Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree in the field of Computer Science

Program Learning Outcomes for the PhD Degree in the field of Computer Science

Upon completing the PhD degree in the field of Computer Science, students will be able to:

  1. Acquire a solid foundation in Computer Science at graduate level. Students will demonstrate a graduate-level understanding of material across a variety of sub-disciplines, be able to synthesize problem solutions by combining knowledge from different sources, and demonstrate a deep knowledge of sub-area in which they will pursue their dissertation.
  2. Conduct an independent research program. Students will identify and pose a research problem, place that problem in context within the field's established literature, and conduct an independent investigation that leads to credible scientific results.
  3. Demonstrate professional skills in both oral and written communication. Students will write well-organized, coherent technical prose, deliver a professional presentation on par with a solid conference presentation, demonstrate the ability to describe scientific issues and techniques in writing and in presentation, and be able to answer unanticipated technical questions in a public setting.

Requirements for the PhD Degree in the field of Computer Science

For general university requirements, please see Doctoral Degrees. Students pursuing the PhD degree in the field of Computer Science must:

  • Meet departmental course requirements as described in the Computer Science Department's graduate student handbook available at: https://www.cs.rice.edu/academics/graduate-studies/phd/
  • Complete a COMP 590 project by the end of the third semester. 
  • Complete a master’s thesis by the end of the fifth semester, if a previous master’s thesis has not been approved by the graduate committee. 
  • Pass a qualifying examination in an area of specialization within seven semesters after entering the PhD program. 
  • Conduct original research, submit an acceptable PhD thesis proposal, and successfully defend the thesis proposal. 
  • Submit an acceptable PhD thesis that reports research results and pass a final oral defense.  

The PhD degree is for students planning to pursue a career in computer science research and education. The doctoral program normally requires four to six years of study.

Summary 

Total Credit Hours Required for the PhD Degree in the field of Computer Science 90

MS Degree in the field of Computer Science 

The MS degree is a thesis master's degree. For general university requirements, please see Thesis Master's Degrees.Students who successfully meet the first three requirements listed in the requirements for the PhD degree above are awarded the Master of Science degree. 

Summary 

Total Credit Hours Required for the MS Degree in the field of Computer Science 30

Policies for the PhD Degree in the field of Computer Science 

Department of Computer Science Graduate Program Handbook

The General Announcements (GA) is the official Rice curriculum. As an additional resource for students, the department of Computer Science publishes a graduate program handbook, which can be found here:
http://gradhandbooks.rice.edu/2017_18/Computer_Science_Graduate_Handbook.pdf.

Financial Assistance

Fellowships and research assistantships are available to students in the PhD program. Both provide a monthly stipend for the academic year and cover all tuition expenses. More substantial monthly stipends may be available during the summer for students working on departmental research projects. In all cases, continued support is contingent on satisfactory progress in the program. PhD students also are expected to assist in the teaching and administration of undergraduate and graduate courses.

Additional Information

For additional helpful information, please refer to the Graduate Study in Computer Science web page at https://www.cs.rice.edu/academics/graduate-studies/ or contact the department at gradapp@rice.edu.

Opportunities for the PhD Degree in the field of Computer Science

For additional information, please see the Computer Science website at: http://www.cs.rice.edu/