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Summary of Degree Requirements

Summary of Ph.D. Degree Requirements

The following is an unofficial summary of the major requirements for the Ph.D. degree.  For complete information, consult the CSE Graduate Studies Handbook and the ND Academic Code for Graduate Students.

The Ph.D. is a research-focused degree that leads to a research career in the academy, industry, or government.  Students in the Ph.D. program are generally supported as a research or teaching assistants, take classes part-time, and focus on research under the supervision of a faculty advisor.  The Ph.D. degree can be completed in three to five years, and is open to applicants with either a B.S. or M.S. degree.

The major requirements for a Ph.D. degree are:

  • Complete 24 course credits at the 60000-level plus two semesters of Research Seminar.  No more than nine credits taken outside the CSE department count towards the requirement.  Credits from a completed M.S. program can count towards this requirement.
  • Secure a research advisor by the end of the second semester.
  • Pass the qualification requirement by the end of the second year.  This entails taking the three core courses (Grad Operating Systems, Grad Architecture, Grad Algorithms) and earning a 3.5 GPA in those courses.
  • Pass the dissertation proposal by the end of the fourth year.
  • Pass the dissertation defense by the end of the sixth year.

Summary of M.S. Degree Requirements

The following is an unofficial summary of the major requirements for the M.S. degree.  For complete information, consult the CSE Graduate Studies Handbook and the ND Academic Code for Graduate Students.

The M.S. is  a coursework-focused degree resulting in advanced technical competency.  Students in this program pay tuition, take courses full-time on campus, and complete a two-semester project or thesis.  The M.S. degree can be completed in four semesters and is open to students with a B.S. degree.

The major requirements for the M.S. degree are:

  • Select an optional concentration in Big Data Analytics or Biometrics.
  • Complete a total of 24 course credits, 6 credits of research, and one semester of research seminar.  Up to nine credits taken outside the department count can toward this requirement.  Up to six credits at the 40000 or 50000 level can count toward this requirement.
  • Secure a research advisor by the end of the second semester.
  • Complete a master's project OR defend a master's thesis OR pass the Ph.D. dissertation proposal.