PhD Requirements

Requirements presented as a Table.

Breakdown of Credit Hours

  • Total number of hours required for a Ph.D.: 96 (64 with an approved M.S.)
  • Must complete a minimum of the 48 credit hours of coursework (16 with an approved M.S.), of which 20 of those credit hours must be CS coursework (12 with an approved M.S.).
  • Must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of 500-level coursework (16 with an approved M.S.), which 12 of those credit hours must be CS 500-level coursework. Courses in computer science numbered CS 500-CS590 or CS 598 are considered advanced coursework.
  • Must complete a minimum of 32 credit hours of Thesis Research (CS 599).

Note: CS 597 (Independent Study) and CS 591/491 (Seminar) may be applied towards bullet 2 above, but cannot be applied to bullet 3 above.

Advanced Coursework

Courses in computer science numbered CS 500 - CS 590 or CS 598 are considered Advanced Coursework. Students must complete 24 hours (16 with an approved M.S.) of advanced coursework. In addition, 12 hours of the advanced coursework must be computer science courses.

Program of Study (Core Requirements)

The Program of Study is designed to allow students some flexibility to develop their curriculum in accordance with the Ph.D. graduation requirements outlined above and with the expectations of their advising/thesis committee. The Academic Office assigns students three committee members within the first month of starting the Ph.D. program. Students setup a time with their Program of Study committee to discuss their area of interests and determine what required courses must be completed and develop a strategy for meeting educational and career goals as well as the Ph.D. coursework requirements. For more detailed information, visit Program of Study.

Thesis Hours

A minimum of 32 hours of Thesis Research (CS 599) is required. Thesis hours may be taken in any semester with approval of the thesis advisor. The CS 599 Thesis Advisor Agreement form must be on file prior to enrolling for thesis hours and prior to taking the qualifying exam.

Other Requirements

  • CS 591 section PHD must be taken in the first semester. A maximum of 4 credit hours of CS 591 can be applied toward the Ph.D. degree.
  • The minimum program GPA is 3.0.
  • A teaching assistantship for an entire term by the end of the 5th year, with a satisfactory performance evaluation by the department.(This requirement for all Ph.D. student who enter the program fall 2011 or later.)

Ph.D. with Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) Option

The Ph.D. with specialization in Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) is an interdisciplinary program which focuses on computationally oriented research. All Ph.D. degree requirements apply PLUS the following additional requirements.

  • Students must take 12 credit hours of coursework relevant to their CSE research areas, selected with the approval of their advisor, from one or more departments outside computer science.
  • CSE 500-level courses may be used to satisfy the advanced coursework (500-level) requirement.
  • The Ph.D. thesis must deal with some aspect of CSE.
  • The doctoral committee should include a faculty member from outside computer science whose interests are relevant to the student's research.

Ph.D. Requirements Table

Requirements Entering with approved M.S. degree Entering with B.S. degree
Credit hours: Hours Hours
Total Credit for the Degree 64 96
Thesis Research – CS 599 (minimum applied toward degree) 32 32
Course Work 16 48
500-level course work 16 (12 must be CS courses) 24 (12 must be CS courses)
400- or 500-level course work 16 24
Additional graduate-level course work or thesis research credit (subject to Other Requirements and Conditions below) 16 16
Other Requirements and Conditions (may overlap):*
Minimum hours of CS course work 12 20
  • CS 597 (Independent Study) and CS 591 (Seminar) may not be applied to the 500-level course work requirement.
  • CS 591 section PHD must be taken in the first semester. A maximum of 4 credit hours of CS 591 can be applied toward the Ph.D. degree.
  • The minimum program GPA is 3.0.
  • A teaching assistantship for an entire term, with a satisfactory performance evaluation by the department, is required by the end of the 5th year.
  • Ph.D. exam and dissertation requirements:
    • Qualifying exam
    • Preliminary exam
    • Final exam or dissertation defense
    • Dissertation deposit
  • [Note: International Students must show demonstration of English proficiency (equivalent to that necessary to be a TA-see Financial Aid) before taking the Qualifying Exam.]