Welcome, new graduate students in Computer Science!

This page was last updated 30 July 2013.

Congratulations on your admission to the graduate program in Computer Science at the University of Kentucky! We all look forward to meeting you and learning from each other.

  1. I (Raphael Finkel) have been the Director of Graduate Students (DGS) in the department for several years. Starting August 1, 2013, Dr. Mirek TruszczyƄski will be taking over this position. That means that he is in charge of admissions decisions (with the help of a committee of faculty members), advising all graduate students, helping you choose courses, approving schedules, signing paperwork, and handling special needs you may have.

    Masters students typically do not have an advising professor (an advisor) during their first year; the DGS has that role. When a student wants to start working on a Masters project or thesis (both options exist), she or he finds an advisor by mutual consent, and they plan out the project or thesis, again by mutual consent.

    Ph.D. students become associated with an advisor when they are ready to start their research, typically after a year of classes. Again, the arrangement is made by mutual consent. The rest of the advising committee is established by the DGS on the request of the professor.

  2. Financial support

    In consultation with the Chair of the Department, Kenneth Calvert, We are deciding about TA (teaching assistant) offers. We have made the first round of TA offers; there will be several later rounds.

    We base TA offers on many factors. One is ability in English. If your 120-point TOEFL score is less than 93, or if you got less than 20 on the speaking component of that test, you have little chance. If your GRE verbal score is less than 50%, you have little chance. Unfortunately, our TA budget is very small this coming year, and we have many qualified students competing for a small number of TA positions.

    We have also awarded a few fellowships and nominated a few students for other fellowships based on students' application materials.

    If you submitted the Assistance Application Form with your admissions application, there is no need to submit a new copy.

    We circulate all admission records to the department faculty to see if they are interested in offering an RA position. RA offers are completely at the discretion of the faculty who have grant money to support RAs.

    Many of our students eventually find support somewhere on campus, but not immediately. Please look at the CS Department Job site and the University online employment system for more information. If you want to apply via that online system, use your student id (SID) with the digit 9 prepended. If your SID is, for instance, 12345678, then you should use 912345678. If you get an on-campus job, then a minor formality once you start receiving pay is necessary to get you a Social Security Number (SSN).

    Some of you will be awarded a Gillis Scholarship that will cover part of your tuition. The University is dependent to a large extent on government (state of Kentucky) support, and the state has financial difficulties at the moment. Because of that problem, the Graduate School (GS), which awards the Gillis support, has very limited funds, so we have only 1 or two such awards.

    Information about tuition and fees is available here. Tuition and fees are charged by the University, not the Graduate School, and they are subject to change. In particular, Engineering graduate students (that includes CS students) are charged a program fee of $45 per credit hour. In addition, if you have an F-1 visa, there is a $200 SEVIS (I-901) fee; if you have a J-1 visa, it's $180. You might also review the Graduate School's Financial Certificate for International Applicants. Unfortunately, the amount of funding an international student must show before an I-20 can issued cannot be negotiated or reduced.

  3. Documents

    If you are an international student, you will receive a formal admissions packet from the graduate school. We require a formal response (instructions are in your admissions packet) that indicates if you plan to enroll. Domestic students only receive an acceptance email. They do not need to send us a formal response, but it helps if you can email me giving me an idea of whether you will be enrolling.

    There is no deadline (either for the graduate school or the department) for you to officially accept our admissions offer. If you do accept this offer, you are not compelled to actually enroll, although it helps us in planning if you let us know that you have changed your mind.

    If your admission is conditional for submission of final, official transcripts and degree certificates and diploma, you may bring those documents with you when you arrive in August. They must be submitted in English (as well as in their original language, if not English).

    When we admit an international student, the Graduate School sends you an email immediately and then sends an acceptance package with an I-20 form by surface mail. It may take 4-6 weeks for you to receive the package. If we grant you a Fellowship, an RA, or a TA position, then we send you the package by courier.

    International students will receive email from the Graduate School when it mails you your I-20 form. You may fax your I-20 form back to the Graduate School; there is no need to mail it.

    International students should also return (fax is ok) a copy of the Graduate School confirmation letter to the Graduate School.

    If you have received a letter of admission to and wish to defer entry to a different term, you should communicate with me as soon as possible. We will need to send a note to the Graduate School. If you haven't yet received such a letter, you can inform the GS directly. There is an online form by which you accomplish this change.

  4. Housing

    Information about housing can be found at this site. We cannot help you with details about housing.

  5. Arrival and registration

    Information for international students is here. International students may arrive in the United States no sooner than 30 days prior to the start date on the I-20. The Graduate School lists the start date on the I-20 as the first day of class. Mandatory international student orientation is August 22, 2013, so international students must arrive in Lexington before the commencement of orientation. See here for other important dates for international students. If you are a TA, you should refer here for other dates.

    New graduate students can register for courses between August 20 and August 26, 2013. You will register online using the myUK site. Unless you have taken equivalent courses elsewhere (and the DGS needs to verify and record that fact), We recommend you start with three "core" courses, which include CS505 (not offered this Fall), CS515, CS537, CS541 (not offered this Fall), CS570, CS571, CS575 (not offered this fall). You can see the full schedule at the registrar's site. You should register for exactly 3 courses your first semester. Classes begin on Wednesday, August 28. You can see a more detailed calendar here.

  6. Health matters

    According to UK Health Care, you will be screened for tuberculosis soon after you arrive. More information about immunizations is at the UKIC site and at the health services site.

  7. Resources once you are here

    Students are eligible to purchase parking passes; information is here.

    We encourage you to use the campus recreation department facilities at the Johnson Center as well as the libraries. Student tickets are available for football and basketball.