Montana State University

Computer Science

Advising Goals

  • To assist students in the selection of classes that will meet their educational goals, and ensure progress towards a degree.
  • To counsel students on professional and career opportunities, and on graduate studies when appropriate.
  • To help students with personal problems find the resources that they need to deal with the problems.

When the Department Head talks to new students at orientations, or to students who transfer into Computer Science from other MSU departments, he emphasizes that students should contact their advisors for help in any of these three areas, at any time.

Advising Policy

All instructional faculty are assigned undergraduate advisees, except for the Graduate Coordinator, who advises all graduate students until they select a thesis/project advisor, and the Department Head, who advises incoming students and also takes over as advisor if the student's designated advisor is not available.

For new students entering MSU who declare Computer Science as a major, the departmental secretary randomly assigns advisors to them once the official list of majors is published after the completion of registration.

When students transfer into Computer Science from another MSU department, the secretary lets them select an advisor if they already know a faculty member. If they do not make a selection, an advisor will be assigned by the secretary.

At any time a student can go to the secretary and request a change of advisor. These changes are always made immediately.

Departmental policy requires students to talk to their advisors before registering, but it is often difficult to enforce this policy.

We recommend that students talk to their advisor, or to the Department Head, whenever they need counseling, as described in our advising goals, above.

To increase access to advisors, students are encouraged to go to the Department Head or to other faculty if their designated advisor is not available.

To improve access to their advisors, students are encouraged to use e-mail for simple questions, which is used extensively by many students for this purpose.

Recent Changes and Future Plans

To Improve Quality of Advising

  1. Online advising evaluation form.
  2. msu.cs.advising newsgroup.
  3. Comprehensive information on the departmental Web page.

To Improve Accessibility of Advisors

  1. We are using the new newsgroup to make sure that students understand that they can approach other faculty if their assigned advisor is not available.
  2. We are also using the newsgroup to encourage students to use e-mail at any time of day to get questions to their advisor.