Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Ph.D. Requirements

The College expects that students starting work toward a PhD have a solid undergraduate background and Master's level background in Computer Science.  If you are unsure of your background, you should consult your advisor.

Ph.D. Students are required to:

  • Actively participate in research under the guidance of an advisor
  • Satisfy 6 Core Requirements across the areas of Systems, AI and Theory
  • Complete 18 course credits (core courses taken to satisfy core requirements are included)
  • Pass the College of Information and Computer Sciences Qualifying Exam- Portfolio
  • Form a Committee
  • Propose a Thesis
  • Complete 18 Dissertation Credits
  • Pass the Teaching Assistant Requirement
  • Pass the Residency Requirement
    • at least 9 credits, each semester, in back-to-back semesters which is usually satisfied with the dissertation credits
  • Defend and Submit a Thesis

Sample Ph.D. Program

The following schedule shows one way in which a PhD-only student could progress through the program to complete the PhD in four years. Because people have different backgrounds and different skills, your progress will almost certainly vary somewhat from this. It can be a helpful guide nonetheless. Students supported by an RAship will be able to make progress more efficiently if their Synthesis project and dissertation are well aligned with the RAship.

Year Fall Spring
1st core (3cr)
core (3cr)
core (3cr)
2nd core (3cr)
Synthesis begins
core (3 cr.)
portfolio submitted
3rd core (3cr)
dissertation (9cr)
thesis proposal
4th dissertation (9cr)

thesis defense
PhD completed


Most PhD students are supported by research or teaching assistantships.