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Computer Engineering, Ph.D.

Objective and Description

The purpose of the graduate program in Computer Science and Engineering is to facilitate the student's continued professional and scholarly development. The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program is designed to prepare the student to conduct research and development in an area of concentration.

Computer Science and Engineering Department

Typical areas of concentration include:

  1. Computer Systems: parallel processing, quality-of-service and resource management in distributed systems, scheduling and load balancing for parallel and distributed systems, tools for parallel programming, performance evaluation, fault-tolerant computing, interconnection networks, multimedia systems, real-time systems, memory system design;
  2. Intelligent Systems: neural networks, machine learning, planning, scientific visualization, pattern recognition, natural language processing, multi-agent environments, decision support;
  3. Software Engineering: requirements engineering, incremental delivery, conceptual modeling, scenario-based techniques, formal specifications, object-oriented software engineering, design methodologies, software testing, software maintenance, software re-engineering, software processes, real-time systems;
  4. Database: temporal databases, object-oriented databases, database models and languages, distributed database systems, indexing and hashing techniques, conceptual modeling, data security, logic and databases, query optimization, relational design theory, user interfaces, data repositories.
  5. Communications: networks, wireless communication, distributed computing, mobile computing, multimedia systems.

Admissions Requirements

Requirements and Courses

The Ph.D. in Computer Engineering is available to students with a prior degree in engineering. It contains essentially the same requirements as the Ph.D. degree in computer science except that it permits interdisciplinary research between computer science and one or more of the various engineering disciplines.

Graduation requirements fall into three categories: completion of a specified number of graduate credits in appropriate subjects with an acceptable grade-point average, demonstration of understanding of the discipline of computer science as evidenced by examination, and completion of a substantial research effort documented in a doctoral dissertation.

The Ph.D. timeline gives a detailed roadmap with expected time limits that must be met on the various milestones. The Ph.D. checklist shows major milestones for completing the degree requirements for students with and without master's degrees in computer science. The Graduate Studies Committee prefers applicants with master's degrees, but does not require them for admission. The milestones that a student passes during the course of a doctoral program are: diagnostic evaluation, basic and advanced course work, comprehensive examination, research proposal, dissertation research and documentation, and dissertation defense. At least two consecutive semesters of residence are required and the final GPA must not be less that 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. There is no foreign language requirement.

Computer Science and Engineering Department

Initial Advising

Upon entry into the program, students should see the graduate advisor to decide on initial coursework and discuss their anticipated timeline.

Credit Requirements For M.S.-to-Ph.D. candidates

All students entering the program are expected to possess knowledge equivalent to the CSE and math foundation courses as specified in the master's brochure.

A student must enroll for a minimum of 18 semester hours of coursework beyond the master's degree. Courses involving a letter grade constitute coursework. A typical student would take around 24 hrs to meet the necessary breadth and depth that the supervising committee assigns. Foundation courses (undergraduate deficiency courses) are not part of the 18 credits.

There is no formal procedure for transferring coursework taken at another university for credit in a doctoral program.

A student must also enroll for a minimum of 18 semester hours of dissertation research (CSE 6399, 6699, 6999) with 6999 required in the semester in which the dissertation is defended.

Credit Requirements For B.S.-to-Ph.D. candidates

All students entering the program are expected to possess knowledge equivalent to the CSE and math foundation courses as specified in the master's brochure.

A B.S.-to-Ph.D. student must enroll for a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework as follows:

  • CSE 5311 - Design and Analysis of Algorithms and
  • 3 of the following
    • CSE 5301 - Data Analysis and Modeling Techniques
    • CSE 5306 - Design of Operating Systems
    • CSE 5317 - Design and Construction of Compilers
    • CSE 5350 - Computer Systems Architecture or CSE 5351 - Parallel Processing