The computer engineering doctoral program in the Center for Advanced Computer Studies has four phases or requirements. These are breadth, depth, dissertation proposal, and dissertation execution and completion.
For the breadth requirement, you must take classes in separate areas of computer science including architecture, software, theory, and applications. You must also complete 48 hours of course work. This must include at least three semesters of research classes (6x9’s).
For the depth requirement, you must pass comprehensive exams in two areas of computer science. This is normally done in the second year of the program.
For the dissertation proposal, you must pass a prospectus exam. In preparation for this exam, you write a dissertation proposal (prospectus). The prospectus includes a literature review describing the current state of the art in your chosen research area and what the open questions are for that area. You also develop a research plan to address one of the open questions that you uncovered in your prospectus. You also provide pilot results showing the promise of your proposed research. Finally, you formally defend the prospectus in a colloquium consisting of the dissertation committee and any members of the university who are interested, usually other members of the Center.
After the prospectus exam is passed, you are allowed to perform the research that you proposed in the prospectus. After completing the research, you write up the results into a dissertation and then formally defend the dissertation in a dissertation defense. In addition to the 48 hours of course work mentioned above, you also need 24 hours of CSCE 699, dissertation guidance. These hours are earned through your activities in writing the prospectus, the dissertation, and designing and performing the research.