Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree Pre-Fall 2017


Program Admission Deadlines:
US Students:
          Fall: February 15
          Spring: October 15
          Summer: No admit

International Students inside the U.S.:
          Fall: February 15
          Spring: October 15
          Summer: No admit

International Students Outside the U.S.:
          Fall: January 15
          Spring: September 15
          Summer: No admit

Minimum Total Hours: 72 post-bachelors
Program Level: Doctoral
CIP Code: 14.0901
Dept. Code: ESB
Program (Major/College): CSE EN
Approved: 1984


The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is conferred in recognition of a candidate's highest level of scholarly competence and demonstrated capability to independently conduct and report significant research in computer science and engineering. This achievement requires more than an accumulation of course credits over a stated period of residence. Scholarly competence is achieved through systematic study and investigation in the chosen discipline at an advanced level. The major professor and at least two committee members will be from the Computer Science and Engineering department. Research capability is developed during the course of study and is achieved through the completion of significant and independent research. The results of this research must be formally presented in a written dissertation and successfully defended before an examining committee. The dissertation must demonstrate the significance of the research as well as the candidate's ability to organize and present her/his results in a professional manner.

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.

Major Research Areas:
An excellent selection of courses and laboratories support graduate studies in algorithms, artificial intelligence,
machine learning, data mining, computer architecture, graphics, networks, computer vision, distributed systems,
embedded systems, expert systems, formal verification, image processing, pattern recognition, robotics, databases,
software engineering, computer security, compilers, programming languages, VLSI design, and CAD.


Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.
Program Admission Requirements


The requirements for obtaining the doctoral degree can be met by fulfilling the minimum requirements below. These requirements and the various committees appointed to oversee the completion of these requirements are explained in detail below:

Total Program hours 72 minimum (post‐baccalaureate)

A minimum of 72 semester hours including dissertation hours beyond the baccalaureate degree are required of all Ph.D.

Coursework – 33 credit hours
Independent Study/Dir Research – 15 hours
Dissertation – 20 credit hours
Additional – 4 credit hours (courses or dissertation)

Core Requirements – 9 credit hours
All PhD Students are required to successfully complete: COT 6405 Introduction to the Theory of Algorithms – 9

Required Coursework – 48 hours (includes 9 hours of Core Requirements)
The distribution of these hours is as follows:

Departmental Course Options (examples)

CAP 5400        Digital Image Processing                                  3
CDA 5416        Introduction to Computer‐Aided Verification     3
CAP 5625        Introduction to Artificial Intelligence                  3
CAP 5682        Expert and Intelligent Systems                         3
CAP 5771        Data Mining                                                      3
EEL 5771        Introduction to Computer Graphics I                 3
CNT 6215        Computer Networks                                          3
CAP 6415        Computer Vision                                               3
CAP 6455        Advanced Robotic Systems                              3
CAP 6615        Neural Networks                                               3
COP 6621        Programming Languages and Translation       3
EEL 6706        Testing and Fault Tolerance in Digital Systems 3
CAP 6736        Geometric Modeling                                         3
EEL 6766        Advanced Computer Architecture                     3
CIS 6900        Independent Study                                            1‐19
CIS 6930        Special Topics                                                   1‐5
CIS 6940        Graduate Instruction Methods                           1‐4
CIS 6946        Internships/Practicums/Clinical Practice           0‐3
CIS 6971        Thesis: Master's                                                2‐19

Doctoral Screening/Qualifying Examination
Students must pass the Ph.D. Qualifying examinations in Computer Architecture, Operating Systems, and Theory of Algorithms within one year of enrollment.

Admission to Candidacy
A student will not be admitted to candidacy until a Doctoral committee has been appointed, and the committee has certified that the student has successfully completed the comprehensive qualifying examination and demonstrated the qualifications necessary to successfully complete the requirements for the degree. The admission to Candidacy form must be approved by the Dean of the college and forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Studies for final approval. The student may elect to enroll in dissertation credits in the semester following approval of the Admission to Candidacy form by Graduate Studies.

Major Research‐Area Paper
After an extensive review of literature on the area of research the student will author a paper and give an oral presentation
on the subject. The written document should constitute a significant part of the student's literature‐review chapter for
his/her dissertation. The oral presentation will be open to the public. The paper and presentation is to be completed within
one year of passing the Qualifying Examinations.

Dissertation 20 hours minimum
CIS 7980 Dissertation

The student's progress in the program is monitored by a supervisory doctoral committee, which is usually appointed at
an early stage in the student's program. This committee consists of at least five members, one of whom is outside the
College of Engineering. The Major Professor will be a member of the Computer Science and Engineering Department.
Normally, two more Computer Science and Engineering faculty serve on the committee with a member in another
department in the college.

The student must conduct research of sufficient quality that demonstrates an independent and original contribution to
the field of computer science and engineering. Students must take at least 20 semester hours of doctoral dissertation
credits; the exact number of credits is determined by the candidate's supervisory committee. It is strongly
recommended that doctoral students submit journal articles for publication relevant to dissertation research.

Dissertation Defense
A doctoral candidate must defend her/his research before her/his committee. The defense is usually open to the
university community and conducted in accordance with the university's general rules and regulations. The defense
involves a formal presentation of the dissertation followed by a critical exchange between the candidate and the
committee. The committee chairman moderates the proceedings and determines procedure, originality of the
research, and contributions made by the candidate.

See the course inventory.

College: Engineering
Department: Computer Science and Engineering
Contact Information: