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The Computer Science PhD Program prepares students for research careers in the software industry and in academia. It combines a commitment to theory with significant experience in software development. The areas in which students may carry out dissertation research are currently aapplied database research, bioinfomatics, computer graphics, computer vision, cybersecurity, data mining, distributed software systems, higher performance computing, network information systems, programming languages, theoretical computer science, and visual attention.
The program requires 48 credits of course work, a minimum of 15 credits of dissertation research, at least one year of full-time status, and a doctoral dissertation containing original results. A GPA of 3.5 must be maintained at all times.
Students must satisfy the degree requirements for the MS program in their first 30 credits.
After 30 credits of graduate work have been completed, candidates who leave the program will be awarded an MS degree in Computer Science if their course work satisfies the requirements specified for the degree.
Candidates who continue with the program will take a written qualifying exam to verify the breadth of his or her knowledge. The examination covers theoretical computer science and two of the following areas:
After 48 credits of graduate work have been completed each candidate will present a dissertation proposal to the thesis committee. The thesis committee may accept or reject the proposal.
The Major Advisor and the Thesis Committee
Every incoming PhD student will have a temporary advisor appointed by the department, until a major advisor is appointed through the procedure described below.
After the candidate passes the qualifying exam, he or she must apply to the Graduate Program Director for the appointment of the major advisor and the thesis committee. The Graduate Program Director submits a recommendation to the campus graduate program administration who will appoint the dissertation committee. The major advisor is then responsible for monitoring the candidate’s progress.
The PhD program must be completed in seven years. Thereafter, individual approval must be obtained on a yearly basis.