Oct 20, 2019  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
    
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [NOTE!!!! THIS IS AN ARCHIVED CATALOG. FOR THE CURRENT CATALOG, GO TO CATALOG.NIU.EDU]

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science


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Students seeking admission to the Ph.D. program in computer science must meet all the requirements for admission to the Graduate School; must have a baccalaureate or master’s degree in computer science or a related field; and should have a background equal to that required for the B.S. degree at Northern Illinois University.

Requirements


A program of study designed by the student and the adviser to meet the course requirements specified below must be approved by the Department of Computer Science. Each student must complete at least 90 semester hours of graduate course work.

Students must obtain prior departmental approval to apply courses not offered by the Department of Computer Science to their programs of study. No more than 12 credit hours may be outside the Department of Computer Science.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at
http:// www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.

The requirements for the Ph.D. degree are as follows:

I. Requirements for the M.S. in Computer Science with thesis option (31)
II. Research methods course (3)
III. Advanced course work (12)
IV. Dissertation (24-44)
V. Electives (0-20)

Total (90)

Graduate-level courses for which there exists an undergraduate equivalent (typically courses that are offered as 400/500 classes) shall not constitute more than 50% of hours, exclusive of dissertation hours, applied toward a doctoral degree.

Details for each category are listed below.

I. Requirements for the M.S. in Computer Science with thesis option (31)


Students must complete the M.S. program in Computer Science with the thesis option at NIU, or its equivalent elsewhere.

A student who has already taken this course as part of the M.S. degree in Computer Science must take 3 additional semester hours of electives instead. If a student has taken an equivalent course elsewhere, the student’s adviser may recommend to the department that this requirement be waived, in which case the student must take 3 additional semester hours of electives instead.

II. Research methods (3)


  • Students must complete the following course:

  • CSCI 701 - Research Methods in Computer Science Credits: 3
  • A student who has already taken this course as part of the M.S. degree in Computer Science must take 3 additional semesters of electives instead. If a student has taken an equivalent course elsewhere, the student’s adviser may recommend to the department that this requirement be waived, in which case the student must take 3 additional semester hours of electives instead.

III. Advanced course work (12)


Students must take four courses chosen from the following:

IV. Dissertation (24-44)


V. Elective course work (0-20)


Students must complete sufficient semester hours of electives to fill out their program. Elective course work includes CSCI courses in the range 500-798, excepting 699, that have not been used to satisfy another requirement. Students may take up to 12 semester hours from other departments in courses relevant to the student’s dissertation and subject to department approval.

Language/Research Tool Requirements


Students fulfill this requirement by passing the two courses listed below.

Since computer programming is a required tool for a Ph.D. in Computer Science, successful completion of CSCI 501, CSCI 502, or CSCI 503, or departmental approval, as required by the M.S. in Computer Science, counts as one of the research tool courses.

CSCI 701 - Research Methods in Computer Science, counts as the other research tool course.

Qualifying Examination


The qualifying examination for the Ph.D. consists of writing and successfully defending a master’s thesis in Computer Science in the department. If a student has written and defended a master’s thesis before entering the program, the student’s Ph.D. adviser will advise the department on whether the student has satisfied this requirement. Students are generally expected to pass the qualifying examination by the end of their second year in the program. Students who fail the examination may, with permission of the department, repeat it once.

Candidacy Examination


The candidacy examination for the Ph.D. consists of writing a dissertation proposal and successfully passing an oral examination based on that proposal. Students are generally expected to pass the candidacy examination within two years of the completion of the qualifying examination. Students who fail the examination may, with permission of the department, repeat it once.

Dissertation Committee


The department chair, in consultation with the chair of the doctoral committee and the student, will nominate a doctoral committee to be appointed by the dean of the Graduate School. This committee will consist of three to five members. Adjunct graduate faculty may serve on the doctoral committee; a majority of the committee, however, must be regular members of the graduate faculty in the Department of Computer Science.

Oral Dissertation Defense


An oral examination on the dissertation will be conducted by the dissertation committee according to Graduate School regulations.  Students must be enrolled for at least 2 semester hours of credit in the semester in which the examination is taken. Students who fail the examination may, with permission of the department, repeat it once.

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