Scheduling an Advising Session
Each semester students should plan to consult with either IS PhD Program Associate Director (Dr. Oksana Zavalina) who acts as advisor to all new students taking coursework, or -- in cases when students already picked their dissertation advisor faculty member -- with their dissertation advisor. During this meeting we will decide what courses you want and need to take according to the general areas of emphasis or specilized concentration you have chosen, as well as for Core, Research Methods, and Electives, and update your degree plan.
Advising sessions can be on-campus appointments, by telephone or Skype. Students should either email Dr. Zavalina or call at 940-565-3776 to schedule the appointment.
Planning Your Coursework
The best approach is to plan out courses at least two semesters in advance. For each advising session please make a list of the courses you are interested in taking, as well as alternatives should your preferred course be full or is not being offered for the semester. We will discuss all options and plan to the best of our ability using the semester class schedules.
We prepared for you the list of graduate courses (offered by different academic units at UNT) that can count as research methods core, electives, and/or are suitable as a general area of emphasis -- information and behavior, information theory and design, or information policy and management -- courses for IS PhD Program students. (The specific concentration core courses and concentration electives are specified in each concentration's degree requirements.) Please be advised that list of IIS PhD Program's graduate courses is not necessarily comprehensive. You are encouraged to study the course descriptions of courses in the UNT Graduate Catalog in preparation for each advising session. However, do keep in mind these are brief descriptions and at times you may want to gather further information by contacting the professor of record. For INFO 5XXX-level courses consult the course rotation schedule.
As part of each advising session, this degree plan form has to be completed/updated for each student.
Special Problems (a.k.a. Independent Study) Courses
If a certain organized course (except INFO 6000, INFO 6700, INFO 6940, and INFO 6945 core cousres) is not offered in a given semester, based on availability of facutly, a student might be able to take this course as a special problems course. The special problems courses can also be taken in the specific area of student's interests if there are no organized courses in Deparment's inventory of courses to fill that niche, assuming the faculty who are experts in the specific area are available. A student who wishes to take a special problems course should meet with the faculty member who will be teaching the course, complete, get signed, and submit to IS PhD Program Office (prior to the beginning of the semester) the Special Problems Course Request Form. All the field in this form are required.
After deciding what courses to take and completing/updating this degree plan form with your choices, you must submit an Advising Memo. Once submitted, the advising memo form will be automatically forwarded to the IS PhD Program Office. Upon approval of your advising memo, Program Coordinator will send you the codes necessary for you to register.
NOTE: If you are taking a course outside of the IS Department then you may need to contact that department directly for permission to register for a class. However, you must still send an advising memo to us as this helps us to track all your course choices and update your degree plan.
Use your official UNT email address for all school related correspondence. If you have an alternate email address you can set up the UNT account to forward emails to that alternate.
See the EagleConnect website for instructions setting-up your account. As with many email services, EagleConnect may sometimes trash emails that come from certain ISPs or email companies, so be sure to check your Junk mail inbox often for important correspondence.
Half-time Enrollment for Graduate Students
Half-time enrollment for all graduate students is defined as at least five (5) graduate credit hours per term. Based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education for financial aid purposes, a graduate student must be enrolled at least half-time to establish eligibility for most financial aid programs and for in-school loan deferment. Full-time (9 hours) and three-quarter time (6-8 hours) enrollment for graduate students will not be affected by this change. Questions can be answered by staff in the UNT Student Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.
Changes to Degree Plan
If you find that you want or need to add or drop a course please make sure to notify IS PhD Program Office at CI-IISPhD@unt.edu so we can make the change on your degree plan form. Keeping the degree plan up-to-date can be a bit of a chore but it pays in the end, especially when it comes time for you to take your Qualifying Exams.