Research Presentation Exam
Before you may propose your thesis, you must pass the Research Presentation Exam, or RPE. You are expected to pass the RPE by the middle of your third year, and you have at most two chances to pass it. Please see the Research Presentation Exam document for more detailed information (under the RESOURCES AND DOCUMENTS section above).
- The primary advisor to any Ph.D. student in Computer Science must be a Dartmouth tenure-track Computer Science faculty member. By "tenure-track Computer Science faculty member," we mean a faculty member whose appointment is Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Associate Professor of Computer Science, or Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth.
- The primary advisor to any M.S. student in Computer Science must be a tenure-track Computer Science faculty member or a research-track Computer Science faculty member at Dartmouth. By "research-track Computer Science faculty member," we mean a faculty member whose rank is Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, or Research Professor and whose appointment is in the Department of Computer Science at Dartmouth.
- In addition to the primary advisor, any Ph.D. thesis committee must include either at least two tenure-track faculty members whose tenure-track appointments are in Computer Science at Dartmouth or at least one tenure-track faculty member whose tenure-track appointment is in Computer Science at Dartmouth and one research-track faculty member whose research-track appointment is in Computer Science at Dartmouth, and it must also include at least one person from outside Dartmouth. Although not required, a Ph.D. thesis committee may contain additional members who have tenure-track or research-track appointments in any department at Dartmouth, including Computer Science, or at another university. Adjunct faculty members with appointments in Computer Science at Dartmouth may also serve as additional members.
- We recognize that on occasion, a Ph.D. student's de facto advisor could be someone other than a tenure-track Computer Science faculty member. In such cases, the student must also have an official primary advisor who is a tenure-track Computer Science faculty member at Dartmouth, and we expect the de facto advisor to provide the student's funding.
- In addition to the primary advisor, any M.S. thesis committee must include at least one other tenure-track or research-track Computer Science faculty member at Dartmouth.
- See below the procedure for announcing your public thesis proposal.
- For June graduation, theses are due at the Graduate Office by May 15. You must have completed all requirements, and a lot of paperwork, by that date (check with them). (For November graduation, theses are due at the Graduate Office by September 1.)
- Work backward from the dissertation deadline to choose a date for your defense, in consultation with your advisor and your committee. A good rule of thumb is to provide the complete dissertation to your committee 2-4 weeks prior to the defense, and allow yourself at least 2 weeks after the defense to handle any necessary revisions.
- See below the procedure for announcing your public thesis defense.
We grade all courses, including research (CS 297-299) and teaching assistance (CS 296) on the HP/P/LP/NC scale mentioned in the ORC and the Handbook. Note in particular that the Handbook lists some serious consequences of getting a single NC or two LPs. For M.S. students who take undergraduate courses with undergraduate grades, we consider a grade of C+, C, C-, or D to be equivalent to LP, and a grade of E to be equivalent to NC.
Some M.S. students find that they need to take CS 10. Any M.S. student, including those in the M.S./Digital Arts program, who takes CS 10 and gets a grade below B (that is, B-, C+, C, C-, D, or E) will be asked to leave the program immediately.
During any year in which they receive compensation from Dartmouth, regardless of the source of those funds, graduate students are committed to be in residence for a period of twelve months commencing one week before fall-term registration. Vacation time, including official holidays, should not exceed a total of one month per year and the time(s) should be mutually agreeable to the student and the research advisor. During the summer(s) students are expected to perform their thesis research, unless they are off Dartmouth funding (e.g., for internship in industry). Students should obtain written permission from their advisor, in advance, for any expected absences of greater than one month per year.
Nonresident terms for master's students
We expect master's students to make good progress toward the M.S. degree. We also recognize that there are times that it makes sense for you to be away from campus for internships/CPT or just vacation. We also understand that most master's students will be away during the summer term, because we do not offer courses for graduate credit over the summer. With these considerations in mind, the faculty has decided upon the following policy:
- All master's students are expected to complete the M.S. degree in at most seven non-summer terms. For example, if you enter the program in Fall 2013, then you should complete the M.S. degree by the end of Fall 2015, with the seven non-summer terms being Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, and Fall 2015.
- For every three graduate credits you have accrued that count toward the M.S. degree, you may take one term not in residence (an internship/CPT term or a vacation term). You must accrue the graduate credits in advance. This rule applies even to the summer term, subject to item 3, below. Because the graduate credits must count toward the M.S. degree, you are limited to at most two courses in which you get a grade of LP. Note that only graduate credits count; if you take an undergraduate course that does not give graduate credit (such as COSC 50), then that course does not count. You can see which undergraduate courses count for graduate credit on our graduate courses page.
- We recognize that in some cases, a student might not have accrued enough graduate credits before a summer term in order to take that summer term not in residence. In such a case, we allow the student to be away during the summer term, but the graduate credits accrued after that summer term will count toward that summer term, until all three graduate credits needed to account for that summer term have been accrued.
- For foreign students, the federal requirement that you may take at most one year of CPT during your time as a U.S. student applies. This requirement should not come into play, since if you take five terms of CPT, that leaves only two terms of courses/research for your seven terms to the M.S. degree. Furthermore, federal requirements limit foreign students to at most one vacation term per academic year.
- This policy takes effect immediately and applies to all current and future M.S. students. Exceptions may be granted by the Graduate Committee upon request; all requests should go through Holly, who will send them to the Graduate Committee. There is no guarantee that the Graduate Committee will grant any particular exception. The Graduate Committee is not bound to honor precedent, and so you should not assume that because another student was given an exception you will be granted one, too. Please note that the Graduate Committee meets infrequently, and so you should always plan in advance.
- If you want to register for COSC 295, Practical Training, please bear in mind that this course is for curricular practical training. We will sign off on it only if you can demonstrate how what you will be doing enhances your educational experience.