Doctor of Philosophy Degree Requirements

Below is a brief overview of the doctor of philosophy degree requirements within the Department of Computer Science. For a full explanation of requirements, please visit the Graduate School’s Doctor of Philosophy requirements page.

Coursework

  • A minimum of 60 credits of approved coursework and research (30 credits beyond a Master’s Degree) is required.

The Ph.D. student must complete an approved M.S. program in computer science, A Ph.D. credit requirement, and a graduate-level breadth requirement.

To complete the Ph.D. credit requirement a student must complete a total of 30 credits of course work and/or CS6990: Dissertation Research beyond the M.S. program requirement. These courses must be approved by the Advisory Committee on the Preliminary Program of Study form available from the Graduate School.

Examination

  • Pass the PhD qualifying exam
    • The PhD qualifying exam consists of the PhD Technical Qualifying Evaluation (TQE) and the PhD Research Qualifying Evaluation (RQE) 
    • Pass the PhD Technical Qualifying Evaluation (TQE)
      • Complete the graduate-level breadth requirement

      • Pass the TQE exam consisting of one exam in Computation Theory and one in Analysis of Algorithms. To pass, you need a pass grade in one subject and a pass or marginal grade in the other subject
      • A student who receives an A in CS5311 is exempt from taking the exam in Computation Theory
      • A student who receives an A in CS5321 is exempt from taking the exam in Analysis of Algorithms
      • You are given two attempts to pass the exam in each subject
      • A student with a BS or MS in CS or a closely related field must pass the TQE exam within 1.5 years from the start of enrollment of the CS PhD program. A student without a degree in a field closely related to CS will be given 2.5 years
    • Pass the PhD Research Qualifying Exam (RQE)
      • You must have an advisor before taking this exam
      • Complete a research report
      • Make a public oral presentation of your research results
      • A student with a MS in CS or a closely related field must pass the RQE within 1.5 years from the start of enrollment of the CS PhD program. A student with a BS in CS or a closely related field must pass the RQE exam within 2 years from the start of enrollment of the CS PhD program. A student without a degree in a field closely related to CS will be given 3 years
    • Submit the Report on Qualifying Exam
  • Dissertation Research Proposal Defense:
    • This is an oral presentation of the dissertation proposal and an oral examination on the proposed research by the advisory committee.
    • The proposal defense must be passed within one year of passing the PhD qualifying exam
    • Submit the Report on Research Proposal Exam
  • Dissertation Defense:
  • CS Graduate Handbook

Additional Requirements