Doctorate degree program courses are taught in an executive format, combining an active online component with an intensive residential symposium lasting two and a half days with an additional orientation day the first quarter. Students are required to attend two of these quarterly symposia each year. The program also includes twelve 5-credit instructional courses, taken one per quarter for three years, plus a research-and-writing class taken each quarter.
Students are required to attend an intensive two and a half day residential symposium twice annually. The symposia are scheduled four times throughout the year and doctoral students are welcome to attend all four symposia available. First term doctoral students will have an additional required CTU student orientation the day prior to the residential symposium for returning students.
The Doctor of Computer Science degree program can help you to think strategically as you work to develop an understanding of how to predict future trends. The curriculum can help you to prepare to make positive contributions in your area of technical expertise.
- Research and Writing I
- Current Topics in the Discipline
- Research and Writing II
- Project Management and Process Engineering
- Research and Writing III
- Quantitative Analysis
- Research and Writing IV
- Research and Writing V
- Research and Writing VI
- Research and Writing VII
- Research and Writing VIII
- Requirements Engineering
- Research and Writing IX
- Research and Writing X
- Research and Writing XI
- Software Architecture and Design
- Futuring and Innovation
- Research and Writing XII
Electives: Select six 5-credit hour courses*
*DCS students must complete six 5-credit classes that form a coherent area of study. These six classes can be selected from the list of elective courses below plus any other 800-level classes approved by the Dean.
- Simulation and Modeling
- Usability and Interaction
- Advanced Topics in Database Systems
- Concurrent and Distributed Systems
- System Metrics and Risk Analysis
- Networking and Security
Total Program Credits: 96
Access the Degree Programs section of the catalog to learn more.
Each of the three years of the DCS program is designed to provide candidates with theoretical, research, and application capabilities in the field. The organization of each year is described below.
Year 1: Foundations
Year one focuses on computer science and software engineering topics and an orientation to research and writing at the doctoral level. Coursework covers current topics in computer science and software engineering, requirements engineering, project management and process engineering, and research methods in computer science and software engineering. The research and writing component results in a broad overview of the student’s area of concentration in order to put the research into context and inform the student’s selection of a research topic. Students prepare research proposals and begin their programs of research.
Year 2: Acquisition of Knowledge
Once the foundations are in place, year two is where each student develops an in-depth understanding of the knowledge and research methods in their chosen area of study. Coursework includes one required course in software systems architecture and design, plus three courses chosen in consultation with, and approved by, the Dean. These three courses, plus three courses in the third year, must form a cohesive unit that increases the student’s knowledge in a chosen area of investigation. In addition to coursework, students conduct research and writing in their chosen area.
Year 3: Leadership and Professional Advancement
Coursework in the final year of the program includes one required course in futuring and innovation, plus three courses from the student’s selected area of study. The research component of the program results in documentation of the student’s applied research in a final dissertation.
The program thus includes twelve 5-credit instructional courses, taken one per quarter for three years, plus a research-and-writing class taken each quarter. Each class is conducted online. Twice each year, students attend an intensive residential symposium lasting two and a half days.
In addition to the successful completion of all 96 credits with an acceptable GPA, students must also satisfactorily complete and defend their research proposal and final dissertation. These documents must be approved by the student’s committee, consisting of a mentor and two readers.
Visit the Doctor of Computer Science Overview Page for complete information on graduation requirements.
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