Your CIS Department Contact:

Mike Felker
Graduate Program Coordinator for Ph.D., MSE in CIS, and MCIT programs
Office: 158 Levine
Phone: 215-898-9672
Email: mfelker@cis.upenn.edu

Grad Program Degree Requirements:

Resources:

CIS Graduate Advising

Student Resources List

SEAS Graduate Student Handbook

Forms: CIS

Forms: SEAS

CIS Courses

CIS Research Areas

Graduate Student Handbook

CIS Policies & Procedures

The CIS graduate programs are governed by the Departmental policies and procedures described below, as well as the common rules of the School of Engineering and Applied Science described in the SEAS Graduate Student Handbook.

Registration

Directions and procedures for registering using the Penn InTouch registration system are available here.

During the advance registration period each semester, CIS graduate students are placed on an administrative "hold." This is to ensure that students should consult with their advisors before registering for classes. Before you can register using Penn InTouch, the hold must be cleared, either by submitting a paper permission form signed by both student and advisor, or by an e-mail from the advisor to Mike Felker. Once the hold is released, students can register, add/drop classes, etc. using Penn InTouch.

Click here for more information about registration.

Cumulative GPA Requirement

A minimum GPA of 2.7 for master's students must be maintained in order to be considered in good academic standing. If this minimum is not maintained, academic probation or dismissal from the program will be invoked. A 2.7 final GPA must be achieved to graduate in all situations. (Effective Fall 2007 class)

Ph.D. students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0.

Failure to maintain the minimum GPA requirement will result in placement on academic probation, prevent graduation, and may result in dismissal from the School.

Students cannot graduate with a grade of D+ or lower in a core course.

Penn Engineering's Graduate Student Academic Standing Requirements can be found here.

Enrollment

Generally, a course is equivalent to one course unit.

Doctoral students: Funded Ph.D. students must maintain full-time status by taking four courses in the Fall and Spring semesters respectively. Students participating in the teaching practicum are considered full-time while taking only three course units.

Master's students:  Three courses in the Fall and Spring semesters respectively constitutes full-time enrollment for master's students. Summer enrollment is not required.

A typical enrollment for a master's student could be:

  • First Fall Semester: 3 courses
  • First Spring Semester: 3 courses
  • Second Fall Semester: 3 courses
  • Second Spring Semester: 1 course (acceptable for visa purposes if final semester)
  • Total: 10 courses - graduation

Part-time master's students: Part-time students must take one or two course units each semester during both Fall and Spring (not Summer) semesters in order to remain continuously enrolled.

Failure to maintain continuous enrollment will result in the student being dropped from the School's rolls. Students are required to be continuously enrolled while in graduate school, unless an official leave of absence is requested by the student and granted by the Graduate Group chair. One exception is that students who have completed all their degree requirements before the beginning of a given semester and are to graduate in that semester may petition the Associate Dean to be exempted from registration.

Unclassified students must register for at least one course each academic year.

Auditing a Course: If you register for a class as an audit, you will be charged the same tuition and fees as if you registered for the class for a credit/grade.

Drop/Add: Students should try to drop classes during the add/drop period to avoid financial penalty. If a student withdraws from a class after the drop/add period, the "Withdrawal from a Course" petition is used.

Time Constraints: All doctoral work for full-time and part-time candidates, including the dissertation, must be completed within ten years from the student's matriculation as a graduate student at Penn.

Full-time and part-time master's students must complete the program requirements within seven years of matriculation at Penn.

Additional Information:

  • Except for CIT 597, only MCIT students should enroll in CIT courses.
  • Penn Engineering's policy on retaking classes can be found here.
  • University of Pennsylvania reviews of courses can be found on the Penn Course Review website.
Withdrawal

Drop/Add: Students should try to drop classes during the add/drop period to avoid financial penalty. If a student withdraws from a class after the add/drop period, the "Withdrawal from a Course" petition is used.

Withdrawal from Penn Engineering: A student who plans to leave Penn Engineering either temporarily or permanently must submit to the Graduate Group Chair a "Petition for Action" form. The petition requires the approval of the Graduate Group Chair and the Associate Dean. A student who is considering withdrawal is strongly encouraged to meet with the Graduate Group Chair to discuss their situation and options. Students are responsible for dropping all registered courses in the semester they wish to withdraw to effectively stop the billing process (i.e., withdrawal from the School does not automatically cancel course registration). Once a student has withdrawn from Penn Engineering, he or she may request reinstatement by writing a letter to the Graduate Group Chair. Reinstatement requires Graduate Group Chair and Associate Dean approval; it is not guaranteed.

If a student withdraws from the Ph.D. program after reaching dissertation status and subsequently applies for re-admission, the student must pay the dissertation fees that would have been due during the withdrawal period.

Leave of Absence

A student may be granted a leave of absence, generally for military or medical reasons, but other circumstances will also be considered. The student must submit a petition to the Graduate Group Chair for approval. Final approval rests with the Associate Dean. A student who plans to leave Penn Engineering either temporarily or permanently must submit to the Graduate Group Chair a "Petition for Action" form.

A Ph.D. student who has reached dissertation tuition status will not be granted a leave of absence, except for military duty or medical reasons, or in cases where the student receives a grant for dissertation research abroad and the grant does not include funds to pay home institution fees. A one-year leave for the birth or adoption of a minor child is available.

A Ph.D. student not in dissertation status who desires a leave of absence must submit a request to the Graduate Group Chair and to the Graduate Division Office. No language or other degree examinations may be taken while a student is on leave of absence. The granting of a leave of absence does not automatically change any time limits (with the exception of time spent in the military service, which does not count against time limits).

Transferring Programs

Master's students may request to be considered for a transfer to another master's program in the CIS Department after completing one semester in the master's program in which they were initially admitted. The CIS Master's Program Transfer Request form is available for download here.

Students in other graduate programs in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania who wish to request to be considered for transfer into the Embedded Systems (EMBS) program can only do so after completing one semester in their original program; during this semester candidates for transfer must be enrolled in at least one graduate CIS course and/or a course within the EMBS curriculum. Candidates for transfer to the EMBS program will be evaluated based on their academic performance at the University of Pennsylvania. Click here to access the Graduate Group Transfer Request form.

Transfer Credits

Graduate courses taken at another university prior to starting the CIS graduate program, and not used to complete the requirements for an undergraduate program, may be transferred to the Penn transcript. Up to two courses can be transferred to the master's program; up to nine courses can be transferred to the doctoral program. The transfer credit petition can be accessed here. Please include a copy of the transcript, course descriptions, syllabi, etc., for the courses to be transferred with the petition. You should review all this with your advisor; if the advisor is not able to determine if a course is equivalent to the University of Pennsylvania course, the instructor of the relevant course will need to be consulted to make the determination. If there is not an equivalent course at the University of Pennsylvania, an independent study may be used.

Graduation

Information regarding applying for a degree/graduation can be found here.

Ethics

The CIS Department encourages collaboration among graduate students. However, it is important to recognize the distinction between collaboration and cheating, which is prohibited and carries serious consequences.

Cheating may be defined as using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance, material, or study aids in academic work or examinations.

Some examples of cheating are:

  • collaborating on a take-home exam or homework unless explicitly allowed
  • copying homework
  • handing in someone else's work as your own; and plagiarism

If you have a question about what constitutes cheating, ask the course instructor or contact the CIS Graduate Coordinator.

Resources/Information:

Grievance Procedures Guidelines

In general, a graduate student with a grievance should first discuss the matter with the immediate supervisor of the individual involved. In case of conflicts of interest, then the next non-conflicted level should be engaged.

For academic matters the normal hierarchy is (as applicable):

  1. relevant course teaching assistant
  2. relevant course faculty instructor
  3. Graduate Program Director
  4. Graduate Group Chair
  5. Department Chair
  6. Associate Dean
  7. University Ombudsman (At any point the student may wish to circumvent steps a-f and contact the Ombudsman).

If a graduate student has a grievance concerning a non-academic matter, the suggested procedural steps should be discussion with (as applicable):

  1. Graduate Program Director
  2. Graduate Group Chair
  3. Department Chair
  4. Associate Dean
  5. University Ombudsman (At any point the student may wish to circumvent steps a-f and contact the Ombudsman).

Information about University grievance procedures policy can be found here. Please also contact Mike Felker, 215-898-9672, regarding a grievance or other problems.

Billing

The Student Financial Services (SFS) website provides information regarding billing, billing schedules, payment plans, resources, etc.

Courses, even those taken in another school of the University, are billed as Penn Engineering courses.

If you detect any sort of discrepancies in your bill, please contact Mike Felker or the Towne Business Office. CIS students receiving any kind of financial support, stipends, etc., from Penn Engineering or the CIS Department should check with the Towne Business Office, 293 Towne regarding payments. For students receiving departmental funding, the Business Office will process payment of tuition and fees.

Office Space

Office space for Ph.D. students is allocated by an office committee made up of CIS students and staff. Consult the Graduate Student Office Committee website for more information.

Due to space constraints, offices are not normally assigned to master's students.