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PhD degree requirements

As a PhD student, you are expected to complete at least four graduate courses, two of which must be at the advanced 6000 level. If you are directly admitted to the PhD program from an undergraduate degree, you must complete nine courses. CSCI 5010G - Survey of Computer Science Research Topics and Methods and CSCI 5020G - Collaborative Design and Research must be taken in the first year, if they have not been previously taken at the master's level.

All PhD students must demonstrate a broad knowledge of computer science. This is normally demonstrated through the completion of an appropriate set of courses at the graduate level. To satisfy the breadth requirement, you must successfully complete one course from each of the following fields:

  • digital media
  • information science
  • networks and IT security
  • software design

When you are admitted to the PhD program, the graduate committee of the faculty evaluates the courses from your previous degrees to determine which courses count towards the breadth requirement and identify the areas in which an additional course is required. The list of graduate courses offered each year indicates the area covered by each course so you can easily plan to cover the breadth requirement.

Within 18 months of your initial registration in the program, you must present and defend your thesis proposal. The defence takes the form of an oral examination.

During the course of your studies, you must present two public seminars. The first must be held just before the proposal defence and cover the proposed research program. The second seminar must be held just before the thesis defence and cover the results of the research program.