Student Handbook Information, Policies, and Resources Version 1.0, effective 06/01/2016

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1 Student Handbook Information, Policies, and Resources Version 1.0, effective 06/01/2016 Overview Introduction The Program Student Rights and Responsibilities Calendar Academic Calendar Holidays Degree Requirements Curriculum Course Sequence Grades and Academic Standing Immersion Registration Registration Window Add/Drop Deadline Cancellation & Withdrawal Holds Leave of Absence Tuition and Fees Tuition Immersion Fees and Expenses Financial Aid Payments Refunds Online Learning Environment 2DS Course Access Live Sessions Preparation for Class Classroom Etiquette Rescheduling/Cancellation of Classes Student Resources/University Services Student ID Cards SMU University Handbook Veterans at SMU Disability Services 1

2 Overview Introduction Welcome to This handbook is your guide to information and services available through your affiliation with the program. It includes information related to your rights and responsibilities as a student in the program. You will be held accountable for adhering to the policies and procedures outlined in this Handbook, both on and off campus. Please become familiar with this information. Again, we are pleased that you are a part of the SMU community, and we hope that you will take full advantage of what and SMU more broadly has to offer you. The Program the Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program at SMU, is an interdisciplinary program featuring courses from 3 different schools within SMU: the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, the Lyle School of Engineering, and the Meadows School of the Arts. The program lives directly within the Office of the Provost, and is thus subject to many of its own unique policies and regulations, as outlined in this handbook. Please note that the information in this handbook does not address every possible scenario. In many cases, students will be subject to university-wide policies set by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. Please contact student support if you have a question not addressed in this handbook. Student Rights and Responsibilities Each term, prior to enrollment, students are required to review and agree to a statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities that is comprised of three parts: Financial Rights and Responsibilities, Honor Code and Student Code of Conduct, and Appeals and Complaints. The Student Rights and Responsibilities statement for a term will be available approximately one month before enrollment opens for the term. You will receive an from the registrar with instructions on how to access this information. You can find printable versions of statements from previous terms here: 2

3 Calendar Academic Calendar The program operates on a modified Academic Calendar, offering 15-week terms in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. The academic week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday. You can find the Academic Calendar on the SMU website by accessing the page here, and selecting Master of Science in Data Science. Holidays Because the program is offered online, the program does not cancel classes on either SMU or U.S. national holidays by default. Students should assume all live classes will take place as scheduled unless informed otherwise. Section professors have full discretion regarding whether or not to hold or to reschedule a class session that falls on a university or national holiday. As the program grows, we expect to enroll students from many countries and religious backgrounds. Thus, it can be difficult to organize the academic calendar to accommodate religious and national holidays. If you find that a class is scheduled during a holiday observed by your religion or native country, you must submit a request in advance to your instructor per University Policy 1.9. Degree Requirements Curriculum Requirements for the degree - (Credit Hours) MSDS 6371 Experimental Statistics I (3) MSDS 6306 Doing Data Science: Introduction to Data Science (3) MSDS 7330 File Organization and Database Management (3) MSDS 6372 Experimental Statistics II (3) MSDS 7331 Data Mining (3) MSDS 739 Data and Network Security (3) MSDS 6390 Visualization of Information (3) MSDS 6370 Statistical Sampling (3) MSDS 7333 Quantifying the World (3) Elective: (3) MSDS 6391 Visualization of Information and Creative Coding II (3) OR; MSDS 6383 New Approaches to Managerial Economics (3) MSDS 6210 Immersion (2) 3

4 Course Sequence The MSDS program is a part-time program and is designed to be completed over five consecutive terms, at a pace of six units (two classes) per term. Students are required to be registered for consecutive academic terms, inclusive of summer terms. With the exception of the Immersion, students who begin the program after May 1, 2016 are required to take courses in the sequence as listed above. Students interested in alternate configurations of the course plan must reach out to student support to begin the process of submitting an individual degree plan for faculty approval. Grades and Academic Standing All work attempted for the master s degree must be completed with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better. Students must receive a grade of C or better to pass any course. Grades of D or below will be factored into a student s GPA, but will not result in credit towards the degree. Students whose GPA falls below a 3.0 during a semester will be put on probation for one semester. The student must have a 3.0 GPA or better by the end of the probationary semester. A student who fails to achieve this standard of performance will be asked to discontinue graduate study within the program. Immersion Although all coursework is completed online, students are required to complete a 2- credit, in-person immersion course. Immersions are generally held in the Dallas/Fort- Worth area, though other cities may be added as the program grows. The immersion is an academic course that incorporates a group project in addition to the in person experience. Students are required to complete this project over several weeks of coursework leading up to the immersion weekend, as well as potential group work and presentations at the immersion itself. The exact format of the immersion assignment may change from term to term. Faculty will communicate this information in advance. Along with the group project, students may participate in a variety of activities, such as: Networking opportunities with employers, fellow students and alumni Speaker sessions with industry experts and practitioners Learning modules on special topics, such as ethics, privacy, and leadership Career services seminars Visits to nearby companies Social events

5 Registration Registration Window During the registration window, students may add and drop classes via my.smu. The registration window opens -5 weeks before the beginning of each term and remains open for about 2-3 weeks. The registration window for each term is published on the academic calendar. Add/Drop Deadline After the registration window closes, students may still add and drop courses through the add/drop deadline, but must contact student support in order to do so. Changes made before the add/drop deadline will not appear on a student s official transcripts. Students may be assessed a fee for these changes. Cancellation & Withdrawal If a student removes all courses from his or her schedule prior to the add/drop deadline, this is considered a cancellation and does not result in financial penalty. A student cannot drop to zero credit hours online via my.smu--he/she must complete and submit the Petition for Withdrawal/Cancellation form and submit it to the program director before the add/drop deadline passes. A student who cancels his/her courses prior to add/drop will receive a 100% tuition refund (less the $500 nonrefundable deposit, if applicable). Once the add/drop deadline passes, dropping to zero credits is considered a withdrawal. Students must complete and submit the Petition for Withdrawal/Cancellation form and submit it to the program director before the last day to withdraw, as noted on the academic calendar. Students who withdraw are responsible for paying all tuition charges, and may receive a W on their transcript. Holds Students who fail to meet certain university requirements may receive a hold on their accounts preventing them from registering for classes. These include, but are not limited to: outstanding balance, failure to provide updated emergency contact information, or academic suspension. Contact student support if you have questions about clearing a hold on your account. Leave of Absence With the approval of the program director, students may take a leave of absence from the program for up to 2 consecutive terms. A leave of absence is approved at the discretion of the program director.

6 Students requesting to take a leave must complete the Leave of Absence Request Form, available through student support. If a student is a recipient of federal, state or SMU financial assistance, he/she may be required to meet with a financial aid advisor to discuss the financial implications of changing his/her status. Tuition and Fees Tuition Tuition rates for the MSDS program can be found on the bursar s website. Immersion Fees and Expenses Students who register for the immersion may be assessed an immersion fee. This fee covers the cost of on-site expenses such as meals, room fees, and local transportation. The amount of the fee can be found on the bursar s website. Students are responsible for the cost of their travel and lodging during the immersion weekend. The program will make efforts to secure a block of rooms at a convenient hotel in order to secure a group rate for students. It is imperative that students stay at the designated hotel and make hotel reservations through the program website. The program is financially responsible for any unreserved rooms within the room block. Please contact student support for information about group hotel rates. Financial Aid students are eligible for the maximum of $20,500 per academic aid year in Stafford loan funding. The SMU academic year begins with the fall term and ends with the summer term. Loan eligibility and certifications are based on the number of terms a student will enroll during a single, Standard Academic Year (SAY). The borrower-based academic year is not used. Graduate students are awarded the Federal Direct Stafford loan first. If a student has remaining eligibility, SMU will award GradPLUS/Private Loan eligibility up to the maximum cost of attendance. If the student chooses to borrow the GradPLUS, he/she must submit a GradPLUS request through the website. Loan eligibility covers only expenses directly related to the program, tuition, the immersion fee, and any other required expenses. Costs associated with the immersion may be eligible for Grad PLUS awards on a case by case basis. For questions, please contact:

7 Payments Students must pay their entire balance in full using my.smu prior to starting classes. The SMUPay webpage on the Bursar s website provides more information about the process and available payment methods. Payment plans are not available for students. Students who fail to pay their balance before the add/drop deadline will be assessed a late fee or have their registrations cancelled. Please consult the academic calendar for the payment due date for each term. Refunds Students who cancel their classes prior to the add/drop deadline are eligible for a refund. No refunds are provided after the add/drop deadline. Refunds are provided via paper check, and they are sent to the home address listed on the student s my.smu account. Online Learning Environment 2DS The program is delivered via an online platform called 2DS. Once you pay your deposit for your first term, you will receive an from student support with your login credentials for 2DS (your username will be address). address will be used for all official university communications, including correspondence from university officials, program officials, faculty, and student support. Please make sure to check account regularly. If you prefer to receive communication on another account, you may set up forwarding to that address. Course Access Once you receive access to 2DS, you will have access to two non-credit courses: Student Orientation and Bridge to Statistics. Students are required to complete Orientation and are highly encouraged to complete the Bridge to Statistics course, which covers key statistical concepts to help prepare you for MSDS As you register for courses in the program, you will receive access to these courses in 2DS as well. Course access is generally granted 2 weeks before the first day of live classes for each term. Live Sessions For each 3-credit course, students are required to attend weekly synchronous (live) class sessions via Adobe Connect. These are lead by section professors and are

8 generally 90 minutes in length. You are required to attend all live sessions and should speak directly with your section instructor if you are unable to attend a live session. Please note that for the benefit of all students, all live sessions are recorded. Recording live sessions allows students the opportunity to review concepts and problem sets covered during the live sessions. The Adobe Connect platform will notify you when the professor is recording. Preparation for Class The program uses a flipped classroom model--students watch lecture material and complete short assignments prior to the live session each week. This creates a more engaging live session experience and allows professors and students to explore concepts and problems in greater depth each week. Students are expected to come to class having completed the asynchronous material (video lectures, assignments, and readings) before attending live session each week. Please note that faculty have access in 2DS that allows them to see who has viewed the lecture material and downloaded the files for each week. Failure to prepare for class may negatively impact your class participation grade. Classroom Etiquette Students are required to be in a quiet place for all live sessions. People moving around and noises in the background are a distraction for others as well as for you during your live sessions. Proper attire is required. Remember that even though you may be at home during your live sessions, you are on camera; people in your Adobe Connect room can see what you are doing and whatever may be in the background. You are required to be connected to the Adobe Connect room and ready for class at the designated time. Please ensure you allow yourself enough time to connect to the live session, both audio and video, so that class can start on time and others are not waiting for you to get connected. Rescheduling/Cancellation of Classes It is the goal of SMU to hold classes as scheduled. However, if conditions warrant the cancellation of classes, your faculty member will notify you via 2DS/ if such decision is made. faculty members will make the final determination on any cancellations of live sessions.

9 Student Resources/University Services Student ID Cards students are eligible to receive a SMU Student ID Card, and will be required to obtain a physical student ID card in advance of attending the immersion. To request a Student ID Card, please follow the steps outlined here. SMU University Handbook The SMU University Student Handbook is produced by the Office of the Dean of Student Life, located in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, Suite 302. A hard copy of the Handbook text is available upon request in the Student Life Office. You can access a digital copy here. Veterans at SMU SMU is proud to have students who have served their country in the Armed Services. There are many students on campus from all branches of the military. These veterans enhance our community through the experiences they bring and the commitment they have to their education. The Post-9/11 GI Bill makes an SMU education accessible and affordable. For more information about SMU s commitment to veterans, please visit the Veterans website. Disability Services Students requesting services and accommodations through Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies (DASS) must submit a Student Request for Accommodation Eligibility Form along with documentation in keeping with our documentation guidelines to determine eligibility for services. Carefully read the general guidelines applicable to your disability, as you are responsible for submitting documentation that complies with these guidelines. We recommend providing a copy of the guidelines associated with your disability to your qualified professional before the preparation of your documentation. If a student and/or qualified professional wishes to discuss the documentation guidelines, he or she may call DASS at For more information, please use the visit the DASS website. Amendment Statements in this handbook are subject to amendment with or without notice. SMU will attempt to keep students informed of all changes as soon as possible. However, SMU may make changes immediately due to unforeseen circumstances. Contact If you have any questions regarding the information contained in this handbook, please reach out to student support at

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