Ph.D. Minor for Non-CSC Majors

A PhD minor in computer science is available to any PhD student at the University of Arizona provided they have sufficient computer science background to tackle graduate-level course work in the discipline. A minor can complement work in related disciplines or help students’ far-reaching areas develop marketable analytic and problem-solving skills.

CSC PhD Minor Admission

Doctoral students intending to minor in Computer Science must apply for admission to the minor. The admission process is used to ensure that students are qualified to undertake graduate-level courses in Computer Science.

A well-prepared applicant should be proficient in a high-level programming language such as C or C++, and have a solid background in the following areas: (1) mathematics, including calculus and discrete mathematics; (2) machine architecture; (3) programming languages, including exposure of high-level languages (e.g., Java, LISP, Icon); (4) data structures; (5) algorithm analysis; (6) theory of computation; and (7) software systems, including compilers and operating systems. Applicants lacking preparation in one or two of these areas may qualify for the minor with the stipulation that they remedy these deficiencies, if such missing background would be prerequisite for courses in their proposed minor program. Deficiencies are normally remedied by auditing undergraduate courses in the department, if space is available.

Feel free to contact gradadvising@cs.arizona.edu regarding admissions requirements and a proposed minor program of studies prior to enrolling in courses or applying to the minor. To apply for the minor, complete the following application. Students are allowed to deviate from their proposed plan with the approval of their advisor.

CSC PhD Minor Course Requirements

A PhD minor for non-CSc students consists of twelve units of CSC courses: three units in a Foundations of Theory course (CSC 545 or CSc 573), three units in a Foundations of Systems course (CSc 525, CSc 552, CSc 553, or CSc 576), and three units in an Applications of Computing course (see course list in the requirements for the doctoral degree). The remaining three units can be an elective: either any Computer Science 5XX course or a graduate course approved by the student’s minor advisor. A grade of `A' or `B' (‘Pass’ for CSc 599) must be earned in all minor courses. The student should have consulted their minor advisor (a CSc research faculty) prior to submitting their minor application.

Concerning the PhD split minor for non-CSc students, the only stated requirement is that it be six credits.

A grade of `A' or `B' (‘Pass’ for CSc 599) must be earned in all minor courses. The student should have a minor advisor (a CSc research faculty) prior to submitting their minor application.

Students in other programs at the University of Arizona who wish to minor in CS must take at least one UA CSc core course (listed above). The others can be transferred in, with the proviso that the foundations of theory or foundations of systems requirement can be met by transferring an equivalent course taken in another computer science graduate program.

The procedure for evaluating the transfer course is that the student’s CSc minor advisor makes a recommendation, with the Director of Graduate Studies making the final decision, in consultation with a current instructor of the relevant course and with the Graduate Affairs Committee.

CSC PhD Minor Examinations

The DGS will review minor applications and serve as a resource for questions, as needed. Each student admitted to the minor should seek out and identify a faculty advisor in Computer Science with whom they have taken multiple courses and/or aligns with their research interest for the major. This faculty advisor will serve on the student's exam committees.

The Qualifying Examination in Computer Science for the PhD minor is automatically waived provided a student has been admitted to the minor and has removed any admission deficiencies.

The Comprehensive Examination has written and oral components in both the major and minor fields of study; it is taken when all course work has been completed. This may be waived if the minor advisor chooses to do so and it is not a required component of the major comprehensive exam.

The Computer Science Minor Written Comprehensive Examination is given as a colloquium requirement (CSC 695B) to be taken during the last semester of minor coursework. The student must attend five research colloquia held in the Department of Computer Science to successfully pass this class.

CSC 695B must be completed prior to the Oral Comprehensive Exam being completed in the minor and major. Doctoral minor students are required to successfully answer questions from their Computer Science PhD minor faculty advisor in the Oral Comprehensive Exam based upon both core and elective courses in their minor program of study.

The Computer Science PhD minor faculty advisor may attend the Final Dissertation Defense Oral Exam or may waive attendance, unless the student requests attendance or the major department requires minor representation at the exam. Students should consult with the minor advisor prior to the Oral Exam.