The Doctoral Program
All Department of Computer Science requirements are based on and follow University of Arizona Graduate College policies found here: https://grad.arizona.edu/gsas/degree-requirements/doctor-philosophy
The PhD program is designed to provide students with advanced coursework and substantive research experience to prepare graduates to be the leaders in industry and academia. There is an emphasis on producing original work to present at conferences or published in peer-reviewed journals. Students who successfully complete the PhD program go on to take leadership, entrepreneurial, and scholarly positions.
Program of Study
Students select coursework in consultation with their research advisor and doctoral committee; this allows students to tailor their degree to specific interests and needs.
The course requirements of the major consist of 6 core courses, 2 additional CSC graduate courses, 4 research courses, and 1 colloquium. Students are expected to complete all the major course requirements before taking the Comprehensive Exam.
PhD students must complete a minor. Students may select an internal minor in computer science or an external minor in another department. A minor program typically consists of 9-12 units of coursework. The minor department determines minor course work and the extent to which they participate in PhD examinations. The minor and course work must be approved by the student’s advisor. Minor courses must be completed before PhD students take the Comprehensive Exam.
Research Projects and Colloquia
PhD students will complete twelve units of Research Project work (CSC 695C taken four times, each time for 3 units) and 1 colloquium course (CSC 695A, one unit). The colloquium course consists of attending a minimum of 10 colloquia. Registration for CSC 695A should take place in the semester when students will finish attending 10 colloquia; the GPC will enroll students.
Elective units must be graduate courses in Computer Science, only one course may be non-CS and must be selected from the list of approved electives. With prior approval, individual studies or research courses may be taken as electives. Internship credit will not count toward degree requirements.
Graduate Course Substitution Policy
There are times when a course substitution may be appropriate for a student’s plan of study. Doctoral students should meet with their faculty advisor to discuss the nature of the request and if the advisor approves, the advisor will send an official letter of request to the Graduate Program Coordinator for review by the Graduate Affairs Committee. The Graduate Affairs Committee will review and approve or deny all substitution requests.
*Note: If a student wants to take a class that is not on the curriculum sheet and count it towards a core requirement, the student must petition the Graduate Affairs committee for permission and send a request, co-signed by the advisor, justifying the use of course to the graduate coordinator.
PhD students are assigned a faculty mentor or advisor beginning the first semester. The student may choose to select this faculty member as the advisor for the entire PhD experience or may select another faculty member that better aligns with research interests. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor regularly, at least once a month, to discuss research interests, course selection, progress to degree, and career aspirations.
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 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.