Graduate Student FAQ

Questions frequently asked by newly admitted students
Questions frequently asked by current students
FAQ for prospective graduates can be found from here.

Questions frequently asked by newly admitted students

Q1. What are the basic TODO items after I come to NMSU?
A. The basic TODOs are 

  1. Attend the orientation session organized by graduate school. If you do not know the orientation information, please contact gradinfo@nmsu.edu.
  2. Read this FAQ page carefully.
  3. Please read the NMSU catalog. In particular, under the “Degree” tab, please find the degree requirement for your program.
  4. Make an appointment with the department graduate advisor to discuss your study plan. Before talking with the department graduate advisor, please first (i) read this FAQ page carefully and (ii) read the your degree requirement in the catalog carefully. When you talk with the department graduate advisor, you will know your deficiency courses. You will also discuss your options of courses in the first two semesters.
  5. Go to see Ivan or Mark to get a CS email address with cs.nmsu.edu and get an access code to the graduate student lab. The information of Ivan and Mark can be found from https://www.cs.nmsu.edu/wp/people/staff/
  6. Attend the department’s graduate student orientation which is organized by the Computer Science Graduate Student Organization (CSGSO, gradrep@cs.nmsu.edu, https://www.cs.nmsu.edu/~gradrep/).

Q2. Who is the current department graduate advisor
A. The current department graduate advisor is Dr. Huiping Cao (hcao at cs dot nmsu dot edu).  

Q3. How can I get Teaching Assistantship (TA)
A. If you are a newly admitted student and you are not given any TAship before your arrive, you miss the deadline to apply for TA in your first semester. However, you can get TA in other semesters. The details of applying for TA can be found from https://www.cs.nmsu.edu/wp/student-information/grad-students/graduate-financial-aid/.

Q4. How can I get Research Assistantship (RA)
A. The decision of RA is made by individual professors. You can check each professor’s research interest and contact the professor with whom you want to work with.

Q5. I get a course ID (e.g., C S 463). How do I know what course this is and what topics that it covers? 
A. Please read the NMSU catalog and find the information in the “Courses” tab.

Q6. How do I transfer graduate credits from other universities?  
A. All the course credit transfer must be requested at the time of arrival. If you get a grade lower than B, your course credit cannot be transferred. If you get a grade of B or above B, you need to show the course syllabus to the department graduate advisor. The department graduate advisor decides whether your course credits can be transferred. If the graduate advisor cannot make the decision, the graduate advisor will contact the professors who teach those courses. These professors may need to talk with you to make this decision. If the graduate advisor/professor thinks that your course credit cannot be transferred and you insist on getting it transferred, then you need to take a challenge test (time/location agreed by both parties) and ask the professor to grade it. If you manage to get a B, then your course credit can be transferred.

If the graduate advisor/professor thinks that your course credit cannot be transferred and you insist on getting it transferred, then you need to take a challenge test (time/location agreed by both parties) and ask the professor to grade it. If you manage to get a B, then your course credit can be transferred.A.

Questions frequently asked by current students

Q101. How can I find my deficiencies
A. Please talk with the department graduate advisor by making an appointment.

Q102. What is the procedure to graduate for coursework only option?
A. The steps are:

  1. Fill in the program of study form and denote that it is coursework only.
  2. Ask the department graduate advisor, the department head, and the college dean to sign the form.
  3. Send the signed program of study form to graduate school.
  4. Form a committee to have a final exam. The committee should consists of the department graduate advisor and two other faculty members. The student choose the committee.
  5. Decide the time to have the final exam by coordinating with the committee member.
  6. The student reserves a room to have the final exam by working with the CS admin.
  7. Final oral exam. The exam is generally two hours or until the committee feels it is sufficient to decide.

Q103. Can I still get TA/RA if I am taking less than 9 credits?
A. No. RA/TA can only be awarded to full-time students. A student taking less than 9 credits is not a full-time student.

Q104. Will the transition courses (e.g., C S 463, C S 469) be counted as graduate credits?
A. Yes. However, they are not counted towards your graduate program (MS or PhD).

Q105. I got a D gradate in a graduate course. How does it affect my GPA? Will it be counted as graduate credit?
A. A D-grade course will be used in your GPA calculation, thus it affects your GPA. However, a D-grade course will NOT be counted towards your graduate program. For example, if you get a D in C S 510, which is a required course for your Master’s program. In order for it to be counted for your program, you need to retake it and get a higher grade.