PhD Written Qualifier Information

PhD in Engineering - Computer Science Focus

The written qualifying examination for the Computer Science focus area consists of four required topics: CS 5200 Computer Architecture; CS 5500Operating Systems; CS 5700 Computability, Automata and Formal Languages and CS 5720 Design and Analysis of Algorithms. The examination is formally defined by the syllabus of material it will cover. Students may take courses to help prepare for the examination, but the syllabus, not the course, defines the expectations for the exam. Students should be aware that the standard will be all self study as if no courses exist in the area. 

The examination takes place twice a year for all students in May and December. 

A student can take the examination up to two times: Students only need to retake the failed topics in the subsequent attempt. Students having any sponsorship via the advisor’s research funding or departmental teaching should pass all topics by the end of the second year after admission to the program. Other PhD students should pass all topics by the end of the   third year after admission to the program. The advisor or the program director may request one additional year and one more time for a student to take the examination with a sound reason; for example, the student has made significant progress in research with good publication(s). The request needs the approval of the PhD-CS program committee.

Waiver to the written qualifying examination will be given if the student has passed the required courses (CS 5200 Computer Architecture, CS 5500 Operating Systems, CS 5700 Computability, Automata and Formal Languages, and CS 5720 Design and Analysis of Algorithms) of the four qualifying examination topics at UCCS with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.75. The program committee will decide if the grade of a transferred class can be used.  Courses cannot be retaken to increase GPA in order to qualify for the waiver.

/cs/sites/cs/files/inline-files/CS_Qual_Syllabi.pdf

/cs/sites/cs/files/inline-files/CS_Qual_Samples.pdf

PhD in Engineering - Security Focus

The written qualifying examination consists of four distinct topics, CS 5220 Computer Communication, CS 5910  Fundamentals of Network & Computer Security, CS 5920 Applied Cryptography, and CS 5950 Homeland Security & Cyber Security. The examination is formally defined by the syllabus of material it will cover. Students may take courses to help prepare for the examination, but the syllabus, not the course, defines the expectations for the exam. Students should be aware that the standard will be all self study as if no courses exist in the area. 

The exam takes place twice a year for all students in May and December.  

A student can take the examination up to two times: Students only need to retake the failed topics in the subsequent attempt. Students having any sponsorship via the advisor’s research funding or departmental teaching should pass all topics by the end of the second year after admission to the program. Other PhD students should pass all topics by the end of the third year after admission to the program. The advisor or the program director may request one additional year and one more attempt for a student to take the written examination with a sound reason; for example, the student has made significant progress in research with good publication(s). The request needs the approval of the PhD-Security program committee.

Waiver to the written qualifying exam may be given if the student has passed the courses of the four qualifying exam topics at UCCS with a minimum average GPA of 3.75. The four classes are: CS 5220 Computer Communication, CS 5910 Fundamentals of Network & Computer Security, CS 5920 Applied Cryptography, and CS 5950 Homeland Security & Cyber Security. The program committee will decide if the grade of a transferred class can be used. Courses cannot be retaken to increase GPA in order to qualify for the waiver.

/cs/sites/cs/files/inline-files/Security_Qual_Syllabi.pdf

/cs/sites/cs/files/inline-files/Security_Qual_Samples.pdf