Past Computer Science Doctoral Degree Requirements

Effective November 2, 2016 - February 27,2018

This document states the requirements for CS doctoral students in addition to the requirements that apply to all doctoral students, as listed in the doctoral student handbook and catalog.

Breadth Requirement

Students must complete at least three graduate courses from the courses listed below with an A- and with at least one coming from each category. Additionally, students must pass a written exam in the subject of algorithms, which will be offered near the end of Fall and Spring semesters. The courses and exam must be completed by their 4th semester and students have a maximum of two attempts to pass the algorithms exam (similarly to the older written qualification exams).

Artificial Intelligence

  • CS-532 3D Computer Vision
  • CS-558 Computer Vision
  • CS-559 Machine Learning: Fundamentals and Applications
  • CS-541 Artificial Intelligence
  • CS-598 Visual Information Retrieval
  • CS-582 Causal Inference

Systems and Languages

  • CS-516 Compiler Design
  • CS-576 Secure Systems
  • CS-677 Parallel Programming for Many-core Processors
  • CS-549 Distributed Systems and Cloud Computing
  • CS-522 Mobile Systems and Applications
  • CS-510 Principles of Programming Languages
  • CS-609 Data Management and Exploration on the Web

Research Seminars

PhD students are required to attend CS seminars and their attendance will be recorded. Students failing to meet this requirement may be put on probation at the discretion of the faculty.

Qualifying Exam

The qualifying exam is an oral examination on a syllabus consisting of research papers, prepared jointly by the student and a committee including the advisor and two tenure-track faculty members. The goal is to establish scholarship in an area of research. The exam needs to be completed by the end of the 4th semester. It consists of a presentation, followed by open-door questions from the audience and a closed-door examination from the committee. The committee can pass, fail, or request re-examination (either written or oral).

Thesis Proposal

Students must write and present a thesis proposal, where they lay out an intended course of research for their dissertation. The proposal should contain an explanation of the problem and why it is important, a sketch of the proposed solution, and background information that serves to indicate that the problem is unsolved and what prior or related approaches to this or similar problems have already been investigated. The written proposal must be distributed and read by a committee, comprising the persons that are expected to form the student’s dissertation defense committee. The presentation of the thesis proposal is open to the public and it is followed by open-door questions from the audience and committee and closed-door questions from the committee. The committee can pass, fail, or request additional material from the student.

Dissertation and Thesis Defense

The department follows the Stevens-wide procedures for the dissertation defense, including committee composition. The defense must be announced at least two weeks in advance on the cs-faculty and cs-phd-students mailing lists as well as a Stevens-wide announcement originating with the Registrar's office. At least one manuscript based on dissertation work must be published on peer-reviewed conference proceedings or journal, at the time of the dissertation defense, and the thesis document must be in the hands of the committee at least four weeks in advance. For more information please refer to the online catalog. The committee can ask major or minor revisions, or fail the student. If major revisions are requested, at least a month of time is required for the student to make the changes and submit an updated dissertation. The amount of time given to the student to make revisions will not exceed 9 months, unless there are extenuating circumstances.