PhD Breadth Requirement Proposal

The faculty is considering a change to the PhD breadth requirement. The core of the proposed change is to reduce the breadth requirement from 5 classes to 3, and to require those three classes to come from three breadth “bins”.

How would this work?

  • Each bin would have 7-10 classes.
  • For a class to be considered for inclusion in a bin, it must:
    • Be offered frequently. Ideally every year, at a minimum every 2 years
    • Be accessible to first year graduate students considering some arrive without CS backgrounds.
  • The bins would be organized by area. Of course, we have more than 3 areas of CS, so some areas will be consolidated. For instance, one bin might include numerical computing and theory.
  • Current PhD students would have the option of using the current requirement or the new requirement (if it is voted into effect by the faculty).

Why change the current system?

  • It is considered too onerous for students
    • Half of required credits are breadth courses
    • Limits number of 6000 and 7000 levels students can take
  • Requiring the breadth courses to be taught on a schedule would reduce course scarcity
  • Current areas do not enforce meaningful breadth because they are too similar (e.g. AI and Robotics)

We need your feedback about this proposal!

How does the current system effect you? Would you prefer the proposed system? Send us an email with your thoughts at

UGGS Executive Elections

The United Government of Graduate Students (UGGS) is currently accepting applications for executive positions for the 2019-2020 school year. The available positions are: President, Vice President of Internal Affairs, and Vice President of External Affairs. Descriptions of the positions can be found in the application form here. Applications are due by the next Assembly Meeting on Monday, April 1 at 5pm in EDUC 220. You must be present at this meeting to run.

If you are not interested in an executive position but still want to get involved with UGGS, consider coming to Assembly Meetings as a department representative (dinner is provided!) or serving in an appointed position. Please reach out to Emily Jensen ( if you have any questions or want to learn more.

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The CSGSA has formed a new Diversity and Inclusion Committee. We are working on issues like student financial stability, better reporting for bias related issues, providing workshops for students, faculty and staff, and a more inclusive admissions pipeline.

We meet every other Thursday at 10 am in ECCR 1B10 (in the faculty office hallway next to the Systems Lab). The next meeting is March 21st. You can also join us online in the #qualityoflife Slack channel

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