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    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  Jan 20, 2018
Rensselaer Catalog 2007-2008 [Archived Catalog]

Computer Science Ph.D.

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During the first year, the student focuses on obtaining a breadth of knowledge in computer science. By the end of the first year, the student must pass a doctoral qualifying examination. This examination covers the material of five courses: CSCI 6050, CSCI 4020, CSCI 6140, CSCI 4250, and CSCI 4430.

The second year is devoted to research exploration and selection of a doctoral committee. By the end of the second year, the student must pass a research qualifying exam demonstrating breadth of knowledge in their research area.

In the third year, the student develops a detailed understanding of the chosen research area and prepares a research proposal. The student must pass an oral candidacy exam by the end of the third year. The candidacy exam is an oral exam focusing on a thesis proposal and administered by the student’s doctoral committee. The student begins by presenting the thesis proposal and then is questioned by the committee.

In addition to the above requirements, the student must earn a total of 90 credits beyond the bachelor’s level. Between 45 and 60 credits must be course credits. The remaining credits are for dissertation research. All doctoral students are expected to have presented at least two public lectures on their research prior to their defense. At least one of the lectures must be for the Graduate Student Seminar. The other may be a conference presentation or invited lecture. Graduate students are expected to attend the Computer Science Colloquium series on a regular basis. The Ph.D. program culminates with the submission of a thesis and the oral dissertation defense.

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