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Ph.D - Computer Science - DePaul


2013-2014

The Ph.D. in Computer and Information Sciences

The Ph.D. in Computer and Information Sciences offers an opportunity for exceptional students to pursue substantial research in the computer sciences and related areas. To earn a Ph.D. degree, a student must demonstrate breadth of knowledge in at least three research areas and significant depth in a chosen dissertation area. In addition, the student must conceive, write and defend a Ph.D. dissertation representing a significant and original contribution to current academic research as demonstrated by a public dissertation defense and publication in established peer-reviewed academic conferences and/or journals.

The Ph.D. in Computer and Information Sciences has two tracks, which differ primarily in the structure of the Inquiry Phase. Students must choose whether to enter the Computer Science or Information Systems track at admission.

Overview

The Inquiry Phase
During the Inquiry Phase students in the Computer Science track will complete coursework, initial research projects, and two Breadth Examinations. They must also prepare themselves for a Depth Examination in their chosen area of research. This Depth exam will be completed during the Research phase. Students in the Information Systems track will complete coursework, research projects, and a comprehensive exam.

The Research Phase
In this phase, students will conduct focused research leading to successful completion of a Dissertation Proposal.  A Ph.D. student enters the Research Phase when he or she has chosen an area in which to do dissertation research and has found a faculty member willing to act as his or her Dissertation Advisor. The Research Phase may overlap with the Inquiry Phase, in fact, students are strongly encouraged to begin their research, under the supervision of a faculty Ph.D. advisor, as early as possible upon entering the program.

The Candidacy Phase 
During the Candidacy Phase the Candidate conducts further research, and writes and defends the Ph.D. Dissertation.  To be admitted to candidacy, doctoral students must complete the following:

  • Residency: Three quarters of full-time study must be completed at DePaul University beyond the master’s level. Full-time study is defined as registration for a minimum of eight credit hours (typically two courses) per quarter. With prior approval of the Ph.D. Committee, students may satisfy residency requirements by coursework, participation in seminars, or research performed off campus. 
  • Allied Course: Specific courses as specified for each track under course requirements.
  • Doctoral Examinations: Pass two Breadth Examinations and one Depth Examination (Computer Science track) or pass Comprehensive Examination (Information Systems track). 
  • Defense of Proposal: Successfully defend a Dissertation Proposal.

Course Requirements

Ph.D. students with a master’s degree are required to complete a minimum of 60 credits (typically 15 courses) of graduate classes. These credits must include at least 48 credits of courses in the 420-599 range, including CSC 426: Values and Computer Technology. Information Systems track students must also complete IS 590: Information Systems Research Methods.

Students may enroll in CSC 699 only after completion of the Breadth Examinations. Conditionally admitted students must complete an additional 52 credits (typically 13 courses) of graduate classes, including at least 36 credits of courses in the 420-599 range. The written approval of the Ph.D. Committee is required, before registering, to apply courses taught outside the School towards the doctoral program course requirements.

Student progress will be evaluated annually. Students must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or better to remain in good standing in the program. Any course grade below B- is unsatisfactory and will not be counted toward degree requirements. The Ph.D. Committee will ask a student to withdraw from the doctoral program if the members judge that that student is not progressing satisfactorily toward the degree.

Time Limits

For part-time doctoral students:
  • No more than three years between admission to the doctoral program and completion of Breadth Examinations.
  • No more than three years between completion of Breadth Examinations and admission to Candidacy.
  • No less than eight months and no more than five years between admission to Candidacy and the dissertation defense.

For full-time doctoral students:    

  • No more than two years between admission to the doctoral program and completion of Breadth Examinations.  Note that students funded by SOC or other stipends will be required to meet more stringent requirements. 
  • No more than two years between completion of Breadth Examinations and admission to Candidacy. 
  • No less than eight months and no more than five years between admission to Candidacy and the dissertation defense. 
     
Ph.D. Requirements

Ph.D. Resources

A limited number of PhD stipends are available and may be applied for during the application process.  Please see the Assistantships and Stipends page for further information. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
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