Graduate Office Newsletter

CS Grad Office Newsletter 

All CS Grad Students

Friendly reminder that students are not allowed on Campus.

**Special note from us because we are working from home as is everyone in Murphy Hall.  Working off site is impacting accessing and
processing of forms thus many deadlines are changing so keep a close eye on our emails.

Commencement S21

For those CS Grad Students (both MS and PhD) who are finishing/graduating this academic year (i.e. Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021), please be sure to fill out the following survey. Please note that you may submit multiple entries if the date/information changes.

Enrollment for W21

Friendly reminder the minimum number of units you should be enrolled in is 12 with the max being 18. The last day to enroll/add in any course at UCLA without a financial penalty is the end of Week 2 (Friday Jan 15). If by Week 2 you are still enrolled on a waitlist for any course and were not able to procure a PTE from the instructor, you will automatically be dropped after Week 2 (Jan 15).

The Last day for graduate students to add/drop classes with per-class fee through MyUCLA is March 12. The last day for graduate student to change grading basis of optional S/U graded courses with per-class fee through MyUCLA is March 12. Please note this pertains to CS undergrad (CS 100 series) and graduate level courses (i.e. 200 series and above). For more information on deadlines for changing the grading basis, please reading the “Grading for W21 & S21” section below.

For CS research seminars (i.e. CS 298, CS 375, CS 596, CS 597, CS 598) it is the CS grad student’s responsibility to obtain the instructor/advisor’s consent first before signing up/enrolling in any of these courses.

For CS 239 courses which may be taken for variable units (i.e. where students can determine how many units they may enroll in that course), CS grad students must enroll for 4 units total. If you increase the unit count for one the CS 239 course(s), your instructor will need to provide proof as well as put it in writing that the student did over 4 units worth of coursework in addition to the regular coursework. If you sign up for less than 4 units and you are an MS student then this course will not count towards the MS Program of Study requirements therefore please sign up for 4 units. The deadline to change unit count for a course is before week 10 of that quarter. To change the units for a course, you must fill out the enrollment petition form (the class ID may be found in the schedule of classes) and requires the instructor’s signature and email it back to before the end of week 10 ( before March 12).  Please note, Graduate Division believes ten weeks is more than enough time to make this decision to switch units for a course and retroactive petitions (i.e. enrollment petitions submitted after week 10) are very rarely approved for this reason.

For more information on UCLA term deadlines please visit:


Grading for W21 

As mentioned on the email sent out to all CS Grad Students from the CS Grad Office on January 2021: “The (CS) department decided to allow all CS undergrad and grad-level courses to be optionally taken S/U for Winter 2021 to count toward degree requirements.  However, each CS graduate student is limited to taking at most one regular letter grade CS course for an S/U grade in Winter 2021. (This is the same restriction that undergrads have for P/NP for Winter 2021).

Per UCLA grading policy, an  “S” grade is equivalent to a “B”. The lowest passing grade in Graduate School is a “B-” and therefore if you receive an equivalent of a “B-” and you chose to change the grading basis of a course that is traditionally letter grade to S/U (P/NP should be used for undergrads only as a “P” is equivalent to a “C” which is not a passing grade in Grad School), there’s a chance you may receive a “U’ grade for this course which is not considered a passing grade and therefore will not count towards your Breadth Requirement nor towards your Program of Study.


You have until week 10 to change the grading-basis of a CS course that is traditional letter grade course (either letter grade to S/U or switching from S/U back to letter grade) provided that the instructor of that course consents to it. To do this you must fill out the enrollment petition form (the class ID may be found in the schedule of classes) and requires the instructor’s signature. Please email the completed form to before the end of week 10 (before March 12).  Please note, Graduate Division believes ten weeks is more than enough time to make this decision to switch grading basis for a course and retroactive petitions (i.e. enrollment petitions submitted after week 10) are very rarely approved for this reason.


CS Undergraduate Courses – Spring 2021

Currently the CS Grad Office does not have access to enroll CS Grad Students in CS Undergrad courses for Spring 2021. Please be sure to fill out the ECR survey by March 1st.  Please note, filling out the survey does not guarantee a spot in your top three classes but we will do our best with the space available once the CS Grad Office has access to enroll grad students in CS undergrad courses.

Auditing Courses
If you wish to audit a course for your Breadth Requirement please note that auditing a course is done between the Faculty/Instructor of that course and the student wishing to audit. For more information please visit:

Lecture 80 courses (i.e. online courses)
Please note any online course that has a lecture 80 means that course is for the MS Online Engineering Program only (i.e. CS grad students cannot take/enroll in these courses).

CS 201
If you would like me to enroll you in CS 201 please email Juliana Alvarez at  your name and UID and I should be able to enroll you in CS 201 provided that there are no conflicts with the courses/sections/lab/dis you are currently enrolled/waistlisted in.

Leave of Absence

The LOA petition must be submitted no later than the end of the 2nd week of class in the academic term for which leave is requested. For more information please visit:

3. Please email with your name, UID and class you would like me to drop on your behalf and let me know the course and section/lab/dis (i.e. CS 161 1a) you would like me to enroll you in.

Week 10 Deadlines

Friday, March 12, 2021 is the last day for graduate students to:

·       Make changes to their study lists via MyUCLA with the applicable fee (drop/add courses, change grading basis/changing units).
·       Submit a Graduate Degree Petition to request a change of grading basis for a mandatory graded course by filling out the enrollment petition form  (course ID can be found on schedule of classes website) and have the instructor sign off where it says “Instructor’s signature”  and turn in the completed form to  before week 10.

  •      Submit a Withdrawal Notice for the current quarter.Graduate students receive an official reminder from the Registrar’s Office during third week to check their study lists; they have ten weeks to take the actions listed above.The Graduate Division complies with published deadlines. We recognize exceptional situations may require a retroactive petition. However, retroactive petitions without compelling cause and documentation create an unnecessary and unfair burden and can negatively affect university records. Any retroactive change requests (add/drop courses, change of grading basis) require departmental and instructor signatures as well as a supporting, explanatory memo from the department chair. Please note this is not a guarantee petitions will be approved.

For more information on add/drop deadlines please visit:

Computer Science Graduate Student Association (CSGSA)

The CSGSA provides a great opportunity to participate and be part of the community of policy makers for graduate students.  CSGSA has a direct link to the Grad Office.

The link to the CSGSA website is below-

CS Student Welfare Page

Introducing our new CS Student Welfare Page the link is below:

gWiCS – 1/22/21

Graduate Women in Computer Science invites you to a panel titled Navigating Research in Grad Life: Based on True Storiesnext Friday (1/22) at 6pm PST. Come listen to current PhD students share their experience and advice! Please RSVP at

CS PhD Students Only
**Special note from us because we are working from home as is everyone in Murphy Hall.  Working off site is impacting accessing and
processing of forms thus many deadlines are changing so keep a close eye on our emails.

In the coming weeks we will have the latest information regarding providing required forms remotely.  But in short we will still require the forms but the signatures can be sent to be via an email approval to .  This will include the following:

  1. Leave of Absences
  2. Nomination of Committee
  3. Report on the Oral Qualifying Examination
  4. Final Defense
  5. Breadth Requirements
  6. Proposal of Fields
  7. Change of Advisor


Ad Hoc Checklist

Updated on 10/6/20

The ad hoc checklist is a guide and should be used prior to taking any courses you are considering for the minor.  You can only have one ad hoc minor.

Ad Hoc  Petitions Quarterly Deadlines

Quarter Submission Deadline 

Fall October 30

Winter February 5

Spring April 30

Summer – Petitions are not reviewed during the summer months

The Checklist is as follows:

  1. Proposal of Fields must be completely filled out and signed off by the various field chairs.  Check with the Grad Office for field chair confirmation.
  2. Provide a memo of support/justification from your advisor.
  3. Provide an abstract of the two courses you would like to have approved for the proposal of fields.
  4. Abstract should address these points.
  5. ad-hoc field should be a coherent set of courses in an identifiable area (body of knowledge) that is not a subfield of the area of the major or the minors thus make sure to address this issue.
  6. written justification explaining how the proposed ad-hoc minor meets the requirements above and supports your research area.

iii.     If the ad-hoc field presents some overlap with topics that are generally associated with the other fields, the justification should carefully explain why this overlap does not impinge on the value of the minor to broadening your Ph.D. education.

  1. Include your transcript and mark do not highlight the course and grade received.
  2. Send everything in a single PDF to Joseph Brown at . The order of the

PDF items should be as follows:

  1. Signed Proposal of Fields
  2. Faculty Support/Justification memo
  3. Student abstract
  4. Unofficial Transcript with courses marked(*) not highlighted.
  5. PDF should be saved with your name.


Registrars Term Calendar

Refund Schedule

Graduate Student Refunds and Reductions


Registration for Administration II (Fall 2020) of the Test of Oral Proficiency (TOP) exam is now open. The exam will be administered via Zoom on the following dates: November 18th, November 20th, December 2nd, and December 4th, 2020.


If you have international graduate students who are planning to work as a TA during Winter 2020 or later and have not yet passed the TOP, please advise them to register as soon as possible. International students who hold a Bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution do not need to take the test. Please see our updated website for additional information:


Student can register for the exam here: 


Test spots fill extremely quickly so please encourage your students, especially those with TA positions for Winter 2021, to register as soon as possible. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.


Special Note-

For CS graduates you can only take the TOP once a quarter.

CS requires you to receive a 7.1 minimum score to be eligible to TA in the Department.

If you receive a Provisional Pass you will be able to take the TOP again due to a special arrangement CS has with TOP.


CS MS Students Only
**Special note from us because we are working from home as is everyone in Murphy Hall.  Working off site is impacting accessing and
processing of forms thus many deadlines are changing so keep a close eye on our emails.

*Initial Faculty Advisor* – The initial faculty advisor you were assigned when you first started the CS MS program is your first point of contact re: your Capstone/Thesis. The initial faculty advisor is there to point you in the right direction re: Capstone/Thesis (i.e. they are not automatically your Capstone/Thesis Advisor). As mentioned at the CS MS Orientation as well as in the CS Grad Student Handbook,  is up to the CS MS student to find their own Capstone/Thesis Advisor (must be CS faculty) and procure their consent that they are willing to be your Capstone/Thesis Advisor.

Once a student has found a Capstone/Thesis Advisor who gave their consent to be their Capstone Advisor, the student must fill out the Advisor Consent Form (see link below)  and have the Capstone/Thesis  Advisor sign off. If you have any questions regarding this please contact  .

If you are doing a Capstone, you may switch and/or find an advisor even after you’ve submitted your ATC paper work (as long as you find one before your Capstone). If you are doing a thesis, you may switch advisors after your ATC forms but you will need to reconstitute your committee (please email for further information).**

Petitioning a Breadth Requirement Course – if you are petitioning a course that is not on the approved list make sure you provide one pdf that includes the Breadth Req form filled out, a copy of your unofficial transcript with the grade/class highlighted and a copy of the syllabus to Please note petitioning courses can only be done in the first quarter of your CS MS program (see CS Grad Student Handbook). Here is the link to the Breadth Requirement Form which shows the courses (2nd page shows the equivalent courses there’s a hyperlink):

Submitting a Breadth Requirement petition does not 100% guaranteed it will be approved in which case you will either need to take the course when space is available or if the instructor teaching the course this quarter gives their consent for you to audit/test out)

Finishing Capstone/Thesis in Winter 2021

If you are about to finish your Breadth Requirement and Program of Study courses this quarter, you will be ready to Advance to Candidacy (see the CS Grad Student Handbook for more information). Once you are ready to Advance to Candidacy for Winter 2021, please do the following:

Please submit your MS Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) Form  and within the same pdf please include:

  • a copy of your unofficial transcripts with the Program of Study courses highlighted or asterisked
  • Breadth Requirement Form (with the 201s filled out)
  • Program of Study Form should be emailed as a pdf (no zip files please)

This ATC packet must emailed as a pdf to by Friday, January 15, 2021 at 3 p.m. PST. On the MS ATC form, if you plan to finish your courses and turn in your capstone/thesis (i.e. graduate) this quarter you put down Date Advancing to Candidacy: Quarter : Fall 2020 – Degree to be Awarded in Fall 2020 (check off while registered and enrolled). If you plan to be on filing fee the next quarter you put down “Date Advancing to Candidacy: Quarter: Winter 2021 – Degree to be Awarded in “Spring 2021” (check off while on filing fee). If after the W21 ATC deadline (10/16/2020) you change your mind on when your end date is please email .

If you submitted your ATC packet by the deadline please note it takes weeks for both the Registrar’s Office and Graduate Academic Services office to process and will most likely hear from Academic Services re: ATC status towards the end of the quarter. You will be notified via email. 

Thesis Route

If you are planning to do the thesis option, please be sure to submit your Nomination of Committee Form. As mentioned at the CS MS Orientation as well as in the CS Grad Student Handbook, it is the student’s responsibility to find and obtain the faculty members consent to being on your thesis committee before turning this form in  (advisor/chair must be CS faculty, one other CS faculty must serve on the committee and the third can be a faculty outside the CS department) along with your ATC form (including the unofficial transcripts with the MS Program of Study courses highlighted or asterisked), Breadth Requirement Form and Program of Study Form to by  Friday, January 15 at 3 p.m. PST. If you are doing the thesis route, please be sure to attend an ETD workshop. For information on filing your thesis electronically and the date(s) for the ETD workshop please visit:,

If you are doing an MS thesis you must upload your thesis and have your committee sign off on it electronically by March 19, 2021.

Capstone Route

If you are planning to submit your Capstone this quarter, the  deadline to submit the Capstone Results Form with all the advisor and committee signatures and abstract is Friday, March 19, 2021 at 3 p.m. PST.

As mentioned at the CS MS Orientation as well as in the CS Grad Student Handbook, it is the student’s responsibility to find their capstone/thesis advisor (must be CS faculty and make sure to have them sign off on the Advisor Consent Form and email it to ) along with one other CS faculty to be on the committee and another faculty member (this faculty member may be outside the CS Department or also could be CS faculty) to review and sign off on their capstone.

The capstone advisor and committee members may sign off via email but the student must consolidate this into one pdf where the capstone results form is in front (under signature write – see email) and include the email thread where the faculty signed off. They may also have the faculty cc’ when they sign off on their capstone via email.

Filing Fee for Spring 2021


Filing fee means that you are about to finish all your course work for the Breadth Requirement as well as the Program of Study by this quarter and need an additional quarter to finish your capstone/thesis (you’re welcome to finish it all the same quarter they finish all their course requirements but some students need extra time). “Filing Fee” for the next quarter (i.e. you have finished taking all the Program of Study/Breadth Req courses and Advance to Candidacy in Winter 2021 and will go on Filing Fee in Spring to work on the capstone/thesis that you will submit in Winter 2021) as all you need to do is work on and submit your capstone/thesis (you cannot be enrolled in courses when you are on filing fee).

Filing Fee is not required to do and is completely optional provided that you meet the requirements (i.e. Advance to Candidacy one quarter prior to the quarter you plan on being on Filing Fee). Please note the filing fee application is separate from the Advancement to Candidacy petition form.

If a student is planning/going to apply for filing fee, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure they read through the filing fee website as there are important information on what services and access are suspended

Once you receive the email from Graduate Division stating that you have successfully Advanced to Candidacy (please note this is separate from emailing your Advancement to Candidacy Form and transcripts), please fill out the electronic Filing Fee application. To access the filing fee application and for more information on filing fee please visit:

The last day to submit a filing fee application for Spring 2021 is March 30, 2021.