The following list represents basic program requirements. As some students may have additional requirements or been granted advanced standing, each student should refer to his/her own ¡°Statement of Standing on Admission¡± for individual program requirements.
The admissions committee and the student's advisory committee may impose additional requirements according to the student's background and research topic.
a) a minimum of 3 three-credit courses at the graduate level in at least three of the following research areas: Theory of Computing (T), Software Engineering (E), Computer Applications (A), and Computer Systems (S)
b) CSI9901 and CSI9902, which require registration and the presentation of two seminars prior to submission of the thesis (to the satisfaction of supervisor)
c) a written and an oral comprehensive examination involving breadth and depth components (CSI 9998)
d) a written thesis proposal defended at an oral examination (CSI 9997)
e) a written thesis defended at an oral examination (CSI 9999)
f) six terms of full-time study (residency requirement)
2. Timelines for Completion
The completion times listed above are estimates based on full-time study. Students should aim to adhere to these guidelines and will be warned if they do not. Residence PhD candidates who were admitted with a master's degree or who transfer to the PhD after completing the three sessions of residency at the master's must spend at least six sessions in residence. Those admitted directly to the PhD from an honour's baccalaureate must spend at least nine sessions in residence at the beginning of the program. Students who have been awarded a fellowship, scholarship or bursary for the purpose of studying on a full-time basis are required to maintain full-time registration for the period for which they hold the award. The maximum time permitted is six years from the date of initial registration in the program. (See Time Limits for information on time limits.)
3. Course Selection
The student and his or her thesis supervisor should select graduate courses related to research interests but taking into consideration the "area" requirements of the Ph.D. program [see requirements below] and the requirements on the ¡°Statement of Standing on Admission¡±.
A "Permission for Credit" form must be completed and approved by the Graduate Director to obtain degree credit for any course not on the OCICS schedule. Support from the thesis supervisor is required for such requests.
At least half of the course credits of a Ph.D. student must be taken from the schedule of OCICS courses.
4. Thesis Supervisor Confirmation
Ph.D. students are assigned a thesis supervisor upon admission. However, before the end of the first term of registration, students are asked to submit a signed ¡°Ph.D. Thesis Supervisor Information¡± form to confirm the arrangement and determine a tentative completion date.
5. Ph.D. Comprehensive Advisory Committee and Examination (CSI 9998)
Students must register in CSI9998 and maintain continuous registration until the comprehensive examination is successfully completed.
A comprehensive advisory committee must be established by the thesis supervisor and approved by the Director and Associate Director of OCICS before the student registers for the Doctoral Comprehensive.
This committee should be comprised of three to five faculty members and must include at a minimum: the thesis supervisor, one OCICS member from SITE and one additional OCICS member from SCS.
This advisory committee may also guide the student through the thesis proposal and dissertation. This is up to the discretion of the thesis supervisor who may choose to select other faculty for the examination of the proposal and dissertation.
The committee must be established before the end of the third term. A "Ph.D. Comprehensive Advisory Committee" form should be submitted to the Graduate Administrator for approval by the Director and Associate Director of OCICS.
The Ph.D. Comprehensive Advisory Committee is responsible for:
1) establishing the major and minor topics of study and the readings assigned to the candidate for the comprehensive. Typically, the examination will address a major and two minor areas.
2) submitting the list of these readings for approval to the Graduate Director at least three months prior to the comprehensive exam and before the last date for registration for that term. Upon approval of these readings, the Graduate Director will allow the student to register in the Comprehensive course. Once registered in the Comprehensive course, the student must maintain continuous registration in the course until completed.
3) submitting questions pertaining to these readings to the Graduate Administrator (who will schedule both written and oral parts of the examination, typically at least one week apart). Questions must be submitted at least one week before the written part of this examination. The written component will be between five and nine hours in length, typically three hours for the major and two hours for each minor.
[It is the responsibility of the thesis supervisor to consult with the advisory committee members and provide the Graduate Administrator with the date and time of the written and oral comprehensive examination. A ¡°Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination Specification¡± form should be submitted at least 4 weeks prior to the planned dates for the written and oral examinations. The Graduate Administrator will prepare a formal notice for the oral portion of the Comprehensive Examination.]
4) reviewing the written answers of the candidate before the oral examination and reporting to the Graduate Administrator whether the oral examination is to proceed or not. An oral examination occurs only if the written examination is passed.
5) conducting, in an oral examination, a thorough investigation of the knowledge and understanding of the candidate, both in terms of breadth and depth, with respect to the major and minor topics of the examination. At a minimum, familiarity with the designated material at the senior undergraduate level or junior graduate level will be expected.
Grading of the Comprehensive
1) The comprehensive may be failed, passed conditionally (e.g., with extra course requirements) or passed unconditionally. If failed (due to a poor written or a poor oral), this course may be retaken at most one time.
2) A student who does not pass the exam will be provided with a summary of deficiencies identified by the Comprehensive Advisory Committee together with a plan of action for rectifying these deficiencies; for example, courses, special projects, preparation of survey-type papers, reading requirements. In order to continue in the program, the student must demonstrate that he/she has rectified the identified deficiencies by a date set by the Comprehensive Advisory Committee. This remedial work must be completed within one year of the comprehensive exam. The method used to provide this demonstration is at the discretion of the Comprehensive Advisory Committee.
3) It is the responsibility of the Chair of the Oral Comprehensive Examination to document the results of the examination using the official grade sheets provided by the Graduate Administrator. The same forms are used to specify any deficiencies and deadlines, as well as how the candidate will demonstrate he/she has rectified any identified deficiencies.
Both exams must take place within the first 4 terms from initial registration (and ideally should take place within the first 3 terms).
The list of readings, comprehensive exam questions and the student's original answer booklet(s) must be filed with the Graduate Administrator.
6. Ph.D. Doctoral Proposal Committee and Examination (CSI9997)
Students must register in CSI9997 and maintain continuous registration until the Ph.D. proposal examination is successfully completed.
Ph.D. Doctoral Proposal Committee
The thesis supervisor should establish a Ph.D. doctoral proposal committee comprised of three to five faculty members before the end of the seventh term of registration. This committee must include at a minimum: the thesis supervisor, one OCICS member from SITE and one additional OCICS member from SCS.
The committee is responsible for the thesis proposal examination, for guiding the student's research, and for the defense of the student's dissertation. This committee may be the same as the Comprehensive Advisory Committee. This is up to the discretion of the thesis supervisor.
This advisory committee must be approved by the Graduate Director (using the appropriate form).
The thesis supervisor must:
1) submit a ¡°Doctoral Proposal Committee¡± form at least three months prior to the thesis proposal examination and before the last date for registration for that term. The form should indicate the thesis area and names of committee members. Upon approval, the Graduate Director will allow the student to register in CSI9997. Once registered in the Doctoral Proposal course, the student must maintain continuous registration in the course until completed.
2) consult with the committee members in order to fix a date and time for the oral examination and then complete a ¡°Ph.D. Doctoral Proposal Scheduling¡± form at least 4 weeks prior to the proposed date of this oral presentation. The Graduate Administrator will then prepare a formal notice of the examination.
It is the responsibility of the Chair of this examination to document the results of the examination using the official grade sheets provided by the Graduate Administrator.
The Ph.D. student must:
1) submit a written thesis proposal and successfully defend it in an oral examination within the first 8 terms from initial registration.
2) This proposal consists of a document generally i) defining the specific problem addressed, ii) relating it to the state-of-the-art literature, iii) reporting on the hypothesis, goals, and any initial results, and iv) outlining the proposed research methodology and validation procedure(s). In other words, the proposal summarizes what has been done so far, and what is expected to be completed in the final dissertation. The proposal must clearly identify what are the expected contributions of the final dissertation and how these contributions will be validated.
3) If the proposal is unacceptable, the Doctoral Proposal Committee will recommend appropriate action on the official grading form.
4) Once approved, the research proposal is considered a contract and should be placed on file with the Graduate Administrator.
7. Ph.D. Thesis (CSI9999)
Once registered in the thesis course, a student must maintain continuous registration in the thesis until completion.
A thesis must be submitted and successfully defended in an oral examination within the time limits of the program. The expected completion time for the Ph.D. program is approximately twelve terms depending on the type of thesis and the area of research.
A thesis cannot be submitted until all other program requirements are satisfied. Each student is responsible for ensuring that he/she has satisfied all requirements.
Please refer to Section VII. Thesis Regulations for further details.
8. Seminar Requirement
Before the completion of the program, a Ph.D. student is expected to present at least two seminars (formally registering to CSI9901 for the first seminar at the semester where the seminar is given, andto CSI9902 for the second seminar at the semester where the seminar is given). Minimally, the student must make one presentation for the joint OCICS graduate seminar series, as well as one presentation for the departmental seminar series or for a formal conference. Please refer to the Section VIII. Graduate Seminar Requirements for further details.
9. Residency Requirement
Ph.D. students must fulfill a residence requirement of at least six terms of full-time study. Residency is completed at the beginning of the program.