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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 (non Ph.D track)

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  project or thesis.  No tuition scholarships or other financial aid is typically provided for this degree.  For a well-prepared student, the M.S. degree can be completed in 11 months (two semesters plus the summer session) and is open to students with a B.S. degree.

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

  • Complete a total of 24 course credits, 6 credits of research.  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 no later than the end of the first semester.
  • Complete a master's project OR defend a master's thesis.