PhD in Computer Science

All students completing a PhD degree must fulfill the following minimum requirements:

  1. Complete all of the course work requirements of the Master’s degree in CS or have an MS degree in CS from another institution.  The required 15 hours at the 8000 level must be regular courses not to include Research or Problems.  The student must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.4/4.0 in their graduate level course work (excluding Research and Problems courses).
  2. Pass a qualifying examination* to be admitted to candidacy in the CS PhD program within three years of program enrollment.
  3. Earn a minimum of 72 credit hours of course work and research past the student’s Bachelor's degree.
  4. Pass a comprehensive examination covering their areas of expertise within five years of program enrollment.
  5. Complete a doctoral dissertation on a topic approved by the candidate’s advisory committee.
  6. Defend the dissertation in a final oral examination.
  7. Have at least one journal paper submitted, accepted or published, as approved by the advisor.
  8. Present on a research topic as part of the CS Seminar Series at some point between passing the qualifying exam and the dissertation defense. This policy is effective for entering PhD students in Spring 2013 and after.
  9. Seminar Attendance: The approval of the D4 form is tied to the attendance records for the department's seminar series. PhD students are required to attend a total of at least twenty CS approved seminars including all CS Seminar Series presentations, Dr. Harrison's Security Reading Group meetings, and others as announced. Master's students who add the PhD program can apply their seminar attendance as part of their Master's program toward the attendance requirement for doctoral students.
  10. D Forms: After the successful completion of the Qualifying Examination - by or before the end of the third year in the program - the D1 Qualifying Exam Results and Doctoral Committee Approval form should be submitted to the Graduate School, followed by the D2 Plan of Study for the Doctoral Degree form. The D3 form Doctoral Comprehensive Examination Results is submitted when the student has completed the Comprehensive Exam. Graduate School policy requires the completion of the Comp Exam within five years of starting the PhD program. At least seven months must pass between the Comp Exam and the dissertation defense, which is followed by submission of the D4 Dissertation Defense form.
  11. Annual Review Requirement of the Graduate School: All graduate students are required to complete the Annual Review Requirement by updating their information in the Graduate Student Progress System by the end of their second, fourth, etc. semesters of their program. The CS Department requires that this report be approved online by the student’s faculty advisor and a printed copy attached to each D form before being signed by the CS Director of Graduate Studies.

*Students cannot take CMP_SC 9990 before passing the PhD qualifying exam. Pre-Qual students should take CMP_SC 8990 for Research credit.