PhD IT Concentration in Software Engineering

Students may designate a concentration in software engineering in their doctoral degree title. In that case the transcript of a graduating student would be "PhD in Information Technology with Concentration in Software Engineering." Students may also pursue such doctoral studies without designating a concentration in their degree title.


Students seeking this concentration must satisfy all the requirements for the PhD degree in Information Technology.  In addition, the following requirements must be met.

Plan of Study

All decisions concerning the student's course requirements and plan of study must be approved by the advisor or director, with the consent of the Senior Associate Dean.

Doctoral Supervisory Committee

The composition of the doctoral supervisory committee is to be approved by the Volgenau School Senior Associate Dean Permission for the comprehensive examination and the dissertation defense is requested from the Volgenau School Senior Associate Dean on the basis of a written request and plan that has been approved by the supervisory committee.

Note for PhD pre-defense and final defense:

  • It is the University policy that the final defense can only occur at least two weeks after the pre-defense.
  • The Volgenau School's policy requires that the final defense for the PhD in IT degree can only occur at least four weeks after the pre-defense. Under very special circumstances, the minimum two-week period determined by the University policy may be approved by the Senior Associate Dean.
  • Students in the PhD in IT degree program must submit an Approval to Defend Dissertation form [PDF] along with a copy of the written dissertation to Lisa Nolder after successfully passing their pre-defense.
  • Students should also submit to the Associate Dean (via e-mail): (a) a copy of the title and abstract of the dissertation, (b) a list of publications resulting from the dissertation, and (c) information on future employment after graduation.
  • Students are responsible for providing an electronic version of the announcement to be posted at various places within the university to the staff person in charge of coordinating their respective PhD degrees. Failure to do so will delay the date of the final defense.

Qualifying Examinations

To satisfy the breadth requirement of the PhD degree, each student must pass a set of qualifying examinations designed to test a student's fundamental knowledge. The general IT PhD requirement is that each student must take four exams from three different master's programs. For the specialization in software engineering, each student should take the following qualifying exams (and courses if needed):

Advanced Emphasis Requirement

In addition to the IT PhD requirements, the Software Engineering track requires the following:
  • 3 credits of SWE 763 or CS 700
  • 12 credits from SWE 700-level courses and IT-SWE courses (defined below)
  • 9 credits from the complete list of SWE, IT-SWE and SWE relevant courses below

SWE 600-level Courses

SWE 619 Object-Oriented Software Specification and Construction (Unless the Object-Oriented Software Specification and Construction qualifying exam was taken)
SWE 620 Software Requirements Analysis and Specification
SWE 621 Software Modeling and Architectural Design (unless the Software Architecture and Design qualifying exam was taken)
SWE 622 Distributed Software Engineering
SWE 623 Formal Methods and Models in Software Engineering (unless the Formal Methods and and qualifying exam was taken)
SWE 625 Software Project Management
SWE 626 Software Project Laboratory
SWE 630 Software Project Economics
SWE 632 User Interface Design and Development
SWE 637 Software Testing (unless the Software Testing qualifying exam was taken
SWE 642 Software Engineering for the World Wide Web
SWE 645 Component-Based Software Development
SWE 681 Secure Software Design and Programming

SWE 700 and 800-level Courses

SWE 720 Advanced Software Requirements
SWE 721 Reusable Software Architectures
SWE 722 Service Oriented Architecture
SWE 723 Precise Modeling
SWE 727 Quality of Service for Software Architectures
SWE 760 Software Analysis and Design of Real-Time Systems
SWE 763 Software Engineering Experimentation
SWE 795 Advanced Topics in Software Engineering
SWE 796 Directed Readings in Software Engineering
SWE 798 Research Project
SWE 821 Software Engineering Seminar
SWE 822 Software Maintenance and Reuse
SWE 823 Software for Critical Systems
SWE 824 Program Analysis for Software Testing
SWE 825 Special Topics in Web-Based Software

SWE Relevant Courses

CS 700 Quantitative Methods and Experimental Design in Computer Science
CS 706 Concurrent Software Systems
CS 675 Distributed Software Systems
INFS 740 Individual Project in Electronic Commerce
INFS 750 Application Frameworks for Windowed Information Systems
INFS 755 Data Warehousing and Mining
INFS 760 Advanced Database Management
INFS 764 Object-Oriented Database Systems
INFS 770 Knowledge Management for E-Business
INFS 780 Data Mining in Multimedia Databases
INFS 785 Data Mining for Homeland Security
INFS 790 Information Systems Policy and Administration
INFS 796 Directed Readings in Information Systems
INFS 797 Advanced Topics in Information Systems
INFS 798 Research Project
INFS 861 Distributed Database Management Systems
INFS 865 Networks and Distributed Systems Security
INFS 867 Intelligent Databases
ISA 562 Information Security and Practice
ISA 656 Network Security
ISA 765 Database and Distributed Systems Security
ISA 767 Secure Electronic Commerce
ISA 862 Models for Computer Security