This document describes requirements for the PhD degree offered by the Graduate Group in Computer Science at UC Davis, prior to 2012. These degree requirements are not available to those who started the program in 2012 or later; those students must follow the most recent degree requirements.
All students receiving degrees through the Graduate Group in Computer Science must satisfy the “breadth” requirements. These requirements include:
The PhD program is open to only the most qualified students, and is the most demanding in terms of research, examinations, and course work. The formal requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy are the satisfactory completion the advanced proficiency requirements and qualifying examination, completion of an approved program of study, and production of a dissertation that is acceptable to the Graduate Group in Computer Science and the University of California at Davis.
A student satisfies the undergraduate breadth requirements by demonstrating proficiency at the undergraduate level in the following areas:
A student satisfies the above requirements in one of the following ways:
It is expected that the student will complete the Undergraduate Proficiency Requirements by the end of the first academic year of residence. This deadline may be extended only by approval of the Graduate Advisors Committee of the Graduate Group.
All students who are in the PhD program, or who expect to work toward a doctorate in computer science at UC Davis are required to complete the Advanced Proficiency Requirement. A student passes this requirement by a high level of achievement in graduate coursework and demonstrating “advanced” proficiency in the graduate breadth requirements.
To pass this requirement, a student must
Students may demonstrate advanced proficiency in an area by passing a two-hour written examination in the area. A student is allowed to repeat the comprehensive examination in an area once.
A student may demonstrate proficiency in an area by submitting a bypass course as a valid substitute for passing the comprehensive examination.
ECS 201A Advanced Computer Architecture
EEC 270 Computer Architecture
ECS 201B High-Performance Uniprocessing
ECS 203 Novel Computing Technologies
ECS 289B Special Topics: Architecture
EEC 277 Graphics Architecture
ECS 240 Programming Languages
ECS 251 Operating Systems
ECS 260 Software Engineering
An additional course from Tier I
ECS 243 Code Generation and Optimization
ECS 244 Principles of Concurrent Programming
ECS 289C Special Topics: Programming Languages and Compilers
ECS 289D Special Topics: Operating Systems
ECS 289E Special Topics: Software Engineering
ECS 222A Design and Analysis of Algorithms
ECS 220 Theory of Computation
ECS 222B Advanced Design and Analysis of Algorithms
ECS 223 Parallel Algorithms
ECS 224 String Algorithms and Applications in Computational Biology
ECS 225 Graph Theory
ECS 227 Modern Cryptography
ECS 228 Cryptography for E-Commerce
ECS 226 Computational Geometry
ECS 230 Applied Numerical Linear Algebra
ECS 278 Computer-Aided Geometric Design
ECS 289A Special Topics: Theory
ECS 231 Large Scale Scientific Computation
ECS 234 Computational Functional Genomics
ECS 235A Computer and Information Security
ECS 236 Computer Security Intrusion Detection Based Approach
ECS 252 Computer Networks
ECS 256 Performance Evaluation
ECS 265 Distributed Database Systems
ECS 267 Wide-Area Distributed Information Systems
ECS 268 Scientific Data and Workflow Management
ECS 270 Artificial Intelligence
ECS 271 Machine Learning and Discovery
ECS 272 Information Visualization
ECS 274 Automated Deduction
ECS 275A Advanced Computer Graphics
ECS 276 Advanced Volume Visualization
ECS 277 Advanced Visualization
ECS 278 Computer-Aided Geometric Design
ECS 279 Topics in Character Animation
ECS 229 Advanced Computational Structural Bioinformatics
ECS 235B Foundations of Computer and Information Security
ECS 256B High Speed Networks
ECS 257 Mobile and Wireless Networks
ECS 258 Internet Quality of Service
ECS 259 Optical Networks
ECS 273 Applied Visual Computing
ECS 275B Advanced Computer Graphics
ECS 280 Principles of Virtual Reality
ECS 289F, G, H, I, J, K, M, S Special Topics
The student can satisfy the Bypass requirements in one of the following ways:
The student must declare both a major and minor area of study. The major area must include at least thirty (30) units of course work, with at most six (6) units of 299, which form a consistent program of study in a research area of computer science. The minor area must include at least fifteen (15) units of course work, including at least three graduate courses, and excludes any units of 299.
The student, in conjunction with the faculty/dissertation advisor, develops the program of study for a PhD student. All programs of study must be approved by the Educational Policy Committee of the Graduate Group, which is the sole body with authorization to grant exceptions from the stated PhD requirements.
No course with a grade less than a B will be accepted on the program of study.
The PhD dissertation committee consists of three members who will guide the student in research. Graduate Studies at UC Davis must approve this committee. Guidelines for choosing the members of the dissertation committee are given in Appendix C.
To be eligible for the Qualifying Examination, the student must have satisfied all course requirements, have removed all deficiencies, and must have at least a 3.5 GPA in courses taken in the program of study.
The Qualifying Examination is administered by a faculty committee appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies, in conjunction with the student’s faculty advisor. Student input into the selection of the committee is sought and encouraged (see Appendix C).
The Qualifying Examination is a formal, oral examination to ascertain the student’s readiness to conduct PhD level research in the major area of study. Prior to the Qualifying Examination the student must prepare a paper containing a thorough discussion of a proposed thesis topic. This paper must be submitted to the Qualifying Examination Committee at least two weeks prior to the examination.
The examinations differ in structure, depending on the area of research and the members of the examining committee. In this examination the student will be asked to give a formal presentation of the thesis proposal. The committee will question the student on this proposal, and will question the student to determine the student’s competence in both the major and minor areas of study.
The committee can issue the following grades for the examination:
In this case student can apply to the Graduate Studies for Advancement to Candidacy for the degree. At this time a dissertation committee is officially selected to direct the student in the research, and to guide the student in the preparation of the dissertation. The committee must be approved by Graduate Studies.
In this case, the committee has two options:
In this case, the student is not permitted to continue in the PhD program.
The committee can meet with the major advisor as part of its deliberations.
The student can only retake the qualifying examination once. If a passing grade is not achieved by the second attempt, the student cannot continue in the PhD program.
The PhD dissertation demonstrates the ability of the student to carry out an independent original research project of high quality. It reflects a level of attainment in research and not the fulfillment of a list of requirements. An acceptable PhD dissertation is not only an original contribution to the field, but is generally characterized by a broad scope of universal applicability.
Each student is required to participate in an exit seminar, in which the candidate’s research is presented to the UC Davis academic community. This seminar will be administered by the dissertation committee and will take place after all committee members have approved the dissertation, but before the dissertation has been filed with the Office of Graduate Studies.
The Graduate Group requires all PhD candidates demonstrate at least one quarter of college level teaching experience. We strongly recommend that this includes lecturing or leading a discussion section.
A student must be in residence a minimum of six (6) quarters.
It is expected that the student will complete the breadth requirements within the first four quarters of study, the advanced proficiency requirements within the first four quarters of study, and the Qualifying Examination between the sixth and ninth quarters of study. Completion of all requirements is normally accomplished in fifteen quarters of study. The maximal time period allowed for completion of each requirement is as follows:
Students who fail to complete all the requirements within the “normal” time period are referred to the Educational Policy Committee of the Graduate Group. The Committee considers the student’s entire record, including examination scores and letters of support, particularly from the student’s major research advisor. The Committee exercises wide discretion: it may decide that no action is necessary (i.e., when a student has one or more quarters to complete the requirements); that the student should be allowed more time in which to complete the requirement; that certain requirements should be waived; that certain remedial actions should be taken; or that the student should be advised to leave the program.
The committee attaches great weight to the major research advisor’s letter of support. It is therefore extremely important that students involve themselves in research under some faculty member very early in the program – preferably by the end of their third quarter.
Both of the following are required:
One of the following:
One additional mathematics course at the upper division level.
This appendix lists coursework that may be used to fulfill the PhD Advanced Proficiency Requirements.
Students must complete one course from each of the following areas with a grade of A- or better.
Proposed committee members that are not members of the Academic Senate of the University of California must be approved, first by the Educational Policy Committee of the Graduate Group in Computer Science, and then by Graduate Studies.