Resources for Current PhD Students

The most important resource for doctoral students, is the CSE Doctoral Program Guide. This document outlines all doctoral requirements, expectations, and procedures.

Oral Qualifying Exam

The oral qualifying exam should ideally take place within the first three to four semesters of study. Students, with the help of their advisors, identify a topic for the exam and assemble a three person committee. The oral qualifying examination tests students ability to read deeply the literature in their research area, to synthesize and to critically evaluate existing research results, to present these results in a scholarly and professional oral presentation, and to answer orally questions from the faculty about the literature. Please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator at least two weeks in advance to schedule the exam.

Dissertation Proposal

After students select a dissertation research topic, they must describe their research plan in a dissertation proposal consisting of a written proposal and a public oral examination presented to a five person committee. The dissertation proposal should be completed before beginning the fifth year of study. Contact the Graduate Program Coordinator at least three weeks in advance to schedule the proposal defense.

Dissertation Defense

At the conclusion of doctoral research, students must produce a written dissertation describing the work performed. This must also be publicly defended before a five person committee. Please refer to the Doctoral Dissertation Guide for a full description of formatting requirements, submission details, and other required materials. Contact the Graduate Program Coordinator at least three weeks in advance to schedule a dissertation defense.