Doctoral Program Policies and Procedures
|CSE Policies and Procedures
The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to the student in pursuing his/her Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Doctorate. The student should also read and be aware of the general requirements for graduate study at the University of Louisville as contained in the Graduate Catalog.
Admission to Degree Status
A GPA of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale and a combined score of 1200 on the verbal and quantitative portions or a 1800 on verbal, quantitative and analytical portions of the GRE are highly recommended for admission to degree status. Normally it is expected that the student will complete a masters' degree with thesis before being admitted to degree status. Admission to degree status without a masters' degree will be permitted only in very exceptional circumstances.
Two courses are required in each of two core areas and one course is required in each of the remaining two core areas. The four core areas are: Computer Software Engineering, Computer Hardware Engineering, Computationally Intensive Applications, and Advanced Mathematics. The approved courses for these four areas are listed in Appendix I of this document. The core courses will be determined by the student and approved by a CSE faculty member and the CSE Coordinator. A student must achieve a grade of B or better in each course that is counted in the core area.
Core Area Course Plan
Each student is required to file a preliminary Core Area Course Plan during the first semester of graduate study in the CSE program, covering the four core course areas. This course plan must be reviewed and approved by a CSE faculty member and submitted to the CSE Coordinator for approval. Requirements for the Formal Plan of Study are discussed later in this document.
The CSE Seminar covers a variety of timely research topics in the CSE area. Regular participation in the seminar is expected of CSE students throughout their graduate study. All CSE students must take the seminar for credit two times.
The CSE Coordinator serves as the official advisor for all CSE students prior to the student's selection of a Dissertation Advisor. Students are encouraged to discuss their research interests and plans of study with any CSE faculty member at any time. Once the Dissertation Advisor is selected and the CSE Coordinator is so notified, the Dissertation Advisor becomes the student's official advisor. The student and Dissertation Advisor then jointly form a thesis committee which must be approved by the Graduate School.
A CSE student must have selected a Dissertation Advisor by the end of the second semester in the CSE Program. The selection of a Dissertation Advisor should be done with care because the Dissertation Advisor becomes the student's official advisor and directs both coursework and research. Also, the student must present the formal plan of study and the Dissertation Proposal.
Once a Dissertation Advisor is selected, it is expected that the student will complete the degree with that chosen advisor. Dissertation Advisors can be changed if both the student and advisor concur on the desirability of a change of Dissertation Advisor, or if a Dissertation Advisor departs from the CSE Program. Changes in Dissertation Advisors for other reasons will be approved only in exceptional circumstances as determined by the Standards and Admissions Committee. In such cases, a student may petition the CSE Standards and Admissions Committee in writing through the CSE Coordinator describing and explaining the circumstances. The Standards and Admissions Committee will seek input from the current Dissertation Advisor in arriving at its decision.
Transfer of Credits
Transfer of credits in an appropriate earned master's degree from other institutions to fulfill CSE course requirements is permitted. A student may transfer up through 30 semester hours of courses by petition through the student's dissertation advisor to the CSE Program Coordinator who will bring the petition for evaluation to the CSE Standards and Admissions Committee. The petition must be accompanied by sufficient course description information so that the request can be accurately evaluated.
Diagnostic Review (Applicancy Status)
After a student is admitted, his/her work is observed in courses and other interactions with the faculty for a period of time ranging from one to two semesters. A minimum of nine semester hours of courses at the University of Louisville will normally be required before the review. Then the CSE program faculty will meet to review his/her case and determine whether the student has any weak areas that require additional course work and if the student should continue in the program. If no remedial work is required and the faculty votes to continue the student in the program, the student is admitted to applicancy status. Upon recommendation of the program faculty, a student who fails this review may repeat it at the next offering; however, a student may not be reviewed more than twice.
The student along with his/her advisor shall form a dissertation committee consisting of at least three, but typically not more than four, CSE program faculty members, and at least one graduate faculty member outside of the ECE and CECS departments. The dissertation committee must be approved by the CSE Coordinator and the Dean of the Graduate School.
Formal Plan of Study
The student shall prepare a Formal Plan of Study for review by his/her dissertation committee soon after the formation of the committee. This plan must be approved by the CSE Coordinator. The Coordinator then sends a copy to the Graduate School for its files.
Each student is required to prepare a written dissertation proposal and present it to his/her Committee for approval. The dissertation proposal should be a sufficiently complete statement of the proposed research so that the Committee can judge the originality, significance and likely success of the research. It should contain a detailed review of the previous contributions of others in the proposed area, with supporting reference citations. It should contain a clear statement of the proposed contributions, emphasizing the facets that will make this work unique, and it should include enough supporting detail and preliminary results so that an assessment of likelihood of success can be made. Appearance, format and citations should be in conformance with the requirements of doctoral theses of the Graduate School.
Preliminary Examination After the Committee has approved the dissertation proposal and the formal plan of study, the Committee shall prepare a written examination pertaining to the proposal as well as background areas. It is the responsibility of the Dissertation Advisor to collect the questions and administer the examination. If the examination uses a take-home format, it shall not exceed ten calendar days in duration. It is the responsibility of the Dissertation Advisor to have the exam graded and then convene the Committee to determine if the student has passed. If significant weaknesses are detected, the Committee may elect to conduct an oral examination of the student, or may elect to require additional study by the student and a reexamination on the material in question. In any event it is the responsibility of the Dissertation Advisor to notify the CSE Coordinator of the results within two weeks of the conclusion of the examination.
Miscellaneous Expectations As a doctoral candidate, a student should be active in research publications, grant writing, professional presentations and in general stimulating the CSE research environment. Students who have fellowship support will be especially expected to have substantial journal article publications while in the program. These could be either submitted, accepted or already published.
Candidacy Status After the student passes the preliminary examination, he/she is admitted to candidacy status by the Graduate School. Normally, the student will not be permitted to register for dissertation credit until after the preliminary examination has been passed; however, exceptions to this policy will be granted if appropriate. The Graduate School requires that the candidate complete degree requirements not sooner than nine months and not later than four years after he/she is admitted to candidacy.
NOTE: In order to be cleared for Candidacy Status, a student must have on file with the CSE Program Secretary: (1) an approved plan of study, (2) a copy of the approved dissertation proposal, and (3) a letter from the Dissertation Advisor indicating that the student has passed the Preliminary Examination.
The CSE program requires a residency of two consecutive semesters of full time graduate study (9 credit hours each semester) on the campus.
After the dissertation is completed, an oral defense of the dissertation is presented. The Graduate School requires five members on the final examination committee.
As a capstone requirement, a portion of the student's dissertation research shall be submitted to either a refereed journal or a refereed conference, and review comments, if received, shall be addressed in the dissertation.