Ph.D. in Computer Science (CISD)
This program offers a course of study leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Computer Science. Its cluster format combines traditional and online instruction to provide professionals the opportunity to pursue graduate study while continuing to work in their current positions. The program is especially well suited to those in industry, education, or government who are involved with one of the many areas of computer science and information technology. It provides research-oriented professionals with knowledge in the major areas of computer science the ability to develop creative solutions to substantive real-world problems. Each student must complete eight core courses, two research courses, and a dissertation.
Students taking courses attend four cluster sessions per year, held quarterly over an extended weekend (Friday, Saturday, and half-day Sunday) at the university. These sessions bring together students and faculty for participation in classes, seminars, and dissertation counseling, and provide ample opportunity for student-faculty and student-student interaction. Between sessions, students work on course assignments and research, and participate in online activities that facilitate frequent interaction with the faculty and with other students.
A graduate with a Ph.D. in Computer Science will have the ability to: (1) acquire advanced knowledge and deeper understanding of the field of computer science; (2) communicate professionally and ethically about computer science research issues; (3) identify, analyze, and synthesize scholarly literature related to the field of computer science; and (4) generate new knowledge through research/scholarship and disseminate that knowledge to others by demonstrating the necessary technical and intellectual skills to produce a written document that makes an original contribution to the field of computer science.
The program requires at least 64 credit hours, of which 40 are for courses and at least 24 are for the dissertation. Courses and dissertation registrations are listed below:
Core Courses (four credits each) (Select eight of these.)
Research Registrations Students are required to complete two sections (four credits each) of CISD 898, Directed Research, before entering candidacy. Students must register for the course with a particular faculty member as directed in the course description. Students are advised to register for the two sections of Directed Research in sequence, not in parallel. Students are further advised to wait for the second year of study before registering for Directed Research. Students may repeat Directed Research with the same faculty member only with permission of that faculty member.
This program is designed for the student with a master’s degree in computer science, or a closely related field. In addition to holding a relevant master’s degree, the applicant should satisfy graduate prerequisites or have equivalent experience in programming languages, data communications and computer networks, operating systems, compilers, database management systems, theory of computation, design and analysis of algorithms, and computer architecture. Alternatively, GSCIS master’s students in computer science may apply for early admission into the Ph.D. program.
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