Prerequisites—12 Credit Hours
An undergraduate degree in Computer Science is desirable but not required.
Applicants without a strong undergraduate background in Computer Science must
demonstrate an understanding of the material covered in the following
upper-division undergraduate courses:
- EEL 4768C Computer
Architecture (3 credit hours)
- COP 4020 Programming Languages I (3
- COP 4600 Operating System (3 credit hours)
- COT 4210 Discrete Computational Structures (3 credit hours)
Courses—9 Credit Hours
- CDA 5106 Advanced Computer Architecture
(3 credit hours)
- COT 5405 Design and Analysis of Algorithms (3 credit
- COT 6410 Computational Complexity (3 credit hours)
Elective Courses—48 Credit Hours
- Grades must be a "C" (2.0)
or better with at most 6 credit hours having grades below "B" (3.0) and an
overall grade point average of 3.0 or better.
- No courses below the
5000-level, with no 5000-level CGS prefix course work.
- No more than
12 credit hours of independent study (6908).
- Five 6000- or 7000-level
courses (15 credits) with grades of "B" (3.0) or better taught by EECS
faculty. None of these may be independent study or dissertation for which
letter grades (not S/U) are assigned. At least 36 hours must be formal course
work, exclusive of independent study or doctoral research.
Dissertation—15 Credit Hours
- XXX 7980 (15 credit hours
The Qualifying Review relies
on annual appraisals of the student’s progress conducted by the student’s
research/academic adviser. The student’s appraisal template that the adviser
completes will assess the student’s academic performance (course performance)
and research performance.
On an annual basis, and based on the
completed student’s appraisal template, as well as additional student
documentation (up to the discretion of the Computer Science Graduate
Committee), the CS Graduate Committee will rank the student’s performance as
“Above Expectation,” “At Expectation,” or “Below Expectation” toward the
completion of the PhD degree. The evaluation by the CS Graduate Committee will
have detailed justification for the student’s ranking, and the ranking and its
associated justification will be provided to the student and the student’s
Students will be allowed to attempt the Qualifying Review
twice. All students must pass the Qualifying Review in order to remain
eligible to continue as a PhD student in the program. All students must
request their first Qualifying Review prior to completion of their 18 credit
hours since their admission to the program, and their second Qualifying Review
prior to completion of their 36 credit hours. A student who passes the
Qualifying Review will continue with the completion of the rest of the PhD
program’s milestones (i.e., Candidacy Examination, Dissertation Proposal
Examination, and Dissertation Defense). A student who fails the Qualifying
Review will be dismissed from the program and will be given the opportunity to
finish their Master’s degree (if applicable).
A student who in the CS
Graduate Committee’s opinion fails the Qualifying Review will be given the
opportunity to request a reevaluation of his or her case by the committee. The
decision of the CS Graduate Committee, as a result of this reevaluation, is
Annual appraisals will end after the student has passed the
Qualifying Review; however, annual evaluations by faculty advisers and
student's dissertation committee will continue throughout the remainder of the
The Dean, through the Chairs
and Directors, is responsible for committee formation, additions and deletions.
The doctoral committee must consist of a minimum of four members; three must be
graduate faculty members from within EECS and one must be at large from outside
the EECS faculty. Joint faculty members may serve as school-faculty committee
members. The Computer Science Graduate Committee may specify additional
membership. The College of Graduate Studies reserves the right to review
appointments to advisory committees, place a representative on any advisory
committee, or appoint a co-adviser.
Joint faculty members may serve as
committee chairs, but graduate faculty scholars may not, although they may
serve as co-chairs.
All members vote on acceptance or rejection of the
dissertation proposal and the final dissertation. The dissertation proposal and
final dissertation must be approved by a majority of the advisory
After passing qualifiers,
students are required to successfully complete the candidacy examination to
demonstrate readiness for preliminary research in a chosen field of study. This
exam requires the acceptance of a professional paper by a peer-reviewed
conference or journal that is deemed acceptable to the student’s advisory
committee as a major contribution to student's area of research. Candidacy is
normally taken near the completion of required course work and must be passed
before registering for doctoral dissertation hours (XXX 7980). Continuous
enrollment in at least 3 hours of doctoral dissertation hours is required once
a student starts taking 7980 credits. The candidacy status change form and any
associated paperwork (advisory committee form, program of study, etc.) must be
submitted for processing by the last day of classes of the semester prior to
enrolling in dissertation credits. In order to start taking dissertation hours
you must be within 57 credit hours.
Admission to Candidacy
The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in
dissertation hours. Evidence of successful completion of these requirements
must be received in the College of Graduate Studies by the day before the first
day of classes in which the student wishes to enroll in dissertation
- Completion of all course work,
except for dissertation hours.
- Successful completion of
the candidacy examination.
- The dissertation advisory
committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate
- Submission of an approved program of
Students have seven years
from the beginning of regular graduate status in the PhD program to complete
all requirements for the degree, although most students finish within 4 to 5
After passing the candidacy examination, the student will
write a dissertation proposal and present it orally to the dissertation
advisory committee for approval. The proposal must include a description of
the research performed to date and research plans.
Students must write a dissertation on their research that
describes a significant original contribution to the field of computer science.
The oral defense of the dissertation is reviewed by the research committee. The
College of Engineering and Computer Science requires that all dissertation
defense announcements are approved by the student's adviser and posted on the
college's website and the Events Calendar at the College of Graduate Studies website
at least two weeks before the defense date. The dissertation must be approved
by the dissertation adviser and committee, the school director or designee and
the dean of the college or designee. Format approval from the Thesis and
Dissertation Editor and final approval of satisfaction of degree requirements
by the College of Graduate Studies is required.
Students in the Computer Science PhD program pay a $34 equipment fee each
semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $17 per semester.