Ph.D. Requirements

PHD Degree Requirements To advance to candidacy for the PhD of Computer Science degree, a student must attend the Responsible Conduct of Research Workshop, take the Expository Writing Exam, successfully past the qualifying examination and complete the 18 credit hours core requirements listed below:

Each student must take the following core courses:

  • CSCI 570 Advanced Algorithms
  • CSCI 551 Advanced Software Engineering I
  • CSCI 510 Computer Architecture
  • CSCI 572 Computability and Complexity
  • CSCI 680 Advanced Operating Systems
  • CSCI 500 Socially Relevant Computing (2 credits)
  • CSCI 600 Research Methods (1 credit)

TOTAL OF - - 18 credits
A) The major must consist of at least 18 credit hours of graduate work approved by the advisor.
B) The minor must consist of at least 12 credit hours approved by the advisor

Areas of Specialization

Software Engineering:

  • CSCI 552 Advanced Software Engineering II
  • CSCI 540 Object-Oriented Development
  • CSCI 683 Special Topics in Software Engineering
  • CSCI 783 Advanced Topics in Software Engineering

Cybersecurity:

  • CSCI 653 Cybersecurity I
  • CSCI 654 Cybersecurity II
  • CSCI 659 Capstone in Security
  • CSCI 684 Special Topics in Cybersecurity
  • CSCI 784 Advanced Topics in Cybersecurity

Artificial Intelligence:

  • CSCI 575 Introducation to Machine Learning
  • CSCI 660 Artificial Intelligence
  • CSCI 651 Expert Systems
  • CSCI 673 Knowledge Engineering and Management
  • CSCI 685 Special Topics in Artificial Intelligence
  • CSCI 785 Advanced Topics in Artificial Intelligence

Computer Networks:

  • CSCI 548 Data Communications I
  • CSCI 549 Data Communications II
  • CSCI 550 Network Modeling and Analysis
  • ECE 487 Telecommunications
  • ECE 460 Wireless Communications
  • CSCI 686 Special Topics in Data Communications
  • CSCI 786 Advanced Topics in Computer Networks

Computing Systems:

  • CSCI 560 Performance Modeling
  • CSCI 682 Parallel Computing
  • CSCI 681 Distributed Systems
  • ECE 416 Microprocessors and Microcomputers
  • ECE 420 Introduction to VLSI design
  • CSCI 632 Advanced Database Systems
  • CSCI 687 Special Topics in Computing Systems
  • CSCI 787 Advanced Topics in Computing Systems

Computational Science:

  • CSCI 574 Computational Biology
  • CSCI 532 Advanced Operations Research
  • CSCI 634 Advanced Modeling and Simulation
  • CSCI 674 Advanced Systems Management and Analysis
  • CSCI 688 Special Topics in Computational Science
  • CSCI 788 Advanced Topics in Computational Science

C) Responsible Conduct of Research Workshop Requirement. Each student is required to take the Responsible Conduct of Research Workshop in the first semester of the graduate program. Attending and participating in this workshop is a requirement for all degrees offered by the Graduate School, including the Master of Computer Science. Details on this program, including registration, dates, and times can be found at the Graduate School’s web site.

D) Expository Writing Requirement. Each student is required to take the Expository Writing Examination in the first semester of the graduate program. Passing an Expository Writing Examination is a requirement for all degrees offered by the Graduate School, including the Master of Computer Science. Details on this program, including seminars for preparation to take the exam, examination dates, registration for the examination, and courses/workshops can be found at the Graduate School’s web site.

Important Notes:

A minimum of 9 credit hours of courses must be taken outside of Computer Science. These course must be approved by the student’s graduate committee

  • The minor must be approved by the Computer Science major specialization advisor. It must be a minimum of 12 credit hours.
  • Students must pass a comprehensive Exam to advance to candidacy. The exam will consist of two tests, with one test covering two of the five core areas, and the second test covering three of the five core areas. A test will contain two questions from each core area. For each core area that is tested, a student must score a minimum of 85% to obtain a high pass and a minimum of 70% to obtain a low pass. A high pass is required in at least four of the core areas on the comprehensive exam. The exam will be offered at the beginning of the fall/Spring semesters. There is a limit of two times a student can take the exams. If a student gets an A grade in a core course he/she can place out of taking the comprehensive examination in that core area and is automatically awarded a high pass in that core area.
  • The student must select is graduate studies advisor that covers the selected major specialization. With the assistance of the graduate advisor the student can make recommendations for the remaining members of their graduate committee. At least one member must be outside of the university (external reviewer). At least one member must be in the minor area. Under normal circumstance there are 5 members of the committee. The majority of the committee must be from the Systems and computer science department.
  • The student’s proposal must be approved by the advisor before it is presented and defended to the whole committee. The proposal defense is open to the whole department. The whole committee (excluding the external reviewer) must approve the proposal before the student is approved to move forward with the dissertation. The proposal defense includes the student’s defending the ‘social relevance’ of the proposed effort.
  • Upon completion of the dissertation the student must defend their effort in a session open to the university. The dissertation must be approved by the whole committee in order to fulfill the dissertation requirement toward the PhD.
  • The student’s proposal must be approved by the advisor before it is presented and defended to the whole committee. The proposal defense is open to the whole department. The whole committee (excluding the external reviewer) must approve the proposal before the student is approved to move forward with the dissertation. The proposal defense includes the student’s defending the ‘social relevance’ of the proposed effort.
  • Upon completion of the dissertation the student must defend their effort in a session open to the university. The dissertation must be approved by the whole committee in order to fulfill the dissertation requirement toward the PhD.

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