MCS On-Campus General Advising for Registration

New Professional MCS Student Registration Guidelines for On-Campus Students - First Semester General Advising

We are excited you are joining our team! This site is designed to give you guidance on registering for your first courses. You are in a professional, non-thesis, self-funded master's program. There is no research in this master's degree. Graduate Advisors can be reached at or on the CS Graduate Advising Queue.

Please review the Professional MCS Planning Document to help guide you on the program requirements.

Information about your first-semester enrollment procedures will be included in your Notice of Admission.

With increased enrollments in the CS department and on campus, CS courses tend to fill up quickly. We request that all new students follow the directions and register for their first semester as soon as registration is available to them.

International Students

International students must check-in at the International Student and Scholar Services Office (ISSS). Check-in details and schedules are available on the ISSS website.  International students must arrive on campus by the start date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019.


Registration for Spring 2024 courses will open on November 6, 2023. We highly recommend that you register as soon as possible after this date. With increased enrollments in the CS department and on campus, CS courses tend to fill up quickly so we request that you register as soon as it is possible to do so.

Steps to Complete for Course Registration

Number of Minimum Credit Hours

All Professional MCS students in the on-campus program are required to register for at least 12 credit hours per semester toward the degree requirements in their first two (regular) semesters. On-campus MCS students have up to 3 continuous semesters to complete the degree requirements.  In the third semester, students are only required to take any remaining course credits necessary to complete their degree requirements.

MCS students who hold a Teaching Assistantship or a Research Assistantship in their final term are required to register for at least 9 credit hours. Students in the Grainger College of Engineering on-campus graduate programs must register for at least 9 credit hours  to be considered full-time students.

Selecting Courses

For your first semester, we recommend that you select courses that interest you and start to complete the "Breadth Requirement". In addition, we recommend that you do a mix of 400 and 500 level courses. Graduate students are free to register for any 400 or 500-level course. If there is a pre-requisite for a course, it is your responsibility to ensure you have the prior knowledge required for the course. In addition, 400-level courses are introductory graduate level courses and can be taken for either 3 or 4 credits. If you select the 4 credit hour 400-level course, the faculty will usually have you do a project or paper for the extra credit hour.  During the early registration period, graduate students must register for the 4 credit section of the 400-level courses.  If you wish to take a 400-level course only for 3 credits, you may change the credits after the 10th day of the term.  All 500-level courses are taken for 4 credit hours.

Graduate Academic Office Contact Information


Graduate Academic Office / University of Illinois
201 North Goodwin, 1312 Siebel Center
Urbana, IL 61801
Campus Mail Code: MC-258
Phone: (217) 333-4428
Fax: (217) 244-6073

Monday – Friday

  • Morning: 8:00 AM to 11:45 AM
  • Afternoon: 1:00 PM to 4:45 PM
  • Walk-in advising hours start at 10:00 AM

List of Graduate Advising Contacts and Virtual Advising Queue