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PhD Graduate Program Guide

Doctoral Program

Degree Requirements

This section contains the requirements for earning the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science or Computer Science and Engineering from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UTA. It is the intent of CSE to incorporate all Graduate School requirements into this document. However, students are still responsible for meeting all current Graduate School requirements as stated in the catalog.

Introduction

Students receiving a Ph.D. in CS or CpE(Computer Engineering) are expected to achieve and demonstrate a mastery of the discipline, and significantly advance the state of knowledge through an original research effort. Coursework for an M.S.C.S. degree tends to be the primary focus while the thesis is secondary. The emphasis is reversed in Ph.D. studies.

The graduation requirements fall into three categories: completion of a specified number of graduate credits in appropriate subjects with an acceptable grade-point average, demonstration of understanding of the discipline of computer science as evidenced by examination, and completion of a substantial research effort documented in a doctoral dissertation.

The Ph.D. Timeline gives a detailed roadmap with expected time limits that have to be met on the various milestones. The Ph.D. checklist shows major milestones for completing the degree requirements for students with and without Master's degrees in Computer Science. The Graduate Studies Committee prefers applicants with Master's degrees, but does not require it for admission. The milestones that a student passes during the course of a doctoral program are: diagnostic evaluation, basic and advanced course work, comprehensive examination, research proposal, dissertation research and documentation, and dissertation defense. At least two consecutive semesters of residence are required and the final GPA must not be less that 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. There is no foreign language requirement.

Initial Advising

Upon entry into the program, students should see the Graduate Advisor to decide on initial coursework and discuss their anticipated timeline.

Credit Requirements For MS to PhD candidates

All students entering the program are expected to possess knowledge equivalent to the CSE and Math foundation courses as specified in the Master's brochure.

A student must enroll for a minimum of 18 semester hours of Coursework beyond the Masters degree. Courses involving a letter grade constitute coursework. Eighteen hours being the minimum a typical student would take around 24 hrs to meet the necessary breadth and depth that the supervising committee assigns. Foundation courses (undergraduate deficiency courses) are not part of the 18 credits.

There is no formal procedure for transferring course work taken at another university for credit in a doctoral program

A student must also enroll for a minimum of 18 semester hours of dissertation research (CSE 6399, 6699, 6999) with 6999 required in the semester in which the dissertation is defended.

Credit Requirements For BS to PhD candidates

All students entering the program are expected to possess knowledge equivalent to the CSE and Math foundation courses as specified in the Master's brochure.

A BS to PhD student must enroll for a minimum of 30 semester hours of Coursework as follows:

(12 hours) 4 core courses
  • CSE 5311 - Design and Analysis of Algorithms
and 3 of the following
  • CSE 5301 - Data Analysis and Modeling Techniques
  • CSE 5306 - Design of Operating Systems
  • CSE 5317 - Design and Construction of Compilers
  • CSE 5350 - Computer Systems Architecture

There is no formal procedure for transferring course work taken at another university for credit in a doctoral program

A student must also enroll for a minimum of 18 semester hours of dissertation research (CSE 6399, 6699, 6999) with 6999 required in the semester in which the dissertation is defended.

Grades

No graduate credit is earned for a course in which a grade of less than "C" is earned. All courses do count toward the total GPA.

If at any point a student's GPA drops below 3.0, the student is placed on academic probation. The student then has one semester to raise his/her GPA back up to 3.0 or be dismissed from the program

Residence

The objective of the Ph.D. program is to develop Ph.D. candidates who can do independent research upon graduation. This objective is not compatible with part-time study. Therefore, at least two consecutive semesters of full time residence is required during the dissertation phase. Full time study may be pursued in conjunction with some teaching duties or departmentally supported research but is not compatible with off-campus employment

The Graduate Studies Committee may levee additional residence requirements or set specific progress goals to be attained during residency.

Status Reports

All PhD students are required to submit an annual progress report describing the work they did that year and the milestones they have completed and plan to complete. The form for this is at the end of this document.

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