The program of study should be designed to provide appropriate depth and support for the student's area of interest (specialization) and to prepare the student for research in his/her chosen area. The program of study is proposed by the student after consultation with his/her major and minor professors and must be approved by his/her Graduate Committee and the Graduate Coordinator.
For the Ph.D. Direct Admit option, the program of study requires 63 graduate credit hours:
Any required courses in the Core or a Specialization previously completed by a student may be applied for completion and replaced with another free course of the student’s and committee’s choosing; some courses may be transferred in or shared in accordance to University guidelines. Students cannot have more 6xxx level credits then 8xxx credits on their final program of study and majority of credits must have course code CSE. See the Graduate Handbook for additional course policies.
The CS Core ensures students are prepared for graduate study and have a background in computer theory suitable for a graduate in computer science.
Classes designated as theory by the faculty can in advance can be used to substitute for the theory requirement on a case-by-case basis.
Specializations allow students to chose where to focus their studies; these specializations delve deeper into research areas of the department. Students choose two specializations to complete: A primary specialization where they take five courses, and a secondary one where they take three courses. Other courses required to fulfill the credit requirements of the degree are left up to the student and their Graduate Committee.
For each Specialization, there is a required introductory course and list of split-level (6xxx) and full graduate (8xxx) affiliated courses. Which courses must be completed depends on whether the Specialization is Primary or Secondary:
The student’s Graduate Committee has final approval of all applicable courses. Currently approved Specialization courses are listed below; others may be used given a committee's approval.
Graduate students must complete at minimum 20 credit hours of dissertation research, indicated by CSE 9000 sections under the direction the major professor or dissertation director. CSE 8000 Thesis Research hours cannot count towards this total. Dissertation hours are generally taken after the Preliminary exam has been passed.
Thesis students have 12 additional credit hours of graduate coursework of their choosing that are not tied to Core or Specializations. The only restrictions is that CSE 8080 Directed Project courses cannot be applied.