Program Requirements | Graduate | Computer Science | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics

Ph.D. Program Requirements

The student must fulfill the requirements for the Computer Science Program's Qualifying Examination within three years of enrollment in the doctoral program. The Qualifying Examination is organized and administered by the student's academic advisor. The faculty prepares a written test based on at least two areas of concentration related to the student's intended dissertation area. Questions will be drawn from regularly scheduled 400 and 500-level graduate courses at SIUC. The grade for the exam will be on a Pass or Fail basis for each subject area. If a student fails to pass any subject area of the written examination, a second chance is given for the failed topic test. Students who fail the Qualifying Examination after two attempts will be dismissed from the Ph.D. program.

To fulfill the course requirements of the Ph.D. program, the student must complete at least 24 credit hours of 400/500-level courses and 24 credit hours of CS 600 Dissertation research, all of which are subject to the following constraints:

  • The course work must include two one-credit hour seminar courses, six credit hours from an approved list of computer science 400/500-level courses, and six elective credit hours of CS 500-level courses.

  • The student must file a request with the Computer Science Program to appoint a Dissertation Committee to supervise the remaining doctoral work. This committee will consist of five graduate faculty members, one or two of whom will be from a graduate program outside Computer Science, one preferably from outside this university. The student's dissertation advisor will serve as the Chair of this committee.

  • Each student should complete a course of study as determined by the student's dissertation committee.

  • The course of study must include a minimum of six credit hours of 400/500-level courses from academic areas other than computer science. These courses must be selected from a list approved by the Computer Science Program.

  • Having passed the qualifying exams and after completion of most of the course requirements, a student will begin working on a dissertation proposal. The next step will be a Preliminary Examination consisting of an oral test on the student's proposed research topic. The student will pass the Preliminary Examination only if the members of the committee, with at most one exception, judge the performance of the student's oral examination to be satisfactory. In the event the student's performance is unsatisfactory, the committee will reschedule the exam for a later time. A student who fails the reexamination will be dismissed from the Ph.D. program.

  • A student will be officially admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree after passing the Preliminary Exam and upon completion of all course work. The student must then complete 24 credit hours of dissertation credit, restricted to nine hours per semester. When the research is complete and the dissertation is written, a final oral examination will take place to determine if the research conducted is worthy of the Ph.D. degree. The dissertation must conform to high literary and scholastic standards and comply with all the relevant requirements of the Graduate School. The dissertation must represent original research of good quality. From the dissertation, the candidate should publish (or have accepted for publication) a minimum of two articles in peer-reviewed publications, at least one of which should be a journal. For students who entered the Ph.D. program as of Fall 2010, the candidate should publish (or have accepted for publication) a minimum of two articles in peer-reviewed journals. The candidate must be listed as the primary author of at least one of these journal articles.

  • Each candidate must pass a final oral exam over the candidate's dissertation, conducted by the candidate's Dissertation Committee. The dissertation will be accepted provided the dissertation advisor and at least three of the other four members of the committee so agree.

  • Two weeks prior to a dissertation proposal or final oral exam students must reserve a time, date and location with the School of Computing main office staff.  After your reservation is confirmed students must complete the following Announcement Form to electronically generate your announcement for our website and through the School of Computing. Any presentation equipment must be requested within the submission form.
  • Degree requirements, graduation, and time limits are subject to the general guidelines of the Graduate School.