Feel like making a splash? Want to add a summa com laude or a magna cum laude to your degree? Graduating with honors means to stand out from the crowd, it means showing your dedication to excellence. And it really is not all that difficult.
To graduate with honors, students become part of the Commonwealth College, the University's honors college. You just have to satisfy some requirements regarding the number of credits you have taken and your GPA. A GPA of 3.2 is generally sufficient to be admitted. You can find the exact requirements by downloading a Word document from this page (look for "Computer Science"). The document you'll find there also lists the specific courses you have to take in order to graduate with honors. It's a little extra work, but as a member of the Commonwealth College you will have access to additional courses, advising, and activities.
If you are interested, you should contact the Computer Science Department's Honors Director, Professor Edwina Rissland (askCSHonors [at] cs [dot] umass [dot] edu). She will be able to answer your questions. Here is a brief preview of the honors program. You have to take the following classes (some of them will replace other classes you have to take, other will be an addition):
Note that qualifying CMPSCI courses must be for CS majors and therefore exclude service classes such as 102 and 105. Also, most Computer Science honors courses are one-credit seminars attached to regular courses for majors. These are usually open to any student taking the accompanying course, whether in Commonwealth College or not.
Senior Year in Absentia
For a variety of reasons including work opportunities, undergraduate computer science majors may wish to complete some of their degree requirements elsewhere. This is allowable, with the following qualification: Of the nine advanced technical courses in the program (311, 320, 377, 383, two semi-required courses, three advanced electives), at least five must be taken at UMass Amherst (five-college substitutions and department distance-learning classes are acceptable).
To get credit for a course taken elsewhere you must first contact the UPD, and supply that faculty member with the course description of the course (or the URL for a description on the web). If the course is approved, then you must file a Prior Approval Form with Registrar's Office at Whitmore. When you complete the course, be sure that the institution hosting the course sends your official grade and enrollment information to the records office here on campus.
For Information Regarding the University's Commencement Activities Please Click Here
Last Friday Event
You've done it!!! You are graduating! There is no better reason to throw a party... The department is trying to do its part(y) to make this a memorable event for you and your parents, relatives, and friends. Take a look at all the smiling faces...