Comprehensive Exam - Proposal and Presentation
The Comprehensive Exam consists of written and oral parts in both the major and minor fields. This exam should be taken by the end of the 7th semester in the program.
The written exam consists of a written account of research and results to date and a proposal for the remainder of the student’s research activity. The CS department supports work that improves the level of reproducibility in research. Specifically, we encourage PhD students to embrace completeness and transparency in developing research rigorous protocols as well as in making code, experimental parameters, and collected data available to other researchers. In particular, students are required to describe in their dissertation proposal if and how they will provide access to well-documented datasets, modeling and/or simulation tools, and codebases to support reproducibility of their methods.
The proposal must be submitted to the Comprehensive Exam Committee and the GPC three to four weeks prior to the announcement of the comprehensive exam date. The GPC must receive 10 days in advance of the oral comprehensive exam, written confirmation from each committee member that the student may proceed with the oral exam. The oral exam consists of a presentation of the proposal. This exam is closed to the public; only the student and Comprehensive Exam Committee may be in attendance. Students advance to PhD candidacy after passing this exam.
Note: Students must email the GPC with the proposed exam date and time to reserve a room.
Comprehensive Exam Committee
Students will need to identify faculty to serve on the Comprehensive Exam Committee. The student should consult with their faculty advisor on the appropriate faculty to invite to participate. The Comprehensive Exam Committee composition must meet the following requirements:
Committee must have at least 4 members
At least half of the committee must have primary, tenure-track faculty appointments in the Department of Computer Science
More than half of the committee must have primary or joint tenure-track faculty appointments in the Department of Computer Science
The advisor must have a primary or joint tenure-track faculty appointment in the Department of Computer Science
Committee must meet all Graduate College Requirements
When a student selects a committee for the comprehensive exam, the student will need to meet with the full committee every semester and submit a committee report form (PhD Committee Meeting Guidelines). This form will need to be signed by the student and all committee members and submitted to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). These regular meetings will occur with all committees until the final dissertation defense. While the student must meet with the full committee every semester, the student is encouraged to meet with members of the committee to get regular feedback on research and progress to the next milestone.