Graduate Office Newsletter
CS Grad Office Newsletter
All CS Grad Students
Friendly reminder that students are not allowed on Campus.
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 by April 10. Please note that you may submit multiple entries if the date/information changes.
For information on Commencement 2021 please visit: https://www.seasoasa.ucla.edu/commencement
Enrollment for S21
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, April 9). 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 (April 9).
The Last day for graduate students to add/drop classes with per-class fee through MyUCLA is June 4. 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 pass/no pass graduate level courses (i.e. 200 series and above). If you are trying to change the grading basis for an undergraduate course that is mandatory letter grade to pass/no pass and MyUCLA will not allow you to make that change, please note Graduate Division has a strict policy of not allowing graduate students to change the grading basis of undergraduate level courses.
For more information on UCLA term deadlines please visit: https://www.registrar.ucla.edu/Term-Calendar
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 June 4). 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: https://www.registrar.ucla.edu/Term-Calendar
Grading Policy for S/U – Spring 2021
The CS Department decided to allow all one CS grad-level courses (the exception being cross listed courses which do not have the S/U option) to be optionally taken S/U for Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 for CS grad students. The course can count toward degree requirements. However, each graduate student is limited to taking at most one regular letter grade course for an S/U grade in Winter 2021 as well as for Spring 2021. (This is the same restriction that undergrads have for P/NP – P/NP is for Undergrad students.)
Grad students are allowed to take breadth requirement courses S/U for Spring 2021 as well as for Summer 2021 and have them count (please read below for grading policy for S/U). But if you do that, then that counts as your 1 maximum S/U course per quarter (not including CS 201, 500 series course or 375), therefore all other courses you take would have to be for a letter grade. Cross listed CS courses (the course description will let you know if the CS course is cross listed with a course in another department) cannot be taken for S/U (only letter grade). Cross listed CS courses must be taken for a letter grade and cannot be switched to S/U grading option.
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 – remember you cannot do S/U for cross- listed CS courses) 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 June 4th). 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
The CS Grad Office has been given access to manually enroll CS grad students in CS undergraduate course provided that there is space available (this includes waitlist positions as well provided that there are open waitlist positions available) Friendly reminder, CS Grad Students are strongly advised to fulfill their Breadth Requirements first and must take Breadth Requirement courses when space is available or auditing the course for Breadth Requirement credit. Auditing a course is done between the student and instructor provided that the instructor consents to it at the start of the quarter. Auditing a course does not always require the student to be enrolled in the course – please discuss with the instructor first at the start of the quarter on how to go about auditing a course for Breadth Requirement credit.
Grad Students are not allowed to enroll in CS 188 lecture 2: Special Courses in Computer Science: Turn Your Idea into Company. If you are you will be dropped and/or not receive credit for this course as this course is designed for undergrad students only.
Please be sure to follow instructions #1-3 below to ensure your chances to getting enrolled/waitlisted in a CS undergrad course that still has space open on the waitlist.
If any of these three courses are closed/full we cannot enroll any students. If you would like us to enroll you in a CS undergrad courses (provided that there’s space this includes the waitlist) please do the following:
1. Check to see if there is any conflict with the CS undergrad course and section/discussion/lab that you would like to be enrolled in and check to see If there’s a conflict with any courses and lab/dis/section you are enrolled in as well as those you are currently waitlisted in. If there is a time conflict even in waitlisted courses, the system will not allow us to enroll you so please check before contacting me (the system is designed so that if there is a conflict we won’t know until after we’ve dropped a course). Also the system will not allow us to enroll you in any more courses if adding the course will exceed 18 units (this also includes courses you are waitlisted in).
2. If there is a class conflict or a class you’d like to drop in exchange for an undergrad course that has open space, please let me know which class(es) you would like for us to drop on your behalf. Please do not drop the course(s) yourself. This is important to ensure if the class is full by the time I access your email, you did not lose the class you were enrolled/waitlisted in.
3. Please email with your name, UID (no dashes) 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 – do not include the time of the class) you would like me to enroll you in.
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 at the start of the quarter. For more information please visit: https://www.registrar.ucla.edu/Registration-Classes/Enrollment-Policies/Class-Policies/Auditing-Classes
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).
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: https://grad.ucla.edu/academics/graduate-study/leave-of-absence-request/
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, June 4, 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: https://www.registrar.ucla.edu/Term-Calendar
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:
CS PhD Students Only
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:
- Leave of Absences
- Nomination of Committee
- Report on the Oral Qualifying Examination
- Final Defense
- Breadth Requirements
- Proposal of Fields
- Change of Advisor
WQE – Spring 2021
If you plan to take the WQE for Spring 2021, please read the following instructions carefully.
Failure to follow these instructions will result in the rejection of your WQE paper without review.
Steps for submitting your paper:
1. Create an account and register your paper at http://heron.cs.ucla.edu/wqe-f17/ by Sunday, May 2th, 11:59am.
After creating the account, start the paper registration by clicking on “New submission”. Enter the paper title, the author(s) information, the abstract, and PC conflicts. You do not have to submit the PDF file at this time. Click “Save draft” to register your paper. Note that in the “PC conflicts” item, you can only select your faculty advisor(s) and faculty co-authors of this WQE paper (if they are not on the list, don’t worry about it).
2. Fill in a cover page, which must be signed by your advisor, and submit electronically to the Graduate Student Office (291 Engineering VI) by Monday, May 3rd 11:59am.
To download the cover page, click here.
If your advisor is out of town, an electronic signature is acceptable by email as long as your faculty advisor attests in his/her email message to the “Ph.D. Advisor’s Statement” on the cover page. The text of that statement must appear in the email. The email from the advisor must go to both you and Joseph Brown <>. A copy of the email must be attached to your cover page, that you must submit via email to by the above deadline to Joseph Brown <>.
3. Submit your paper at: http://heron.cs.ucla.edu/wqe-f17/ by Monday, May 3, 11:59am.
4. Note that all the deadlines are at 11:59am (not pm). All the deadlines are firm. There will be no extensions for any reason. Hence, it is strongly recommended that you perform all the required steps well ahead of the corresponding deadlines.
In particular, submit a reasonable version of your paper early. You can keep submitting revised versions of the PDF file up to the submission deadline.
- You must be a Ph.D. student enrolled in at least 12 units this quarter in order to submit a WQE paper.
- Your WQE paper must not exceed 10 pages. You must use 10pt Times font or larger (11pt preferred). The margins must be at least 1″ (one inch) on all four sides (top, bottom, left, right). The entire document, including references, figures, tables, appendices, and any other type of material, must fit within the 10 pages.
- WQE submissions are not anonymous. Each submission must include the names of all the authors. In particular, if the WQE paper is substantially similar to another paper that has been published, submitted, or is expected to be submitted to a workshop, conference, or journal, this must be explicitly acknowledged. Furthermore, the names of all authors must appear in the WQE submission in the same order in which they appear or will appear in the workshop, conference, or journal submission or publication.
- The WQE submission will consist of a high-quality paper, written entirely by the student.
This means that every sentence of the paper must be written by the student. The advisor or co-author(s) can suggest edits, but those edits must be made by the student. Nobody but the student may directly input or modify the text.
- Any contributions to the paper that are not the student’s, including those of their advisor, must be explicitly acknowledged in detail.
Specifically, on the first page of the WQE paper, in a separate paragraph at the end of the abstract, the student is required to specify, in detail, which parts of the paper represent the student’s own intellectual contributions. Any parts of the paper that are the contributions of others, including the advisor(s), must also be explicitly acknowledged in detail. There must be a separate sentence detailing the advisor’s contribution to the research and paper. In addition, there must be a separate sentence detailing the contributions of each co-author of the paper, if any.
- The WQE paper can be either a research paper containing an original contribution, or a focused critical survey paper.
- The WQE paper must represent work that the student performed as a graduate student at UCLA.
- The WQE paper should demonstrate that the student understands and can integrate and communicate ideas clearly and concisely.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact this quarter’s WQE coordinator, Professor Yizhou Sun
Ad Hoc Checklist
Updated on 4/7/2021
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
Spring March 30, 2021
The Checklist is as follows:
- 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.
- Provide a memo of support/justification from your advisor.
- Provide an abstract of the two courses you would like to have approved for the proposal of fields.
- Abstract should address these points.
- 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.
- 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.
- Include your transcript and mark do not highlight the course and grade received.
- Send everything in a single PDF to Joseph Brown at . The order of the
PDF items should be as follows:
- Signed Proposal of Fields
- Faculty Support/Justification memo
- Student abstract
- Unofficial Transcript with courses marked(*) not highlighted.
- PDF should be saved with your name.
Registrars Term Calendar
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: https://teaching.uit.ucla.edu/gradstudent-programs/top/#top-exam-overview
Student can register for the exam here: https://top.oid.ucla.edu/#/app/registration.
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.
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
*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).**
- Advisor Consent Form (if you’ve found a Capstone Advisor)
- Breadth Requirement Form (please make sure you read the Grad Student Handbook –> Masters of Science –> “Breadth Requirement” section before filling this out).
- Program of Study Form
- Capstone Results Form – please read below for further instructions on submitting this form
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): https://www.cs.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/cs/Breadth-Requirement-Form.pdf.
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 Spring 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 Spring 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, April 9, 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 S21 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.
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, April 9 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: https://grad.ucla.edu/academics/calendar/thesis-dissertation-filing-deadlines-and-workshops/,
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.
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, June 11, 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), a copy of your abstract (one paragraph long will suffice) 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 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: https://grad.ucla.edu/academics/graduate-study/filing-fee-application/
Please note that filing fee is completely optional. If you do filing fee and require another quarter to finish your capstone/thesis, you must apply for readmission into the CS MS program. Please contact for further information.
For deadlines on the last day to submit a filing fee application please visit: https://grad.ucla.edu/ucla/gasaa/filingfeedeadlines.pdf