Answers to questions students ask about the Master of Science program.

When do I register for classes?

Graduate student must register during the designated registration period or risk loss of student status. Registration for classes is done through student services online. Graduate student course registration dates are dictated by the Columbia University Registrar Office and posted at the Columbia Academic Calendar site. MS advising forms may be downloaded on the MS Advising page.

Who is my adviser and when will I meet my adviser?

Advising MS students is currently the responsibility of the Masters Committee.  Each incoming MS student will be assigned an advisor who will approve courses.

MS student advising takes place close to the registration period, typically the week prior to classes starting for entering students, and the week prior to the academic calendar registration dates for each subsequent Spring or Fall semester.  Students will be informed of advising dates via Columbia email.  Students are required to meet with their academic advisor during that time.  Students are informed at orientation of core and suggested elective courses.  All course selections must be approved by an academic advisor.  Student will be informed of course options via email or other means for subsequent semesters.

What should I do in preparation for meeting with my adviser?

Prior to meeting with an academic advisor, an MS student must record all current and requested courses and grades on the academic advising sheet in order to inform the advisor of the current program structure.  This is done to save the student time as evaluation of student progress in the program is needed prior to making changes.

What should I do when I register in Student Services Online (SSOL) and the course that I have chosen is listed as “full”?

If you find that the course you have chosen is full when you try to register, you may enter your name on the wait list for that course and see if a slot opens up. It is suggested that you attend the first few lessons of the course so that if you do come off of the wait list, you will not be behind on the material.  You may also choose to contact the professor about availability in the course. 

You must have a backup plan; if the course is full you may not be able to take it at that semester, and thus you must take another course.  Your academic plan must be agreed upon between you and your academic advisor.  Any changes made to your academic plan must be approved in writing by your academic advisor. Any alternate-choice courses need to be approved by your academic advisor so that you meet all graduation requirements.  You must manage this request for change carefully.