New Students

Welcome to Colorado State University

Not a Colorado State University graduate student? See the information for Prospective Grad Students

The first step is planning your courses. All students ( MCS/MS/PhD ) should aim to complete your courses in two years and I require all my students to maintain a course planning spreadsheet. Follow this link for the spreadsheet and instructions. In some cases, course availability, research projects, and other factors may extend your schedule beyond two years of coursework. That is okay and in fact the university may allow up to ten years, but plan for two years and then update your plan as needed.

During the first two years, all graduate students ( MCS/MS/PhD ) follow roughly the same course plan. This allows a student who becomes excited about a research project to switch from the masters program to the Ph.D. It also allows a doctoral student who discovers they are less interested in research to graduate with a masters degree. It is common for students in the masters program to switch into the doctoral program. It also common for doctoral students to discover they really only want a masters degree.

All graduate students are encouraged to get involved in research projects. A student in the M.C.S. program can simply complete the required courses, but would miss one of the most interesting parts of graduate school by not getting involved with a research project. A student in the Ph.D. program must get involved in research during the first two years in order to continue in the program. Follow this link for more information on how to Get Involved In Research.

The department offers two masters degree programs; the M.S. and M.C.S. If you are in the masters program, follow this link for a discussion of the two options.

The department aims to fund all graduate students making good progress toward a doctorate (Ph.D.). There is also some funding available for students working on masters degrees (M.S./M.C.S). Typically students aren initially funded as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) and later become a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA). Follow this link for more information on Funding and Assistanceships

After you reviewed the above information, look at the Course Planning Spreadsheet BEFORE coming to see me. Graduate students in computer systems (networks, distributed systems, security, high performance computing, etc.) are asked to analyze, understand, and enhance complex systems. Understanding the various various rules and requirements for the university system is your first step. The university system Is not always well designed, but it is not nearly as complex as understanding the Internet's global routing system. I am very happy to answer questions and help you select the best courses, but I expect you to make the initial effort. Once you have made an attempt at a course plan, please come by during office hours or set up an appointment via email and we can discuss further.