The official degree requirements are available here.
The requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy are the satisfactory completion of the advanced proficiency requirements, qualifying examination, completion of an approved program of study, and writing a dissertation approved by your thesis committee. The time frame varies but the following list shows the approximate time frame and sequence to follow:
At least ten graduate courses are required, exclusive of seminar (290, 290C, 298) and research (299) units. This may include all courses taken in the Master’s program if applicable.
A grade of A- or better in the four core areas, and a grade of B or better must be obtained in all coursework used to satisfy degree requirements.
The student, in conjunction with the faculty/dissertation advisor, develops the program of study. The form is available from the graduate student service advisors. For a PhD student, this includes both a major and minor area of study. The major area must include at least thirty units of coursework (six units of the 30 come from 299) that form a consistent program in a research area of Computer Science. The minor area must include at least fifteen units of coursework, including at least three graduate courses, and excludes any 299 units. No course with a grade less than a B can be used on the program of study. When complete, the student must submit the form to the graduate student service advisorsfor approval from the Educational Policy Committee.
The Graduate Group requires all PhD candidates to demonstrate at least one quarter of college level teaching experience. We strongly recommend that at least one of these quarters includes lecturing or leading a discussion section.
The Qualifying Examination is a formal, oral examination to determine 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.
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 (typically 5 members) 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.
The examinations differ in structure, depending on the area of research and the members of the examining committee. In this examination, the student gives 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, the 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 if this is the student’s second attempt.
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.
At least two months before you plan to take your Examination, find a suitable time when your planned committee members can attend. Allow for approximately 2.5 – 3 hours. Next, coordinate a room reservation on COWS. Once the date is set, complete the Qualifying Application Examination. Submit it to the graduate student service advisors, who will get the signatures needed and forward it to the Office of Graduate Studies.
Advancing to candidacy means completing all the prerequisites for doing research toward the degree. For the PhD degree, this means completing all course requirements and passing the Qualifying Exam. Please submit the Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the graduate student service advisors.
For assistance in the preparation of your dissertation, see the Office of Graduate Studies’ website on filing your dissertation. You must make an appointment with the Student Affairs Coordinator in order to file your dissertation.
You are responsible for observing the filing dates and for preparing the dissertation in the proper format. As part of the filing process, you will fill out the University Microfilms International (UMI) Doctoral Dissertation Agreement form on which you indicate your willingness either to have the University supply copies of your dissertation to interested persons immediately, or that such permission should be withheld for a period of time, up to a maximum of three years.
Filing your dissertation is the last step in the process leading to the awarding of your degree. The final copy of your dissertation, which is ultimately deposited in the University Library, becomes a permanent and official record. You have the choice of submitting either your entire manuscript, or only your dissertation abstract, to UMI Dissertation Publishing. Both options provide higher visibility of your achievements. If you submit your entire dissertation to UMI, it will be returned to Shields Library, where it will be bound and stored. The packet of information that was sent to you when we returned your approved candidacy form contained the forms you need to submit with your manuscript.
For filing deadlines, see Graduate Studies’ calendar.
The Filing Fee program is for students who have completed all requirements for degrees except filing theses or taking final examinations, and who are no longer using University facilities. The Filing Fee is a reduced fee, paid in lieu of registration fees. It is assessed only once. The Filing Fee option preserves your candidacy status with the University; however, you are no longer considered a full-time registered student by the University, and are not entitled to the same benefits and privileges as a registered student. You are allowed two quarters plus one extension of Filing Fee. To file, complete the Filing Fee Request and submit to the graduate student service advisors.
In the exit seminar, the candidate’s research is presented to the UC Davis academic community. This seminar is administered by the dissertation committee, and takes place after all committee members have approved the dissertation, but (usually) before the dissertation has been filed with the Office of Graduate Studies.
Yes! Please see the graduate student service advisors to complete the Graduate Exit Checklist.