Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

The University’s basic requirements for the Ph.D. degree are outlined in the Graduate Degrees section of this bulletin. Department requirements are stated below. 

Guidelines for Reasonable Progress

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

  • A student must make satisfactory progress in his or her research, as determined by his or her adviser.

  • By Spring Quarter of the second year, a student should complete all six breadth area requirements, two breadth area requirements in each of three areas, and file for candidacy.

  • By Spring Quarter of the third year, a student should pass a Qualifying Examination in the area of his or her 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 phdstudentservices@cs.stanford.edu.

  • 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 Ph.D. student services office at phdstudentservices@cs.stanford.edu.