Overview of Phases

The Inquiry Phase

During the Inquiry Phase students in the Computer Science track will complete coursework, initial research projects, and two Breadth Examinations. They must also prepare themselves for a Depth Examination in their chosen area of research. This Depth exam will be completed during the Research phase. Students in the Information Systems track will complete coursework, research projects, and a comprehensive exam.

The Research Phase

In this phase, students will conduct focused research leading to successful completion of a Dissertation Proposal. A Ph.D. student enters the Research Phase when he or she has chosen an area in which to do dissertation research and has found a faculty member willing to act as his or her Dissertation Advisor. The Research Phase may overlap with the Inquiry Phase, in fact, students are strongly encouraged to begin their research, under the supervision of a faculty Ph.D. advisor, as early as possible upon entering the program.

The Candidacy Phase

During the Candidacy Phase the Candidate conducts further research, and writes and defends the Ph.D. Dissertation. To be admitted to candidacy, doctoral students must complete the following:

  • Residency: Three quarter of full-time study must be competed at DePaul University beyond the master's level. Full-time study is defined as registration for a minimum of eight credit hours (typically two courses) per quarter. With prior approval of the Ph.D. Committee, students may satisfy residency requirements by coursework, participation in seminars, or research performed off campus.
  • Allied Course: Specific courses as specified for each track under course requirements.
  • Doctoral Examinations: Pass two Breadth Examinations and one Depth Examination (Computer Science track) or pass Comprehensive Examination (Information Systems track).
  • Defense of Proposal: Successfully defend a Dissertation Proposal.

Course Requirements

Ph.D. students with a master's degree are required to complete a minimum of 60 credits (typically 15 courses) of graduate classes. These credits must include at least 48 credits of courses in the 420-599 range, including CSC 426: Values and Computer Technology and two quarters of CSC 500 RESEARCH COLLOQUIUM (to be taken within the first two years in the program). Information Systems track students must also complete IS 590 INFORMATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH METHODS.

Students may enroll in CSC 699 only after completion of the Breadth Examiniations. Conditionally admitted students must complete an additional 52 credits (typically 13 courses) of graduate classes, including at least 36 credits of courses in the 420-599 range. The written approval of the Ph.D. Committee is required, before registering, to apply courses taught outside the School towards the doctoral program course requirements.

Student prograss will be evaluated annually. Students must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or better to remain in good standing in the program. Any course grade below B- is unsatisfactory and will not be counted toward degree requirements. The Ph.D. Committee will ask a student to withdraw from the doctoral program if the members judge that the student is not progressing satisfactorily toward the degree.

Time Limits

For part-time doctoral students:

  • No more than three years between admission to the doctoral program and completion of Breadth Examinations.
  • No more than three years between completion of Breadth Examinations and admission to Candidacy.
  • No less than eight months and no more than five years between admission to Candidacy and the dissertation defense

For full-time doctoral students:

  1. No more than two years between admission to the doctoral program and completion of Breadth Examinations. Note that students funded by SOC or other stipends will be required to meet more stringent requirements.
  2. No more than two years between completion of Breadth Examinations and admission to Candidacy.
  3. No less than eight months and no more than five years between admission to Candidacy and the dissertation defense.