Key Policies for CS Undergraduates

  • Permission to Add (PTA) Policy for Undergraduates
  • The Department of Computer Science cannot guarantee you a seat in the class if you are on the waitlist, so please find a backup plan as soon as possible. Whenever possible our department tries to expand the capacity of the class, but we are often limited by classroom space and TA and instructor resources. Your instructor will keep you informed about any developments related to enrollment. If expansion is not possible, your only way to get off of the waitlist is if enrolled students drop the course. Please do not request a PTA number from your instructor, advising staff, or peer advisors without completely reading the list below. PTA numbers are only issued for extenuating circumstances related to graduation, and the CS Department cannot guarantee a PTA to students even if they meet the criteria below. PTAs may be limited due to room capacity, TA/instructor resources, and/or the educational integrity of the course.

    Additional Information:

    ♦   PTA numbers will only be issued after the 10th day of instruction (drop deadline for ECS courses).
    ♦   CS/CSE students may request PTAs for core, required courses (not elective courses) if they have filed for graduation or the course is not offered again before their expected graduation date.
    ♦   The request for a PTA number will only be considered if students can provide documentation of their extenuating circumstance related to graduation, and even so may not be granted. The only appropriate documentation will be an email from the student’s major advisor confirming that the student has no other options.
    ♦   A PTA will only be given if you meet the above criteria and after you have joined the waitlist.  After the 10-day drop (5-day drop for summer session), please contact the instructor and cc csadvising@ucdavis.edu.  Explain the circumstances and provide any necessary documentation.  A PTA will only be given once the information has been verified, we have determined there is physical space in the classroom, and the instructor has approved the PTA.

    If you do not follow the above instructions, you will not receive a PTA.

    Below are NOT acceptable reasons to issue a PTA number:

    ♦   A change of major
    ♦   Classes dropped due to non-payment of fees
    ♦   Classes dropped accidentally
    ♦   Completion of degree requirements for institutions other than UC Davis
    ♦   Time conflicts with other classes (unless you receive an exception from your instructors, the course does not have a wait list, and the enrollment max is not at room capacity)
    ♦   Missing Pass 1 registration
    ♦   The class is listed on your academic plan for the current quarter
    ♦   Completing a Minor
    ♦   Completing the Major (if you have other opportunities to take the course and it does not delay your graduation beyond the usual graduation timeline such as attempting early graduation)
    ♦   Elective course for completing a Major (if you have other options/opportunities to take the course)
    ♦   Completing CS/CSE classes for other university requirements
    ♦   Circumventing course registration restrictions (ex. Pass 1 registration restricted to CS/CSE majors)
    ♦   This course is recommended for a job, internship, research position, or admission to a graduate program
    ♦   To maintain full-time status and/or receive financial aid
    ♦   To meet the minimum progress requirement
    ♦   To repeat a failed course

    PTAs will not be given to students joining the waitlist AFTER the first day of instruction.

  • Academic Misconduct Policy
  • Misconduct-implies-F policyIt is the policy of the Computer Science Department that, for ECS courses, any academic misconduct violation in a class will normally result in getting an “F” grade for that class. This is in addition to any disciplinary sanctions from the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs (OSSJA).

    Rationale. In recent years, faculty have been referring more and more cases to OSSJA, and there is a general perception that cheating has become increasingly prevalent. Both students and faculty are unhappy about this. Academic misconduct is unfair to other students, robs faculty of time, violates ethical norms and causes reputational damage to the department and the campus. 

    In the past, ambiguity in an Academic Senate regulation often resulted in a student getting a “0” or “F” grade only for the work in which academic misconduct occurred. Many faculty viewed this as an inappropriately small penalty, even when combined with OSSJA disciplinary sanctions. The UC Davis Academic Senate has clarified the regulation, making it unambiguous that an “F” may be assigned for a course in which a student  commits academic misconduct.

    What misconduct entails: The UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct describes expectations common to all courses. You are responsible for following those requirements. Precise expectations can vary somewhat from course to course, and it is your responsibility as a student to understand what the rules are for each course you take. If in doubt, ask the instructor.

    By default, ECS courses define the following as academic misconduct: (1) Viewing past assignments or exams for your class; (2) During an exam, sitting next to (left, right, behind, diagonal) any student you’ve been working with academically or interacting with socially; (3) Using unattributed source code in an assignment, or any source code you don’t understand; (4) Uploading an instructor’s materials to a site like CourseHero. Note that assignments are often screened for plagiarism using software tools and datasets of past work. 

    Advice.  We have found OSSJA investigations to be thorough, fair and respectful. However, academic misconduct referrals are not a pleasant experience for anyone. If you are in violation, we urge you to acknowledge your mistake, accept the consequences, learn from the experience, and move on. Not telling the truth only makes the situation worse. 

    To faculty. Put a link in your course syllabus to the Code of Academic Conduct. Also link to the page you are reading and elaborate rules specific to your class. Do what you can to minimize the prevalence of cheating, like trying to space students as far apart as possible during exams and reminding students of your specific rules. Report all suspected incidents of academic misconduct to OSSJA; do not handle incidents privately. Students should only be treated as responsible for academic misconduct based on their own admission or a finding from OSSJA. If a case is pending with SJA when grades are due, assign a “Y” grade until OSSJA completes their work. If a student is found responsible for academic misconduct, OSSJA will request your input regarding the penalty they impose. In providing that input, you may wish to consider if a student owned up to the misconduct right away. Assigning an “F” grade for a course in which misconduct occurred is not obligatory, but is advocated as a consistent response to a shared problem.

    Written by C. Nitta and P. Rogaway (12/2018). CSUGA approved (12/2018). Departmental approval (4/2019).

  • Pass/No Pass Policy and Information
  • Students may exercise the Pass/No Pass grading for General Education (GE) courses or unrestrictive electives taken outside the College of Engineering, up to 16 units.

    No course that appears on a list of degree requirements or could potentially be used to satisfy a requirement can be taken under a P/NP grading option unless the requirement has already been satisfied for students in the College of Engineering.

    Students pursuing a Computer Science and Engineering degree may use courses offered on a P/NP basis only (i.e. cannot be taken for a letter grade) towards GE requirements. Courses that may be repeated for credit can only be used towards GE once.

    For more information, see the College of Engineering’s website.

  • Prerequisites Policy and Information
  • One of the goals of the Department of Computer Science is to assist students to be successful and learn as much as possible in their academic program. Specifically with respect to prerequisites, when a student takes a course without the prerequisites, he/she, more often than not, is less likely to pass (or do well in) the course, gains less insight into the course material, and can unnecessarily burden instructional resources, e.g., the instructor and/or TA’s time. The department regularly scans ECS courses to ensure that registered and waitlisted students have completed their prerequisites. We therefore strongly recommend that you enroll only in those courses for which you have completed the prerequisites or for which the prerequisite course is in progress.

    If as an oversight you enrolled in a course without the required prerequisite, please drop the course as soon as possible, but no later than the drop deadline.

    After the drop deadline, instructors can ask the Registrar to automatically drop students who have not completed prerequisites. Students will be notified by email if they are going to be dropped from a course.

    If you have any questions regarding course prerequisites or believe you have a good case for an exception, please contact the instructor directly. Please also see additional prerequisites information included in our Frequently Asked Questions for current CS undergraduates.