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The Graduate Student Policies are designed to be a helpful source of information, tips and policies for first-year graduate students and students further on in their degree. These policies, which act as a supplement to the Drexel Student Handbook, provide information on programs, policies, and logistics in CCI. In addition, this section discusses and provides the location of many resources at Drexel University that may be helpful or useful during your graduate studies.

If you do not find what you need, please e-mail the College at or call 215.895.2474.

NOTE: Lectures may be recorded and/or streamed and rebroadcast for educational purposes only.

CCI Conduct Policy

The College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) expects students in the College to exhibit behavior that embodies integrity. The programs in this College must have heightened standards of conduct given that computing and informatics professionals will be given access to sensitive data and/or be taught how to access sensitive data.

Therefore, the College strictly adheres to the policies outlined by the University as it relates to Academic Integrity. Violations of the Academic Integrity policy include, but are not limited to:  1. Plagiarism, 2. Fabrication, 3. Cheating, and 4. Academic Misconduct, all outlined in Drexel University's Code of Conduct handbook. When a student or organization does not act responsibly and violates the University policies, rules, regulations, or standards of conduct, formal disciplinary action may result.

The College requires that students act with integrity outside of the classroom as well. Any conduct violations related to integrity that happen outside of the classroom and/or off campus will also be treated very seriously. Conduct violations include, but are not limited to: identity theft, a purposeful breach of any website or data system ("hacking"), tampering with confidential/sensitive data, and/or the unauthorized sharing of confidential/sensitive data.

Both Drexel University and the College also expect that every student abide by the laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Drexel subscribes to the view that, where practical, it shall deal with matters of student misconduct internally. However, where student misconduct implicates federal, state, or local laws, the appropriate law enforcement officials may be contacted.

Academic Standing

Graduate students who have been dismissed from the University for poor scholarship have the right to appeal the decision. Students may appeal by e-mailing the Assistant Dean of Student Services. The appeal must include:

  • Why they student feels he or she was dropped from the program. In other words, what were the contributing factors, and
  • What the student's plan is to do achieve academic progress going forward, assuming their appeal is granted.

The appeal request will be reviewed by the Assistant Dean and the Associate Dean of the student's academic program. The appeal decision will be communicated to the student within 72 hours of their request.

Any subsequent academic dismissal action for which the student has not met the agreed upon academic progress goals will result in final dismissal from the College.

The determinations to approve or deny reinstatement to CCI are final.

The University's Academic Standing policy for graduate students can be found on the Graduate College website.


A Graduate Advisor is designated for every student admitted to CCI. Graduate Advisors assist students in areas like registration, course selection, and college policy. Click here to learn more about our Graduate Advising team and resources.

Cancellation of Courses

CCI is forced to begin cancelling low enrolled classes during the 4th week of registration. Therefore, it is imperative that students register for the classes they are interested in taking as soon as possible. If a class you are registered for is cancelled, you will be notified via your DrexelOne e-mail account. The policy regarding under-enrolled courses can be found on the Office of the Provost's website.

Change of Name, Address, Phone Number

Students should keep the University informed of any name, address or phone number change. Permanent address changes must be made through Drexel Central by calling 215.895.2300. Students should also notify our department of any change by emailing their Graduate Program Administrator.

Change of Status (Online vs. On campus)

Once a student is admitted, their status cannot be changed from online to on-campus or vice versa, although all student's are permitted to register for both online and on-campus classes in any term.

Please contact your Graduate Advisor if you have any questions.

Computer Skills and Software Requirements

All students must meet all computer skills requirements which can be found here.


The Computing Resource Center of CCI, on the first floor of the Rush Building (to the right as you enter the building from the garden), provides technical support services to CCI students, faculty, and administration.

Course Load

Drexel University considers nine or more credits a full-time load. Most CCI full-time students carry nine credits per quarter. Full-time students generally finish the degree in a year and three months. Students need permission from their Graduate Advisor if they want to take more than 12 credits per quarter, but we strongly advise against this. Part-time students take three or six credits per quarter and generally finish in two to three years. The College assumes that, on the average, for each hour in class, a minimum of three hours will be spent in preparation. A new online student or one who has been away from formal education for some time may need more preparation time.

Course Waivers

Students with prior experience, either through coursework or through job experience, may be eligible to waive required courses. To obtain a waiver, students should submit a detailed, written request to the Associate Dean. Any credits waived will be added to your elective credit requirements because course waivers do not reduce the amount of credits needed for the degree. Waivers are rare and apply to required courses only.

Credit/No Credit Option

Unlike Drexel University, CCI does not count Credit/No Credit (Pass/Fail) graduate classes towards graduation requirements - students must receive a grade for a graduate class to count toward total credits for graduation, elective credits and program requirements.

Credit for Work Experience

Students may receive non-billable credit for related professional work experience obtained prior to the start of their degree program. The non-billable credits will be awarded to the student's program and be reflected on his/her transcript as part of the Admissions process. Please Note: Credit for Work Experience will be discontinued effective Fall term, 2016. Eligible incoming students will have until the end of Spring term 2016 to apply for and receive credit for work experience. To read details about this opportunity and to apply, please review the Credit for Work Experience form [pdf].


DrexelOne is the University's student information interface. To access DrexelOne, go to To log in to DrexelOne, use your "user name" (usually your initials followed by two or three numbers) and the password your chose when setting up your Drexel email account. After logging in to DrexelOne, click on the "Student Services" tab and choose "Academic Services" to do the following:
  • Register for courses
  • Pay tuition bills online
  • Update personal information
  • View current and upcoming course schedules
  • View academic history
  • View term grades
  • View financial aid information
  • View account balance
After logging in to DrexelOne, click on the "Student Services" tab and choose "Course Schedule" to do the following:
  • View current course schedule
  • View current instructors' email addresses

Dropping/Withdrawing from Courses

The University distinguishes between "withdrawing" from a course and "dropping" a course, as follows:

Graduate students may drop, or enroll in (if space is available), a course through the end of the second week of the term. Students can do this themselves via DrexelOne. There is no financial penalty involved and nothing appears on the transcript. No permission is required. A full tuition refund is given. If, for any reason, you cannot continue taking a course, you must drop it before the end of the second week of the term to avoid financial penalty.

Graduate students may withdraw from a course until the end of week six. They must either complete an Enroll/Withdraw Form or e-mail their Graduate Advisor with a withdrawal request. If students choose to use the form, they must deliver it to Room 306, Rush before 5 p.m. on Friday of the sixth week of the term. Forms brought to Room 306 after the deadline will not be processed. Refunds and credit depend on the date of the transaction and the University Refund Policy. To obtain a current refund/credit schedule, please contact Drexel Central.

Students who withdraw from a course after the second week will receive a "W" on their transcript.When a student enrolls in a course, it is considered a contract and the student will be considered registered for that course and charged in full unless notification of withdrawal (or drop) is received as outlined above.


All students MUST have an active Drexel University email account and MUST regularly read messages received at their Drexel email address. CCI has a College-wide "broadcast" mailing list that CCI administration and faculty use as a means of communicating with students as a group. This mailing list is an extremely important communication vehicle since it is used to mail registration information.

Students planning to use a non-Drexel account for communication MUST forward Drexel email messages to their primary, non-Drexel email address. To forward messages received at your Drexel email account to another primary email address, add your forwarding e-mail address in "Manage Your Accounts".

Click here to set up your Drexel University email account.

Faculty Mailboxes

CCI faculty members have mailboxes in Rush 306 (see front desk receptionist). Between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, it is best to use the mailboxes in Rush 306 since they tend to be checked more often. After 5:00 p.m., please use the mailboxes located in the Rush Building Lobby.

Financial Aid

If you want to apply for scholarships, assistantships, and/or other forms of merit-based aid offered by the CCI, please visit our scholarships webpage. Information on how to apply for CCI aid will be available on this page before Fall and Spring quarters each year.

If you want to apply for loans and/or other forms of need-based aid offered by the University, you should contact Drexel Central.

Financial Incentives

Drexel University and CCI offer Master's level students many financial incentives. The incentives are as follows:

  • Dean's Fellowship (Awarded during Admissions process only)
  • Partner Organization Discounts (Not available retroactively)
  • Scholarships and Awards
  • Credit for Work Experience

Not all programs at the Masters level are eligible for all the financial incentives. Additionally, some of the incentives are not combinable with other incentives. See list below for more information.

  • The Deans Fellowship (any level) is not combinable with partner organization discounts or College Scholarships/Awards
  • College Scholarships are not combinable with Dean's Fellowships and may be combinable with partner organization discounts and other College Scholarships/Awards depending on the amount of the award.
  • The Deans Fellowship (any level) and College Scholarships are combinable with Credit for Work Experience and transfer credits, if applicable.
  • Credit for work experience and transfer credit is combinable with partner organization discounts, but only if the sum of the incentive is no more than 20%

If you have questions about these policies and are an applicant, contact your admissions representative. If you have questions about these policies and you are a current student, contact your Graduate Advisor.


All grades are posted on DrexelOne. For information on how to access your DrexelOne account, see the Drexel Central website. Please see the Academic Standing policy located on Drexel's Graduate College website.

Grade Disputes Procedure

Please refer to the Academic Policies on the Provost website.

Grades Not Reported

If an instructor fails to report a grade for a student, an automatic notation of "NGR" is recorded. If a final grade is not reported by the beginning of the next active term, an administrative grade of "F" will be recorded on the student's transcript. It will be calculated as a failure in the student's GPA and is considered a permanent grade unless there are extenuating circumstances. Students are urged to check their records each term and follow up when required.


After registering for classes, all new on-campus graduate students must go to one of the DragonCard Offices (click here for locations) to get a University Photo ID card. Students must present a copy of their current course schedule in order to apply for the ID. Students are required to show their DragonCard when entering the iCommons, Hagerty Library, Korman Computing Center, the Physical Education Athletic Center and the Residence Halls.

After registering for classes, all new online graduate students must contact the DragonCard Office (215.895.6069 or to request a non-photo ID card.

ID cards must be validated each calendar year. Students should contact the DragonCard Office to request a new validation sticker.

Incomplete Grades

Review the incomplete grade policy on Drexel's Office of the Provost website.

Independent Study

A student in good academic standing may elect to pursue Independent Study (INFO 799/CS 690) in order to investigate a special area not regularly covered in courses offered. An Independent Study Form [pdf] must be filled out and approved by their Graduate Advisor, the instructor involved and the Associate Dean no later than 4 weeks before the start of the term. If a proposal is submitted late, the title of the independent study may not appear on the transcript. If the project requires work in, or cooperation of a library or other agency outside the College, the host institution must provide a letter of assent. Independent studies will not be approved for non-academic studies, such as technical certification work, internships, field study, or other types of work experience.

International Student Scholars Services (ISSS)

International student services are provided by Drexel's International Students and Scholars Services Office and the English Language Center.

Library Resources

Hagerty Library provides a wealth of resources and research support for CCI graduate students. The Library provides access to many electronic resources, including databases and online journals. All students will use their University ID numbers to obtain remote access to Hagerty's online resources.

Hagerty Library offers consultations and workshops to individuals and groups on an appointment basis throughout the term. These consultations and workshops provide instruction in use of the library's resources, including use of specific databases for different types of research. College of Computing & Informatics students should feel free to directly call or e-mail Tim Siftar, the Computing & Informatics / Education Reference Librarian, for individual research consultations or with questions about materials or services (215.895.2762,

MS in Computer Science Thesis Policy and Timeline

Students pursuing a Master’s Thesis should refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for further detail (info on a Master’s Thesis begins on page 33).

The Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science thesis is intended enhance the student’s creativity in solving real problems and to develop the student’s ability to follow a research project from idea to completion. An academic research thesis generally involves more than an industrial project: the goal is not merely to solve the specific problem, but also to understand its relevance to previous work and its broader impact on society. It is the responsibility of the student to find a thesis supervisor; the student is strongly urged to meet as soon as possible with faculty members working in the area of interest and to discuss research topics on which he/she might work. Usually students pursuing a master’s thesis will first do three credits of independent study (CS 690) or research (CS 997) to obtain background knowledge required by the thesis topic, followed by three master’s thesis credits (CS 898). Six credits all together are taken and applied to the degree in order to conduct thesis-related research and to write and defend the thesis.

The thesis requirement is fulfilled by the preparation of a written thesis, a public presentation of the research, and an oral defense before the thesis committee. The thesis committee must have at least three members, two of which must be tenured/tenure-track Computer Science faculty. The MS Thesis Committee form [pdf] must be submitted three weeks prior to the defense and is subject to approval by your Graduate Advisor. The thesis must be submitted, with the approval of the thesis advisor, to the committee three weeks in advance of the defense. A title and abstract of the thesis must also be provided to your Graduate Advisor three weeks before the defense so that the public presentation can be adequately publicized. The thesis committee makes the final decision on the acceptability of the thesis. A final complete copy of the thesis must be given to your Graduate Advisor at least one week before the thesis is defended. Please refer to the timeline below for more details.

A completed thesis is a formal document, hard-bound and stored in the University library. The rules regulating printing, format and binding are available via the Office of Graduate Studies or Drexel University Libraries. Before a student can be cleared for graduation, a receipt for the thesis must be signed by the Librarian and returned to your Graduate Advisor. 

Required Action(s)
Four or more weeks prior to the defense  Student should schedule a room on campus in which the defense can be held and confirm with all committee members that they are able to participate on the agreed upon date.
Three weeks prior to thesis defense Student should complete the MS Thesis Form [pdf]. The completed form, including the signatures of the student and supervising professor(s), should be submitted to your advisor. Please note that a student must successfully defend a thesis prior to the last day of term in which the student has applied for graduation in order to be considered for graduation clearance; however, for Spring Quarter graduates, an earlier deadline may be set for thesis defense for students wishing to have thesis information printed in the formal commencement program.
Two weeks prior to thesis defense

Student should submit a copy of their thesis title and abstract to their advisor so that it can be announced to the Office of Graduate Studies and the “CS Talks” email list.

Student should submit a copy of the current draft of the committee chair for review.

Day of thesis defense
Student should bring a copy of the Thesis Approval Form [pdf] and the Graduate Completion Form [pdf] to the defense for the appropriate signatures.
Within one business day of thesis defense completion
Thesis Chair should, with the assistance of the MS thesis defense committee members, complete the OGS forms, including indication of the defense results and the signatures of all committee members, should be submitted to the student’s advisor.
By the end of the first week of the quarter following successful thesis defense
Student should submit the final thesis to the library, following the requirements and procedures available on Drexel University Libraries' Master's Thesis Binding page.

Once the Completion Form has been signed by the library representative, indicating successful submission of the thesis, the form should be returned to the Office of Graduate Studies for final approval and processing.

MSLIS Students - School Library Media (SLiM) Concentration

NOTE: Effective Fall 2015, students are no longer being accepted into the School Library Media Concentration. All students in the school library media (SLiM) program must prepare a plan of study with a Graduate Advisor. If you have not been following your plan of study or wish to change it, contact your Graduate Advisor before registering. Arrangements for Field Study placements must be completed in the Spring preceding the Fall, Winter, or Spring quarters of the following academic year. Please review the SLiM handbook [pdf] for more information.

Office of Equality and Disability

All students with disabilities (LD, ADD, visual, hearing, physical, medical, psychological) are encouraged to visit Drexel's Office of Equality and Disability. Students with severe physical or visual needs who would like an orientation to the College's facilities or programs should contact the College at 215.895.2474.

Online Courses and Blackboard©

CCI's online programs are delivered through Blackboard. To familiarize yourself with the Blackboard environment, visit the College of Computing & Informatics Blackboard homepage at: Accessing Blackboard: If you already have a Drexel email account and are currently registered for an online class, access Blackboard by clicking on the "Login" button. Log in with the USERNAME which corresponds to your unofficial Drexel email address:

EXAMPLE Drexel email address:
Blackboard USERNAME: xyx22
Then enter the PASSWORD that you use for your unofficial Drexel email account.

NOTE: If you have forgotten your password please contact IRT and ask them to reset your email password. IRT can be reached by emailing or by calling 215.895.1800.


Drexel Central places a student who fails to register for one year on inactive status. To be readmitted, he or she must fill out a Readmission form and send it to their Graduate Advisor. Note: All graduate programs must be completed within 7 years of the student's original date of admission.

Registration Guidelines

Registration for all courses at Drexel is Web-based. Check the information posted by Drexel Central for the dates of registration. Each student will be assigned a time ticket (a specific date and time to register). Students can only register during their time tickets. Information about time tickets can be found by clicking on "Check Your Registration Status" in the Registration area of DrexelOne. Students should register early for best availability of courses. Online courses are open to online students only during the first week of registration. After the first week of registration has ended, on campus students may register for online courses, provided there is space in the course.

Requesting a Prerequisite Waiver

If you would like to take a class and have not yet satisfied the prerequisite, you can request written permission to enroll in the course. Approval to waive the prerequisite may be dependent on your academic and work history. If you are requesting a prerequisite waiver request for a required course it does not exempt you from completing that course in the future. Using your Drexel email address, please submit an online prerequisite waiver request form.

Once your waiver request has been reviewed, you will be contacted by your Graduate Advisor. If you have received permission to enroll in a course without a prerequisite, your Graduate Advisor will assist you with registration. Written approval is required prior to registration.

Statute of Limitations on Earned Course Credits

CCI follows the University policy regarding statute of limitations on earned course credit listed on Drexel's Office of the Provost website, except in cases of technology rich courses. In those cases, review is given on a course by course basis by the Associate Dean of the curriculum.

Student Name Change in Blackboard

A student's name, as listed in Blackboard, must match the University's record of the student's official name (as listed in DrexelOne/Banner). A student wishing to change his or her name can submit their request via the form located on Drexel Central's name or ID change webpage. Once the name has been officially changed, we ask that the student contact his or her advisor to have this information updated in Blackboard.

Support for Students

Blackboard Technical Support: Call 215.895.1224


Textbooks for all classes can be purchased from the Drexel University Bookstore at 3210 Chestnut Street. A list of textbooks for all INFO courses will be posted on the Drexel Bookstore website as soon as it is available.

Transfer of Credit

Transfer credit may be accepted for appropriate graduate-level courses from other accredited institutions. The Associate Dean must approve all transfer of credit. Please see the criteria on the Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit Form [pdf].

Withdraw from School

A student may withdraw from the College by submitting his/her request by mail, by email or in person to their Graduate Advisor. The effective date for in-person withdrawal will be the date the student requests the withdrawal. Students should contact the Drexel Central Billing Office for information on tuition and free refunds.