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Computer Science


Doctor of PhilosophyĖComputer Science


A candidate for the doctoral degree in computer science must meet all of the following requirements in addition to the University requirements outlined under the Academic Information section in this Catalog.

  1. Pass the diagnostic examination at the Ph.D. level.
  2. Complete a minimum of 27 credit hours of course work beyond the masterís degree (or equivalent).
  3. Pass the candidacy examination.
  4. Complete the dissertation work of 24 credit hours or more.
  5. Successfully defend the dissertation.
The above must be completed within eight years after admission to the Ph.D. program.

Diagnostic Examination. Students who have been admitted to study toward the doctoral degree in computer science must pass the diagnostic examination at the Ph.D. level before the end of 12 hours of postmasterís course work or the end of their second semester, whichever comes first.

Advisor. Upon admission to the Ph.D. program, a faculty advisor will be assigned to the student for general guidance. The student, however, is expected to have found a dissertation advisor by the time he or she passes the diagnostic examination.

Course Requirements. Students must complete the course work as specified below.

  1. A minimum of 27 hours beyond the masterís degree.
  2. At least 18 hours must be from the 700/800 levels.
  3. At least 18 hours must be in computer science.
  4. A maximum of six hours may be transferred into the Ph.D. program
from postmasterís course work done elsewhere.

Colloquium. Students are expected to actively participate in the colloquium activities of their research area for at least four semesters.

Candidacy Examination. Near the end of the course work the student must pass a candidacy examination. This examination is designed to test the studentís knowledge of computer science as well as background knowledge on the dissertation topic. The student is required to prepare a literature critique on the dissertation topic and a dissertation research proposal including a research plan. The student must pass this examination no later than three years after acceptance into the Ph.D. program.

Dissertation. A minimum of 24 credit hours of dissertation work is requir1ed. The work must represent an achievement in research and must be a significant contribution in the field. process) at least one paper in a refereed journal or refereed conference proceedings based on their dissertation work.

Dissertation Defense. The examination will be oral and the examination committee must have the completed dissertation at least two weeks before the examination date. In addition to the defense, students are required to give a public oral presentation on their dissertation results.

Time Requirement. Ph.D. students should normally be full time. Students who wish to pursue their study on a part-time basis must spend at least two semesters on campus or at an off-campus facility engaged in full-time graduate study. A full-time student can be expected to satisfy all the Ph.D. requirements in three years when entering with an M.S. degree in computer science or four years with a baccalaureate degree in computer science. No student (full time or part time) will be allowed to study for the Ph.D. degree beyond eight years from the date of admission into the program.

For further details of the graduate program, please consult the Graduate Handbook of the Computer Science Department or contact the department.