The doctoral program in computer science is a research degree granted primarily on the presentation of substantial research achievement. To be admitted to candidacy for this degree, candidates must satisfy the requirements of The Graduate School and pass the qualifying examination. This examination consists of written and oral sections covering breadth in computer science as well as depth in a specific area.
Ph.D. Degree Requirements
- Breadth requirement. Students fulfill the breadth requirement by taking at least one course from each
of the following areas and receiving at least a B in all, and an A in at least two of them.
- (a) CS 505 (INTERMEDIATE TOPICS IN DATABASE SYSTEMS), CS 541 (COMPILER DESIGN).
- (b) CS 570 (MODERN OPERATING SYSTEMS), CS 571 (COMPUTER NETWORKS).
- (c) CS 515 (ALGORITHM DESIGN), CS 575 (MODELS OF COMPUTATION).
- (d) CS 535 (INTERMEDIATE COMPUTER GRAPHICS), CS 537 (NUMERICAL ANALYSIS).
- Depth requirement. The Depth process is individualized to the research focus of the student. The
student’s committee decides on the appropriate form of this process. It can be a written exam, an oral
exam, a literature review, a published paper, some other requirement, or a combination of these.
- Qualifying exam (QE). After two years of residency, the completion of the requirements above, and
any other requirements (such as courses and research papers) imposed by the student’s advisory committee,
the student becomes eligible for a QE. The QE is typically a thesis proposal examination, although
the committee can decide otherwise.
- PhD Oral examination. The student prepares a thesis and schedules an exam with his committee
for the thesis defense.
- Time limits. Students who complete the two years of residency coursework at UK should take the QE
in the sixth semester of their study. For other students, the preferred time for the QE is adjusted
accordingly. Further, the QE should be taken no later than in the second semester after the student
completed the depth requirement. All degree requirements for the doctorate must be completed within
five years following the semester or summer session in which the student completes the QE, but
extensions up to additional 5 years may be requested for a total of 10 years.