Computer Science PhD

Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.


Total Units Required: 15

Course Title
Course Requirements
15 graded units of graduate coursework for the PhD
Coursework includes COMP_SCI 499-0, but not COMP_SCI 590-0 (Research)
Six (6) units should be at the 400 - level or above
Not counting COMP_SCI 545-0 and COMP_SCI 546-0 (the two credits PhD students can earn for teaching)
The normal full-time course load is three units and maximum is four units per academic quarter. All students receiving financial aid (fellowships, assistantships, grants, etc.) must register as full-time students.

Other PhD Degree Requirements

  • Dissertation Adviser: PhD students are required to obtain a permanent faculty advisor by the end of their third quarter (typically spring quarter).  The adviser, who must have a primary academic appointment in the Computer Science department, or an active and current courtesy appointment, must formally notify the CS department and supply an approved funding plan for the student. 
  • Research: independent research leading to dissertation; research is begun by third quarter of first year or sooner, continuing through summer into second year
  • Teaching: at least two experiences as instructor, teaching assistant, or teaching trainee
  • Examinations: Prospectus, Oral Thesis Defense, and Written Dissertation vary by research group as described in the CS Graduate Study Manual but must follow the timelines set by The Graduate School.