Dissertation Information

Dissertation Committee

Students are encouraged to interact with faculty members of the department to select a dissertation advisor and research area/topic for their dissertation. After a student has passed the Qualifying Examination, a dissertation committee shall be formed to supervise the student's research work. The committee will consist of at least four faculty members who are familiar with the research area, at least three of whom are regular faculty members of the department. At least one member of the committee must be from outside the department (could also be from another institution or industry), and this member should have an academic or professional level compatible with the rest of the committee. The committee is chaired by the student's dissertation advisor. The chair of the committee must be a faculty member from the EECS department. Students are expected to work in close cooperation with their dissertation committee and to keep the committee members informed about their progress on a regular basis. The dissertation committee should meet with the student at least once a semester to review the progress of the research work.

Proposal Defense

Each doctoral student must prepare a written dissertation proposal which must be presented and approved by the committee at least 6 months before the oral dissertation defense. This document provides general guidelines for the layout and content of the dissertation proposal.

Dissertation and Oral Defense

Each doctoral student must complete an original body of research and is expected to have at least one research paper published or accepted for publication in a fully refereed conference or journal prior to graduation.

Overall, the dissertation can be structured as follows:

  • A traditional research dissertation
  • A research effort focused on applied computer science problems
  • A portfolio of articles targeting academic research publications
  • A portfolio of articles targeting applied computer science research publications
  • A combination of the above

The dissertation must be written in the format specified by the Graduate College. A copy of the dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate College for approval of the dissertation format. Dissertations must be defended orally. A dissertation should be submitted to the members of the dissertation committee for their review at least two weeks before the oral defense. After an oral defense, the members of the dissertation committee vote on acceptance or rejection of the dissertation. The committee may also suggest that the student do some additional work so as to make the dissertation acceptable. The decision of the dissertation committee will be reported in the form of satisfactory/ unsatisfactory grades for dissertation credits.

Graduate students are required to enroll for at least 1 credit during at least two semesters (fall, spring or summer) of every academic year in order to remain eligible for the degree. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of 1 credit during the semester of graduation.