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Department of Computer Science

Ph.D. Programs in Computer Science

Students in the new Science and Engineering Complex

Doctoral candidates are expected to plan a program of research under the direction of their dissertation supervisor and with the guidance of a faculty committee. Upon completion of this research, the candidate must prepare and publicly defend their dissertation


  • Course requirement: Students should earn 20 credits for the Ph.D. degree. At least two credits must be regular 100-200 level courses.
  • Community/residence requirement: Fulfilled by attending at least 50% of the weekly departmental seminars in each of four semesters. This is the minimal requirement.
  • Teaching requirement: Every doctoral student is expected to assist in the teaching of a course for at least one semester.
  • Qualifying requirements: A student qualifies to begin research on their selected topic by completing the following steps:
    • Obtaining core competence
    • Completing a preliminary research project
    • Giving an oral presentation on the project
    • Passing a written qualifying exam
    • Passing an oral qualifying exam
  • Prospectus requirement: After successfully completing the qualifying examination, the student should submit a thesis prospectus.
  • Dissertation requirement: The student will perform research under the direction of the advisor, write a dissertation about that work, have the dissertation read by a committee, and defend the work in an oral presentation.
  • Defense requirement: The defense includes a 45-minute talk open to the public where the student presents their research.

For detailed information on Ph.D. requirements, consult the Tufts Graduate Student Handbook and the Computer Science supplement to the handbook.