Each student must prepare a written dissertation proposal. While preparing this proposal, the student enrolls in CS 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal. (Note: Students may enroll in CS 998 only after passing the qualifying exams. )

Students may present their dissertation proposal only after passing the comprehensive exam, and the presentation may not be on the same day as the comprehensive exam.  Students are also required to complete CS 990 before or during the semester in which they present their dissertation proposal.

The proposal must be presented to and approved by the dissertation committee. The committee determines whether the proposal has merit, and can lead to significant research contributions, and whether the student has the knowledge and skills to complete the proposed work successfully, and in a timely manner. 

 If the student fails to defend the proposal, the student may present a dissertation proposal a second time at a later date. Failure in the second attempt results in dismissal from the program. Upon completing this requirement successfully, a copy of the proposal must be filed with the Computer Science Department, and the student is advanced to candidacy for the PhD degree .