CSE Undergraduate Advising FAQ

General questions about advising

  • How to can I get advising?
    • There are several ways to get information regarding your academics. Several online sources exist:
      • Miami bulletin (please make sure you have the bulletin for the correct catalog year).
      • Miami's One Stop office and website can assist with general issues such as making payments, ordering transcripts, and important academic dates and deadlines.
      • CSE website
    • Every CSE major is assigned a CSE faculty member who serves as that student’s academic advisor. That faculty member is happy to help answer your questions. If you have more than one major, then you will be assigned an academic advisor for that other major.
  • Who is my CSE advisor?
    • The name of your CSE advisor can be found under the "Student" tab of MyMiami.
  • How do I meet with my advisor?
    • Email your advisor to set up a mutually agreeable time to meet. Prior to your meeting, you should have clearly defined questions with your best guess as to solve the problem. For example, if you are interested in getting help for selecting your courses for the next semester, you should have a prospective set of courses that you think you would like to take.
  • When should I see my advisor?
    • You can see your advisor any time you have a question. Students often seek their advisor’s help prior to registration. Please be aware that you should seek an appointment at least one week prior to scheduling your courses.
  • What can my CSE advisor help with?
    • You CSE advisor can help you select courses to take for an upcoming semester, help you plan for studying abroad, discuss difficulties you might be having with a course, and provide internship and career advice.
  • What is my catalog year?
    • Every year, a new Miami bulletin is published that details the degree requirements for the students entering that year. You can think of the bulletin as containing the specific requirements that students must fulfil in order to graduate.
    • By default, students are assigned the catalog year corresponding to the year that they entered Miami University. This means you are bound to the requirements that were in place when you first entered Miami. Students have the option to change to a later catalog year if the student wishes; this decision should be done with the help of an advisor.
  • What is a DAR?
    • DAR stands for Degree Audit Report. The DAR is a convenient way to view your progress toward graduation. The DAR shows which requirements have been fulfilled, those that are in progress, and those that are still unfulfilled. The DAR is a good document to view prior to registering for the upcoming semester.
  • Who are some of the CSE faculty I should be aware of?
    • Department Chair - Prof. Kiper
    • Chief Departmental Advisor - Prof. Krumpe
    • Chair of CSE Graduate Program - Prof. Bachmann
    • Chair of CSE Undergraduate Committee - Prof. Zmuda

Student Life

  • What extracurricular opportunities exist for CSE students?
    • Miami has many student organizations, intramural sports, and club sports.
    • CSE activities
      • Collegiate Programming Team – Prof. Zmuda
      • CSE programming contest – Prof. Zmuda
      • Student Chapter of the ACM – Prof. Krumpe
      • Kode2Learn – Prof. Krumpe
      • Teaching assistants – Prof. Bachmann
      • Preparation for technical interviews – Prof. Femiani
  • What research opportunities exist for CSE students?
    • CSE students can participate in faculty research. Typically, this is done by establishing a relationship with a faculty member. This happens when you take their courses, visit them during their office hours, and having a mutual interest in a particular topic.
  • Internships and job placement
    • Career placement services can help students create a resume, prepare for interviews, and get in contact with prospective employers.
  • Scholarships
    • CSE has several scholarships that are awarded to annually to students. Some are for first-year students and some are for upperclassmen. A formal application is not required since all students are considered for these awards.

Academics

  • What is the Miami Bulletin?
    • Miami’s Bulletin is a document that describes all aspect of Miami’s academic policies and requirements. This includes liberal arts requirements, major requirements, available thematic sequences, and course descriptions. There are many other aspects that are described in the bulletin. A new bulletin is published each year.
  • What is a catalog year?
    • Each year a new Miami Bulletin is published to define the requirements for students entering Miami in that year. Students entering Miami in, say, August 2019 for the 2019-20 academic year will be subject to the “2020 bulletin.” These students’ requirements are said to be based on the 2020 catalog year.

General CSE questions

  • How many credit hours should I take each semester?
    • Full-time students must take at least 12 credit hours in a semester in order to maintain full-time status.
    • Typically, full-time students take roughly 15 to 18 credit hours per semester. When first enrolling for fall and spring classes, CSE majors are limited to 18 credit hours. Closer to the start of the semester, this limit will be increased to 20 credit hours. 20 credit hours cannot be exceeded without obtaining special permission.
  • What is a thematic sequence?
    • All degree-seeking Miami students must complete a thematic sequence. A thematic sequence a collection of classes focused in a cohesive area of study. There are several dozen thematic sequences currently available.
  • Do I have to complete a thematic sequence?
    • CSE majors who have a second major from another department, or have a declared minor, do not have to complete a thematic sequence. The second major or minor will satisfy the thematic sequence requirements.
  • Which thematic sequence should I choose?
    • For students beginning prior to fall 2017, CSE majors’ typical course requirements included the requirements of MTH 2 Basic Mathematical Tools for Science. This sequence consisted of MTH 151, MTH 231, and STA 301. Thus, typical CSE majors automatically obtained a thematic sequence from their CSE degree requirements.
    • For students beginning fall 2017 or later, CSE majors do not have a thematic sequence built into the major. However, depending on the mathematics and statistics electives you choose, you may be able to satisfy the requirements of either:
  • How do I declare a thematic sequence?
    • Fill out a form in the department that provides the thematic sequence (e.g., math department).
  • When should I declare a thematic sequence?
    • You may declare your thematic sequence before completing any of the courses in that sequence, or you may declare it while those courses are in progress, or you may declare it after completing all the courses. Note that you must declare your thematic sequence before you will be able to graduate (unless you are satisfying the thematic sequence using a minor or second major).
  • What is the specialization area in the Software Engineering major?
    • The specialization area is a cohesive collection of courses that focuses on an application area of software engineering or a technical area that would benefit a software engineer.
  • How do I determine a specialization area?
  • For the Computer Science major, what is an affiliate elective?
    • CS majors require a specific number of CSE elective courses (based on catalog year). The predefined set of electives is divided into three sets: 1) regular electives 2) research electives and 3) affiliate electives. Only a total of 2 courses from groups 2 and 3 can be counted toward your electives. Groups 2 and 3 contain courses that are certainly related to Computer science but are not as central as those in group 1; therefore, limits are placed on groups 2 and 3.
  • Do I have to take affiliate electives?
    • No. You are not required to take any affiliate electives. The rule is that you can take at most 2 affiliate electives.
  • Can I double major in CS and SE?
    • Yes, you can double major in both. You should visit with your advisor and discuss your academic and career goals to help determine if this is an appropriate course of action. Also, there are limits on how many courses can be double counted.
  • I am becoming a CSE major late in my academic career. What is the fastest I can fulfill the CSE requirements?
    • Due to course prerequisites, CSE majors have a six-course sequence that must be completed in the following order, one per term: CSE 174, 271, 274, 201, 448, 449. Note that all of these courses are offered every semester. Also, CSE 174, 271, and 274 are typically offered in the summer and winter terms as well.
    • Students who are trying to fulfill degree requirements quickly may attempt to take too many very demanding courses in the same semester. It is possible that such an action may actually delay graduation. Students are encouraged to talk to their advisor to determine appropriate schedules.
  • What is the combined program?
    • The combined program is an option for highly qualified students to simultaneously pursue a Bachelors and Masters degrees. The program allows certain courses to count toward both degrees. The main advantage of this program is that both degrees can be obtained faster than completing them separately.
  • I am trying to register for a course and the course is closed. What do I do now?
    • For CSE courses, you can put your name on the CSE force add page. For non-CSE courses, you should contact the department that offers the course.
  • I am interested in taking a course at another university. How do I get that to count as transfer credit?
    • If the course you plan to take is meant to replace a CSE course, you should first submit a course syllabus to the CSE department to find out if the course will be equivalent to an existing CSE course and/or might count as CSE elective credit.
    • If the course you plan to take is meant to replace a non-CSE course, you should first investigate www.transferology.com to see if the course has a Miami equivalent.
      • If transferology.com indicates that Miami will accept the other course, then all you will need to do after completing the course is to have a transcript sent from the other university to Miami's registrar.
      • If transferology.com does not list a Miami equivalent, you still might be able to transfer the course to Miami, but you will need to consult with an academic advisor from the Miami department that offers the potentially equivalent course.
  • Can I get CSE credit for internships and work experience?
  • CSE policy is to not award CSE credit for work experience.

Rules about courses

  • What are the GPA requirements?
    • Your overall GPA must be at least 2.0.
    • Your GPA for your CSE classes (CSE 102, and CSE 174 and above) must be at least 2.0.
  • Do I have to get at least a C in each of my CSE courses?
    • No. In order to graduate, you are required to have at least a 2.0 GPA for your CSE classes. So, it is possible to have a grade below a C in one or more of your CSE classes, as long as your CSE GPA is at least 2.0 when it is time to graduate. The minimum passing grade in your CSE courses is D-. However, there are some exceptions you should know about…
    • A grade of C- or higher is required in CSE 174 in order to take CSE 271.
    • A grade of C- or higher is required in CSE 271 in order to take CSE 274.
  • What happens if I take a course more than once?
    • Each time you take a course for a letter grade, that course will count toward your GPA. So, if you take a course once and get a D, and then take it again and get a B+, then both the D and the B+ will contribute to your GPA. However, Miami has a "Course Repeat Policy" that will allow a student, in some situations, to remove the grade of a course from the udent's GPA calculations.
  • How do I use Miami's Course Repeat Policy?
    • First, you should discuss your situation with your CSE advisor. Depending on the circumstances, it might not be worthwhile to repeat a course.
    • You should also be sure you understand the details of the Course Repeat Policy. You can learn about the requirements on the "Student" tab of the MyMiami website.
    • After you have repeated a course and have gotten the grade from the repeated course, you can submit a "Request to Apply the Undergraduate Course Repeat Policy" using the link on the "Student" tab of the MyMiami website.

Petitions

  • What is a petition?
    • A petition is a request made by a student to change their degree requirements. Changes to the liberal arts portion of your requirements are made through Miami’s Office of Liberal Education, which uses an online petition form. Changes to CSE requirements are made to the CSE Undergraduate Committee.
  • What type of things can be petitioned?
    • Petitions that have been submitted in the past include: request to replace CSE 448/449 with IMS 440; request to consider a non-CSE course as a CS elective; request a customized specialization area for their software engineering major.
  • How long does it take to process a petition?
    • During the regular academic year, the committee meets every two weeks. Therefore, petitions that are related to your course schedule should be submitted at least two weeks prior to your registration date.
  • How do I submit a petition?
    • Write a succinct statement of what you are requesting. Provide rationale on why your request is reasonable. Include supporting documents, if applicable. Reasons why you think your request is reasonable. These reasons could include one or more of the following:
      • A course syllabus and a description of why the course is relevant to computer science majors.
      • Personal circumstances that put your request into a more positive light.
      • Anything else that you think is relevant.