PhD in Computer Science Degree Requirements

This is an elaboration of the official program description found in the University catalog.

Overview

90 credits are required for the degree including six core courses. Please refer to the PhD in Computer Science Plan of Study [PDF].  The degree requirements also include successful completion of four milestones: Course Qualifying, a Candidacy Exam, a Thesis Proposal, and a Thesis Defense.

Core Requirements

Please refer the Drexel University Catalog PhD in Computer Science degree requirements page for core requirements. PhD students must take one “Core Candidate” course chosen from each of the six course categories (Theory, Intelligent Systems, Programming Systems, Computer Systems, Vision and Graphics, and Applications) listed in the degree requirements course list in the Catalog. There are two such courses in each course category.

Breadth Requirement

Please refer the Drexel University Catalog PhD in Computer Science degree requirements page for breadth requirements. PhD students must take another four intermediate and advanced courses from the remaining courses in the degree requirements course list in the Catalog, spanning at least three of the listed course categories (Theory, Intelligent Systems, Programming Systems, Computer Systems, Vision and Graphics, and Applications) while earning at least a grade of B in each course.

Depth Requirement

PhD students are required to complete at least 18 credits of CS courses beyond the breadth requirement. These courses should be 600- or 700- level courses or topics courses covering current research in selected areas. Course selection must be approved by the student’s research advisor.

As part of the depth requirement, 3 out of the 18 credits but no more than 9 credits are to be Independent Study work (CS690). (Please review the Independent Study policy for more information.)

For the PhD degree, 90 credits are required for graduation. Ordinarily, students will obtain an MS degree (45 credits) in the first two years of the program. This will satisfy the stated requirements for three core and three flex core courses and typically the breadth requirement and some of the depth requirement.

For students admitted already holding a master’s degree: Up to 45 credits of prior graduate work may be applied toward the doctoral degree requirements, which means that post-MS admittees may need to complete as few as 45 credit hours. Some or all of the breadth requirement may be satisfied through transfer credit from approved Graduate institutions. All transfer credit must have a grade of B or better, and must be approved by the PhD Program Manager. A student with an MS degree from a university other than Drexel must officially apply to have those credits transferred in order to have the degree officially recognized. Core course requirements must be satisfied through coursework at Drexel, or through transfer credit of equivalent coursework elsewhere.