Frequently Asked Questions - University of Houston
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Frequently Asked Questions

I have been admitted. What do I do next?

The first step is to meet with the Director of Graduate Studies during his office hours.  During this meeting, the director of graduate studies will indicate if you need to take any prerequisite courses.  Also, together you will determine whether you will be pursuing the M.S. thesis plan, the M.S. non-thesis plan, or the Ph.D. program.

When do I take my prerequisite courses?

Some students take all of their prerequisite courses as a post-baccalaureate student.  However, some students may be admitted as a graduate student and are just deficient in a few areas.  In either case, all prerequisite courses must be completed before taking any graduate courses.  The only exception is that a student may take a graduate course in the semester in which his prerequisites are being completed.

I have finished my course advising.  How do I register?

The can enroll into courses through the UH website online.

I have registered. Where, when and how can I pay?

This information is available on the UH website.  It is your responsibility to pay by the university deadlines.  If you do not, the university will drop you from your classes.

I have just moved. How do I change my address?

Students may change their address by logging on to their account on the UH webpages.

How do I get a student ID card?

Students may have a Cougar 1Card made at the Welcome Center, suite 151

How do I get a UH computer account?

Refer to UH’s Information Technology website.

How do I get a Computer Science Department computer account?

Application forms are available in 501 PGH You can however also use another e-mail account and subscribe to our mailing lists.

I need to drop a course.  How do I do this?

Be aware the last day to add a class occurs before the last day to drop with full refund.  There are two strictly enforced deadlines for dropping courses.  The first deadline is listed in the Academic Calendar as ‘Official Reporting Day’ (ORD).  The first deadline allows you to drop on-line and receive a full tuition refund as long as you do not withdraw from all of your classes.  (Dropping from your last class is ‘withdrawing’ and cannot be done online after classes begin.)  International students may not drop online below nine hours.  There will be no record of the course on your transcript.  Between the first and second deadline, you must get a Registration Add/Drop Form from Welcome Center or 501 PGH.  You fill out the form, have the instructor sign and give you a grade of "W" or "F", and turn the form into Welcome Center.  It takes prior planning to process a drop by the deadline.  Remember that instructors are not necessarily here everyday.  If the last day to drop is approaching, plan to get the instructor’s signature no later than the last day the class meets before the drop deadline.  Even if you have the instructor’s signature on the form, the drop cannot be processed until the form is submitted to Academic Records in the Welcome Center.  (International students going under nine hours also must have a signed Reduced Course Load form by the deadline).  There is no refund.  After the second deadline, you may not drop the course.  You will be assigned whatever grade you earn for the course.

How can I find the instructor or TA for the course outside of class time?

The instructor usually gives a syllabus during the first week of class with this information.  Sometimes he posts it on his web page.  The Computer Science Department located in 501 PGH maintains office hour charts for instructors and TA’s.

How do I find out my grades?

About five working days after the final exam, your grade should be available through

How is my GPA calculated?

There are two separate calculations you must satisfy to graduate from our program.  One is the cumulative graduate GPA and the other is the Computer Science GPA.  Both must be a minimum of 3.00.  To obtain the cumulative graduate GPA, everything you take at the 3000-level or higher once you are admitted to graduate school at UH will be counted.  Retaking a course does not eliminate the lower grade in that course.  To obtain the Computer Science GPA, every Computer Science course you take at the 4000-level or higher will be counted once you are admitted to the Computer Science graduate program.

Am I required to be enrolled every semester?

Graduate students are required to be enrolled in fall and spring semesters (not summers) until the degree program is completed and the degree is awarded.  Students who cannot enroll must use a General Petition Form to apply for a leave of absence prior to the beginning of the semester.  Also check out the College webpage with respect to the rules for a leave of absence semester.

Can I be removed from the graduate program?

A satisfactory rate of progress toward the degree is required throughout a student’s enrollment.  Some reasons for termination can be:  not taking required prerequisites, failure to complete the prerequisite courses successfully, not maintaining a 3.0 GPA, failing to maintain continuous enrollment in the Computer Science Department, and violating the Four C Rule.

What is the Four C Rule?

A graduate student who receives a grade of C+ or lower or an Unsatisfactory in 12 semester hours of credit attempted at this institution for graduate credit or for application toward the graduate degree, whether or nor in repeated courses, is ineligible for any advanced degree at this institution and will not be permitted to re-enroll for graduate study.

I am a current student. How do I subscribe/unsubscribe to the departmental mailing lists for graduate and undergraduate students?

Please visit