University General Course Catalog 2015-2016 
    Nov 29, 2020  

Computer Science and Engineering, Ph.D.

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I. Contact Information

Mircea Nicolesu, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director
Office Phone: (775) 784-4356

Mailing Address:

University of Nevada, Reno
Department of Computer Sciene and Engineering, Mail Stop 0171
1664 North Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557-0330

II. Brief Introduction

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno offers an in-depth, cutting-edge curriculum for those graduates students seeking the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science and Engineering. Doctoral students are given the opportunity to focus on a specific area in computer science and engineering by taking advanced courses and becoming significantly involved in many aspects of original research, advancing scientific knowledge in their field of specialization.

III. Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes

  1. An ability to apply engineering research and theory to advance the art, science, and practice of the discipline.
  2. An ability to design and conduct experiments as well as to analyze, interpret, apply, and disseminate the data.
  3. An understanding of research methodology.

IV. Admission Requirements

Applications for admission to the Computer Science and Engineering graduate programs are handled by the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School. Please do not write for, or send any application materials to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for admission to the Computer Science and Engineering graduate programs.

  • Graduate School Admission Criteria.
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00 if the applicant has an M.S. degree.
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.25 if the applicant does not have an M.S. degree.
  • Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). We expect successful student to have a combined score of GRE Verbal and Quantitative of at least 301 (1100 in old scale). Student who score below 152 (670 in old scale) in the Quantitative section will find it difficult to complete our graduate program and might not be eligible for graduate assistantships.
  • Complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if applying with a degree from a non-US institution. We expect successful candidates to have a minimum score of 559 (old scale).
  • A one-page personal statement describing research interests and career goals.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Be enrolled in or have taken courses equivalent to a minor or major in Computer Science.

Applicants seeking financial support must submit the Graduate Assistantship and Fellowship Application (GAFA) Form in addition to the admission application.

International students should visit the Office of International Students and Scholars for more information regarding admissions and requirements.

V. Program Requirements

To receive a Ph.D. in computer science and engineering, all students must show that they have taken at least one course, at the 400- level or above, in each of the areas listed below, earning at least a “B”. Students lacking sufficient background in these areas must complete prescribed prerequisite courses within the first year.

  • Operating Systems
  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Networks
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Analysis of Algorithms
  • Software Engineering
  • Theory of Computing

All doctoral candidates must attend colloquia, participate in proposal writing and make presentations of their research.

The student’s dissertation committee must be formed within a year of admission to the Ph.D. program. the committee will be responsible for:

  • Program of study.
  • Directing the student towards the written and oral requirement of their comprehensive exam and advancement to candidacy.
  • Direction of student’s research.

Before candidates can receive their Ph.D. in computer science and engineering, they must pass the comprehensive exam by enrolling in CPE 795  . The exam must be taken as soon as the student has completed 24 graduate units of coursework in order to be admitted into candidacy. A student can take the exam up to two times. If he/she cannot pass the exam the second time, then the student will be dismissed from graduate studies. The exam has two requirements: written and oral.

Written Requirement:

  • Thorough review of the literature for the student’s research area
  • Research proposal (goals, methodology, research plan)
  • Work in progress

Oral Requirement:

  • Public colloquium covering the written exam
  • Q&A by the student’s dissertation committee, covering the written exam

The student’s dissertation committee will decide whether the student passes/fails the written and oral portions of the comprehensive exam.

VI. Program Total Hours (72 units)

Doctoral students are required to complete 72 units of coursework beyond that of their bachelor’s degree. Of this coursework, the Graduate School requires that 700-level courses must account for 30 units, while 24 units will be earned through their dissertation work. If a student has completed a Master’s degree, then a total of 24 units can be transferred (with grades “B” or better) from the Master’s degree to the Ph.D. degree. Out of these 24 units, a maximum of 18 units can be from 700-level courses. No more than two independent studies are allowed at the Ph.D. level.

VII. Undergraduate Requirements

Students who are accepted into the graduate program are expected to meet requirements for a bachelor’s degree in engineering, mathematics, or science and have minimum experience that includes the equivalent of the computer science minor. The department will consider applications from students lacking this background if they show exceptional promise. The GRE is required for all applications and the TOEFL is required for international students.

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