An academic advisor can help you choose courses and advise you on various academic topics including program requirements and registration issues. In addition, your advisor's approval is needed for a number of forms (see Eforms below).

Academic advisors can't generally solve non-academic problems, but they can at least point you in the right direction. For example, the International Center assists with immigration and I-20 questions.

If you are a newly-admitted student, your advisor's name should appear in your letter of admission. If it does not, contact one of the following, depending on your program.

ProgramAdvisorTitle
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science Gruia CalinescuAssociate Professor
Master of Science in Computer Science Dennis HoodSenior Lecturer
Master of Science in Computational Decision Science and Operations Research Sanjiv KapoorProfessor
Master of Artificial Intelligence Mustafa BilgicAssociate Professor
Master of Computer Science Jim SasakiSenior Lecturer
Master of Cybersecurity Kevin JinAssociate Professor
Master of Data Science Lulu KangAssociate Professor (Applied Math)
Non-Degree or Graduate Certificate Jim SasakiSenior Lecturer
Co-terminal Master of Science in Computer Science and Master of Computer Science Matt Bauer or Jim SasakiSenior Lecturers
For other co-terminal programs, contact the advisor above for the master's program.

Use Graduate Degree Works to change your advisor (for example, to make your research advisor your academic advisor). This change can be done at any time.

Information about CS faculty and staff is available at http://cs.iit.edu. To contact faculty, email is generally faster and preferred. If your advisor is on vacation or is on sabbatical leave or your email is not responded to (within typically two or three business days), contact Dennis Hood, Dr. Sasaki, the program advisor listed in the table above, or the department.

Much academic advice centers around the Program of Study. For degree-seeking and certificate-seeking students, your program of study is the set of classes you plan to take to complete your program's requirements. You should, of course, learn the requirements of your program, but your advisor can help.

Non-degree students do not have a program of study, but they do have a Nine Hour Limit: See Use of Non-Degree Credits (3.4.4) in the Graduate Handbook.

If you are a new student planning to meet your advisor for the first time, prepare beforehand by using the Useful Links (at http://cs.iit.edu) to find relevant information. This could include:

  • Preparatory undergraduate coursework, for students new to computer science.
  • Core Courses and Elective Courses for your program.
  • Prerequisite courses required for register for other courses.
  • Specialization Courses, for Master of Computer Science students.
  • Shared Coursework, for co-terminal students.
  • Transfer Classes and Projects, for IIT Europe students.
  • English Language Services, for assessing and improving proficiency in English.
  • Recent and future offerings of courses.

After considering the issues above, write an initial draft of your program of study to discuss with your advisor. This program of study is just an initial plan: It's likely to change over time because your interests can change; new courses can be offered; and courses you planned to take are not offered (and vice versa).

Unless you are a non-degree-seeking student, after you've taken a number of classes, there is a Mandatory Academic Advising session. Note the meeting can be done via email or phone, if not in-person.

For a regular (non-co-terminal) student, a GP (Graduate Program) hold will prevent you from registering until you meet with your advisor. The goal of the meeting is to review your plan of study to ensure that it is workable and will fulfill your program's requirements. This ensures both you and the university that you have a blueprint for successfully completing your studies. Once this meeting occurs, your advisor can remove the GP hold.

For co-terminal students, mandatory advising is required when you have a GC (Graduate Co-terminal) Hold. Again, the goal of the meeting is to review your plan of study: This includes both your shared classes and unshared classes. If your advisor approves your plan, you can use Graduate Degree Works to fill out a shared/unshared course eForm. Graduate Academic Affairs will review your plan; if approved, they will then release the GC hold. (Your advisor cannot release a GC hold.)

In addition to the information above, see Academic Advising in the Graduate Bulletin for other information.

After your initial and mandatory graduate advising meetings, it can be helpful to contact your advisor when you:

  • Want to review your progress through your studies.
  • Are having problems registering for courses.
  • Are considering major changes to your program of study.
  • Are considering changing degree programs.
  • Plan to take or return from a Leave Of Absence.
  • Are in difficulty with courses or going on Academic Probation.
  • Are considering withdrawing from the university.
  • Have questions about academic policies or procedures.
  • Simply want to talk about some situation.

To register, you will need an Advising PIN. When you are a new graduate student, your assigned advisor can give you your advising PIN. In later semesters, unless you're on academic probation, your advising PIN will appear in the MyIIT portal.

IIT Personal ID Numbers

The error Prerequisite and/or Test Score Required is raised when the registration system believes you have a requirement to meet before you can take the course. Most often, the prerequisite is another course, but some courses have prerequisite tests.

There are basically three ways to handle this error:

  • Take the prerequisite course or test. Note a prerequisite must be satisfied before you can take a follow-on course. If a course is required but can be taken simultaneously, then it is a co-requisite.
  • Get prerequisite credit for the course (see below). Once the credit is entered into the registration system, you should no longer receive this error message.
  • Get a waiver from the instructor. If you don't earn prerequisite credit for the required course but you believe your studies or experience meet the required course's content, you can discuss the situation with the course instructor, who has the option of waiving the requirement.

If we can verify that you took the equivalent of a prerequisite course at a different school, then you can be awarded prerequisite credit for the course. This credit does not count toward your program's credit hour requirements (that would be program credit or transfer credit) but once prerequisite credit is entered into the registration system, you should no longer get the Prerequisite Required error message. You can see what courses you have prerequisite credit for in Graduate Degree Works, but unfortunately you may not have access to it very early in the semester.

Most new students have their prerequisite credit awarded before they try to register. Before the semester, the department reviews the undergraduate transcripts of new graduate students. If you earned a B or better in a course that matches an IIT prerequisite course, we enter prerequisite credit for you.

If you did not declare an Intent to Enroll or you applied late for admission, your transcript may not have been reviewed. Contact Dennis Hood or Dr. Sasaki, who can review your transcript and enter prerequisite credit. If you have copies of your transcript, it will be helpful.

If you want prerequisite credit for a course but don't have the equivalent course listed on your transcripts, then for CS 430, see Prof. Calinescu; for CS 450, see either Francis Leung or Michael Saelee. For other courses, discuss the situation with Dennis Hood or Dr. Sasaki.

Note: The most-frequently rejected request for prerequisite credit is for CS 430, Introduction to Algorithms based on having taken a Data Structures and Algorithms course. Those courses are equivalent to CS 331 or CS 401. Courses equivalent to CS 430 generally have titles like "Advanced Algorithms" and are a separate course taken after Data Structures.

Some course sections are restricted to only graduate or only undergraduate or only Ph.D. students. A Level Restriction error happens when you try to register but you're not that kind of student. Under some circumstances, you may be able to get a waiver, but it's more likely that you need to register for a different section of the course.

A Closed Section error happens when the seats for the course section have all been taken. One way to solve this problem is to register for a different section of the course, possibly an internet section (see below).

If you want to take the chance that a seat becomes available or that the section size gets increased, put yourself on the waitlist for the section. If a seat opens up, the registration system will automatically offer it to the first person on the waitlist. If that person does not take the seat, then an offer is made to the second person, and so on.

Although the waitlist at the beginning of registration can be quite long, in practice almost everyone who is on the waitlist will be able to register for the course section eventually.

An Internet Section for a computer science course covers the same material as a live section (same topics, same homework, same tests) except that internet students are expected to watch lecture videos through Blackboard, and distance learners usually take their exams using proctors. (See the Office of Digital Learning (a.k.a. IIT Online) for more information.)

If you're in the internet section of a course and want to sit in on a live lecture, instructors generally will permit this if the lecture room is not full, but contact the instructor ahead of time. The lecture videos for internet students are also available to live students, which can be useful if you've missed a class.

If you are studying under a student visa, there are limitations on taking internet sections; talk to the International Center for details. There is no distinction between internet and live sections of courses when it comes to course credit for graduation or what's written on your diploma.

A Time Conflict error happens when you've try to register for two classes that meet at the same time. To resolve this problem, register for a different section of the course, most often an internet section.

Warning: The final exam date for a course is a function of when it meets, so if you sign up for the internet section of a course because its live section time conflicts with a second course, then the final exams for the two courses will meet at the same time.

If you have a exam time conflict, discuss the situation with your internet course instructor, well ahead of time, so that an alternative exam time can be arranged.

The registrar's website has a full list of possible registration errors and registration holds (see http://cs.iit.edu for links). The Registration Errors page often offers "Contact the instructor (or department, etc.) for a permit" as a way to resolve the error. Note that permits are not always given.