Current Students

Table of Contents

  1. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

    1. Academic Requirements
    2. Dissertation Submission Requirements
  2. Administrative Policies and Procedures
  3. Teaching Policy and Procedures
  4. Masters in Computer Science
    1. Academic requirements
  5. Commencement “To Do” List


Course Requirements Students are expected to complete the following within the first two years of their studies.

  1. CS7600 Intensive Systems
  2. CS7400 Intensive Principles of Programming Languages
  3. CS7800 Advanced Algorithms
  4. CS7805 Theory of Computation
  5. Two other courses from the designated courses in an area of specialization.

Students, who have received MS in Computer Science prior to admission to the PhD program, may request waiving the requirement. Written or oral evaluation is usually used in addition to evaluation of submitted course materials from previous programs.

Paper Requirement

Students are encouraged to complete the paper requirement at the end of the second year, but no later than the end of the third year.

A student should submit the paper, in electronic form, to the Chair of the PhD Committee. The faculty advisor should submit a written statement to the Chair of the PhD Committee indicating the student’s contribution.

Comprehensive Exam

Students are encouraged to complete the exam by the end of the fourth year.

  1. A Thesis Proposal, together with an abstract, should be completed by the student, clearly specifying the research problems to be attacked, the techniques to be employed, and a schedule of milestones towards completion.
  2. With the help of the faculty advisor, the student should set up a Comprehensive Exam Committee, consisting of 4 members including the advisor, at least 2 other faculty members and preferably 1 external member.
  3. Composition of the Comprehensive Exam Committee must be approved by the PhD Committee. This process can be accomplished by submitting the following information to the PhD Committee Chair, at least two weeks prior to the Comprehensive Exam date.
    1. A list of the members of the Committee, with a link to their homepages. In case the external examiner does not have a homepage or the page does not contain biographical information, a link to his/her curriculum vita or an electronic copy of the vita must be included.
    2. A link to the proposal document/abstract.
    3. A short paragraph from the thesis advisor justifying the choice of the Committee, one sentence per member of the Committee will suffice.

    The student is strongly encouraged to prepare a webpage with all these information included and submit the link to the PhD Committee Chair.

  4. Once the Comprehensive Exam Committee is approved, the student should select a date for the Comprehensive Exam and the proposal presentation should be announced to all faculty and students through the colloquium and other mailing list.

Doctoral Dissertation Submission Guidelines The University requires graduate students to submit their dissertation or thesis electronically with UMI Dissertation Publishing ( Whereas students previously submitted hard copies to Snell Library, it is now the responsibility of the student to publish their dissertation using the aforementioned site.

Dissertation submission should begin only after the student has defended their work and has had the dissertation signed off by their Committee, their adviser and the Graduate School Director. The signature sheet can be found on the CCIS Graduate School website. Once completed, the introductory material contained on the UMI website will lead you through the account creation and submission processes.

The UMI Dissertation Publishing website allows students to directly upload their dissertation in PDF form. While the College of Computer and Information Science has no specific formatting requirements, the electronic submission must follow specified guidelines listed on the UMI site.

After the dissertation is submitted electronically, it will be catalogued in NUCAT and made available in both ProQuest and Iris, the Northeastern University Libraries Institutional Repository, for research purposes. If you do not wish your dissertation or thesis immediately to be placed in Iris for any reason, for example if you are planning a patent application or formal publication, please opt for one of the embargo options (from 6 months to 2 years) when you submit your paper to Proquest. The University Libraries will honor the embargo request before making your paper available via IRis and the Internet.

The student will be expected to cover the cost of the electronic submission.

DEADLINE NOTICE: Dissertations may be submitted at any point in time during the year upon completion of all degree requirements. If you would like to be cleared for a specific commencement, the dissertation must be approved by two weeks before commencement. You should allow for adequate time to make any necessary corrections to your dissertation as requested by your committee.

Thesis Defense Students are expected to complete their dissertation by the end of the fifth year.

  1. Thesis Committee. If the composition of the Thesis Committee is the same as that of the Comprehensive Exam Committee, no further approval is needed. If the Committee composition has been changed, the same approval process as that of the Comprehensive Exam Committee has to be executed.
  2. Submission of Completed Thesis. Upon successful completion of the Thesis Defense and the thesis, the student should submit the final thesis to UMI microfilm library (in electronic form).
    1. Graduate Office. The student should gather all signatures from Committee members prior to submitting to the Graduate Director’s office for signature. The Graduate Office will review the thesis before returning the signature form to the student. The student must then upload a scanned copy of the completed signature sheet and attach it as the first page of their dissertation.
    2. Microfilm Library. The student should submit an electronic copy of the final thesis to UMI at

Dissertation Completion Fellowship A fellowship in the amount of $8,000 will be provided to PhD students during their last semester in school by the Provost Office on a competitive basis.
Goal To allow a student to devote undivided attention to complete the writing of the thesis during their last semester in school.
Award This will consist of a non-taxable stipend in the amount of $8,000, tuition waiver for Thesis Continuation, and health insurance.
Application Deadlines for spring 2010 have not yet been announced.

Summer Support To be announced

Summer Internship All PhD students who are doing summer internships are required to register for the 0 credit course, CS8949 Research Work Experience. This is especially important for all foreign students.



Dates of Employment In most cases, graduate appointments are awarded for one academic year. To be considered for a reappointment next year, you must maintain a satisfactory academic record and perform your assigned duties in accordance with the regulations stipulated by the Graduate School of Computer Science. Reappointments are also subject to the availability of sufficient funds or the continuation of grants. You may hold only one graduate assistantship during the term of your appointment.

If your term of appointment runs for an academic year, you are required to report for duty on the first day of orientation week in the fall semester and to work through the last day of final exam week in April. If your term of appointment runs for a full calendar year, you are required to work through the last day of final exam week in August. Please refer to your contract letter for specific dates.

Social Security Numbers All SGA’s must have a social security number in order to be paid. International students should have received information from our International Student & Scholar Institute on how to obtain this number. If you did not, please contact them and they will inform you of the proper procedure. Once you receive your social security number, please notify the College of Computer Science Administrative Staff ( We are prohibited, by federal law, to process your payroll until we receive a copy of your social security number application.

I-9 Processing Students cannot work or be paid before completing an I-9 form. Domestic students can complete the I-9 form at the Office of Student Employment in 354 Richards Hall. International students must go to ISSI in 405 Ell Hall to complete their I-9 forms.

Pay Periods SGA’s are paid bi-monthly on the 15th and the 30th/31st of each month. During the Fall 2009 Semester, you will receive eight paychecks beginning on September 15th and ending on December 31st, providing that all required paperwork has been processed by September 1st. If you have not completed the I-9 process your payroll will be delayed until you do so. In this case, the late payment amount will be divided across the remaining payments. Paychecks are deposited directly into your checking account. Please complete a Direct Deposit Authorization Form and return it to the Payroll Office in 250 Columbus Place.

Tuition You have received a tuition waiver benefit for computer science courses with your SGA appointment for each semester during the term of your contract. If you receive a bill from the Bursar that includes tuition charges, please ignore those charges and pay only the fees that are listed on the bill. Student accounts are usually funded mid-way through the semester. If you would like to register for courses that are not offered in our computer science graduate program, you must fill out a petition and receive approval to take such a course BEFORE registering for the course. You will be responsible to pay for any non-computer science courses that have not been pre-approved by both your Faculty Advisor/Mentor and the Director of Graduate Studies. Petitions are available in 202 WVH.

Locking Labs If you are teaching a course in any of the computer labs, please be sure to lock the lab door when your class ends if the instructor for the next class has not yet arrived. Never leave students in the labs without an instructor. If students for the next scheduled class have arrived before their instructor, please ask them to wait outside the lab for him/her to arrive, and be sure the lab door is locked before you leave.

Books You may borrow desk copies of books from our office library only for courses you are currently teaching and/or grading. You may not borrow books being used for courses you are taking as a graduate student. Please see staffs in 202 WVH for copies of books for the courses you are teaching and/or grading and give her the number of the course. At the end of each semester, you must turn in all copies of books borrowed from 202 WVH. If you will be teaching/grading the same course during the next semester, please notify the staffs, who will re-assign the books to you.

Photocopying The office staff must do all photocopying. Please fill out a work request form (located on the counter in 202 WVH) for all photocopying jobs. EXCEPTION: ALL EXAMS ARE CONFIDENTIAL AND THEREFORE MUST BE GIVEN DIRECTLY TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF. DO NOT PUT EXAMS IN THE WORK REQUEST BOX BECAUSE WORK-STUDY STUDENTS OFTEN COMPLETE JOB REQUESTS. Photocopying is restricted to materials for courses you are currently teaching. We do not allow personal photocopying (i.e., papers, thesis proposals, dissertations, homework/notes etc….). You can have personal photocopying done at Reprographics, located in the basement of the Curry Student Center or at Gnomon Copy on Huntington Avenue.

Office Rules Office space is limited and shared by other SGA’s. We ask that you be considerate and not allow anyone (i.e., friends, relatives, etc…) to use your office and/or computer station. Anyone in violation of this policy will lose his or her office privileges.



Course Rosters If you are teaching courses you will receive a roster with the names of all of the students registered for your course. Your course roster will be updated on the banner/blackboard system. Attendance should be taken from these rosters. When you receive the initial rosters, you should notify anyone who is not listed that they must register for the course immediately or they will not be permitted to remain in the class. Any student whose name does not appear on the FINAL ROSTER is not registered for the course and should not be permitted to remain in the classroom. Furthermore, you should not grade assignments and/or exams for any student whose name is not on the final rosterPlease inform the students of this factIf you should have a problem with students who are not registered, please notify the Administrative Staff in 202 WVH. There is no exception to this policy.

Grading Grade sheets are accessable through the banner/blackboard systems. If you need instructions on how to submit grades, please contact the graduate office or your adviser.

Incomplete Grades It is strongly recommended that Incomplete Grades (I) not be given in CS1100. If you have any questions regarding teaching policies for CS1100 please see Professor Michael Lipton. Incomplete (I) grades in all courses you may teach must be approved by the faculty advisor for that course before such a grade may be issued. The university has very strict policies regarding Incomplete Grades. If you have any questions regarding these policies, please check with the course’s faculty advisor.

Unavoidable Absence from Class If you are teaching a class and you find you need to be absent from that class due to illness or unavoidable circumstances, you must make an attempt to find a substitute to teach the class that you will miss and you must notify the faculty advisor of the course. If you are not able to find a substitute, the faculty advisor of the course will let you know whether or not it is appropriate to cancel the class for the day you will be absent. You must notify the faculty advisor for the course you are teaching as well as the Staff in the main office if you are canceling a class. You may not cancel a class without notifying us. The email address for the office staff is

Retention of Student Coursework All student coursework (i.e., homework, projects, exams, disks etc…) must be retained by the instructor for one year.

Working for Pay Beyond the SGA Duties
No foreign students are allowed to work more than 20 hours per week during their SGA appointment, as stipulated by the INS. 
Domestic SGAs may work beyond the 20 hours per week assignment provided that permission has been obtained from both the advisor and the Graduate Director, and the following regulations are adhered to.

  1. On campus jobs A student may work up to 7 hours per week on campus. Tax and FICA will apply.
  2. Off campus jobs A student may work up to 10 hours per week off campus, provided that the job is related to the student’s research area. Approval must be obtained from both the advisor and the Graduate Director before the offer can be accepted.


Academic Requirements
Thirty-two semester hours are required for the Master of Science in Computer Science.
These must include:

  • eight semester hours of core courses, CS5010 Program Design Paradigm, together with the associated recitation lab CS5011, and CS5800 Algorithms,
  • four semester hours of core system courses: CS5500 Managing Software Development or CS5600 Computer Systems, and
  • twenty semester hours of electives, eight of which must come from the same concentration area. These electives may include readings, project, or a thesis.
  • A student must enroll in CS5010/CS5011 during their first semester in the program, unless s/he has received special permission from the Graduate Director of the College.
  • During the course of studies, every student must obtain a minimum grade point average of 3.000 among the core courses and a minimum overall average of 3.000.

Commencement “To Do” List

  1. Registering on MyCommencement- Whether or not you are planning to attend the commencement ceremony, you must register your degree completion date on the MyCommencement system, via your MyNEU account. You should register for commencement as soon as the semester of your completion begins. You will be prompted by the system to indicate what commencement you will be attending, if any.
  2. FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS- If you are an international student applying for Optional Practical Training upon graduation, please obtain a Certification of Program Completion/Extension Form from the International Student and Scholars Institute (405 Ell Hall or . You are responsible for meeting with your adviser and obtaining his/her approval signature. The form must then be submitted along with your graduation checklist and transcript to the Administrative Office. OPT may only be applied for if you are a full-time student.
  3. Complete Graduation Checklist (FOR MASTERS GRADUATES ONLY)- The Masters graduation checklist is located on the FORMS page of the CCIS Graduate School. Please complete this page and submit it to the graduate office with an unofficial copy of your transcript. If you have any questions about the applicability of courses to your graduation requirements, please contact your faculty adviser.
  4. Survey of Earned Doctorates (FOR PhD STUDENTS ONLY)- Doctoral students must complete a survey form from the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) as part of the graduation process. The survey can be access here.