PhD in Computer Science Timeline

    All LSU Graduate School regulations and procedures apply. In addition, the degree requirements and timelines set by the CSE Division apply. The PhD degree requires a dissertation, and a minimum of 55 hours of credit at the graduate level (4 core courses, 8 electives, 1 seminar, and at least 18 research hours). It is the student's responsibility to read, understand, and satisfy the Graduate School and CSE Division requirements.

    Year One:

    • Attend graduate student orientation/reception.
    • Meet with the Graduate Advisor in the first week of the semester.
    • Complete three or more core courses along with CSC 7800: Research Seminar and additional courses (electives). Enroll in at least one core course each semester. CSC 7999: Independent Study may also be taken.
    • File a Plan of Study specifying research goals and course work.
    • Decide on a research topic/area and choose a PhD Advisor (Major Professor) from the CSE Division.
    • Form a PhD advisory committee of three members with the Advisor serving as the chair. A faculty from another department or an adjunct faculty can serve as the co-advisor (co-chair).
    • Annual evaluation consists of course work, plan of study, and advisor’s feedback.

    Year Two:

    • Begin or continue research in chosen specialization area/topic under supervision from major professor and advisory committee.
    • Enroll in remaining coursework. CSC 9000: Dissertation Research may be taken.
    • Make the first attempt at the Research Qualifying Exam.
    • Undergo annual evaluation consisting of feedback from the advisory committee on coursework, research specialization area/topic, and Research Qualifying Exam result.

    Year Three:

    • Continue research in chosen specialization area/topic under supervision from major professor and advisory committee.
    • Enroll in remaining coursework, as needed.
    • Enroll in CSC 9000: Dissertation Research.
    • If necessary, retake and pass all core courses with a grade of B- or better by the end of the academic year.
    • If necessary, retake Research Qualifying Exam in the fifth semester.
    • Begin publishing research papers based on research completed during the program.
    • Take the Ph.D. General Examination (Oral Proposal Defense). (Optional.)
    • Undergo annual evaluation consisting of feedback from the advisory committee.

    Year Four:

    • Continue research in chosen specialization area/topic under supervision from major professor and advisory committee, which now includes the Dean’s representative appointed by the Graduate School.
    • Enroll in remaining coursework, as needed.
    • Enroll in CSC 9000: Dissertation Research.
    • Take the Ph.D. General Examination (Oral Proposal Defense).
    • Continue publishing research papers based on research completed during the program.
    • Extension, if necessary, to one extra semester may be granted upon request of advisory committee pending approval from the Division Chair.
    • Undergo annual evaluation consisting of feedback from the advisory committee on research progress and General Exam results.

    Year Five and Beyond:

    • Enroll in research hours (CSC 9000).
    • Strongly recommended to take the Final Exam (Oral Defense) and graduate by the end of the 5th year.
    • Take the Ph.D. Final Exam (Thesis Defense) by the end of the fifth year. The Final Exam may be taken one semester after the General Exam.
    • Undergo annual evaluation consisting of feedback from the advisory committee on research progress and dissertation writing.
    • Graduate teaching assistantships and other divisional support is discontinued after year five. An extension of support for one more semester may be granted upon request of advisory committee pending approval from the Division Chair. Research assistantships may also be discontinued.

    Notes:

    • Each core course (three mandatory CSC 7101, 7103, 7300, and one of CSC 4890, 7080, 7135) is offered once a year. The student can also enroll in CSC 7999 and apply 3 credit hours to substitute one elective only.
    • The final exam (oral defense) requires the dissertation be submitted to the advisory committee 2 weeks in advance and the exam be announced 3 days prior to the examination date.
    • Graduate teaching assistantship is awarded/renewed on an annual basis given the student’s satisfactory performance and his or her continuous registration in only the doctoral program.