Student Policies

outside Mashouf Wellness Center

Student Policies

Prerequisite Policy

  • CS Department strictly enforces prerequisites for all courses.

  • Prerequisites are checked by CS faculty at the beginning of each course.

  • A grade of C or better is required to be accepted as a prerequisite.

  • The final decision about whether a student is ready to take a course is made by the instructor who teaches the course.


Cheating & Plagiarism Policy

By academic cheating and plagiarism we mean presenting, as your own work, material produced by or in collaboration with others, or permitting or assisting others to present your work as their own without proper acknowledgment.

The policies of San Francisco State University, with respect to cheating and plagiarism, are stated in SF State's Bulletin. Courses involving computer programming require special consideration because use of the computer permits easy copying and trivial modification of programs. In addition, our polices also address availability of content and services on the Internet which can be used for plagiarism and cheating. The following guidelines are provided to help in determining if an incident of cheating or plagiarism has occurred.

The instructor may suspect a student of program plagiarism if the student submits a program that is so similar to the program submitted by a present or past student in the course that the solutions may be converted to one another by a simple mechanical transformation.

The instructor may suspect a student of cheating, whether on a program or an examination, if the student cannot explain both the intricacies of his or her solution and the techniques and principles used to generate that solution.

It should be clear that there is latitude for difference among individual instructors, particularly on the matter of when working with other students or adapting material from a textbook is permissible. The following general policy on cooperation on homework assignments holds:

In all circumstances it is acceptable to discuss the meaning of assignments and general approaches and strategies for handling those assignments with other members of the Academic Community. Any cooperation beyond that point, including shared pseudocode or flowcharts, shared code, or shared documentation, is only acceptable if specifically so permitted by the class instructor in written guidelines distributed to the entire class.

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Policy on Observance of Religious Holidays

  • The faculty of San Francisco State University shall make reasonable accommodations for students to observe religious holidays when such observances require students to be absent from class activities.

  • It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor, in writing, about such holidays during the first two weeks of the class each semester. If such holidays occur during the first two weeks of the semester, the student must notify the instructor, in writing, at least three days before the date that he/she will be absent.

  • It is the responsibility of the instructor to make every reasonable effort to honor the student request without penalty, and of the student to make up the work missed.


Student Disclosures on Sexual Violence

SF State fosters a campus free of sexual violence including sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and/or any form of sex or gender discrimination.

If you disclose a personal experience as an SF State student, the course instructor is required to notify the Dean of Students.
To disclose any such violence confidentially, please contact:

The SAFE Place:
(415) 338-2208

Counseling and Psychological Services Center:
(415) 338-2208

For more information on your rights and available resources:


Disability Access

Students with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact the instructor.

The Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC) is available to facilitate the reasonable accommodations process. The DPRC is located in the Student Services Building and can be reached by telephone (voice/TTY 415-338-2472) or by email (

For more information, please visit their homepage:


Student Software Licensing Policy

  • Consistent with the SF State Intellectual Policy, students retain the copyright of the software they develop. They must include appropriate copyright information in their software.
  • Students must document their developed software adequately, and submit an electronic copy of the source code and documentation for evaluation and grading and for the advisor to keep with other project material.
  • Student advisor may ask students to permit distribution of their software via open-source licensing (we recommend Apache License 2.0, Artistic, License/GPLv2, GNU General Public License 2.0, GNU Lesser Public ,License, MIT License, Mozilla Public License 1.1, New BSD License), and may ask student to permit that their software be uploaded to one of the open-source hosting platforms (SourceForge, Google Code, etc). This agreement should be made in writing prior to the start of the project.
  • In case student work is funded, the software must adhere to software licensing requested by the funding agency.
  • Any issues that cannot be addressed by this policy should be resolved on a case-by-case basis.

IT Resources Acceptable Use Policy

Each member of the CS Department as well as all students are required to abide by this policy.

The CS Department's Information Technology Resources Acceptable Use Policy is based on SFSU's policy on Information Technology Resources Acceptable Use Policy.

Please visit the University Reporting an IT Security Incident Policy Web Page.


Departmental Server Management Policy

Department servers are defined as machines having applications and/or data of importance for the department, class work, CS office, etc. Therefore, all machines, excluding PCs/laptops for individual student or faculty use, are included. It is critical that we have good inventory of these departmental servers and be able to access them in case of emergency etc. In order to have more reliable management of CS department servers and to make sure that we avoid the case of "orphaned servers", we will institute the following policies.

Passwords for each of those servers will be given to the Department Chair in a sealed envelope by the faculty owner. If passwords change, new ones should be provided in the same way. Passwords will be kept in a secure place by CS Department Chair and CS Office Manager.


Password Selection and Change Policies

You are reminded to follow all standard policies of proper password selection and regular update procedures, especially for the department servers.