Skip to Main Content

CS-PHD - Computer Science (PhD)

Computer Science Computer Science PHD - Doctor of Philosophy

Program Overview

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

The PhD degree is intended primarily for students who desire a career in research, advanced development, or teaching. For this type of work, a broad background in computer science and the engineering sciences and intensive study and research experience in a specialized area are the necessary requisites.

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is conferred on candidates who have demonstrated to the satisfaction of our department:

  • High attainment in a particular field of knowledge

  • Ability to do independent investigation and present the results of research.

They must satisfy the general requirements for advanced degrees, the program requirements specified, and the doctoral requirements for candidacy, as outlined in our department.

Guidelines for Reasonable Progress

  • By the end of the first academic year, you should align with a permanent advisor. Students are welcome to switch advisors, but a student should not have significant periods (after the first year) with no advisor.

  • A student must make satisfactory progress in their research, as determined by their advisor.

  • Three foundation/breadth requirements must be completed by spring quarter of the second year.

  • A student should meet the eligibility requirements and file for candidacy by the end of the second year in their program.

  • All courses need to be completed by the end of year three. Any deviation from this timeline must be approved in advance by the student advisor and the director of the PhD program.

  • By spring quarter of the third year, a student should pass a Qualifying Examination in the area of their intended dissertation.

  • Within one year of passing the Qualifying Examination, a student should form a Reading Committee and submit a signed Reading Committee Form to the PhD Student Services office at

  • By spring quarter of the fourth year, a student should schedule a Thesis Proposal with the reading committee members and submit the Thesis Proposal Form to the PhD student services office at