Jul 29, 2021  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
    
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Doctor of Philosophy - Computer Science


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Plan Description


The Ph.D. degree is awarded to a candidate who has demonstrated breadth of knowledge in computer science in general and has displayed depth of knowledge in the area of specialty as well as the ability to make original contributions to the body of knowledge in this field. 

 

Learning Outcomes  

www.unlv.edu/degree/phd-computer-science

Plan Admission Requirements


 Applicants for admission to the Ph.D. program in computer science must meet the following:

  1. A GPA of 3.70 (on a 4.00 scale) or higher in post-baccalaureate course work is required for admission. Students entering with a bachelor’s degree must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher for the courses at the 200-level or above.
  2. Students are expected to have a master’s degree in computer science before applying to the Ph.D. program. On rare occasions, an unusually capable student may be admitted to work directly for the Ph.D. degree without having a master’s degree.
  3. At least three letters of recommendation (preferably from academic sources) attesting to the applicant’s professional competence and academic potential are required.
  4. A personal statement of purpose, which should be as specific as possible and should include the applicant’s objectives and area(s) of interest, is required.
  5. A minimum score of 315 on the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required. Official score reports from the last five years are acceptable.
  6. All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

Subplan 1 Requirements: Post-Master’s Track


  Total Credits Required: 48  

Course Requirements 

 Required Courses – Credits: 30 

Complete 30 credits of 600- or 700- level Computer Science (CS) courses.   

 Dissertation – Credits: 18 

CS 799 - Dissertation Research 

Degree Requirements 

  1. A student entering the Ph.D. program with a master’s degree in computer science is required to take at least 48 credits of coursework.
  2. At least 24 credits must be in computer science (excluding dissertation).
  3. A minimum of 12 credits of 700-level Computer Science courses (excluding dissertation)
  4. A maximum of 12 credits of 600-level Computer Science courses.
  5. A maximum of 6 credits of 600/700 level non-Computer Science courses (with departmental approval).
  6.  Satisfactorily pass a written comprehensive examination within the first four semesters.
    1. The written comprehensive examination will be given twice a year. The comprehensives will assess the student’s breadth of knowledge through two examinations covering the six Core Areas listed below and another examination in two other areas of his or her choice.
    2. Core Areas:
      1. Automata and formal languages; Algorithms and data structures
      2. Programming languages; Compiler construction
      3. Computer architecture; Operating systems
    3. Application Areas:
      1. Artificial intelligence
      2. Computer graphics and image processing
      3. Computer simulation and networks
      4. Data base systems
      5. Software engineering and reliability
      6. Document analysis
      7. Networks and distributed computing
      8. Geometric applications
    4. The level of the examination is that of 600-level and 700-level courses in each area. A syllabus will be published well in advance of the exams listing the topics to be covered in each exam. Students are expected to take the comprehensive examination within two years of entering the Ph.D. program. All Ph.D. students are urged to take this examination as early as possible. Preference is given in the allocation of student financial support to those who have passed the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination may be attempted at most twice. Students who do not pass the comprehensive examination the first time must retake the examination at the next scheduled offering. Failure to pass the comprehensive examination after two attempts will normally lead to dismissal from the Ph.D. program. After passing the comprehensive examination, a research topic of mutual interest to the student and his/her proposed committee is selected. At this point, the student formally begins his/her research study.
  7. The qualifying examination is an oral examination designed to test the depth of the student’s knowledge in his or her area of research specialization.
    1. It must be taken before either:
      1. Two years after passing the comprehensive examination or
      2. Four years after entering the Ph.D. program.
    2. It generally focuses on his/her dissertation proposal. The main purpose of this exam is to evaluate the technical merits and feasibility of the student’s proposal for his/her Ph.D. dissertation.
    3. The student’s Ph.D. committee must conduct the examination. This committee consists of five faculty members of whom one must be from outside the school of computer science. The student’s advisor is the chairperson of this committee. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
    4. The student must prepare a dissertation proposal before taking this examination. The student’s advisor should have already approved this proposal. This proposal must be given to the Ph.D. committee members at least two weeks before the date of the qualifying exam. The proposal must contain a discussion of the background literature on the problem area, description of the specific topic of research proposal approach, feasibility arguments, the objective of the research project, and a list of references.
    5. The student begins the exam with a presentation of the dissertation proposal. The remaining time is used for discussion and asking questions to determine if the student has sufficient depth of knowledge to carry out the proposed research.
    6. The examination cannot be taken more than twice. After successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student is advanced to candidacy for the doctoral degree.
  8. Satisfactorily pass a dissertation proposal defense by the end of year 4.
  9. The candidate must prepare a dissertation on his or her research. The doctoral dissertation should represent a significant original research contribution to the field of computer science and be publishable in a recognized refereed journal.
  10. After completion of the dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral defense of his/her dissertation. The candidate must make the final changes, if any, in the dissertation within three months from the date of the oral defense. A candidate can defend the dissertation no more than twice. Each member of the committee must approve the final dissertation.
  11. Maintain a satisfactory rate of progress and a yearly progress report must be submitted. To maintain satisfactory progress in the Ph.D. program a student must:
    1. Pass the comprehensive examination within 2.50 years of entering the Ph.D. program.
    2. Maintain a minimum grade point average required by the College of Engineering.
    3. Pass the qualifying examination within four years of entering the Ph.D. program.
    4. Maintain satisfactory progress towards research.
    5.   Students who enter the Ph.D. program with a master’s degree must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree within six years. Those who enter the Ph.D. program with a bachelor’s degree must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree within eight years. If these requirements are not met, the department may place the student on academic probation or drop him/her from the Ph.D. program.  

Graduation Requirements 

  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements. 
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted hard-copy dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.

Subplan 2 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s - No Master’s/Ph.D. Only Track


 Total Credits Required: 72  

Course Requirements

 Required Courses – Credits: 54

Complete 54 credits of 600- or 700- level Computer Science (CS) courses.

Dissertation – Credits: 18 

CS 799 - Dissertation Research 

Degree Requirements 

  1. Complete a minimum of 72 credits of coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  2. At least 42 credits must be in computer science (excluding dissertation).
  3. A minimum of 24 credits of 700-level Computer Science courses (excluding dissertation)
  4. A maximum of 12 credits of 600-level Computer Science courses.
  5. A maximum of 6 credits of 600/700 level non-Computer Science courses (with departmental approval).
  6. Satisfactorily pass a written comprehensive examination within the first four semesters.
    1. The written comprehensive examination will be given twice a year. The comprehensives will assess the student’s breadth of knowledge through two examinations covering the six Core Areas listed below and another examination in two other areas of his or her choice.
    2. Core Areas:
      1. Automata and formal languages; Algorithms and data structures
      2. Programming languages; Compiler construction
      3. Computer architecture; Operating systems
    3. Application Areas:
      1. Artificial intelligence
      2. Computer graphics and image processing
      3. Computer simulation and networks
      4. Data base systems
      5. Software engineering and reliability
      6. Document analysis
      7. Networks and distributed computing
      8. Geometric applications
    4. The level of the examination is that of 600-level and 700-level courses in each area. A syllabus will be published well in advance of the exams listing the topics to be covered in each exam. Students are expected to take the comprehensive examination within two years of entering the Ph.D. program. All Ph.D. students are urged to take this examination as early as possible. Preference is given in the allocation of student financial support to those who have passed the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination may be attempted at most twice. Students who do not pass the comprehensive examination the first time must retake the examination at the next scheduled offering. Failure to pass the comprehensive examination after two attempts will normally lead to dismissal from the Ph.D. program. After passing the comprehensive examination, a research topic of mutual interest to the student and his/her proposed committee is selected. At this point, the student formally begins his/her research study.
  7. The qualifying examination is an oral examination designed to test the depth of the student’s knowledge in his or her area of research specialization.
    1. It must be taken before either:
      1. Two years after passing the comprehensive examination or
      2. Four years after entering the Ph.D. program.
    2. It generally focuses on his/her dissertation proposal. The main purpose of this exam is to evaluate the technical merits and feasibility of the student’s proposal for his/her Ph.D. dissertation.
    3. The student’s Ph.D. committee must conduct the examination. This committee consists of five faculty members of whom one must be from outside the school of computer science. The student’s advisor is the chairperson of this committee. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
    4. The student must prepare a dissertation proposal before taking this examination. The student’s advisor should have already approved this proposal. This proposal must be given to the Ph.D. committee members at least two weeks before the date of the qualifying exam. The proposal must contain a discussion of the background literature on the problem area, description of the specific topic of research proposal approach, feasibility arguments, the objective of the research project, and a list of references.
    5. The student begins the exam with a presentation of the dissertation proposal. The remaining time is used for discussion and asking questions to determine if the student has sufficient depth of knowledge to carry out the proposed research.
    6. The examination cannot be taken more than twice. After successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student is advanced to candidacy for the doctoral degree.
  8. Satisfactorily pass a dissertation proposal defense by the end of year 4.
  9. The candidate must prepare a dissertation on his or her research. The doctoral dissertation should represent a significant original research contribution to the field of computer science and be publishable in a recognized refereed journal.
  10. After completion of the dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral defense of his/her dissertation. The candidate must make the final changes, if any, in the dissertation within three months from the date of the oral defense. A candidate can defend the dissertation no more than twice. Each member of the committee must approve the final dissertation.
  11. Maintain a satisfactory rate of progress and a yearly progress report must be submitted. To maintain satisfactory progress in the Ph.D. program a student must:
    1. Pass the comprehensive examination within 2.50 years of entering the Ph.D. program.
    2. Maintain a minimum grade point average required by the College of Engineering.
    3. Pass the qualifying examination within four years of entering the Ph.D. program.
    4. Maintain satisfactory progress towards research.
    5.   Students who enter the Ph.D. program with a master’s degree must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree within six years. Those who enter the Ph.D. program with a bachelor’s degree must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree within eight years. If these requirements are not met, the department may place the student on academic probation or drop him/her from the Ph.D. program.   

Graduation Requirements 

  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted hard-copy dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.

Subplan 3 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s - Thesis Track


  Total Credits Required: 72 

Course Requirements

 Required Master’s Courses – Credits: 24 

 Complete 24 credits of 600- or 700- level Computer Science (CS) courses.  

 Thesis – Credits: 6 

CS 791 - Thesis 

 

After successfully completing the requirements above, students are eligible to earn the Master of Science – Computer Science. 

 

 Required Doctoral Courses – Credits: 24 

 Complete 24 credits of 600- or 700- level Computer Science (CS) courses 

 Dissertation – Credits: 18 

CS 799 - Dissertation Research 

Degree Requirements 

  1.  Complete a minimum of 72 credits of coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  2. At least 42 credits must be in computer science (excluding thesis & dissertation).
  3. A minimum of 24 credits of 700-level Computer Science courses (excluding thesis & dissertation)
  4. A maximum of 12 credits of 600-level Computer Science courses.
  5. A maximum of 6 credits of 600/700 level non-Computer Science courses (with departmental approval).
  6. The student must submit a thesis conforming to the specifications of the Graduate College and pass a final oral examination covering the thesis and relevant course work.
  7. Satisfactorily pass a written comprehensive examination within the first four semesters.
    1. The written comprehensive examination will be given twice a year. The comprehensives will assess the student’s breadth of knowledge through two examinations covering the six Core Areas listed below and another examination in two other areas of his or her choice.
    2. Core Areas:
      1. Automata and formal languages; Algorithms and data structures
      2. Programming languages; Compiler construction
      3. Computer architecture; Operating systems
    3. Application Areas:
      1. Artificial intelligence
      2. Computer graphics and image processing
      3. Computer simulation and networks
      4. Data base systems
      5. Software engineering and reliability
      6. Document analysis
      7. Networks and distributed computing
      8. Geometric applications
    4. The level of the examination is that of 600-level and 700-level courses in each area. A syllabus will be published well in advance of the exams listing the topics to be covered in each exam. Students are expected to take the comprehensive examination within two years of entering the Ph.D. program. All Ph.D. students are urged to take this examination as early as possible. Preference is given in the allocation of student financial support to those who have passed the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination may be attempted at most twice. Students who do not pass the comprehensive examination the first time must retake the examination at the next scheduled offering. Failure to pass the comprehensive examination after two attempts will normally lead to dismissal from the Ph.D. program. After passing the comprehensive examination, a research topic of mutual interest to the student and his/her proposed committee is selected. At this point, the student formally begins his/her research study.
  8. The qualifying examination is an oral examination designed to test the depth of the student’s knowledge in his or her area of research specialization.
    1. It must be taken before either:
      1. Two years after passing the comprehensive examination or
      2. Four years after entering the Ph.D. program.
    2. It generally focuses on his/her dissertation proposal. The main purpose of this exam is to evaluate the technical merits and feasibility of the student’s proposal for his/her Ph.D. dissertation.
    3. The student’s Ph.D. committee must conduct the examination. This committee consists of five faculty members of whom one must be from outside the school of computer science. The student’s advisor is the chairperson of this committee. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
    4. The student must prepare a dissertation proposal before taking this examination. The student’s advisor should have already approved this proposal. This proposal must be given to the Ph.D. committee members at least two weeks before the date of the qualifying exam. The proposal must contain a discussion of the background literature on the problem area, description of the specific topic of research proposal approach, feasibility arguments, the objective of the research project, and a list of references.
    5. The student begins the exam with a presentation of the dissertation proposal. The remaining time is used for discussion and asking questions to determine if the student has sufficient depth of knowledge to carry out the proposed research.
    6. The examination cannot be taken more than twice. After successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student is advanced to candidacy for the doctoral degree.
  9. Satisfactorily pass a dissertation proposal defense by the end of year 4.
  10. The candidate must prepare a dissertation on his or her research. The doctoral dissertation should represent a significant original research contribution to the field of computer science and be publishable in a recognized refereed journal.
  11. After completion of the dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral defense of his/her dissertation. The candidate must make the final changes, if any, in the dissertation within three months from the date of the oral defense. A candidate can defend the dissertation no more than twice. Each member of the committee must approve the final dissertation.
  12. Maintain a satisfactory rate of progress and a yearly progress report must be submitted. To maintain satisfactory progress in the Ph.D. program a student must:
    1. Pass the comprehensive examination within 2.50 years of entering the Ph.D. program.
    2. Maintain a minimum grade point average required by the College of Engineering.
    3. Pass the qualifying examination within four years of entering the Ph.D. program.
    4. Maintain satisfactory progress towards research.
    5. Students who enter the Ph.D. program with a master’s degree must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree within six years. Those who enter the Ph.D. program with a bachelor’s degree must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree within eight years. If these requirements are not met, the department may place the student on academic probation or drop him/her from the Ph.D. program. 

Graduation Requirements 

  1.  The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her master’s degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her thesis by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted hard-copy thesis to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.
  4. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her doctoral degree requirements.
  5. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  6. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted hard-copy dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.

Subplan 4 Requirements: Post-Bachelor’s - Project Track


Total Credits Required: 72

Course Requirements

Required Master’s Courses – Credits: 27

Complete 27 credits of 600- or 700- level Computer Science (CS) courses.

Project – Credits: 3

CS 790 - Master’s Project 

 

After successfully completing the requirements above, students are eligible to earn the Master of Science – Computer Science.

 

Required Doctoral Courses – Credits: 24

Complete 24 credits of 600- or 700- level Computer Science (CS) courses

Dissertation – Credits: 18

CS 799 - Dissertation Research 

Degree Requirements 

  1. Complete a minimum of 72 credits of coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  2. At least 42 credits must be in computer science (excluding dissertation).
  3. A minimum of 24 credits of 700-level Computer Science courses (excluding dissertation)
  4. A maximum of 12 credits of 600-level Computer Science courses.
  5. A maximum of 6 credits of 600/700 level non-Computer Science courses (with departmental approval).
  6. The student must complete a computer science project and a report approved by his/her advisor and pass a final oral examination over the project and relevant course work.
  7. Satisfactorily pass a written comprehensive examination within the first four semesters.
    1. The written comprehensive examination will be given twice a year. The comprehensives will assess the student’s breadth of knowledge through two examinations covering the six Core Areas listed below and another examination in two other areas of his or her choice.
    2. Core Areas:
      1. Automata and formal languages; Algorithms and data structures
      2. Programming languages; Compiler construction
      3. Computer architecture; Operating systems
    3. Application Areas:
      1. Artificial intelligence
      2. Computer graphics and image processing
      3. Computer simulation and networks
      4. Data base systems
      5. Software engineering and reliability
      6. Document analysis
      7. Networks and distributed computing
      8. Geometric applications
    4. The level of the examination is that of 600-level and 700-level courses in each area. A syllabus will be published well in advance of the exams listing the topics to be covered in each exam. Students are expected to take the comprehensive examination within two years of entering the Ph.D. program. All Ph.D. students are urged to take this examination as early as possible. Preference is given in the allocation of student financial support to those who have passed the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination may be attempted at most twice. Students who do not pass the comprehensive examination the first time must retake the examination at the next scheduled offering. Failure to pass the comprehensive examination after two attempts will normally lead to dismissal from the Ph.D. program. After passing the comprehensive examination, a research topic of mutual interest to the student and his/her proposed committee is selected. At this point, the student formally begins his/her research study.
  8. The qualifying examination is an oral examination designed to test the depth of the student’s knowledge in his or her area of research specialization.
    1. It must be taken before either:
      1. Two years after passing the comprehensive examination or
      2. Four years after entering the Ph.D. program.
    2. It generally focuses on his/her dissertation proposal. The main purpose of this exam is to evaluate the technical merits and feasibility of the student’s proposal for his/her Ph.D. dissertation.
    3. The student’s Ph.D. committee must conduct the examination. This committee consists of five faculty members of whom one must be from outside the school of computer science. The student’s advisor is the chairperson of this committee. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
    4. The student must prepare a dissertation proposal before taking this examination. The student’s advisor should have already approved this proposal. This proposal must be given to the Ph.D. committee members at least two weeks before the date of the qualifying exam. The proposal must contain a discussion of the background literature on the problem area, description of the specific topic of research proposal approach, feasibility arguments, the objective of the research project, and a list of references.
    5. The student begins the exam with a presentation of the dissertation proposal. The remaining time is used for discussion and asking questions to determine if the student has sufficient depth of knowledge to carry out the proposed research.
    6. The examination cannot be taken more than twice. After successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student is advanced to candidacy for the doctoral degree.
  9. Satisfactorily pass a dissertation proposal defense by the end of year 4.
  10. The candidate must prepare a dissertation on his or her research. The doctoral dissertation should represent a significant original research contribution to the field of computer science and be publishable in a recognized refereed journal.
  11. After completion of the dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral defense of his/her dissertation. The candidate must make the final changes, if any, in the dissertation within three months from the date of the oral defense. A candidate can defend the dissertation no more than twice. Each member of the committee must approve the final dissertation.
  12. Maintain a satisfactory rate of progress and a yearly progress report must be submitted. To maintain satisfactory progress in the Ph.D. program a student must:
    1. Pass the comprehensive examination within 2.50 years of entering the Ph.D. program.
    2. Maintain a minimum grade point average required by the College of Engineering.
    3. Pass the qualifying examination within four years of entering the Ph.D. program.
    4. Maintain satisfactory progress towards research.
    5. Students who enter the Ph.D. program with a master’s degree must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree within six years. Those who enter the Ph.D. program with a bachelor’s degree must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree within eight years. If these requirements are not met, the department may place the student on academic probation or drop him/her from the Ph.D. program.

Graduation Requirements 

  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements for both the master’s and doctoral portions of the program.
  2. The student must successfully complete a master’s project.
  3. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  4. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted hard-copy dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.

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