Approved by the Council
of the Faculty of Computing on 12.12.2011.
Minutes No. 17

Regulations regarding Excellence studies at the Faculty of Computing of the University of Latvia

V 1.0 – 12.12.2011

1. General principles

The Faculty offers Excellence studies to those bachelor's and master's students who are willing and are able to acquire more knowledge and skills in the time allotted to a particular study programme than provided for in the programme. Excellence studies are understood as a special, individually chosen study path within the existing study programme framework.

The main goal of Excellence studies is achieved by:

  1. Teaching in-depth course content, which can be implemented in different ways – at the discretion of a teacher. Requirements for the content of high difficulty courses and requirements for receiving high marks are determined by the subject teacher, and this is reflected in the description of the specific course.
  2. The opportunity for the most capable students to learn the simplest topics faster, devoting the saved time to study more complex topics.
  3. Participation in special seminars, allowing students to attend such throughout the studies.
  4. Student involvement in joint scientific or innovative projects with lecturers or leading computer specialists.
  5. Cooperation with lecturers and computer experts (mentors), who offer students the problems to be solved within their competence.

Excellence studies include:

  • in-depth acquisition of study content;
  • the status of an Excellence student, which gives certain privileges;
  • a Certificate of Excellence, which is issued by the faculty upon graduation from the study programme.

2. Study content

Excellence studies promote in-depth acquisition of study content, which manifests itself in:

  • the requirements for the completion of the course included in the study programme at the level of excellence (the so-called Honors Option); the course is considered to have been acquired at the level of excellence, if a student has fulfilled the requirements included in the course description for receiving the mark "10" (Honors option);
  • the requirements to acquire specially developed study courses of increased difficulty (so-called Honors Subjects).

Upon the fulfilment of the requirements specified in the course description for the acquisition of the course at the level of excellence, the respective credit points are credited for obtaining the Certificate of Excellence.

Any student, whether or not he/she has a status of a student of excellence, can apply for the Honors option. In the case of a lack of resources, those with the status of students of excellence are given priority.

The course of excellence is an important course of increased difficulty for the Computer Science industry. Any student can apply for a course of excellence, whether or not he/she is a student of excellence. In the case of a lack of resources, those with the status of students of excellence are given priority.

For the purposes of crediting the excellence course credits for obtaining the Certificate of Excellence, the mark must be at least "7".

3. Excellence student status

Students apply for the status of a student of excellence voluntarily, confirming it with an appropriate application to the programme director. Upon the proposal of the programme director, the status of a student of excellence is granted by the Council of the Faculty of Computing for one semester.

Starting from the second semester of undergraduate studies, the upper 5-20% of students of the respective study year (course) can apply for the status of a student of excellence, judging by the weighted average mark calculated since the beginning of studies.

The status of a student of excellence gives the right to:

  • within the requirements set by the University of Latvia regarding the scope and terms of studies and in coordination with the director of the study programme, to study in accordance with an individual plan;
  • to additionally acquire up to 20% of the amount of credit points of the respective study programme for free;
  • by mutual agreement, to choose a mentor among the lecturers or computer experts and to receive their consultations on the issues to be solved by a student;
  • upon obtaining the approval of the programme director and taking into account the restrictions on the equalisation of courses specified by the Council of the Faculty of Computing (for example, the final work is not to be replaced by other courses), to equate the courses provided for in the programme to other courses corresponding to the interests of a student (including courses at other universities);
  • to apply for other privileges (for example, the right to use a paid business trip to a conference, the programme of which includes a student's job).

4. Certificate of Excellence

Upon graduating from the respective study programme, a student receives written certification from the faculty regarding the Excellence studies. The Certificate of Excellence is awarded by the Council of the Faculty of Computing under the following conditions:

  1. Not less than 20% of a programme, excluding internships and Part C courses, has been acquired at the level of excellence (Honors option).
  2. The final work is defended excellently (at least "9").
  3. A total weighted average mark is at least "8".
  4. Significant work certifying professional readiness has been performed (for example, a scientific article has been published, a non-trivial software product or information system has been developed, significant success in professional competitions has been achieved, etc.), on which the study programme director has provided an opinion.

Such a certificate can be obtained regardless of whether a student has had the status of the student of excellence.