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General Information For Current CS Graduate Students


For information regarding guidelines and procedures for obtaining a graduate degree, refer to theStandards & Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA. A pdf of this publication is available online at


To maintain satisfactory academic progress, Ph.D. students must reach the degree milestones by the following deadlines:

  • Written Qualifying Exam:  End of 2nd year (6th quarter)
  • Breadth Requirement:  End of 3rd year (9th quarter)
  • Proposal of Fields:  End of 3rd Year (9th quarter)
  • Oral Qualifying Exam:  End of 3rd year (9th quarter)
  • Final Defense:  End of 6th year (18th quarter)

The expected time to graduation of 6 years (18 quarters) accords with Graduate Division rules, which limit students to a maximum of 12 quarters as a teaching assistant and a maximum of 18 quarters combined as either a teaching assistant or research assistant.

Each year at the end of spring quarter, the entire faculty evaluates the academic progress of all Ph.D. students. A summary of each evaluation is sent by email to all students and their faculty advisors. These notifications indicate if the academic progress of students has been satisfactory or unsatisfactory.  By default the evaluations work as follows, but outcomes can differ based on the faculty discussion:

  • A student who has completed all milestones that are required based on his/her length of time in the program receives an evaluation of “satisfactory progress.”
  • A student who fails to meet one of the above deadlines for the first time receives an evaluation of “unsatisfactory progress.”
    The student is typically given six months to complete the milestone and is re-evaluated at that point.
  • A student who fails to meet the deadline required by a prior evaluation of “unsatisfactory progress” receives an evaluation of “unsatisfactory progress, subject to dismissal.”  The student is typically given six more months to complete the milestone and is notified that he/she is subject to dismissal from the Ph.D. program if this deadline is not met.
  • A student who fails to meet the deadline required by a prior evaluation of “unsatisfactory progress, subject to dismissal” will be
    discussed by the faculty.  Based on input from the student’s faculty advisor and other information, the faculty may vote to dismiss the student from the Ph.D. program, or they may decide to give the student one more chance and send another “unsatisfactory progress, subject to dismissal” letter. An “unsatisfactory progress, subject to dismissal” evaluation may also
    affect a student’s eligibility for a TA assignment.


On average our M.S. students complete their M.S. program within 5 to 6 quarters.

First Year – Breadth Requirement & Program of Study

During your first year M.S. students should focus on completing their Breadth Requirements (if they haven’t already) as well as their Program of Study. The Program of Study details the two avenues M.S. students can pursue: Plan I (Thesis Option) or Plan II (Capstone Project). Please view the form for more details on each Plan. These forms are due your first year.

Second Year: ATC & Thesis or Capstone

Once you are close to finishing your course requirements for your M.S. degree, you cannot begin working on your Thesis or your Capstone Project until you have Advanced to Candidacy (ATC). In order to ATC, you must fill out the Advancement to Candidacy Form. Please review the instructions on how to fill out the form before you start filling out the form as you will need to staple behind your ATC form a copy of your unofficial transcripts with all the courses you plan to apply towards your degree highlighted. To review the instructions please click HERE. For access to the Advancement to Candidacy Form please click HERE. Please submit your completed ATC form a quarter prior to when you plan to turn in your Thesis or Capstone. If you are doing filing fee you must submit and have your ATC approved a quarter prior to the quarter you plan to go on filing fee. The completed ATC form should be turned in to the CS Grad Office located at Engineering VI room 291.  If you are doing the Thesis route, please be sure to fill out a Nomination of Committee Form. Please review the instructions on the form on the type of Faculty that can serve as the Chair (i.e. your advisor) as well those that can serve on the committee. The Nomination of Committee Form should be turned in along with your ATC form to the CS Grad Office located in Engineering VI room 291.

For those doing a Thesis, please make sure you attend a Graduate Division ETD workshop before you begin working on your Thesis.  Also please check the Graduate Division ETD website for the deadlines for the quarter you plan to submit your Thesis. Please note all committee members must have reviewed and signed off on the Thesis electronically via the Graduate Division website by the deadline.

For those doing the Capstone Project, you must turn in the Capstone Results Form with your advisor and two committee members signature on the form along with a copy of your abstract (the abstract is a paragraph long that includes the title of your Project and a synopsis on your project) stapled to the form to the CS Grad Office located at Engineering VI room 291 by 4 p.m. PST on the last day of finals week. To view the dates and deadlines for the UCLA Academic Year please click HERE (make sure you select the correct academic year to view the dates/deadlines).


Your Academic Advisor assists you with planning your course of study and answering questions concerning courses, course materials, and research in your area of interest. For incoming M.S. students, the advisor your assigned before you start the M.S. program in the Fall quarter is your Initial Advisor. Please note most M.S. students will change their advisor during the course of the program.You may always change your advisor, by completing the “Petition for Change of Advisor” form. It is important that you meet with your academic advisor regularly throughout your graduate studies at UCLA. You may select an advisor from the list of current faculty in the Computer Science Department. For a list of faculty and links to their web pages, go to: Faculty


All graduate students must be enrolled in at least 12 units each quarter to maintain full-time student status. Students are responsible for checking your study list on MyUCLA prior to the third week of classes to ensure that you have enrolled in the correct courses.

Enrollment appointments are published on the Registrar’s Office webpage:

Enrollment in upper-division undergrad courses (100-level courses) beginafter the date of the “Second Pass.”(You may override warnings about unmet prerequisite courses by clicking the box below the prompt.). Please note filling out the ECR survey does not guarantee a spot in the course(s) you select on the survey but we will do our best with the space available once the Grad Office has access to enroll CS Grad Students in Undergrad Courses (grad students cannot manually enroll themselves into undergrad courses).

Please note for the first pass for CS grad students you can only enroll in 8 units as this is designed to avoid “hoarding” courses and to ensure everyone has the opportunity to take CS grad courses.

Additional University and department deadlines can be found online at Graduate Program Deadlines.


Individual Studies Classes are offered for variable units and may be used to satisfy the minimum 12-unit course work requirement each quarter. (Students must enroll for the course number that corresponds to their academic advisor. By enrolling in these courses, students agree to meet regularly with their academic advisor during the quarter.) Select the appropriate course according to your program of study:

CS 298: Research Seminar: Computer Science (2-4 units). S/U grading.
CS 596: Directed Individual or Tutorial Studies (2-8 units). S/U grading.

CS 597a: Preparation for MS Comprehensive Exam (2-12 units). S/U grading.
CS 598: Research for and Preparation of MS Thesis (2-12 units). S/U grading.

CS 597b: Preparation for PhD Preliminary Exams (2-16 units). S/U grading.
CS 597c: Preparation for PhD Oral Qualifying Exam (2-16 units). S/U grading.
CS 599: Research for and Preparation of PhD Thesis (2-16 units). S/U grading


MyUCLA allows you to have real-time access to your academic, financial, and personal records. You use MyUCLA to enroll in courses, access your BruinBill account, and maintain your contact information. For more information, go to

MyUCLA availability:
Monday All day
Tuesday–Friday 6:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Saturday 6:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Sunday 6:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.


Teaching apprenticeships (TA-ships) are available on a limited basis depending on enrollment in courses and the department’s annual budget.

PhD students are given priority consideration for TA-ships, as they are required to satisfy a teaching requirement (at least one quarter) during their course of study at UCLA. MS students with the appropriate background may also be considered for teaching appointments as the need arises. TAs will be notified by email of an offer.

International students who are not native speakers of English are required to take and pass the TEST OF ORAL PROFICIENCY (TOP) before working as a TA in any department at UCLA. For more information about the TOP, go to

Graduate students who serve as TAs must pass CS 495: Teaching Assistant Training Seminar. An equivalent teaching training seminar may be acceptable. Contact Prof. Richard Korf () if you believe you have already taken an equivalent course.

Teaching Apprentices must be registered and enrolled in a minimum of 12 units by the end of the third week of the quarter of their appointment or their benefits (fee remissions and health insurance) will be cancelled. TAs must have at least a 3.0 GPA at the time of their employment.

For information about Fee Remission Benefits for Teaching Apprentices, go to Fee remissions do not cover all graduate student fees. It is the responsibility of the graduate student to ensure that those additional fees are paid by the applicable deadlines.


Faculty and staff primarily communicate with students through email. Therefore, it’s important that you check your email regularly for important deadlines, notices, and announcements. Not all messages may apply to you so pay attention to the subject line. To apply for a departmental computer account, see Charlie Fritzius in 3413 BH. For more information on CS Computer Account policies, go to: Department Computing Facility


In addition to a department email account, students may also create a UCLA Logon ID, your campus online identifier. It is used for authentication to most online services on campus. It also provides eligible users with access to Bruin OnLine services that such as an e-mail account, network access, web hosting service, etc. To create and manage your account, go to For Bruin Online information, go to:


BruinAlert was developed to communicate official information during an emergency or crisis that disrupts normal operation of the UCLA campus or threatens the health and safety of members of the campus community. Students with current e-mail addresses in MyUCLA are automatically enrolled in BruinAlert. Find more information at


All students are assigned a BruinBill account. A BruinBill account records all charges and payments (excluding housing) associated with registration along with other service charges that are assessed to students. Accounts are administered electronically (eBill, through MyUCLA).

We encourage you to check your BAR account regularly. Miscellaneous fees accrue throughout the quarter and are due by the 20th of each month. If unpaid, a late fee will be applied to your account each month.


A swipe card is required to access the Graduate Workstation, Graduate Lounge, Graduate Student Offices, and department labs. To obtain a department swipe card, see Mildri Lopez-Duarte in Engineering VI room 277. You will be required to make a $20 deposit for the key, fully refundable after you complete the your studies at the department.


If you have questions regarding your employment paperwork and payroll issues at UCLA as a teaching apprentice or graduate researcher, speak with Therese Garcia, our department Payroll Coordinator, in Engineering VI room 277 or email her at


Parking for students is limited. However, if you have questions regarding a parking issue as part of your employment in the department as a teaching assistant or graduate researcher, speak with Therese Garcia in Engineering VI room 277 or email her at


Direct questions regarding computer hardware and/or software to the staff at the Department Computing Facility at .


To request a letter to verify student status, please email the Graduate Student Affairs Office at . You will be notified when the letter is ready:

  • Your name
  • Student ID number
  • Purpose of the letter
  • To whom the letter should be addressed
  • Expected degree date
  • Other relevant information


The Graduate Student Workstation is equipped with computers, printers, and a scanner for graduate student use. Students must have a swipe card to have access to the workstation. (See “Department Keys” for information about requesting a swipe card.)


Students may work, play, and relax in the Graduate Student Lounge . Work: Tables, chairs, and a soon-to-be installed whiteboard and presentation screen are available for student meetings. Relax/Play: The Lounge also has comfortable couches and a regulation foosball table.


The availability of student offices and access to department equipment like copiers, telephones, etc. is limited. Students should speak to their advisor regarding availability.


The School of Engineering has a small student-run snack shop located in 5800 BH. Students may purchase beverages and snacks (coffee, soda, chips, ice cream). Cash only.