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GPD's Administrative Notes

This page is a combination of current departmental administrative policies and reminders about some of the most important and most often confused Graduate School policies.  For full information on Graduate School policies, go to



Course Registration

After registration opens you can register yourself through LOCUS for most courses with just your student ID number.  New students should get course advising first from the department, and all others are welcomed to get advising.  You cannot register yourself for Comp 490 or 499.  See the sections below concerning independent study and internships.  Other courses that can have complications registering and dropping are the CSIS courses, depending on when you want to register or drop a course.  See the section on CSIS Courses below.

It is in your best interest to register early, to get into sections you want and have ample time to detect and clear up any possible registration block that may have been placed.  Common examples are an immunization block or a bursar block.  Students have been given late fees or had a lot of trouble due to delay from such blocks.  Deal with these and clear them out early.  One misleading feature in LOCUS is that all MS students have a Dean's time limit block, but it does not activate until you have been an MS student for five years - do not worry about that one.

Independent Study

If you are doing an independent project for Comp 490, you need to find a faculty member to supervise your project and have the faculty supervisor email let the department to register you.  This does not generally make sense in your first semester.  It helps if you and the faculty member are familiar with each other.

The typical approach is for the student to confirm the details of the agreement in an email to the faculty supervisor, being sure to include the exact course, semester and units your have agreed on.  The supervisor then forwards the email with his or her approval to the department administration.  These courses are for 1-6 units.  See the section below on variable hour courses.

A good feature of Independent Study is that you can have your transcript show a course title that is specific to your particular project.  Fill out and get the signature of your supervisor and the gpd.


First, you need to find a job.  There are online, searchable listings through the university career center,  Some of these listings directed specifically at CS students are duplicated on paper in big folders in the department administrative offices.  When you find a job, contact the GPD and get your job description approved.  Communicate the number of units desired and the semester in an email so we have a record, and we can register you.  Internships are for 1-6 units.  See the section below  on variable hour courses.  

Separately download, print, and fill out the MOU form linked on the 499 web page.  You will also need your job supervisor's signature.  Get the finished form to the GPD.  The MOU can be turned in just after you start your job. It can be scanned and emailed or turn in paper to the department staff.

There are three related but different terms:  job, internship, and CPT (for F-1 visa students - see below).  You can have a job and not have it be an internship for academic credit, or you can have a job that goes on longer than an internship.  Also if you are doing an academic internship, your job employer does not need to classify your position as "internship". If you are doing an academic internship, the MOU indicates only two small requirements for your employer during your time in the academic internship:  The bulk of your duties must be related to doing computer science in the real world, and the supervisor will write a few line email a the end of the time for the academic internship indicating your successful completion of all the hours required for the academic internship.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) (For F-1 students)

You should consult with the International Center for the full legal details of CPT.  Here are a few of the important points.  If you get a job on campus, like the considerable number of students who have worked for Loyola's Information Services, you do not need to be doing CPT and no CPT restrictions apply.  If you want to work off campus for pay, then you need to be doing CPT, and there are a number of requirements.

First of all, you need to have been a full-time F-1 student anywhere in the United States for two semesters.  If you want to count a summer (as students starting in Spring or Summer are likely to want), there is a confusing point:  The number of units needed to be full-time to count as leading up to CPT are different than the number of units a student starting in summer needs to be in full-time status!  Be sure to check with the International Office for the exact current details.

The procedure to start CPT:

  1. You must submit a CPT application with the Graduate Secretary and include a written job offer (which can be an email) from the prospective employer.   The form is recently advised and may still not be on the OIP webiste.  If their form, includes an option for an instructor signature, then it is the most recent version of the updated form.  If not, use our local copy at Revised CPT Form.  The CPT application must be delivered to the International Office, and they will issue the work permit.
  2. The CPT can either be tied to a Comp 499 course OR for no extra tuition you are likely to be able to tie it to a course you are already planning to take:  There is a form on the International Office site for getting the approval of an instructor to pair the internship with a course in the same semester, or for a fall course and an internship in the previous summer.  The form indicates you also need the GPD's approval.  In you do the no-extra-tuition option, you are able to work but you get no further credit toward graduation, and the course instructor is responsible for determining any extra reporting or work you do to tie the internship to the instructor's course.

Variable Hour Courses

Comp 490 and 499 are for 1-6 units.  Up to 6 units total can be counted toward graduation, counting all the times you register for these two courses.  In practice that means 3 or 6 units since all other courses are 3 units.  You do not need to take a multiple of three units at a time.  What matters is the total when it is time to graduate.  

International students on F-1 visas:  This is particularly useful for you, who need to be registered for off-campus internships and who need 8 units, not 9, to be considered full time in fall and spring.  Examples:  You can do a 1-credit internship/CPT in the summer and do a 2-credit independent study in another semester.  If you want to extend your work time at the end of your studies and would normally graduate in the spring, you could do two 2-credit independent studies earlier, leaving 2 credits needed in the final summer and do a 1 credit CPT in first summer session, so you can start summer work as soon as possible in the summer, and do another 1 credit CPT in the second summer session, delaying completion, so post-graduation OPT does not need to start until after the second summer session.  Some F-1 students also do a unit of CPT beyond the 30 credits needed for graduation, so they are eligible to work.

CSIS Courses

CSIS courses are special sections set up to give you credit in the Computer Science MS program for courses offered by the Graduate School of Business.  They broaden the Computer Science offerings and let you essentially take GSB courses at the Graduate School's much lower tuition rate.  There are a number of special considerations coming from the fact that GSB courses are quarter courses.  They have the same holidays as in The Graduate School semester system, but exam times or term start times or both are different.   The main administrative issue is that this confuses LOCUS, the school online administration system.  Fall Quarter starts with Fall semester, but ends in November.  Winter Quarter goes from November into February, spanning parts of both Fall and Spring Semesters.  A fairly arbitrary decision was made to list Winter Quarter CSIS courses under Fall semester.  Spring Quarter Courses do not start until February.  

Because Winter Quarter spans two semesters, it is very important to look at the Spring Semester schedule for COMP courses before registering for a Winter Quarter course.  Registration for a Winter Quarter course will make it impossible for you to register for a Spring Semester COMP course on the same night.

LOCUS lists CSIS courses as semester courses, so if you look at your current course list in October, you will see both Fall and Winter Quarter courses included!  You have to know the real calendar.  Particular issues arise with registering for and dropping CSIS courses outside the times LOCUS is expecting.  If you register and add or drop in the regular semester time limits (much earlier than the time Winter and Spring quarter courses actually start), then you should be able to do your registration changes by yourself, online, in LOCUS, with no problem.  Please do that where possible.  On the other hand, if you want to make changes closer to the time Winter and Spring Quarter courses actually start, you should make all registraion requests through the GPD,  Since the department ends up making registration changes which are very important to you, we need explicit directions and you need to indicate clear knowledge of the ramifications of your choices.  Include the following in your email:

Registration request to after the normal LOCUS semester registration time limit and before the GSB registeration time limit for Winter or Spring: 

  1. Include a direct request like "Please register me for CSIS XXX Section YYY for ZZZ Quarter." not an indirect question like "Would it be OK if I register for....?"
  2. Include your full name and Student ID number.
  3. Explicitly acknowledge the drop deadlines and the timeframe and manner you must notify us to get you dropped (as further discussed below).   You could include something like "I know I must email you with an explicit request to drop the course by XX/XX/XXXX if I want no trace left fo the course and by YY/YY/YYYY to avoid tuition, but still get a W on my transcript."  The dates are publicized at the GSB web site.  We will try to include them also on our course web pages for Winter and Spring Quarters.

Drop requests after the normal LOCUS semester drop/add time limit, but inside the limits set by the Graduate School of Business:

  1. Within the limits set by the GSB, make the drop in Locus.  This will drop you and note the time of your decision.
  2. Email and explain when you dropped what exact course, and ask us to backdate the withdrawal to make up for LOCUS's incorrect understanding of dates.
  3. Include your full name and Student ID number.
The time of dropping the course is crucial in determining its effect.  Be aware of the GSB deadlines for getting the course dropped with no trace and the later deadline for avoiding  tuition.  We will be correct things if you are before the GSB deadlines.  See below under Dropping a Course for further discussion of the categories. 


Degrees are conferred in May, August, and December.  You must do paperwork way in advance of graduation or the official conferral of your degree will be postponed.  I will not be able to appeal this for you.  Note that there are only graduation ceremonies in May.

Deadlines:   December 1 for Spring/Summer graduation, August 1 for Fall graduation.  See the discussion of ceremonies below if you want to participate in a graduation ceremony and you graduate in Summer or Fall.


  1. Go into Locus and submit your application for graduation, making sure you end up with a paper copy of the completed form.
  2. Get the form and $75 to the Bursar's office, and  get the form stamped.
  3. Deliver the stamped form to the Graduate School on the fourth floor of Granada Center (not the CS dept.).  You can do this in person, by mail, or by emailing a scanned copy.  The Graduate School should confirm their receipt of the form.

If your last course is a CSIS course in Winter Quarter, still register for Fall graduation, since Winter Quarter courses are listed under Fall semester in LOCUS.  Of course you will not really graduate until after Winter Quarter courses end in February.

Graduation Ceremonies only in May:  If you have only one course left for summer, you can ask to participate in the previous May graduation.  To do you must apply by the deadline listed above and promptly email the GPD, asking for approval to walk in the May ceremony.  If you graduate in the Summer or Fall, you can choose to return to participate in the following May graduation ceremony (unless you already participated in the previous May graduation, as discussed above).

Leave of Absence

Once you start grad school, the default assumption is that you will be enrolled each fall and spring until you sign up for graduation and graduate.  If you need to interrupt your studies before that, we ask that you apply for a leave of absence  There is no direct penalty for forgetting notification, but it helps the department to know what is doing on.  

  Whether or not you file a Leave of Absence form, you will still need to file a Request for Reinstatement form,

,  on your return, before you can register again. Turn in this form early enough to register promptly!

Dropping a Course, Avoiding Extra Bills

You should always be able to withdraw yourself from the course in LOCUS, no matter how you got registered for a course: by yourself in LOCUS, by a request to the department staff, or off of a waiting list, .  If you are sure you want to withdraw from a course, do not waste time emailing the department for help, just do it yourself.  The date that the withdrawal is entered into LOCUS affects whether you get a W on your transcript, and whether tuition is still due.  Different dates apply.  Be sure to look at the Academic Calendar for the given semester.  Once you are registered, merely not attending class does NOT extend these dates.

  • Withdrawal with no trace:  Generally by the end of the first week of Fall and Spring semesters.  Generally only through the first Tuesday of the semester for Summer session.  
  • Withdrawal with only a W on the transcript, and no tuition due:  Generally during the second week of Fall and Spring semesters.  Sometime during the first week in summer sessions.  Be sure to check the Academic Calendar.  A W has no academic consequences.  It is just a historical record of you changing your mind.
  • Withdrawal later during classes:  W on the transcript and a partial or complete tuition penalty.  Do not get yourself into this situation just by not paying attention!


The categories are the same for CSIS courses, but the procedures can be more complicated.  See the section on CSIS Courses above.


Changing your chosen MS Program

It is easy to switch between our MS degree programs in the department.  Submit the form to the GPD, who will review it and forward it to the Grad School.

Transfer of Credit into the Loyola MS Program from Earlier Graduate Work

During your first semester, you can apply to transfer up to 6 units of previous graduate work relevant to your current program.   Your official transcripts need to show B or better in relevant courses.  (In particular, we must have your official transcripts already!) International students, read the section below for further requirements.  Submit the form to the GPD, after you have submitted the necessary transcripts.  Although official transcripts are needed to forward the request to the Grad School for final approval, you are welcomed to show unofficial transcripts to the GPD to see if you have appropriate courses.

Further International Transcript Credit Transfer Requirements

International transcripts need only a general evaluation by ECE or WES for admission, but they need a course by course evaluation to transfer international graduate credit.  It is most economical to ask for the course by course evaluation the first time transcripts are submitted to ECE or WES if you are expecting to get transfer credit.

Merit Awards

See the Merit Award



Note that separate application is required for the ExCEL computing scholarship program.

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