The Ph.D. program consists of three phases or levels.
Level 1 involves preparation for written qualifying exams in the areas of applications, systems and theory. During this phase, students also begin research in seminars and prepare contributions to papers in journals and conference proceedings.
Level 2 involves additional coursework, research and writing to establish the foundation for a dissertation proposal. A committee is formed to guide this research, chaired by your thesis advisor. This phase culminates in an oral exam (the Candidacy Examination), focusing on the dissertation proposal. Success leads to the student's admission to candidacy.
Level 3, the final phase, consists of research, paper and dissertation writing, and a final defense. Formal coursework occurs in this third phase only when extraordinary opportunities appear for the student to enhance his/her background in principal areas of interest.
There is a residency requirement of at least one consecutive academic year of full-time study. Of course, most students spend their entire PhD program as full-time students.
There is no foreign language requirement.
- Students must register for a minimum of 1 credit hour per semester in order to maintain active status.
- Students are strongly encouraged to register for only one credit hour during the summer.
- All foreign students are expected to improve scientific communication skills by passing GRD 700, 701, 702 and 703, Scientific Communication I - IV. All domestic students should take GRD 701 (Presentation and Discussion Skills) and 712 (Research Writing and Style).
- All teaching assistants are expected to take GRD715 Becoming an Effective TA.
- Since continued progress through the PhD program is important, and the Graduate School has an upperbound of 7 years for the completion of a PhD degree, PhD students in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences must adhere to the following deadlines for the 3 levels of our PhD program:
Extension of these deadlines requires a petition by the student and their advisor to the graduate review committee (composed of the Graduate Program Director, Chair and Associate Chair).
- Completion of the Level 1 exam: January of the third academic year in the PhD program (i.e., after 2.5 years if student enters in Fall; after 2 years if students enters in Spring).
- Completion of the Level 2 exam: within 2.5 years of the Level 1 exam.
- Completion of the Level 3 exam: end of the 7th academic year since entrance into the PhD program.