FAQ - Computational Engineering and Science

Student Resources


How can I receive funding for the CES program?

Upon admission to the CES program, all applicants are evaluated for the limited fellowship and funding opportunities available each year. If funding is not offered at admission, a student can contact their home department to find out what funding opportunities may be available. Neither the CES program nor any of the participating departments can guarantee that a student will receive funding.

How many credits of coursework can I apply to the CES program before being accepted?

A maximum of 9 credits can be taken and used in the CES program before official acceptance into the CES program. The Graduate School requires that the course be completed within seven years of beginning the CES program.

I have already taken one of the CES classes while completing another degree at the University of Utah. Does it count toward the CES degree also?

The Graduate School does not allow "double-dipping"; that is, you cannot count a course toward two separate degree programs. If you have already taken one or more of the CES classes in the pursuit of another degree, the Director of the Program along with your Advisor can arrange suitable substitutes.

What elective courses can I take?

Any 5000-level course or higher offered by a participating department, upon approval of the studentís Advisor or the CES Director.

What is a "Program of Study"?

The Program of Study (or "Application for Admission to Candidacy" form) includes a list of classes that you and your committee agree will satisfy the class requirements for your degree program, as well as meeting your personal educational goals. The POS should be done early in a graduate career, preferably by the 3rd semester of study.

What does a typical Program of Study look like?

5 Core Courses
1 Seminar (approved by your committee)
3 Electives (5000 Ė 6000 level courses from participating department)
2 Independent Study courses
For a total of 31 hours

What may a typical schedule look like per semester?

Scientific Visualization
Advanced Scientific Computing I
Math Modeling
Advanced Scientific Computing II
Case Studies

Who is my advisor?

For the first semester of the program and for any program-related questions, see Vicki Jackson (3190 MEB, 581-7319, vicki@cs.utah.edu). She, in concert with the Director, will advise you. The current Director of the Program will act as your default advisor until you find an advisor.

Any regular faculty member within a participating department at the University of Utah is qualified to be a studentís advisor. Within two semesters of starting the program, you should have a supervisory committee established. See: "How do I Find an Advisor?" and "How Do I Select my Committee?"

How often should I meet with my advisor?

You should meet with your advisor (either Vicki or Committee Chair) at least once a semester.

How do I find an advisor?

One good way to find an advisor is to take classes from professors in your areas of interest. Find out if you are likely to be compatible in interests and personality, and to impress them with your performance.

Can I change advisors?

Yes. It is not in a studentís or advisorís interest to work together if the relationship is not productive because of incompatible personalities or research interests. If you plan to make a switch, a frank discussion with your advisor is appropriate.

How do I select my committee?

Three regular faculty members at the University of Utah constitute a CES committee (the Chairman of the committee being the studentís advisor.) At least one member of the CES Steering Committee should be on your Graduate Committee. The student decides upon the other two committee members, chosen commiserate with the academic goals of the student.

Do I have to do a thesis?

No. There are three options to complete a M.S. degree in Computational Engineering and Science: Coursework only, Project, and Thesis.

What is the difference between a thesis and a project?

A Thesis generally requires you to participate in research hours with a faculty member and create a formal publication concerning your research findings--your thesis. A project may also require independent study hours and an oral presentation, but not a formal publication.

What help is available to assist me in publishing my thesis?

See the Timeline of Thesis submission, provided on the Thesis Office website.

Why do I have to "defend" my project?

The Graduate School requires that all students present a defense (or oral presentation) regardless of their track.

When doing the coursework option, do I have to do a "defense" and why?

Yes, a defense (or oral presentation) is required by the Graduate School for each track of study.

Of what does a coursework-only defense consist?

Generally a studentís advisor and committee will select a paper, which the student will need to present and defend.

How Do I Schedule my thesis defense or oral presentation?

For any defense (coursework only, project, or thesis), the following should be done:

At least FOUR WEEKS before the defense:

  1. The student should submit an acceptable thesis draft to the committee chair
  2. A possible defense date selected by the committee.

At least THREE WEEKS before the defense:

  1. Committee members should receive copies of the thesis draft.
  2. Committee approval should be gained for the planned defense.
  3. A time and location for the defense should be scheduled with the Graduate Coordinator, Vicki Jackson (3190 MEB, 581-7631, vicki@cs.utah.edu)

At least 10 DAYS before the defense:

  1. Abstract of document or thesis should be given to the Graduate Coordinator, Vicki Jackson (3190 MEB, 581-7631)
  2. The project document or thesis document should be on file with the Graduate Coordinator, Vicki Jackson (3190 MEB, 581-7631)

What forms are required for graduation?

  1. Request for Supervisory Committee. Due: by 2nd semester
    This form establishes whom you have selected to be your main advisor (Chair) and two additional committee members.
  2. Application for Admission to Candidacy (Program of Study): Due: by 3rd semester
    This form outlines the courses you plan to take for the CES M.S. degree.
  3. Report of the Comprehensive Examination Due: when finish coursework
    Your committee chair signs this form
  4. Report of the Final Examination for the Masterís degree Due: When finish defense or oral presentation
    Your committee chair and two committee members, most likely on the day of your thesis defense or project presentation, sign this form.

To whom do I turn in these forms?

The Graduate Coordinator: Vicki Jackson (3190 MEB, 581-7631)

If I am already in a U of U graduate program, why do I have to apply to the graduate school again?

The Graduate School requires that each student entering a new program track, submit an application and pay the required fee. Just as if you were completing a B.S. in Mathematics and wanted to pursue a M.S. in Computer Science, you would need to submit an application to the Graduate School and pay the fee. Similarly, all students accepted to the CES program will need to submit an application to the Graduate School and pay the fee regardless of what other program they may be completing.

How do I get tuition benefit if a professor funds me?

Present a PAN form, which you have obtained from the department paying your salary, to Vicki Jackson in 3190 MEB. She will submit your name into the Tuition Benefit System.

What is the deadline for PAN forms?

If you are being funded by a department other than the School of Computing, you will need to submit your PAN form to Vicki Jackson (3190 MEB, 581-7631) before the second week of classes. (Vicki will need to submit these to the Graduate School before the 15th day of classes.)

How do I get subsidized Health Insurance?

If you are receiving Tuition Benefit you are eligible to receive subsidized Health Insurance. You must check in with Vicki Jackson (3190 MEB, 581-7631) to apply for this benefit.