Ph.D - Computer and Information Sciences

2017 - 2018

Ph.D. in Computer and Information Sciences


Degree Requirements

The following degree requirements apply to both the Computing Track (C-track) and the Information Systems and Human-Computer Interaction track (I-track).

  • Degree Requirements for students entering with relevant MS degree: At least 60 hours.
  • Degree Requirements for students entering without relevant MS degree: At least 112 hours.

Course requirements

Most of the courses that PhD students will take will be geared toward preparing the student for the Breadth exams, and for whatever other preparation the advisor deems necessary. There are some specific requirements for courses, as specified below.

Number of credits

Students must take at least 60 credits in the CDM 420 - CDM 699 range, including at least 12 credits of CSC 699 (or equivalent as approved by advisor). Non-CDM courses may be substituted with permission of the advisor.

CSC 426

Students must take CSC 426 in their first two years.

CSC 500

Students must take at least two quarters (4 credits) of CSC 500 in their first two years.

Other requirements for conditionally admitted students

Students who do not have a master's degree are considered "conditionally admitted" students. These students must complete an additional 52 credits (typically 13 courses) of graduate coursework, including 36 credits (9 courses) of CDM courses in the range of 420 - 598. No courses under CSC 420 shall count toward the PhD degree. Non-CDM courses may be substituted with permission of the advisor.

Grade requirements

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.

Continuous enrollment

Students must remain continuously enrolled in CSC 701 in Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters if they are not taking any other courses.

Exams

Breadth Exams

Students must pass two Breadth Exams. Exams are administered in the second week of the Spring and Fall Quarters. Registration for the exams are due 30 days prior. If an exam is unsuccessful, the student is required to retake the Breadth Exam in that same area. Students may attempt a Breadth Exam twice. If a student fails a Breadth Exam twice, he or she will be dismissed from the program.

C-track

In consultation with their advisor, students in the C-track can choose two exams from among the following.

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Automata Complexity and Computability
  • Data Analysis and Data Mining
  • Databases
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Networking
  • Programming Languages and Compilers
  • Software Engineering
  • Systems

I-track

In consultation with their advisor, students in the I-track can choose two exams. One of the breadth exams must be selected from the following topic areas. The second breadth exam can be either one of the I-track exams listed below or a C-track exam from the previous list.

  • IS Analysis
  • IT Project Management
  • Information Security and Compliance
  • IT Policy, Strategy, and Management
  • E-Commerce Technology
  • Human-Computer Interaction

Depth

Students must complete a Depth examination in their chosen area of research. The Depth Exam must be completed before the Proposal Defense.

C-track

For the C-track, the specifics of the depth examination will be determined by the student's Dissertation Committee, who must all agree on the format of the exam and on whether it was successfully completed.

I-track

The I-track Depth Exam is a take-home exam administered by the student's advisor. This exam covers research methodology and essential data analysis techniques. A common reading list is established by the I-track faculty for this exam.

The Dissertation

After the exams have been passed, the student must propose a significant original research project and successfully defend that proposal to the student's Dissertation Committee. Once the research has been completed, the student must hold a public defense to demonstrate to the Dissertation Committee that the work has been completed satisfactorily.

Time Limits

Full-time students

  • Year 1: (a) Pass at least 1 breadth exam or (b) show concrete evidence of initial research, such as a literature review, technical report, poster presentation at a conference, etc.
  • Year 2: (a) Pass both breadth exams and (b) show evidence of continuing research, such as a publication or conference presentation.
  • Years 3 to 5: Continue to demonstrate progress in research; submit additional publication(s) to reputable journals or conferences; and pass Proposal Defense.
  • No less than six months and no more than three years between Proposal Defense and the Dissertation Defense.

Conditionally admitted students will have an extra year to achieve these milestones.

Part-time students

  • No more than three years between enrollment in the doctoral program and completion of Breadth Examinations.
  • No more than five years between completion of Breadth Examinations and Proposal Defense.
  • No less than eight months and no more than five years between Proposal Defense and the Dissertation Defense.