Advising

Frequently Asked Questions

The University Academic Advising Center (UAAC) has a website answering frequently asked questions such as

  • What is a registration hold and how do I get it removed?
  • What credit do I get for my AP, IB or ACT scores?
  • How and when can I add/drop a class?

The Registrar's Office also has a FAQ page concerning

  • Transcripts
  • Diplomas
  • Registration and Records

The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department website has a great Student Survival Kit.

Advice from the ECE Student Survival Guide:

Time Management is the number one item on both Avoiding Common Problems and Senior Advice to Freshmen.

General Education Requirements

Every student at Mississippi State University must take

  • 6 credit hours of Humanities
  • 6 credit hours of Social / Behavioral Sciences
  • 3 credit hours of Fine Arts

The courses that can satisfy these requirements are listed in the Undergraduate Catalog (scroll down on the catalog web page to see the lists for Humanities, Social / Behavioral Sciences, and Fine Arts).

Dropping Courses

The deadline for dropping courses in Banner is the 5th day of classes in the fall and spring semesters. Check the Academic Calendar for the specific date. Summer terms have different deadlines due to their compressed schedules.

After the Banner deadline, you may drop a course through the 36th class day (in a fall or spring semester) by completing a drop slip. A pdf version of the drop slip is available from the Forms & Petitions page on the Registrar Office website. You are asked to get the course instructor, your advisor, and the dean's signatures on the drop slip. In addition to the drop slip, you must complete an Add/Drop Checklist form. The Checklist form must be signed by your advisor. The latest version of the Add/Drop Checklist is available on the Bagley College of Engineering Petitions, Appeals & Requests page.

Taking Courses at Another Institution

If you are planning to take a course at another college / university and transfer the credits back to Mississippi State, you must complete a "Request to Enroll in an Off-Campus Course" form. The form and instructions are available on the BCoE Petitions, Appeals & Requests page. Failure to complete the form and obtain permission in advance of registering for the course at another institution may prevent having the course apply to your degree.

The registrar has a webpage where you can look up which courses at other institutions are equivalent to MSU courses. Your "Request to Enroll in an Off-Campus Course" is much more likely to be approved if you choose courses that are already in the registrar's database of equivalent courses.

The Bagley College of Engineering website has a great page about Transfer Education aimed to help students transferring from Mississippi community or junior colleges to Mississippi State. But the information (especially the Transfer Advising Guide) can also be helpful to students that want to take courses over a summer at a Mississippi community or junior college.

Certificate Programs

The Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Department offers two certificates at the undergraduate level

  • Computational Biology
  • Information Assurance

You can read more about the programs and requirements at the Bagley College of Engineering website.

Math Minor

Engineering students are required to take most of the math classes required for a mathematics minor. The minor in mathematics consists of Calculus I-IV, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, one additional mathematics course at the 3000+ level, and another additional mathematics course at the 4000+ level. Engineering Statistics I (IE 4613) is accepted as one of the 3000+ Mathematics classes.

More information is available on the Department of Mathematics and Statistics website.


Computer Science

The CS Degree Requirements and Illustrative Program of Study are available on the CSE web site.

CS Curriculum Prerequisite Chart

Ms. Henderson has created a chart that shows the prerequisites of courses in the CS curriculum. You can view it as an Excel spreadsheet or as a pdf file.

Tip: We recommend the Excel version of the prerequisite chart because many of the courses have notes or links to informational web pages. These notes and links are not visible in the pdf version.

International / Intercultural Elective

Computer Science students must take an international / intercultural elective. The list of approved classes is available on the CSE Department's website.

Software Engineering

The SE Degree Requirements and Illustrative Program of Study are available on the CSE website.

SE Curriculum Prerequisite Chart

Ms. Henderson has created a chart that shows the prerequisites of courses in the SE curriculum. You can view it as an Excel spreadsheet or as a pdf file.

Tip: We recommend the Excel version of the prerequisite chart because many of the courses have notes or links to informational web pages. These notes and links are not visible in the pdf version.

Senior Project

Software Engineering students must complete a year long senior Project course sequence (CSE 3213 / CSE 3223). The normal sequence is to take Senior Project I (CSE 3213) in your last fall semester and then take Senior Project II (CSE 3223) in the spring semester before graduating in May. If you are planning to graduate in December, you take the courses in the reverse order. December graduates take Senior Project II (CSE 3223) during their last spring semester. Then they take Senior Project I (CSE 3213) in the fall semester before graduating in December.

Security Elective

Software Engineering students are required to take at least one security elective. The following courses satisfy that requirement. Occasionally we offer a special topics course (CSE 4990) that will also satisfy the requirement.

  • CSE 4243 Information & Computer Security (Fall semesters)
  • CSE 4273 Introduction to Computer Crime and Forensics (Fall semesters)
  • CSE 4253 Secure Software Engineering (Spring semesters)
  • CSE 4383 Cryptography & Network Security (Spring semesters)

Note: The security courses are not offered every semester. Plan your senior year so that you finish both Senior Project courses and take the security course(s) which interest you the most.


Choosing Between the Computing Majors

There is overlap between the majors that deal with computation, computers, and software. Two good articles about the difference between Computer Science and Software Engineering are:

Dr. Donna Reese (Professor Emeritus) created a presentation that compares the computing majors (Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, Computer Science, and Business Information Systems).

Dr. Crumpton created a chart that shows the overlap in courses required in the Computer Science, Software Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Electrical Engineering undergraduate curricula. Courses that are colored green in the chart are required by all 4 majors. Courses that are colored yellow are required by at least 2 of the 4 majors.