Start of Semester Checklist

This is a summary of things to remember at the beginning of a semester. Note that some of these items (e.g., registration) should be taken care of before the beginning of the semester.

Register for classes

Students register for classes using Leo Online.

Before registration, review the course requirements for your degree program (MS, PhD).  Then, visit the Graduate Courses section of the Student Resources page for information on which courses will be offered in the coming semester.

You may need to be advised by the Graduate Program Director (GPD) or your PhD advisor (for PhD students) before you can register for classes. If Leo Online indicates that you have an advising hold (or degree plan hold), please see below.

Clear holds for registration

Here are the steps to have your advising/degree plan hold cleared:

  • Review the program requirements and semester course schedule (see the previous section)
  • Pick the courses you plan to take in the coming semester
    • A full-time load is 9 credit hours (usually 3 courses), but new international students may submit an RCL form to VISA to be allowed to take only 6 credit hours (2 courses) and be considered as full-time.
    • If you have questions about a course, either ask the instructor of the course or meet with the GPD during scheduled office hours.
  • Send an email to the GPD (or your PhD advisor) with your UIN and course selections.
    • If you have been admitted provisionally with prerequisite requirements, you must also include your plan for completing those prerequisites.

PhD students – You must meet with your PhD advisor annually to develop and/or update your PhD Plan of Study (coursework).

If you have a registration hold other than AD – Advisor Registration Block/Degree Plan Hold, see this list of possible holds for more information and whom to contact. You may also need to visit the Registrar’s Office for further information.

Note that all graduate students must complete training on the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) (Engineering is most applicable) prior to completing 12 hours of graduate work. If you have not completed this, it may place a hold on registration.

Review new student resources

If you are a new student, please review the New Student Resources page, especially the section on “ODU-CS Account Setup”.  By the 3rd week of classes, let the GPD know if you have not received an email via the graduate student email list.

If you have applied for a Graduate Assistantship (GTA or GRA), review the material on the Graduate Assistantships page. Assignments for new students are typically made after the SPEAK test, GTAI, and sometimes after classes have begun.