PhD Program of Study Process

The Ph.D. Program of Study is designed to allow students some flexibility to develop their curriculum in accordance with the Ph.D. graduation requirements and with the expectations of their Program of Study committee.

Students are assigned three committee members during the month of September (first month of starting the Ph.D. program). The first member is assigned based on the suggestions by the student and the other two members (a faculty member from the student's area of interest and a faculty member outside the area of interest) are assigned by the academic office.

Students must prepare the Program of Study form in consultation with their Program of Study committee through individual meetings, a group meeting, or other forms of correspondence. Students will discuss their area of interests with their committee to determine what required courses must be completed and develop a strategies for meeting educational and career goals as well as the Ph.D. graduation requirements. The form has three sections that must be completed.

  1. Required Coursework: represents the coursework that the student must take.
  2. Intended Coursework: indicates the other courses that the student plans to take.
  3. Strategy: brief explanation of the motivation for the choice of coursework.

Here is a "Sample" of a completed program of study to view. Students must have all three committee members sign off on the completed Program of Studyform and return thesigned copy tothe Academic Office by December 15th. The Program of Study form may be altered by the student at any time, but a revised copy must be completed and approved by the Program of Study committee if the "Required Coursework" portion is changed. The revised Program of Study form, with signatures, must be turned into the Academic Office.

Requests for a change of a Program of Study committee member may be submitted to Viveka P. Kudaligama ( for consideration.

Note: Students' progress with respect to their Program of Study and the quality of the Program of Study itself are open to evaluation at the annual area meetings, where all Ph.D. students are evaluated. For a student who is not making satisfactory progress in terms of Qual preparation, depth of coursework, breadth of coursework, and so on, will receive a warning indicating the requirements to be completed.

How to access the Program of Study Form

The Program of Study Form is an online form. Students complete the form online after meeting with their committee members. Once all the data is entered into the form, students must click "Save and Print Program of Study" at the bottom of the form. After printing the form, students must have their committee members sign off on the form and return it to the Academic Office by December 15th.

A few things to remember when completing this online form.

  1. When entering in a CS 598 and CS 591course, it is important that you start the course name off with the section number - RHC Special Topics or PHD Advanced Seminar. We need to know what section you plan to complete when entering in a 598 or 591. This also goes for any 498 courses as well.
  2. Under "Required Coursework", two courses can be entered for one required course. Students should use this if the committee says that either course would be fine to complete. To do this, enter in the first course and click "Add". Then under "Action" next to the course that was just added, click on the "OR". This will allow you to add the other course. This means that you must complete one of these two courses in order to meet that required course requirement.
  3. When entering in "Strategy", "General Comments", or any other comments in the text boxes, avoid using apostrophe.

Any problems with accessing or completing the online Program of Study form, please contact either Viveka P. Kudaligama ( or Brad Butler (

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