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SPRING 2021 COS FAQs

(This page was last updated Thu Nov 26 17:45:50 EST 2020.)

Please continue to monitor information distributed by the department and university in the coming weeks.  It is subject to change, as we are dealing with an extremely fluid situation. 

Here are some decisions regarding classes, scheduling and grading that are specific to the Computer Science department and are in addition to the rules and guidelines issued by the Dean of the College here: https://spring2021.princeton.edu/

If you have questions or suggestions, please send them to JP Singh or Brian Kernighan (directors of undergrad studies) or to Colleen Kenny (undergrad manager).

Classes

For all students, including those who are in residence on campus:

  • All COS classes, precepts, and IW seminars will be online only, as they were in Fall 2020, even if some of the participants are physically on campus.
  • All independent-work advising will be online only.

Grading (for undergraduate students)

  • Almost all COS classes will be PDF-optional; a handful may be PDF-only.  (BSE Prerequisites see below) 
  • All independent work, including senior theses, will be graded regularly, i.e., with letter grades,
  • Grad courses will have the same rules as undergrad courses.
  • We strongly recommend that students take COS courses for a grade where possible, to maximize their engagement with and learning from the courses. We do not know how employers or graduate programs will assess your work during unprecedented times like last spring and this academic year.

BSE Prerequisites

Courses taken to fulfill B.S.E. general math, physics, chemistry, and computing requirements will normally be taken on a graded basis. SEAS recognizes that individual circumstances may create a challenging remote learning environment, which may make it advisable to take one or more of these courses on a P/D/F basis. You can request such consideration by contacting Peter Bogucki, the SEAS associate dean for undergraduate affairs at bogucki@princeton.edu.  Eventually, there is a form you will need to fill out.

What are the risks of taking a BSE math-science-computing course P/D/F? If you take a basic math-science-computing course P/D/F, then the risk is that you won't make it a priority and not master the material fully, which will have consequences in courses that rely on such knowledge. So the workload doesn't really go down. 

You can elect to take a course P/D/F until April 6. After April 6, no changes are allowed.

Scheduling

More to come on this topic, but some classes may have a precept marked "NSM." That "precept" will be scheduled after students have signed up, trying to take into account time zones, etc. It may, of course, be split into multiple actual precepts.

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