Information for Current Graduate Students
This information is aimed to summarize requirements related to graduate study in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems (SICCS) at Northern Arizona University (NAU) and to provide quick access to important policies.
While SICCS faculty, administrators, and staff are here to help, it is important to note that it is each individual student’s responsibility to review and adhere to all policies and ensure that requirements for graduation are met.
Receiving NAU credit for courses taken at another institution requires the completion of a transfer credit petition. This petition must be approved by your advisor, SICCS administrators, and the NAU Graduate College before transferred courses will appear on your transcript.
The authoritative resource for almost all important policies governing graduate study is the NAU catalog, and graduate students should review all policies (particularly if you are involved in our educational mission through a graduate teaching assistantship, since you will also need to master policies related to undergraduate programs). Some particularly important policies to more carefully read through include:
- Academic Continuation, Probation, Dismissal, and Readmission – Graduate (100319)
- Academic Appeal Policy and University Graduate Committee Hearing Panel (UGCHP), Graduate (100103)
- Academic Integrity Policy (100601)
- Applying for Graduation, Graduate Students (100334))
- Continuous Enrollment, Graduate (100326)
- Course Loads and Overloads, Graduate (100324)
- Course Repeat, Graduate (100318)
- GPA (Grade Point Average) Requirements for Graduate Students (100407)
- Requirements for Master’s Degrees (100811)
- Requirements for the Doctoral Degree, Ph.D (100805)
- Requirements for Theses and Dissertations (100806)
- Transfer Credit, Graduate Students (100336)
For your degree program, make sure to review requirements, particularly those listed in the “Details” tab, and the degree’s program of study:
- Informatics and Computing, Doctor of Philosophy (PHDINF), PHDINF program of study for 2018-2019
- Computer Science, Master of Science (MSCS), MSCS program of study for 2018-2019
- Electrical Engineering, Master of Science (MSEE), MSEE program of study for 2018-2019
- Informatics, Master of Science (MSINF), MSINF program of study for 2018-2019
Doctoral and thesis-option master’s students must affiliate with a research advisor and chair of their thesis or dissertation committee by the end of their first semester in the program, and should carefully review guidelines for electronic publication of theses and dissertations.
Doctoral students should also carefully review information on the comprehensive and advancement to candidacy exams, which are important milestones in the PHDINF program.
The NAU Graduate College provides an up-to-date listing of deadlines associated with applying for graduation, deadlines associated with thesis and dissertation defenses, as well as a repository of most important forms you may need as a graduate student.
The School offers two types of assistantships: Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) and Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA). Both types of assistantships normally require approximately 20 hours of work per week and include a full tuition waiver (excluding university and program fees), a waiver of fees for student health insurance, and a stipend paid to the student (as of Fall 2018, the stipend for master’s students is $17.5K per year and the stipend for doctoral students is $20K per year). Graduate assistants (either GTA or GRA) with 20 hour/week assistantships are prohibited from any additional employment at NAU without a specific exception being granted–contact the Associate Director for Research and Graduate Programs for more information.
It is important to emphasize that you may have a balance due on your account, even if you’re being supported by an assistantship, due to the fees that are not normally included in your assistantship. GRAs who are funded through grants or some other faculty-provided means may contact their research supervisor directly to inquire as to whether these fees are something that the advisor has funding to cover.
The NAU Graduate College provides more general information about assistantships in their handbook.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships
The SICCS academic unit is the employer for GTAs, so your GTA duties are assigned to you directly by the Associate Director for Research and Graduate Programs, not your research advisor. Before any term during which you are employed as a GTA, you will receive an email asking you to report your time availability for a variety of potential course assignments. Using this information, you will then receive a notification email letting you know which courses and/or lab sections you have been assigned to–this email will also include contact information for the NAU faculty that are assigned to supervise GTAs in that course. All further details, instructions, and day-to-day supervision will happen directly with supervising faculty. All GTAs also undergo an annual performance evaluation conducted by the School, where feedback is solicited from supervising faculty, and the outcomes of this evaluation are a major factor in the awarding of future GTA positions.
Graduate Research Assistantships
Individual faculty who are principal investigators of grants are the employer for GRAs, and GRA duties are directly assigned by these faculty supervisors. Who this faculty is communicated when a student is awarded a GRA position, and all further duties will be assigned by this supervising faculty. GRAs are evaluated directly by their supervising faculty.
A number of fees are mandatory of all NAU graduate students, are not included as part of either Graduate Teaching or Graduate Research Assistantships, and are the responsibility of each student. All students should review NAU’s fee descriptions, and a summary of mandatory fees appears below (amounts are current as of Spring 2018):
- Health and Recreation fee: $250/semester
- Information Technology fee: $168/semester (for 12 units of enrolled classes; less for fewer units)
- Athletics: $75/semester
- Transportation fee: $75/semester
- Financial Aid Trust fee: $41/semester
- Graduation application fee (only in the semester of graduation): $35
- Student Activity fee: $25/semester
- Graduate Matriculation fee (only in the first semester): $25
- ID Card fee (only in the first semester: $25
- Graduate Student Government fee: $23/semester
- Green fee: $5/semester
Other fees are not mandatory, and depend on specific student situations and course selection. These fees may include: Class fees, parking permit costs, fees associated with housing and meal plans, late payment fees, late registration fees, and fees associated with special petitions or requests.
In planning your course load for any particular term, be aware that core INF-prefixed graduate courses are offered on a specific semester rotation (subject to change), as follows:
- Fall semester: INF501, INF503, INF511, INF601, INF603
- Spring semester: INF502, INF504, INF512, INF602
All other INF-, CS-, and EE-prefixed graduate courses are not offered on a set semester rotation, so please refer to the course schedule for a semester term for specific available course offerings.