Nov 13, 2018  
2009-2010 Downtown Campus Catalog 
2009-2010 Downtown Campus Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science and Information Systems PhD

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►  Graduate School Rules  apply to this program


Program co-directors: Gita Alaghband (CSE) and Mike Mannino (Business School)

Web site:

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) and the Business School offer a joint doctor of philosophy degree program in computer science and information systems (CSIS). The program targets students with a master’s-level education in either computer science or information systems who seek research training that combines CS and IS along with strong industry interaction. The joint PhD program provides training for academic positions, industrial research positions and senior consulting positions. The specific goals of the program complement these general goals:

  • create a pool of graduates with CSIS research training who are qualified for academic and nonacademic careers
  • meet student demand for advanced training in CSIS with accommodations for full-time and part-time students
  • promote interdisciplinary research between CSE and the Business School
  • enhance technology transfer between CSIS academic units and Front Range technology businesses through joint research, student internships, faculty externships and committee participation

Program Components

Plan of Study

A list of course work and other requirements for the degree should be prepared with the advisor and then submitted to the co-directors for approval. The successful completion of all work indicated on the plan of study is an important prerequisite for the conferring of the degree. A plan of study should be submitted for approval by the end of the first semester of the program. The current plan of study should be updated before the beginning of the second year of the program and submitted for re-approval by the co-directors.

First and Second Papers

Students prepare papers during their second and third years. For part-time students, the timing might be longer in which case a prior approval by the advisor is required. The papers should be of high quality to ensure publication in conference proceedings or journals. The advisor serves as a mentor to help the student complete these papers, and each paper is submitted for approval to the advisor. An industry representative may also be used as an evaluator.

Comprehensive Exam

After completing the required course work, each student will take a written comprehensive exam that requires integration of computer science and information systems knowledge. The program co-directors will solicit questions from faculty, schedule the examination and coordinate with faculty to grade the exam.

Dissertation Proposal

Each student should prepare a proposal that will be evaluated by the doctoral committee. A proposal should be ready for review at least one semester before the expected completion date of the degree. The proposal is submitted for review and approval by the doctoral committee. An oral presentation of the dissertation proposal before the doctoral committee is required for approval. An approved proposal is then submitted to the co-directors of the program for final approval.

Dissertation Completion

Once the dissertation proposal is approved, each student prepares and submits a dissertation. The dissertation is defended before the doctoral committee in a public meeting. Final approval for the dissertation is given by a vote of the dissertation committee after the public defense.


Upon completion of all degree requirements including the dissertation defense, the student receives the degree of doctor of philosophy. Students applying through CSE receive the PhD from the College of Engineering and Applied Science, while students applying through information systems receive the PhD from the Business School.

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