Description of Program
The Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD-CS) program takes an applied approach to computer science theory and research. Students will get hands on experience, explore advanced topics, learn the very latest concepts and have the opportunity to propose their own research. They will also be able to build a portfolio of work while completing their doctoral studies.
- Develop knowledge in computer science based on a synthesis of current theories
- Explain theories, applications, and perspectives related to computer science
- Evaluate theories of ethics and risk management in computers and emerging technologies
- Formulate strategies for managing computing resources in global organizations
- Contribute to the body of theory and practice in computer science
Basis for Admission
Admission to the PhD in Computer Science program requires a master’s degree from a regionally accredited or nationally accredited academic institution.
The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better.
The PhD-CS degree program also has the following graduation requirements:
- A minimum of 48 credit hours of graduate instructions must be completed through NCU
- GPA of 3.0 (letter grade of “B”) or higher
- Submission of approved final dissertation manuscript to the University Registrar, including the original unbound manuscript and an electronic copy
- Official transcripts on file for all transfer credit hours accepted by the University
- All financial obligations to the University paid in full
All PhD-CS students are required to demonstrate competency in these areas:
- Computer Competency - Doctoral students are required to have computer skills necessary for completing a dissertation. Students must be able to prepare documents using advanced word processing skills (e.g., creation of tables and figures, headers and footers, page breaks, tables of contents, hanging indents). Students must use computer programs for the statistical analysis of data (e.g., SAS). Students must produce a computer-based presentation (e.g., PowerPoint) for their dissertation oral examination.
Dissertation Completion Pathway
The NCU mission is dedicated to assisting students in achieving their academic aspirations and helping them become valuable contributors to their community and profession. To support our mission, NCU now offers a dissertation completion pathway for students who have successfully completed their doctoral coursework and achieved doctoral candidacy at a previous institution but were unable to complete their dissertation. NCU’s Dissertation Completion Pathway (DCP) offers a unique opportunity for students to complete their doctorate in one of the doctoral programs offered at NCU (excluding the PhD in MFT and DMFT). Students successfully meeting the entrance and application requirements will complete a minimum of 23 credit hours to earn their doctorate.
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Time to Completion
NCU allows 7 years to complete all 60 credit hour doctoral programs.
Normal time to completion for this program is 83 months.
Time to completion varies depending upon the pace in which a student completes courses and the number of transfer credits accepted. As most NCU students are working adults balancing educational, professional, and personal commitments, our Academic and Finance Advisors will work with you to develop a program schedule that works best for your needs.
The normal time disclosed above reflects the experience of students who may have entered under different program requirements. In the quest for continuous improvement, academic leadership has revised the program to optimize curriculum and pace, facilitate student learning, and improve chances for success. Therefore, the program is now designed for students enrolling today to take advantage of these revised course structures, lengths, and schedules. New students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for this program, and applying no transfer credits, can expect to finish in as little as 45 months.
Faculty assists each NCU Doctoral student to reach this high goal through a systematic process leading to a high-quality completed dissertation. A PhD dissertation is a scholarly documentation of research that makes an original contribution to the field of study. This process requires care in choosing a topic, documenting its importance, planning the methodology, and conducting the research. These activities lead smoothly into the writing and oral presentation of the dissertation.
A doctoral candidate must be continuously enrolled throughout the series of dissertation courses. Dissertation courses are automatically scheduled and accepted without a break in scheduling to ensure that students remain in continuous enrollment throughout the dissertation course sequence. If additional time is required to complete any of the dissertation courses, students must re-enroll and pay the tuition for that course. Continuous enrollment will only be permitted when students demonstrate progress toward completing dissertation requirements. The Dissertation Committee determines progress.
The PhD program requires a minimum of 60 credits. Additional credit hours may be allowed as needed to complete the dissertation research. If granted, additional courses will be added to the student degree program in alignment with the SAP and Academic Maximum Time to Completion policies. Students who do not complete their program in accordance with these policies may be dismissed.
All incoming PhD-CS students will complete a required writing assessment during their first course, TIM-8101 . Students who perform well on this assessment will be exempted from TIM-7200 .
*Those whose writing skills need additional practice, as determined by three or more items scored as “needs improvement,” will be required to take TIM-7200 .
**Students select one research methods and one directed research course based on their own research proposal.