Frequently Asked Questions

Exemption Exams

Answer:

Yes. Students can register for multiple exams, but will need to take them in order: CMSC131/132 --> 216. CMSC250 can be taken out of order.

Answer:

Yes. Students can be registered for multiple exams simultaneously. Only one exam can be taken per 2-hour timeslot. Your CMSC216 exam score will not be released until your CMSC131/132 score is released. If you do not place out of CMSC132, your CMSC216 exam will not be graded.

Answer:

If you scored a 5 on the AP Computer Science A exam, you will receive credit for CMSC131 and do not need to place out of this course via exemption exam. You should only take the CMSC131/132 exemption exam if you wish to place out of CMSC132.

Answer:

No. Exemption exams allow students to be exempt from a CMSC course, but will not give cumulative credits. For example, if a student passes the CMSC131 exemption exam, they can begin with CMSC132 in their first semester at UMD. They will not have earned 4 credits for CMSC131.

Answer:

No. CS exemption exams are free.

Answer:

The Math Department has a "Credit By Exam" process. Please see the Credit by Exam page here. Please contact the Math department at math-ugadvisor [at] umd [dot] edu with any questions. MATH140 does NOT need to be complete at the time of enrollment for CMSC131; these courses are corequisites. MATH140 would need to be complete, whether through AP/IB credit, transfer credit, or credit by exam, before registering for CMSC132 (MATH140 is a prerequisite of CMSC132).

Answer:

There is no penalty for not passing an exemption exam(s). Students are notified via UMD-registered email of their scores.

Answer:

No, only students who have not yet matriculated to UMD are eligible to take an exemption exam. Once you have attended class, you are ineligible.

Answer:

Students should register for the exams in the Winter or Summer prior to their first semester at UMD, College Park. Students are encouraged to register for an exam prior to their orientation date.

Academic Advising

Answer:

Yes. Toward the end of each semester, a request form will be made available here. Permissions will be granted on or around the last day of classes. All students will receive a response regarding their request. Please note: permission does not guarantee seat availability in the course.

Answer:

If you would like to change your assigned academic advisor, please email ugrad [at] cs.umd.edu with your full name and 9-digit UID.

Your assigned academic advisor will remain the same each semester. However, we recognize that students sometimes may need, or want, to change their advisor. You may fill out a request form here. Please keep in mind that this switch request is not to be utilized for scheduling purposes. We ask that you contact your advisor directly if you are unable to schedule an advising session during their availability.

Answer:

CS students can take up to eleven (11) credits per semester. This usually equates to three 3-credit CMSC courses and two 1-credit CMSC courses. Students must wait until the end of the current semester to request their third 3-credit CS course, and students must wait until the start of the next semester to request their second 1-credit CS course.

Answer:

You will be contacted by your assigned academic advisor prior to your registration date. This email will contain instructions on how to schedule your mandatory advising session via TerpEngage. Your advisor will suggest a period in the semester based on your Total Cumulative Credits to schedule your session.

Answer:
  • Drop-in hours are available for all declared CS majors and minors. These hours are available for brief questions and concerns andare typically no longer than 10 minutes. Students may also email their assigned advisor directly to schedule appointments outside of mandatory advising sessions.
  • Students will see the advisor on-duty who may or may not be their assigned advisor. Drop-in hours can be found on the calendar here.
  • Please note: a drop-in session does not take the place of a mandatory advising session.
Answer:

If you arrive/check-in late to your advising session (5 or more minutes) you may be asked to reschedule your appointment via TerpEngage. It is recommended that you contact your assigned advisor via email without delay. As a reminder: students cannot register for courses (including non-CMSC coursework) without meeting with their assigned advisor.

If you miss your advising session, reschedule via TerpEngage without delay. It is recommended that you also contact your assigned advisor via email.

Answer:

Drop-in hours are available to students in the Computer Science major or minor. These hours are designed for quick questions, exploratory conversations, and time sensitive issues. Drop-in hours are not to be used in place of mandatory advising; please contact your assigned advisor for mandatory advising and/or in-depth discussions.

Answer:

Please fill out the permission request form that was sent to you by your assigned academic advisor. There is an option to request a permission swap and indicate which permission(s) you no longer want and the permission(s) you are hoping to gain.

Answer:

Declared CS Undergraduate majors who have 0 - 75 credits are required to meet with their assigned advisor once a semester. During mandatory advising sessions, advisors help ensure that students meet CS degree and University General Education requirements, discuss their academic performance, and connect their with resources and opportunities. Outside mandatory advising, students are encouraged to email their assigned advisor or attend drop-in hours if they have additional questions. As a reminder: students cannot register for courses (including non-CMSC coursework) without meeting with their assigned advisor.

Answer:

Newly declared CS majors will be assigned an academic advisor after the schedule adjustment period. Notification will be sent via email. Please make sure your email of record is updated via Testudo

If you have forgotten your assigned advisor, please email ugrad [at] cs.umd.edu

CMSC STICs

Answer:

Yes, you can. Students can only receive permissions and register for 1 STIC course initially, but can request permissions for an additional STIC course once the semester starts.

Answer:

Taking 3 STIC courses amounts to 1 or 2 credits of 300 or 400-level CMSC elective course work.

Answer:

You can find more information, including a full course catalog, on the UMD STICs website: https://stics.umd.edu/. There are STICs offered in multiple departments including BMGT, MATH, and more!

Answer:

As the name suggests, the instructors for STIC courses are students with extensive subject matter expertise in the material they teach. STICs are often taught by multiple student instructors/TAs and each STIC has its own faculty advisor.

Upper Level Concentration

Answer:

Yes. There are a few exceptions, i.e. Math and Statistics can be used interchangeably. Some minors requiring upper level coursework in multiple areas are OK to use different courses in the ULC, such as the Sustainability minor. Any minor involving multiple area courses should be approved by your CS academic advisor.

Answer:

No, CS students do not need to declare a minor. Because the ULC is 12 credits of coursework at the 300-400 level, CS students often choose to pursue a minor because they may be close to meeting a particular minor’s requirements. Some minors require 15 credits or more of upper level coursework, which may be only 3 more credits than the 12 required for the ULC. Consult your academic advisor to discuss if pursuing a minor fits into your academic plan.

Answer:

There are ULC areas that have minimal prerequisites and do not necessarily require students to be in the major/minor. We recommend reviewing these areas to gauge your interest (not an exhaustive list): EDHD, PLCY, JWST, ISRL, FILM, ASTR, FMSC, LING, HIST, ENGL, ANTH, CLAS, CMLT.

Answer:

Try to think of any special interest areas you may have had in your previous educational experiences. Were there any topics you wished you could have explored further? Do you have particular academic talents that may set you apart from other CS students? Choose an area with courses that you think you will enjoy, perform well in, and can be a good compliment to your CS degree. If you still aren’t sure what to choose, select GenEd requirements that may help you explore your interests while confirming which ULC area may be right for you.

Answer:

Although there is significant and growing overlap of skills between specializations, there are common ULC areas that have been notable choices for CS students:

Data Science
- Math and Statistics (MATH/STAT). CS students are already required to take multiple prerequisite courses for Math and Stat upper level courses, so MATH/STAT tends to be a popular choice. MATH and STAT courses can be combined for the 12 required credits.
- Business (BMGT). CS majors who want to use BMGT as their ULC will most likely need to be accepted into the major or minor to gain access to 12 credits of upper level coursework. If pursuing the Business Analytics minor, communicate extensively with your advisor to avoid cross-listed and credit-only-granted-for courses that may be ineligible.
- Psychology (PSYC) or Sociology (SOCY). Psychological skills are invaluable to the work of Data Scientists, which can revolve around ethical decision making, effective communication, understanding of confidentiality, privacy, human behavior, and complex biases. A competitive Data Analyst will have a balance of psychological and technical skills. Many upper level PSYC courses are restricted to students in the major, so be careful to plan for courses without this restriction. Over the Winter and Summer terms, these restrictions are usually not applied, so there may be more options for courses available at these times.

Cybersecurity
- Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES minor, includes HACS courses). The ACES minor allows students to explore cybersecurity at a more concentrated level while gaining access to specialized internship and research opportunities.
- Terrorism Studies (may include BSST, ANTH, AREC, ENES, GEOG, GVPT, etc.)
- Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJS)
- Law (MLAW)
- Public Policy (PLCY)

Machine Learning
- Engineering (ENXX). Engineers, especially in ML, are expected to perform at an advanced level in areas of leadership, teamwork, and work ethic
- Robotics (ENXX/CMSC)
- Technology Entrepreneurship (ENES)

Please consult with your advisor to ensure the courses you plan to take will satisfy your requirement.

Answer:

The ULC is unique to UMD Computer Science graduates because it allows them the flexibility to set themselves apart from their colleagues. Choosing an area outside of CS that can complement your CS courses can set you apart from other candidates in interviews for internships and full-time positions. The ULC is a great opportunity to strengthen soft skills and discover how you can make your degree stand out.

Combined BS/MS Program

Answer:

We try our best to accommodate/admit all eligible students who apply; however, in the event that the program does become competitive at a future date, we encourage applicants to gain some research experience and submit the strongest application package possible.

Answer:

It’s highly recommended that at least one recommender is a tenured CS professor; however, feel free to submit letters of recommendation from other departments or internships. Letter writers should have at least a Masters and be able to speak to your ability to do well in the program.

Answer:

The MS program is 30 credits. Flagging 3 courses (9 credits) for double-counting only reduces the program length by one semester. Taking an additional course that is flagged just for graduate credit is necessary to make a one year MS feasible, as it reduces the remaining time (30 credits - 12 credits = 18) to two semesters of taking 3 courses per semester.

Answer:

Three letters of recommendation are required. It is recommended that at least two are from CS faculty with at least one of those being from a tenure-track faculty member

Answer:

Yes, you are still welcome to apply. Part of the program’s goal is to provide the opportunity for promising students to gain research experience they were unable to attain during their undergraduate degree.

Answer:

The Combined BS/MS program is not a formal academic program. Students should apply for the standard Master of Science (CMSC) program when completing their application.

Answer:

Any 400-level or above CMSC course is accepted. Special topics courses (i.e. CMSC498*) are only accepted in rare circumstances.

Answer:

Students cannot be concurrently enrolled as an undergraduate and a graduate student at UMD and therefore should apply for the semester that immediately follows their graduation from the Bachelor’s program unless they plan to take a gap semester,

Orientation

Answer:

You will register online using Testudo to register for classes. The schedule of classes, registration, and your unofficial transcript among other tools can be accessed there as well.

Answer:

The main thing will be to watch for instructions sent to you via email for Canvas. You are encouraged to ensure that you are able to access Testudo and able to connect remotely at the time of your CS advising session as well.

Answer:

Students will meet remotely in small groups to plan their courses for Fall 2020 with a CS Advisor. Advisors will review CS major requirements, review class schedules, and assist in registering for classes using our online system, Testudo.

Answer:

Students will have a combination of video presentations form the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS), online quizzes, and remote advising sessions with Departmental Advisors to ensure that students are properly registered and have the information they need to be successful in their first semester at UMD.

Students will be invited to participate in the College Canvas page where they will access much of the information that they will need. Details and instructions will be emailed to students.

Once a student has completed the Canvas online modules for orientation by the assigned deadline, students will be sent links for their online advising sessions with a Computer Science (CS) Advisor.

Answer:

Yes, you have until the end of schedule adjustment period in Fall 2020 to make changes to their registration. You are encouraged to check the academic deadlines calendar for other important deadlines as well.

CS Minor

Answer:
  • CS minors are not required to meet with an advisor to request CMSC course permissions. Declared CS minors may request upper level CMSC course permissions here. Requests are reviewed weekly. All students will receive a response regarding their request. Please note: permission does not guarantee seat availability in the course.
  • Once the form is closed, students may email ugrad [at] cs.umd.edu with their full name and 9-digit UID to make any additional requests.
  • Prior to making a request, students should check their eligibility to ensure that they meet all prerequisites. Students will not be granted permission for a course for which they do not meet the prerequisites.
  • CS minors must follow the LEP benchmarks.
  • CS minors may request the same total number of CMSC courses as CS majors.
Answer:

No. Students in the Computer Science minor are not requirements to go through mandatory advising session with our department. You may be require. to attend advising through your primary major/department. If you have CS specific questions, you are eligible for drop-in advising hours. If you cannot make drop-in hours, please email us at ugrad [at] cs.umd.edu

Education Abroad

Answer:

Yes, CS majors can study abroad! The ideal time to study abroad is typically the spring semester of your junior year. However, if you plan to take CMSC courses abroad, you must have successfully completed CMSC330 and CMSC351.

Answer:

We recommend that your schedule of classes while abroad be similar to what you would take at UMD (2-3 CMSC courses along with General Education courses, Upper Level Concentration courses, elective coursework, and/or courses for another major or minor). Speak to your Education Abroad advisor to ensure that you are following policies and guidelines for the institution you plan to attend.

Answer:

It is not required that you take CMSC courses abroad, although your four-year plan may be extended if you do not. While abroad, you can take courses that satisfy other degree requirements including General Education, Upper Level Concentration, general electives, and/or coursework for a second major or a minor. Please be sure to confer with your assigned CS Advisor as you make your plans.

Answer:

For a course to be accepted as a UMD 400-level CMSC course, the course will be evaluated by CS faculty for comparable content/material, assessment, and rigor. Sometimes a course may not have a direct equivalency at UMD, but the course may still satisfy a CMSC Electives requirement.

Note that the database reflects the courses that have been evaluated thus far. If you’re interested in taking a course or studying at an institution that is not on the list, please send a current copy of the course syllabus to your assigned academic advisor. Please note that we ask for up to 7-10 business days to process this request.

General CS Policies

Answer:

FERPA is a federal student privacy law. In order to ensure your privacy and security, please always use your email of record to contact us and include your UID and full name in email communications. Further questions about this policy may be directed to your assigned advisor.

Answer:

Yes. Toward the end of each semester, a request form will be made available here. Permissions will be granted on or around the last day of classes. All students will receive a response regarding their request. Please note: permission does not guarantee seat availability in the course.

Answer:

Students should review the schedule of classes on Testudo for the pre/corequisites for each course. If you register for a course for which you are not eligible, you are at risk of being administratively dropped from the course.

Answer:

You may request a second CMSC 1-credit course on the first day of classes. Please email your assigned advisor directly to request permission for the course.

Answer:

Computer Science students cannot take MATH or CMSC courses required for their major at another institution. The Department of Computer Science and the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS) will consider exceptions to policy ONLY in rare and extenuating circumstances. Full documentation is required to show extenuating circumstances. If you would like to request an exception to policy to take a CMSC or MATH course at another institution, please review the instructions below. Note that you should obtain approval from both the CS Department and the College by submitting the appropriate forms before registering for a CMSC or MATH course at another institution.

  • Check the Transfer Credit Services database to find a CMSC or MATH course at another institution that is transferable to UMD. Be sure to review all notes related to the course, such as start or end dates.
  • Contact your assigned advisor to obtain a Computer Science Department Exception to Policy Request form. Complete the form and include documentation to show extenuating circumstances. Once completed, submit the form to your assigned CS advisor. You will receive a response within 7-10 business days.
  • After you obtain approval from the CS Department, please fill out the College's Permission to Enroll form.
  • After you obtain approval from the College, complete the registration process for the non-UMD institution. Once you have completed the course, you are responsible for submitting all final official transcripts from the other institution. Transfer courses will post to a students' UMD record only from official transcripts received from the institution at which the credit was earned. Transcripts should be sent to the Office of the Registrar. More detailed information can be found here.
Answer:

Yes! Due to the kindness of our generous donors, the Computer Science Department is able to offer scholarships to current undergraduate students who have completed at least one academic semester within the major. These scholarships are awarded to recognize academic excellence in the field of computer science. You can find more information about our scholarships and deadlines here.

Answer:

CS students can take up to eleven (11) credits per semester. This usually equates to three 3-credit CMSC courses and two 1-credit CMSC courses. Students must wait until the end of the current semester to request their third 3-credit CS course, and students must wait until the start of the next semester to request their second 1-credit CS course.

Answer:

During your mandatory advising session, you may be granted up to two 3-credit CMSC course and one 1-credit CMSC course permissions. In addition to these course permissions, students may request permission for a third 3-credit CMSC course after all students have registered. Students may request a course permission via a form which will be made available around the last week of classes.

  • Starting on the first day of classes, students may request permission for a second 1-credit STICs course.
  • Students should make sure that they have satisfied the prerequisite(s) for their course(s) request.
Answer:
  • Drop-in hours are available for all declared CS majors and minors. These hours are available for brief questions and concerns andare typically no longer than 10 minutes. Students may also email their assigned advisor directly to schedule appointments outside of mandatory advising sessions.
  • Students will see the advisor on-duty who may or may not be their assigned advisor. Drop-in hours can be found on the calendar here.
  • Please note: a drop-in session does not take the place of a mandatory advising session.
Answer:

Please fill out the permission request form that was sent to you by your assigned academic advisor. There is an option to request a permission swap and indicate which permission(s) you no longer want and the permission(s) you are hoping to gain.

Answer:

The Upper Level Concentration (ULC) requirement is 12 credits at the 300/400 level all in one discipline that is outside of your major courses. Students must earn an overall GPA of C- (or 1.7) or higher.

Computer Engineering, Information Sciences, and any courses that are crosslisted with CMSC cannot be used to fullfill the ULC requirement (e.g., CMSC/MATH456). If a course is CS related, it may not fulfill the ULC requirement. Students are encouraged to review their proposed courses in advance with their assigned advisor.

Answer:

Your assigned advisor will set an expiration date on your permission stamp on or around the last day of classes. If you need to make a CMSC course or section change after that date, email your advisor with your request. Students are encouraged to check Testudo for course availability and prerequisites before emailing their assigned advisor.

The CS Department conducts prerequisite checks at the end of each semester to ensure that students meet all necessary prerequisites and corequisites. This check occurs after the expiration date to ensure that all students are enrolled in appropriate courses.

Starting in Fall 2019, lower level CMSC courses do not have expiration dates.

Internal Transfer Students

Answer:

Yes. All students who successfully complete the gateway requirements will be admitted to the major.

Answer:

Yes. The specific way in which AP/IB credit is handled depends on the score and UMD course equivalency. Please see the list of specific gateway course requirements for details. Please review information about prior learning credit  for AP and IB courses, required scores and course equivalency.  The University currently grants credit for AP Computer Science A (but not AP Computer Science Principles) as well as AP and IB Calculus.

Answer:

All students who are applying for either the 5th business day of January or June deadline will receive permission after they have been admitted into the program. We are unable to make exceptions for students to receive permission for their coursework earlier.

Answer:

Final gateway requirements being taken over the summer, must be completed by the end of Summer Session I. If the course(s) you are taking over the summer do not end by that deadline, you will apply for the January deadline.

Answer:

First, you will need to successfully complete the gateway requirements for the major. By the 5th business day of January or June, you will submit your limited enrollment program application. You may submit your application if you are currently in the process of taking your final gateway course(s). If you are admitted to the program you will receive permission for your next semester courses and an invitation to an online ELMS orientation. You will also be required to submit a declaration of double major form through the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. The paperwork will be available on the ELMS orientation page. Any questions about this process should be addressed with your current academic advisor or advising unit.

Non-Majors/Non-Minors

Answer:

At this time, we are not able to see non-majors/non-minors during drop-in hours. We ask that you email your questions to ugrad [at] cs.umd.edu with your full name and 9-digit UID.

Answer:
  • Effective Fall 2019, Computer Science is a limited enrollment program. For more information regarding eligibility and the application process, please visit the college's CS LEP FAQ page.
  • If you are a current student interested in the major, click here. If you are a current student interested in the minor, click here.
  • If you are interested in applying to UMD and the CS major, please see our page for prospective students for more information.
Answer:

If you are a University of Maryland student (undergraduate or graduate), you may request course permissions here. Requests are reviewed on or around the first day of classes. All students will receive a response regarding their request. Please note: permission does not guarantee seat availability in the course. Effective Fall 2019, CMSC131 and CMSC132 no longer require permission of the department.

Once the form is closed, students may email ugrad [at] cs.umd.edu with their full name and 9-digit UID to make any additional requests.

Prior to making a request, students should check that they meet all prerequisites. Students will not be granted permission for a course for which they do not meet the prerequisites.

Transfer Students

Answer:

Yes. The specific way in which AP/IB credit is handled depends on the score and UMD course equivalency. Please see the list of specific gateway course requirements for details. Please review information about prior learning credit  for AP and IB courses, required scores and course equivalency.  The University currently grants credit for AP Computer Science A (but not AP Computer Science Principles) as well as AP and IB Calculus.

Answer:

If you have an associate's degree from a Maryland public institution and you have completed 40 credits of General Education coursework, you no longer are required to complete General Education requirements, with the exception of Fundamental Studies Professional Writing (FSPW).

Answer:

A general rule of thumb is that students who start with CMSC131 will take a minimum of 7 semesters to complete the Computer Science degree requirements. However, all students road to graduation is different and depends on myriad factors. To start the academic planning process, you should review the degree requirements for your intended specialization:

Answer:

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will contact you via email. The Computer Science department does not have information regarding the status of your admissions decision.

Answer:

If you are transferring from a community college, the University of Maryland will accept a maximum of 60 credits; 90 credits from a four-year institution. If you would like to see if your courses will transfer as direct UMD courses, please review the Transfer Credit Database or speak with the Pre-Transfer Advising Office.

Answer:

You are required to attend a transfer student orientation. During orientation, you will be introduced to the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences and the Department of Computer Science. You will speak with an academic advisor in the department who will assist you in registering for your courses based on previous coursework and any Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credit.

Answer:
  • If you are an external applicant and were not directly admitted to Computer Science, you will be admitted to your second choice of major (if you had one) or placed into Letters and Sciences. While in your second choice of major or Letters and Sciences, you will be eligible to complete the gateway requirements and apply via the LEP application.
  • If you are an external applicant and are currently completing the gateway requirements and will have them by the time you start attending UMD, you should speak with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions regarding a review of your final transcripts once you have completed the necessary coursework. You will need to accept your offer by the deadline given in your acceptance letter.