we cannot make any changes.