CISE Related Documents

Qualifying Examination

This exam is intended to establish whether a doctoral student is adequately grounded in the foundations of CISE to proceed with advanced studies and doctoral research. The examination tests the students’ knowledge on fundamental topics of the core courses. The Qualifying Exam consists of three exams, one per core course. The topics covered in each exam are specified on the Qualifying Examination Syllabus that is provided to the students several weeks before the examination. The CISE Graduate Committee establishes the passing rules of the examination. Students are encouraged to discuss the passing rules with the program coordinator.

Candidacy Examination

This is an oral exam based on the student´s thesis proposal. The examination is conducted by an Examination Committee formed by the student Advisory Committee and a Guest Examiner appointed by the program director. Students need to stop by the CISE Administrative Office to apply for the examination. The student adviser chairs the Examination Committee and reports the result to the program director. The program director then reports the result to the Graduate School Office.

The approval of the Candidacy Examination is a condition for the approval of the student´s Thesis Proposal. A complete draft of the Thesis Proposal, reviewed and approved in principle by the student adviser is made available to each member of the examining committee at least three weeks before the examination.

The exam is graded Pass or Fail by the Examination Committee. Pass grade decision must be unanimous. In order to pass the candidacy examination the student must show:

  •  A well-defined research direction including specific aims, main objectives, methodologies, expected contributions, and action plan;
  • Expected research outcomes consistent with the standard of quality of a doctoral dissertation;
  • Adequate breadth and depth of knowledge in areas related to the research proposal;
  • A well-defined ethical issue related to the main research topic of the dissertation

In order to register for the Candidacy Examination the student must have:

  • Passed the Qualifying Exam;
  • Have a Thesis Proposal in draft form reviewed and approved in principle by the adviser;
  • Write a short paper (up to six pages) describing the background and history of the proposed research problem with citations to all the relevant literature. Emphasis should be made on the contributions of the proposed research to the current knowledge in CISE.

Doctoral Dissertation

A doctoral dissertation in Computing and Information Sciences and Engineering is a formal document that argues in defense of a particular thesis; this is a particular hypothesis or conjecture on the nature, philosophy, representation, and transformation of information, including computational modeling and simulation of natural phenomena. The research performed to support a thesis must be original and substantial, and the dissertation must show it to be so, by highlighting original contributions. The dissertation must include a chapter about the impact of the research on the society quality of life, including a clear understanding and respect for the legal, social and cultural issues associated with the research.