Below is an overview of the Michigan Tech Department of Computer Science Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) requirements. For a full explanation of Ph.D. requirements, please visit the Graduate School’s Doctor of Philosophy Requirements page. Please consult the Graduate Handbook for additional information.
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 Ph.D. program in computer science, the Ph.D. credit requirement, and the graduate-level breadth requirement.
To complete the Ph.D. credit requirement a student must complete a total of 30 credits of coursework, and/or CS6990 Dissertation Research beyond the M.S. program requirement. These courses must be approved by the Advisory Committee on the Grad School's Degree Schedule. Ph.D. students must earn a grade of B or better in all courses.
Examination and Related Forms
Pass the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam
- The Ph.D. qualifying exam consists of the Ph.D. Breadth Requirement and the Ph.D. Research Qualifying Evaluation (RQE). (See section 3.4.2 of the Graduate Handbook.)
- Pass the Ph.D. Breadth Requirement.
- Complete CS5311 and CS5321.
- Complete three courses from three separate areas out of areas B, C, D, E. (See Section 3.3.1 of the Graduate Handbook for a list of eligible courses.)
- Complete two specialty courses approved by the advisory committee.
- Achieve an average GPA of 3.5 across the seven breadth courses.
- If a student wishes to count non-Michigan Tech courses toward the requirement, complete the Ph.D. Breadth Requirement Waiver form.
- A student with a B.S. or M.S. in computer science or a closely related field must complete the breadth requirement within 3 or 2 years, respectively, from the start of their enrollment in the Department of Computer Science Ph.D. program. A student without a degree in a field closely related to computer science will be given an additional six months to complete the breadth requirement.
- Submit the report on the Ph.D. Breadth Requirement form.
- Pass the 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 M.S. in computer science or a closely related field must pass the RQE within three years from the start of enrollment in the Computer Science Ph.D. program. A student with a B.S. in computer science or a closely related field must pass the RQE within two years from the start of enrollment in the Computer Science Ph.D. program. A student without a degree in a field closely related to computer science must pass the RQE within four years. Funded students are expected to complete the RQE earlier than these deadlines. See the handbook for more.
- Submit the Report on Research Qualifying Exam.
Dissertation Research Proposal Defense
- This is an oral presentation of the student's dissertation proposal and an oral examination on the proposed research by the advisory committee.
- The proposal defense must be passed within two years of passing the Ph.D. qualifying exam. Students that are funded by the department are expected to complete the proposal within 1 year of completing the RQE.
- Submit the Ph.D. Proposal Defense Report and the Proposal Assessment form.
- Conduct a research review three months before the defense.
- Make your public presentation and defense of the dissertation research.
- Submit the Grad School's Report on Oral Exam form and the Dissertation Assessment Form.
- Submit the Grad School's Degree Completion form.
- Official final transcripts showing proof of your previous degrees, if not from Michigan Tech.
- Complete a Patent, Research and Proprietary Rights form, which is found on your MyMichiganTech page.
A general overview of the tasks that must be completed each semester follows.
- Plan for the Ph.D. comprehensive exam, including the Breadth Requirement and the RQE.
- Submit final official transcripts to the Graduate School confirming proof of the completion of your previous degree (if not from Michigan Tech, or unless done previously).
- Complete the Patent, Research and Proprietary Rights, which is found on your MyMichiganTech page.
- Register for second semester courses on Banweb.
- Complete Basic RCR training
- Choose an advisor.
- Complete courses to meet the Breadth Requirement.
- Prepare for the RQE.
- Complete Advanced RCR training
- Complete the RQE if you entered the Ph.D. program with an M.S. in computer science or a related field.
- Complete Technical Qualifying Exam (TQE) graduate-level breadth requirement. (See the Graduate Handbook, Section 2.3.1.)
- Complete the RQE if you entered the Ph.D. program with a B.S. in computer science or a related field.
- Complete the Breadth Requirement if you entered the Ph.D. program with a B.S. or M.S. in computer science or a related field.
- Prepare for Ph.D. dissertation proposal.
- Schedule your degree-required presentation, which is accomplished on MyMichiganTech. Please see the student and advisor tutorial for assistance. This process replaces the "pre-defense" form.
- Degree-required presentations include M.S. project defenses, optional M.S. thesis proposals, and M.S. thesis defenses.
- Announcements should be built and sent at least two weeks prior to a presentation. Include an abstract of the presentation and the time, date, and location.
- To reserve a room, please contact the Computer Science coordinator in Rekhi 221 or by phone at 906-487-1597, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Create a Zoom meeting and Google Calendar invitation. Email the invitation to: email@example.com.
- Creating and sharing detailed invitations is the responsibility of the graduate student, not Computer Science department staff.
- Complete the RQE if you entered the Ph.D. program with a B.S. or M.S. in an unrelated field.
- Schedule your degree-required presentation. (See the section above.)
- Pass your dissertation proposal defense.
- Begin your dissertation/thesis/report, which will be the most challenging document you have ever planned, organized, and written.
- Follow the Graduate School Guidelines.
- Follow department and advisor guidelines. (See the Graduate Handbook.)