Doctor of Philosophy Program
The Ph.D. degree is intended for students planning to pursue a career in computer science research and education. The doctoral program normally requires four to six years of study.
The course requirements have changed slightly. Students entering the program in the Fall of 2008 or later will follow the new Ph.D. degree requirements. Students that entered earlier will default to the old Ph.D. degree requirements, but may elect to use the new requirements. These requirements are also summarized below.
Ph.D. students must take six breadth courses and two electives.
By the end of the second semester, the Ph.D. student must complete four or more required courses with a cumulative grade point average of B+. By the end of the fifth semester, the student must complete eight required courses with the same GPA.
Students must complete a supervised research project (COMP 590) by the end of their third semester. This requirement is intended to involve the student in the Department's research activity and to encourage the student to find a research advisor.
- Ph.D. students are expected to assist in the teaching and administration of courses. The typical workload is about ten hours per week, averaged over the semester. A student normally serves as a teaching assistant in five courses.
- Ph.D. students must complete a master's thesis by the end of their fifth semester. This requirement can be waived for students who have already completed a research master's degree. (The student must petition the graduate committee for this waiver. Download the "Request for Waiver of Rice M.S. Thesis" form here.)
- Ph.D. students must pass an oral qualifying examination before the end of their seventh semester in the program. The exam covers a syllabus of material related to the student's thesis area; the precise syllabus is determined by the student's research advisor. See more information on the C Exam in the Ph.D. Degree Requirements. Download the "C Exam Record" form.
Ph.D. Thesis and Defense
- Ph.D. students must submit and defend a thesis proposal that describes an original program of research.
- Ph.D. students must submit an acceptable Ph.D. thesis that reports the results of their research program and defend that thesis in a final, public, oral defense.