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Ph.D. Program Progress Checklist

Procedures for Student Progress Through the Ph.D. Program


Doctoral students are to follow both the procedures described in the Graduate Academic Catalog and those described here.

Checklist for Computer Science Ph.D. Students

Preparatory phase

  1. Fulfill any conditions listed on your acceptance letter.
  2. Pass the qualifying exams (rules pdf).
  3. Find a CS faculty member who is willing to serve as your thesis advisor.
  4. Finish the required coursework.
  5. Complete any additional coursework required by your advisor.

Proposal phase

  1. Get Graduate Committee approval for your thesis committee, before your thesis proposal defense. To request approval, submit the Proposed Thesis Committee form, signed by your proposed advisor, to the Graduate Coordinator. The Thesis committee must contain at least three faculty members. One member of your thesis committee must be from outside the Computer Science Department.
  2. Submit (a) your thesis proposal and (b) abstract to the Graduate Coordinator at least two weeks before your intended proposal defense date. The Graduate Committee must review and approve your proposal and abstract prior to the announcement of your thesis proposal defense. The written proposal document will include the following sections:
    1. Statement of problem
    2. Related work
    3. Preliminary results
    4. Plan for remainder of thesis work
  3. Post an announcement of your thesis proposal defense, including an abstract, to the CS Department's main messaging system at least one week prior to the defense.
  4. Pass the thesis proposal defense.
  5. Submit the Completion of Thesis Proposal Defense form, signed by your advisor, to Graduate Coordinator.

Thesis phase

  1. Get the Graduate Coordinator's confirmation that you have completed all degree requirements except the thesis. (This step is not required, but is recommended so that any problems can be cleared up long before you seek degree clearance).
  2. Finish your thesis research, while earning at least 24 doctoral dissertation research credits. Dissertation research credits cannot be earned until you have passed all of the qualifying exams.
  3. Submit your thesis to the Graduate Coordinator prior to the announcement of your thesis defense.
  4. Announce the thesis defense at least one week prior to the thesis defense. To announce it, post an announcement (including the abstract) to the CS Department's main messaging system, and give the announcement (including the abstract) to the Graduate Coordinator and to the Graduate School.
  5. Pass the thesis defense.
  6. Submit the Completion of Ph.D. Thesis Defense form, signed by your advisor, to the Graduate Coordinator.
  7. Submit the revised thesis with the advisor's and committee members' signatures to the Graduate School.
  8. Submit to the Graduate Coordinator evidence that paper(s) on the thesis topic have been accepted to two refereed conferences or journals.*
  9. Complete the degree clearance procedures and paperwork.

*This requirement is for students matriculating into the Ph.D. program on or after the Fall 2006 semester.