Masters of Science in Computer Science

FREQUENTLYASKEDQUESTIONS

Prospective students

  • Admissions
  • Part-time MS
  • Assistantships
  • Non-matriculated Students
  • Current students
  • Courses, Specializations, and Program Sheets
  • Residency and Unit Requirements
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Assistantships
  • Honors Co-op Program (HCP) - For professionals wishing to pursue a part-time MS program

    Non-Degree Option Program (NDO) - For non degree seeking students
     


    Prospective Students:

    Admissions

    Q: I would like to find out more about the graduate admissions process.
      A: Please refer to the Graduate Admissions section of the Computer Science web site to see application guidelines. If you have questions after visiting the web page, you may contact the CS Graduate Admissions office by phone: (650)725-3140 or by e-mail: admissions@cs.stanford.edu.

      Q: What are the requirements for admission? What would be the most important pieces of my application?

      A: Please refer to the Application Materials section in the application guidelines page. Please note that ALL pieces of the application are important.

      Q: What would be the minimum GRE score required to apply to the MS CS?

      A: There is no minimum requirement for GRE scores (either general or subject) but note that a high score (above 90%) is preferred.

      Q: Do you have to be a Computer Science undergraduate major to apply?

      A: The answer is No: no particular CS prerequisites are required before a student can apply to the CS MS program (i.e., it is not required that a student have a CS or EE undergraduate degree in order to apply).

      Q: Would I have to take all CS courses again if I am a CS undergraduate major?

      A: Not necessarily. You might be able to waive breadth CS courses (please see next question) if your advisor approves it once you are accepted to the MS program.

      Q: I would like to find out if my undergraduate coursework satisfies the MSCS breadth requirements.

      A: Please read the Guide to the MSCS Program Sheet. Note that your faculty advisor is the person who will authorize any exemptions. You will be assigned a faculty advisor if you are admitted into the MSCS program.

      Q: Does the CS Department have an integrated BS/MS program?

      A: Please check out this site for information about the coterm program

    Part-time MS

      Q: Does Stanford University offer a part-time CS master's program?

      A: Stanford University offers a part-time masters program called the Honors Coop Program (HCP), but it is offered to employees of affiliated companies ONLY. Please check out the web site for the HCP program at: http://scpd.stanford.edu/scpd/enrollInfo/degree/ or see our HCP section. Note that the admission process is the same as the one for full-time students.

       
      We also offer programs for students who are interested in learning the material without registering for the MS degree. This program is called the Non-Degree Options (NDO) program and is made available for employees of affiliated companies. For information about NDO, please go to: http://scpd.stanford.edu/scpd/enrollInfo/degree/ or see our NDO section.

    Assistantships

      Q: What are TA-ships or RA-ships?

      A: TA-ships and RA-ships respectively are Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships. Both are available to graduate students. Half-time assistants receive 8-10 units of tuition coverage per quarter, during the academic year, as well as a monthly stipend. Duties for half-time assistants during the academic year involve approximately 20 hours of work per week. Teaching assistants (TAs) help an instructor teach a course by conducting discussion sections, consulting with students, grading examinations, and so on. Research assistants (RAs) help faculty and senior staff members with research in computer science.

      Q: Is is possible to get an RA/TA-ship?

      A: Most teaching and research assistantships are held by Ph.D. students in the Department of Computer Science. If there is an insufficient number of Ph.D. students to staff teaching and research assistantships, then these positions are open to a limited number of masters students in the department. However, masters students should not plan on being appointed to an assistantship.

    Non-matriculated Students

    Q: I would like to take graduate level CS classes at Stanford. Do you have exchange or extension programs?
     
    A: Unfortunately, we do not have exchange programs with other schools (please refer to the "Exchange Programs" section of the Stanford Bulletin for exceptions). We don't allow non-matriculated students to take courses. We also do not have an extension program or offer evening or weekend courses. The only quarter in which non-Stanford students are welcome is summer. During summer quarter Stanford offers the "summer visitor" program, and non-Stanford students are allowed to enroll for one or more courses from the summer quarter offerings.

    Inquiries about the Summer Visitor program should be directed to the Summer Sessions Office at summer.session@stanford.edu, or (650)723-3109.

    We have a part-time masters program called HCP and a non-degree option (NDO), but courses are only offered to employees of affiliated companies. We do not offer online courses to non-HCP/NDO students.

    Current Students:

    Courses, Specializations, and Program Sheets

    Q: How can I get information about courses?

    A: The course descriptions for CS classes can be found in the Stanford Bulletin.
    The actual list of courses offered each quarter as well as links to their websites is at: http://cs.stanford.edu/Courses/classes.html.
    Also, You can get student feedback for most of the courses.

    Q: I would like to find out if my undergraduate coursework will satisfy the MSCS breadth requirements.

    A: You might be able to waive breadth courses. Please read the Guide to the MSCS Program Sheet. Your faculty advisor is the person who will authorize any exemptions.

    Q: It is too late to drop the class. Will it show on my transcript if I withdraw from a class now?

    A: Yes. Until the "withdraw" deadline, it will show up as "W[ithdraw]" and after that, it will show up as NC (No Credit) or NP (No Pass).

    Q: Can I take the same seminar more than once?

    A: You can take the same seminar as many times as you want as long as you do not count more than 3 units of seminars in total towards your MS degree.

    Q: Which specialization should I consider if I want to study XXXX?

    A: Please look through the different specializations. They will give you an idea of which specialization would be best for you. You can find their descriptions here.
    You can also design your own specialization, but it would need to get approved by the department.

    Q: Can I take independent study courses (CS393/CS395/CS399) more than once?

    A: Yes, and you can count them towards your MS degree as long as you fulfill the breadth and depth course requirements.

    Q: I am a second year MS student. Can I use the program sheet requirement for this year? Example: I started my MS in Fall 2000; can I use the program sheet of 2001-02 instead of 2000-01?

    A: The answer is Yes. You may use any program sheet made available between the time you enrolled in the program and the time you graduate.

    Q: What courses can I count as Electives on my program sheet?

    A: Courses numbered above 100 in the Computer Science department (except CS196, 197, 198) can be counted as electives. In general, courses in the School of Engineering, Mathematics or Statistics departments that are numbered above 100 and are of a technical nature are acceptable, technical meaning that the course involves programming, use of college-level mathematics/statistics or engineering concepts. Other courses, for example, those in entrepeneurship, ethics, art, history, languages, athletics, and public speaking, cannot be counted as elective course work.

    Residency and Unit Requirements

    Q: What is the minimum number of units I can take per quarter? Is it the same for my last quarter before graduation?

    A: Every student (both international and not international) has to register for at least 8 units per quarter. The only exceptions are summer quarter and the last quarter before graduation when students may take as few as 3 units.

    Q: What is the minimum residency requirement (full-time students)?

    A: The following residency policy is effective for students who begin their graduate program in Autumn Quarter 2001.  You have to be registered for 45 units and no transfer units are allowed.
    For information about the residency policy in effect for students who entered prior to Autumn Quarter 2001, you have to be registered for the equivalent of at least 3 full-tuition quarters. Note that a 9-unit or a 10-unit quarter will accrue less residency than a full-tuition quarter (11 units or more).

    Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

    Q: How can I do a curricular practical training?

    A: Information can be found at the Bechtel International Center web site: http://www.stanford.edu/dept/icenter/practical/currpt.html

    Q: What is the minimum number of units I have to register for if I do CPT during the summer quarter?

    A: CPT is a 1 unit course. However, you must register for at least 3 units during the summer quarter.

    Assistantships

    Q: How can I get a TA? When shall I apply?

    A: Please look for emails sent to MS students by Claire Stager. These emails are sent every quarter and specify the procedure to follow to apply for a TA.

    Q: How can I get an RA?

    A: Research Assistantships are usually offered by professors for specific projects. The best way to get an RA is to browse the research projects within the department. If you are interested in a specific project, you may contact one of the professors from the corresponding research group and explain your interests and ideas to him/her. Another way is to expose your own project ideas to professors in the field.

    Q: Am I still a full-time student if I have a TA or RA appointment?

    A: Yes, and you still have to take at least 8 units of courses per quarter (see previous section for unit requirement).

    HCP (Honors Co-Op) Students:

    Q: What is HCP?
       
      A: HCP is the Honors Co-op Program available to employees of companies affiliated with the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD). It is a part-time program. The admissions process is exactly the same as the one specified on the CS Web pages (http://www.cs.stanford.edu/Admissions). Admitted students must fulfill the same requirements.

      Q: How can I find out if the company I work for is affiliated with SCPD?

      A: Check SCPD's web site at http://scpd.stanford.edu/scpd/members/companies/list.htm.

      Q: How can a company become a member?

      A: Check SCPD's web site at http://scpd.stanford.edu/scpd/members/companies/become.htm.

      Q: How do I apply for admission to the MS program as an HCP student?

      A: Please see the CS Graduate Admissions web site at http://www.cs.stanford.edu/Admissions/ for details on applying for admission. Note that the HCP admissions procedures are the same as those for the full-time MS program.

      Q: If I am an HCP student, do I have to attend classes on campus? Do I have to come to campus for the exams?

      A: The answer to both questions is NO. You can attend many (but not all) classes remotely through the Distance Learning Program of the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD). Refer to SCPD's course offerings to see which classes are offered remotely. This list varies from quarter to quarter. For classes taken remotely, you do not have to come on campus for exams.

      Q: What classes are offered remotely?

      A: Please refer to the course offerings section of the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD) Web pages. Note that class offerings vary from quarter to quarter.

      Q: Does my program sheet need to be approved?

      A: Program sheets need to be approved and signed by your faculty advisor, then given to Claire Stager (Gates 182). Contact your advisor (voice mail, email) directly. If you do not hear from your advisor despite your attempts, contact the MS advisor by email at advisor@cs.stanford.edu.

      Q: If I apply to the HCP program, will my previous transcripts be available to my employer?

      A: If you submit your transcript directly to Stanford University, your employer will NOT have access to your previous transcripts. However, any grades received in classes taken at Stanford WILL be available to your employer.

    NDO (Non-Degree Option) Students:

    Q: What is NDO?
     
    A: NDO is the Non-Degree Option program available to employees of companies affiliated with the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD). Courses are taken remotely. No degree is obtained.

    Q: How can I find out if the company I work for is affiliated with SCPD?

    A: Check SCPD's web site at http://scpd.stanford.edu/scpd/members/companies/list.htm.

    Q: How can a company become a member?

    A: Check SCPD's web site at http://scpd.stanford.edu/scpd/members/companies/become.htm.

    Q: How do I apply to the NDO program?

    A: NDO applicants can get application forms from their company coordinators, or off the web at http://scpd.stanford.edu/scpd/enrollInfo/enrollApp.pdf.

    Q: What classes are offered remotely?

    A: Please refer to the course offerings section of the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD) Web pages. Note that classes vary from quarter to quarter.

    Q: If I apply to the NDO program, will my previous transcripts be available to my employer?

    A: If you submit your transcript directly to Stanford University, your employer will NOT have access to your previous transcripts. However, any grades received in classes taken at Stanford WILL be available to your employer.

    Q: Can I sit in on the classes as an NDO student?

    A: No. NDO students are not allowed to come to campus for classes with the exception of midterm and final exams.

    Q: How many units from my NDO courses can I transfer to the HCP program if I apply and am accepted?

    A: A maximum of 18 units may be transferred.

    Q: Will taking courses through the NDO program help me in my application to the HCP program?

    A: Taking classes through the NDO program might help you if you receive good grades. However, receiving good grades as an NDO student will not guarantee acceptance into the HCP program as many items factor into that decision (grades from previous degree(s), GRE(s), reference letters, etc.).