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Graduate students gather with faculty and staff at Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill
Graduate students gather with faculty and staff at Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill

The CSSA is a graduate student group that represents the students in the Department of Computer Science at UNC. It is not a club you have to join — if you are a graduate student in the department, you are a member. The CSSA offers several important services to students:

  • Representing the students at faculty meetings
  • Planning CSSA events
  • Giving teaching awards to two professors each year
  • Maintaining web pages
  • Planning Candidates’ Weekend for admitted graduate students

Student Representation

The CSSA officers, who are CS graduate students, represent the students to the faculty and plan events for students. At least one officer will be at every faculty meeting. Together, the graduate students have one vote (equal to that of a single faculty member), and we will vote based on feedback from and in the interest of all graduate students. Therefore, all graduate students are encouraged to share their thoughts with the CSSA officers.

Students stop for a CSSA picnic along the Morgan Creek Trail in Chapel Hill
Students stop for a CSSA picnic along the Morgan Creek Trail in Chapel Hill

Mentorship Program

We would like to pair each of the incoming students with a more experienced graduate student in the department to help them make the transition into graduate school life. This help could be as simple as answering their grad school/Chapel Hill related questions, such as where to shop for groceries, how to figure out the bus schedule, restaurant recommendations, etc. Mainly we would just like to pair new students with a friendly person in the department.

Teaching Excellence Awards

Every year, the graduate students nominate and then select (by popular vote) two faculty members who have shown excellence in teaching. These awards are presented at the department’s commencement ceremony in May, and the winners are added to a plaque in the lobby of Sitterson Hall. For a list of previous winners, see the department awards pages.

Candidates’ Weekend

Each year, the computer science department invites students who have been accepted to the graduate program to visit campus and meet with faculty, staff, and current graduates. The CSSA officers and other graduate students plan much of the content for this weekend. Prospective students usually arrive on Thursday and leave on Sunday. We visit apartments, eat dinner together, walk around UNC, and more! Candidates’ Weekend is typically held in March or April, and planning will typically begin early in the spring semester.

CSSA Officers 2021-2022
The 2021-2022 CSSA officers

Contact Us

2021-2022 CSSA Officers

To Be Announced

Email Addresses

President: cssa@cs.unc.edu
All officers: cssa-officers@cs.unc.edu

Additional Resources

Pre-2011 CSSA Website