Computer Science, MS, PhD

 

Program Summary

Format: Online, On-site


Locations: Potsdam


Credit Hours:

MSPhD
3090


Cost: per credit hour

Our Program

The objective of the Computer Science program is to expand the fundamentals and explore advances in computational theory, programming languages, software systems, hardware integration, and information technology.

A program of study leading to the Master of Science in Computer Science is an interdisciplinary program offered jointly by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Comput­er Science. Courses are offered in both departments on a wide variety of areas, ranging from theoretical topics to applied topics. Students having an undergraduate background with appropriate computer science content are invited to apply. Thirty credit hours and a thesis are required for the M.S. degree.

The Department of Computer Science offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science in Computer Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science.  These programs are designed to increase the student’s fundamental knowledge and to give the student guidance and experience in research. A graduate student pursues these objectives by taking advanced courses, participating in seminars, and carrying out and reporting on a research projects. The department provides the advantage of close personal association between graduate students and faculty, giving special attention to individual needs and interests.

Curriculum

MS Curriculum
Course and seminar work will comprise a minimum of 20 credit hours.  To ensure some breadth in the program, four courses must satisfy the following: Two foundation courses must be taken (CS541 Introduction to Automata Theory and Formal Languages and CS547 Computer Algorithms); two courses from the following set, where each of these courses requires a substantial amount of programming (CS544 Operating Systems, CS545 Compiler Construction, CS550 Software Design and Development, EE505 Computer Graphics, EE569 Software Design and Analysis; for those students who can demonstrate that they have successfully completed comparable graduate-level courses before coming to Clarkson, the Advisor Committee may waive the requirement that the student take these specific courses upon request.  At least two restricted elective courses will be taken from the courses offered in computer science or computer engineering departments as selected by the student and their advisor.  Of these 2 restricted elective courses: one must be a course that focuses on research topics in computer science, one must be a computer engineering course with relevant emphasis on computer science topics.

PhD Curriculum
The Ph.D. degree in Computer Science may be completed in a minimum of three years and a maximum of seven years of post-undergraduate study. The basic degree requirements include completion of 90 credit hours including a minimum of 36 credits of course work, a minimum of six credit hours in research seminars, and an original doctorate thesis research project submitted as a written dissertation defended orally and approved by a committee of five Ph.D. faculty members, at least four of whom are members of the Clarkson faculty. Specific Course Requirements: Four required core graduate courses of 3 credits each (CS 541 Theory, CS 547 (Theory), CS 544 (Systems) and CS 545 (Languages)), one 3-credit course in each of four breadth areas (Theory and Algorithms, Computer Systems and Networks, Languages and Software Development, Artificial Intelligence and Applications) and four 3-credit research-oriented 600-level CS courses, six semesters of Computer Science Seminar (6 credits), and thesis research (1-10 credits per semester). A minimum of two years of study must be in residence at Clarkson.

Degree Requirements

MS Required Courses
In addition to the general requirements for the M.S. degree that are established by the University, a student is required to satisfy the following set of requirements:

  • The program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate level work. At least 20 credit hours must be earned in residence at Clarkson. Each student’s program of study must be approved by the Advisory Committee.
  • Those students who are not fully prepared to pursue graduate work in computer science may be required to take the course CS 511, Foundations in Computer Science. In addition, students with very little to no background in computer science may be required to take undergraduate computer science courses, for which graduate credit will not be given.
  • Course and seminar work will comprise a minimum of 20 credit hours. To ensure some breadth in the program, four courses must satisfy the following:
    • Two foundation courses must be taken, as described below
      • CS541 Introduction to Automata Theory and Formal Languages
      • CS547 Computer Algorithms
    • Two courses from the following set, where each of these courses requires a substantial amount of programming.
      • CS544 Operating Systems
      • CS545 Compiler Construction
      • CS550 Software Design and Development
      • EE505 Computer Graphics
      • EE569 Software Design and Analysis
      • For those students who can demonstrate that they have successfully completed comparable graduate-level courses before coming to Clarkson, the Advisory Committee may waive the requirement that the student take these specific courses upon request from the student.
    • At least two restricted elective courses will be taken from the courses offered in computer science or computer engineering departments as selected by the student and their advisor. Of these 2 restricted elective courses:
      • one must be a course that focuses on research topics in computer science.
      • one must be a computer engineering course with relevant emphasis on computer science topics.
      • Students should consult with their advisors to identify courses in these categories.
    • Two seminar credits. To earn a seminar credit, students must enroll in a seminar course in Computer Science.
    • Thesis credit will comprise a maximum of 10 credit hours of the 30 credit hour minimum. All students must have a research advisor by the end of their first semester of study and must submit a research proposal to the Examination Committee by the end of the semester before they plan to graduate. The Examination Committee shall consist of a minimum of three faculty members.
    • All students must complete a thesis and defend it orally to their Examination Committee. Two copies of the completed thesis must be submitted to the University.

PhD Required Courses
University Requirements: A minimum of 90 credit hours earned for graduate courses numbered 500 and higher including at least 36 credit hours of classroom and instructional laboratory coursework (this is above the university minimum of 24); a minimum of 6 credit hours of research seminar. A maximum of 30 credit hours of graduate transfer credit from an M.S. degree with grades of B or higher may be accepted toward the Ph.D. degree.

At least three full academic years of study beyond the baccalaureate degree with at least two years in residence in Clarkson.

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 in courses used to meet graduation requirements.

Graduate students must complete the Ph.D. candidacy procedure within two years of full time study after admission to the Ph.D. program.

Doctoral candidates must complete an original research project submitted as a written thesis to be orally presented and approved before a committee of at least five faculty members. At least four members must be Clarkson faculty of assistant professor rank or higher and possessing a doctoral degree. At least one committee member must be from a department other than the candidate’s major department. An external examiner with appropriate credentials from outside the university may serve as one of the five committee members. The thesis must also be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School and a copy deposited in the university library.

All work for the Ph.D. degree must be completed within seven years after admission to candidacy.

Additional Program Requirements and Procedures:
Coursework Students must complete a minimum of 36 credits of computer science related coursework including:

Foundations Courses Students must take four required courses across three areas – CS 541 (Theory), CS 547 (Theory), CS 544 (Systems) and CS 545 (Languages). A grade of B+ or better is required in each of these courses. A written exam option is offered for students who have taken equivalent courses at other institutions and for students who did not receive a B+ in the Clarkson course. Students who have taken equivalent courses at other institutions and pass the exam with a grade of B+ or better can replace the corresponding course by another CS course.

Research-Oriented Courses Students must also complete a minimum of four 3-credit research-oriented 600-level CS courses. Research-oriented courses include substantial research literature review and a research project/presentation component. The Computer Science Ph.D. Committee will maintain a list of acceptable research-oriented courses.600-level CS Directed Study Courses are acceptable by permission of the Computer Science Ph.D. Committee only when they satisfy the same standards as regular 600-level CS courses and include substantial research literature review and a research project/presentation component. A grade of B+ or higher is required in two 600-level CS courses in order to advance to candidacy and one of these must be a research-oriented 600-level course.

Breadth Requirement Beyond the four required courses listed in Foundations, students must take one course from each of the following four groups. Courses used to satisfy this breadth requirement may also be used to satisfy the requirements in Research. The specific lists of courses may change and students may petition the Computer Science Ph.D. Committee to accept additional courses, including courses outside the department, in these groups.

Group A (Theory and Algorithms): 542, 546, 549, 556, 642, 656

Group B (Computer Systems and Networks): 553, 555, 557, 563, 644, 654

Group C (Languages and Software Development): 543, 550, 558, 560, 658

Group D (Artificial Intelligence and Applications): 551, 552, 559, 561, 562, 659

Electives Additional Courses as necessary to reach 36 course credits. Students are expected to take at least one graduate course in computer science or a related field each semester that they are enrolled in the Computer Science Ph.D. Program. This requirement may be waived if in consultation with the student’s advisor, the Computer Science Ph.D. Committee decides it is in the student’s best interest to focus on completion of their thesis work.

Seminar Students are required to attend and participate in the CS 707 or 708 Seminar in Computer Science (1 credit) series during at least six semesters in residence in the Ph.D. program. Participation is recommended during each semester in residence in the Ph.D. program.

Candidacy The doctoral candidacy procedure for the Computer Science program is portfolio-based.

Before advancing to candidacy, students must have completed the 4 required courses (CS 541, CS 547, CS 544 and CS 545) and two of the 600-level CS courses at least one of which must be a research-oriented course. A grade of B+ or higher is required in each course.

Students prepare a portfolio consisting of a written statement of research interest and representative work from courses and seminar (e.g. exams, research papers, presentation materials). The student appears before the Computer Science Ph.D. Committee for an oral defense of their portfolio. This oral defense and portfolio examination constitutes the comprehensive exam for candidacy in Computer Science.

To advance to candidacy, the student must have also chosen a faculty advisor who believes he or she is prepared to begin original research in a mutually acceptable field of specialization.

Students must advance to candidacy within two years of full-time study after admission to the Ph.D. program or be granted an extension by the Computer Science Ph.D. Committee.

Candidacy The doctoral candidacy procedure for the Computer Science program is portfolio-based.

Thesis Proposal The student must write a thesis proposal outlining his or her research plan and discussing related work and defend this proposal in an oral exam before his or her thesis committee.

In addition to the university requirements , at least three members of the committee must be from the Computer Science Department.

Students must form their committee and pass the thesis proposal defense exam by the end of their third year of full-time study after admission to the Ph.D. program or be granted an extension by the Computer Science Ph.D. Committee.

Thesis Defense The final step in completion of the doctoral program is the submission of a written thesis in conjunction with an oral thesis defense.

The candidate will normally present a 50-minute oral presentation of the thesis work at an advertised campus event followed by at least 10 minutes of public questions. After the end of the public session, the candidate and their 5-member thesis committee will gather in closed session for final questions and presentation of corrections to thesis. The candidate will be then asked to leave the room for a final vote of approval. Following approval, the candidate must complete the requested corrections to the written thesis and obtain final signatures. The candidate must provide all five thesis committee members with a copy of the thesis at least four full weeks before the public defense.

The thesis committee for the final defense is the same as for the proposal defense. Any changes must be approved by the Computer Science Ph.D. Committee in advance of the final defense.

Admission Requirements

MS Pre-Requisites
BS or equivalent degree in Computer Science/closely related subject. Admission to Computer Science MS Program, as approved by Computer Science Graduate Committee.

PhD Pre-Requisites
BS (or MS) or equivalent degree(s) in Computer Science/closely related subject. Admission to Computer Science PhD Program, as approved by Computer Science Graduate Committee.

A complete application file consists of the following items (click for more information):

  1. Application Form
  2. Resume and Statement of Purpose
  3. Letters of Recommendation – 3 letters required
  4. Official Transcripts
  5. Test Scores – GRE* and TOEFL/IELTS (if applicable)

* GRE maybe waived for some applicants.

Supplemental information may be submitted if desired: this could include any other information that may help us evaluate your application.

 

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more, have questions or are ready to apply contact:
Dan Capogna
Graduate School Coordinator
graduate@clarkson.edu
518/631-9910

 

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