The course requirement for the degree is 72 credit hours. 

The 72 hours of required doctoral-level credits typically consist of 48 credits of regular coursework and 24 credits of dissertation research. 

Doctoral Coursework 

The 48 credits of regular coursework required for the degree consists of the following courses:

  • CS 600 Theoretical Computer Science (3 credit hours) -- must be completed with a B+ or better 
  • CS 700 Quantitative Methods and Experimental Design in Computer Science (3 credit hours) 
  • CS 800 Computer Science Colloquium (0 credit hours) -- must enroll in course for two semesters
  • CS 990 Dissertation Topic Presentation (0 credit hours) 
  • Four advanced graduate courses (12 credit hours) selected in consultation with the student's advisor from this list 
    • Please note that independent study courses cannot be used towards the 12 credit hours that must be obtained in advanced graduate courses. However, the 12 credit hours may include at most 3 credits of CS 896 Directed Reading and Research.  Students may register in CS 896 only after passing the PhD qualifying exams.
  • Additional graduate level courses (30 credits) in Computer Science or a field related to the student’s doctoral research area, and selected in consultation with the student’s advisor

With careful selection of courses, students may earn an MS degree as part of their PhD studiesCS 600CS 700 and 12 credits of advanced graduate courses taken as part of the coursework for the PhD degree can be applied towards a MS degree, if the selected courses also satisfy the requirements of the MS degree.

Reduction of Credit:
Students entering the PhD program with an approved MS degree can receive a waiver for up to 30 credits. In addition, the courses taken as part of the previous MS degree can be used to satisfy the other course requirements of the PhD degree.  Reduction of credit and waiver of course requirements requires the approval of the program director or designee and the dean or designee of the school.

Dissertation Research 

 A minimum of 24 credits of CS 998 (Doctoral Dissertation Proposal) and CS 999 (Doctoral Dissertation) must be completed, of which at least 12 must be in CS 999. Only 24 credits of CS 998 and CS 999 may be applied toward the degree. Students may enroll in CS 998 only after passing the qualifying exams, and they may enroll in CS 999 only after advancing to candidacy.