The Big CS Registration Message for Fall 2020 Classes

Dear CS students,

This is a long message, but you need to read it in its entirety. You are responsible for its contents. If you miss out on a class because you ignored this information, we will of course try to help you, but we won't prioritize you above other students.

The tl;dr (but DO read the whole thing anyway):

  1. Waitlists are your friends. Read that section carefully if the classes you need are filling up.
  2. If MySSU says you are missing a prerequisite for a course, read the section about permission numbers before contacting the department.
  3. If you are trying to repeat CS 115, 215, or 315, there's information you need to know. Please see the "Repeat Policy" section.

Two important links that I'll refer to throughout this email:

  • All registration emails, including this one (by the end of today), are archived at Advising.
  • Here are Instructions for retrieving your permission numbersIf you need a permission number, you should use the link on that page to retrieve it from this system as soon as possible! Hold on to it, and then use it later when you add the course to your shopping cart in MySSU.

Contents of this email

  1. Enrollment appointments
  2. Advising
  3. GE
  4. Prerequisites and grades
  5. Full courses and waitlisting
  6. Who needs permission numbers?
  7. Repeat policy on CS 115/215/315
  8. Electives for next semester

1. Enrollment appointments

Registration begins on Monday (April 13) and will be open until May 31, when it will close for grade posting, financial aid processing, and freshman orientation. Registration will resume on July 27.

If you log into MySSU and click on "Student Center", you should see your registration appointment time listed on the right. Many CS and GE classes will fill, so you should plan to register at the beginning of your appointment in order to have the best chance of getting the courses you need. For more information, see the registrar's FAQ on how to register.

2. Advising

Your CS advisor (Dr. Gill, Gondree, Kooshesh, Leal, Ravikumar, Rivoire, or Watts) may also be visible in your Student Center. If you don't have an assigned CS advisor, feel free to see any of us until your advisor is assigned. Please contact us using the email listed on the CS Faculty & Staff page.

If you want to meet with me, please use my appointment link to sign up directly; you can get it by appending "/meet/" to my website URL in the faculty/staff directory. The link is also at the bottom of my email signature.

Other advising resources include Dr. Megan D'Errico (MESA) for lower-division CS and other science students, and the SSU Advising Center for anything that's not CS-specific. Both MESA and the Advising Center offer Zoom appointments.

3. General Education (GE)

Just a heads up: over the past two years, SSU and almost every other CSU campus have been in the process of implementing new systemwide GE requirements. Students who joined SSU at different times will have slightly different GE requirements; the authoritative source on what you personally need is your Academic Requirements Report (ARR).

If you came here relatively recently, your upper-division GE requirements will be broken out into B (Science), C (Arts & Humanities), and D (Social Science) categories. If your ARR indicates that you specifically need to take an upper-division B (science) course, please put that off as long as you can; we are working on exempting CS students from taking an extra course for this requirement.

4. Prerequisites and grades

MySSU enforces prerequisite courses, but it doesn’t automatically enforce the CS departmenmt minimum grade (C-) for those prerequisites. Details on how the CS department enforces prerequisite grades are explained here:

5. Full courses and waitlisting

The bad news: CS courses fill quickly. The good news: our waitlists move almost as quickly. If you can't get into a critical CS course, you are strongly encouraged to add yourself to the waitlist for as many sections as possible. Especially for courses that have MATH 161, CS 115, CS 215, or CS 315 as a prerequisite, spots are very likely to open up after this semester's grades are posted and students who didn't pass the prerequisites drop these courses.

If you are waitlisted, however, you need to be sure that you will actually be able to move into a spot that opens up. Even if there is an open spot, you won’t get it if it would leave you with too many units or with a time conflict. We have seen students advance from #6 on the waitlist into an open spot because students #1-#5 had one of these issues that prevented them from claiming it. The waitlist SWAP feature is your friend. How to use the SWAP feature is explained on the Registrar page.

In any event, if you want a course and can't get it, you need to be on the waitlist. This is our only mechanism for keeping track of who needs a given course.

6. Who needs permission numbers?

As mentioned above, MySSU enforces prerequisite classes. This is a potential problem for you if:

  1. You took the prerequisite at another university, and we had to fill out paperwork to make it count toward your SSU CS major.
  2. You passed the prerequisite on the third or later attempt.
  3. You took the prerequisite at both SSU and another institution.
  4. You got a D or F in CS 115, 215, or 315 in a prior semester, and you want to retake that course. (See the "Repeat Policy" section below for more, though.)
  5. You haven't taken the prerequisite yet, but you're planning to over the break.

If you are in any of these categories, you should read the following FAQ entries:

7. Repeat policy for CS 115/215/315

If you are attempting to repeat CS 115, 215, and 315, you should read the following FAQ entries:

8. Electives for next semester

Our 3-unit elective offerings don't follow any consistent pattern. They're driven by faculty and student interest; faculty availability, which varies with changes in enrollment and personnel; and the availability of outside experts to teach hot topics. The rule is: if you're interested in, and eligible to take, one of next semester's electives, jump on it!! There is no guarantee it will be offered again in your time here.

Please note that CS 391 and CS 479 just became official courses — they are so new that they were originally in the schedule as CS 385 and 386, respectively. They may not appear in your Academic Requirements Report yet, but they will shortly, and they absolutely count as CS electives. See the CS Courses page for catalog descriptions.

Next semester, we are offering three 3-unit CS electives:

  • Computer Graphics (CS 375), taught by Dr. Tia Watts
    Prerequisite: C- or better in CS 215 and MATH 161
  • Parallel Computing (CS 425), taught by Dr. Shubbhi Taneja
    Prerequisite: C- or better in CS 252 and CS 315
  • Computer Vision Fundamentals (CS 479 -- was CS 386), taught by Dr. Gurman Gill
    Prerequisite: C- or better in CS 315. You will not be permitted to take this course if you have previously taken the CS 385/386 on 2D and 3D Object Detection.

We are also offering two 1-unit electives:

  • Computer Science Colloquium (CS 390), organized by Dr. B. Ravikumar
    Prerequisite: None, although the more CS background you have, the more fun it will be.
    You can repeat CS 390 up to 2 times for the minor and 3 times for the major.
  • Computing Professions (CS 391, was CS 385), taught by Dr. Anamary Leal
    Prerequisite: C- or better in CS 215. You will not be permitted to take this course if you have previously taken CS 385-Computing Professions.

Finally, CS 495/496/497 are not "courses" in the usual sense; they cover independent study, individual senior research projects, and internships, all by arrangement with a faculty member. Please visit the CS Courses webpage to learn more.


Suzanne Rivoire, CS Department Chair
Posted: April 11, 2020
Format revisions: August 9, 2020