The Computer and Information Science Graduate Association (CISGA) is a student-run organization that advocates for graduate students in the Computer and Information Science (CIS) department within the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania.


What are the goals and purpose of CISGA?

  • Provide a medium for student issues to be brought to the department
  • Ensure that students are socially engaged across labs/programs within CIS
  • Offload planning of social and academic events from graduate coordinators to students
  • Provide ‘go-to’ students for graduate coordinators
  • Provide familiar faces within each program for new students
  • Provide a medium for students to organize social events (e.g. intramural sports, hiking)
  • Build closer relationships between graduate students, postdocs, and faculty within CIS
  • Organize joint events with existing student governments within other departments (MEGA, ESEGA, GABE, ChEGA)

What is the structure of CISGA?

  • CISGA will represent students from the following programs: CIS PhD, CIS MSE, MCIT, CGGT, DATS, EMBS, and ROBO
  • The CISGA board will consist of two co-chairs, and at least one representative from each program
  • The co-chairs will ensure that each program has a representative at all times during the academic year, and will ensure continuity of CISGA from year to year
  • The CISGA board will elect two students to attend GSEG meetings as departmental representatives
  • The CISGA board will elect a PhD student representative to attend CIS faculty meetings
  • The CISGA board will meet regularly (monthly) for strategy meetings and status updates
  • Program representatives will stay in regular contact with program coordinators
  • Program representatives will use both GSEG and department funds and work with department coordinators to plan social and academic events for their fellow students
  • An opt-in mailing list or Facebook group will allow CISGA students to contact their classmates for any ideas or opportunities that they wish to advertise (e.g., intramural sports, hiking trips, job opportunities)
  • Co-chairs will be selected/elected at the end of the spring semester
  • Program representatives will be selected/elected at the start of each fall semester

Where does CISGA fit into the hierarchy of student governments at Penn?

  • GAPSA (Graduate and Professional Student Association) represents all graduate students at Penn (~12,000 students)
  • GSEG (Graduate Student Engineering Group) represents graduate students within SEAS (~1,400 students)
  • CISGA (Computer and Information Science Graduate Association) represents graduate students within the CIS department (~600 students)

How is CISGA funded?

  • The money trail: CISGA receives funds from GSEG, which receives funds from GAPSA, which receives funds through graduate student fees
  • The CIS department can provide additional funding for events upon request

How can I get involved with CISGA or provide feedback?