Computer Science

Doctor of Philosophy Degree Coursework Requirements

  Admission Requirements

In addition to the requirements for admission into the Master of Science in Computer Science program, admission into the Doctor of Philosophy degree program requires a Master’s degree in Computer Science. If the student does not already have an MS in CS, they may be admitted into the MS/Ph.D. program; in this program, students must complete the required coursework for the MS in CS as well as degree requirements for the Ph.D. in CS.

Candidacy Requirements

Despite acceptance into the program, in order to be admitted to candidacy, student must:

  • Complete the degree requirements for the MS in CS (unless he or she possesses an MS in CS or a closely related engineering, scientific, or mathematical discipline)
  • Pass the departmental qualifying examinations.

  Course Requirements:

  • 6 courses (18 credits) from the Masters course group list (pdf), with at most 4 courses from a single Masters course group (pdf). No course applied towards an MS degree can be used to satisfy course distribution requirements for the Doctoral degree.

Thesis Credits: 24 Credits

Total: 42 credits

  Course Requirements for Students Matriculated Prior to Jan. 2009

Major Area

6 credits (course pairs list)

Minor Area I

6 credits (two courses from the course pairs list ) 

Minor Area II

6 credits (two courses from the course pairs list )

Ph.D. Thesis

24 credits

Total: 42 credits

The major and minor area course requirements for the Ph.D. degree are above and beyond the corresponding requirements for the MS degree, but may continue and deepen specializations begun at that level. The primary purpose of the major and minor courses is to provide breadth of knowledge. Therefore, students are encouraged to select courses from a variety of areas. Among all course pairs for the MS and Ph.D. combined, at most one pair may contain a course "piggybacked" onto a core course.

  Additional Requirements

  • passing qualifying exams (rules pdf)
  • submission and defense at an oral examination of a thesis proposal
  • completion of the thesis
  • final defense of the thesis during another oral examination
  • acceptance of two papers for publication in a peer-reviewed (refereed) journal or conference approved by the thesis advisor.  At least one of these publications must be in the thesis area.  This rule applies to students whose thesis proposals were defended on or after July, 2007.
  • Students are required to report completion of each of these milestones according to the Procedures for Student Progress Through the Ph.D. Program.

  Computational Mathematics Option

Requirements: (beyond a master's degree)

A. 18 Course Credits (6 courses)

  • Four Graduate level courses in Computer Science and two graduate level courses in Mathematics, under the direction of an advisor, from an approved list of courses

B. 24 Dissertation Credits

  • Supervised by faculty from the Mathematics and Computer Science Departments
  • Any student interested in this program should contact the Chair of the CS Department and/or the Chair of the Mathematics Department.


Procedures for Student Progress through the Ph.D Program