Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D. degree in computer science is offered through the computer science graduate program. Requirements include 90 semester hours of graduate-level credit. All work must be completed within seven years.

General requirements include completing the breadth requirement and passing the Research Proficiency Exam (preliminary examination); successfully presenting a research plan to one’s supervisory committee at a research proposal meeting; and completing the research plan, writing a dissertation and successfully defending the dissertation in an open forum.

General requirements

  • Completing the Breadth Requirement
  • Passing the Research Proficiency Exam (RPE)
  • Passing the Preliminary Examination
  • Completing a Proposal Defense
  • Writing a dissertation and successfully defending the dissertation in an open forum.

Coursework requirements

  • 24 hours of course credit at Kansas State University beyond the master’s degree level
  • 15 hours must be 800 level or above
  • One or more courses in theoretical or fundamental topics
  • At least 30 hours of Ph.D. research credit.

Refer to the Ph.D. Handbook (pdf) for more detailed requirements.


Electronic form submission – All forms must be submitted electronically using the link to the left and must include department advisor, Sheryl Cornell (, as the program advisor. The PDF forms listed below are working copies for the students to use as a guide. The electronic form submission has a time limit. Therefore, a student must be prepared with the necessary information before he or she starts.

Ph.D. advising form with RPE form (pdf)

RPE form (pdf)