Ph.D. Candidacy Requirements

Comprehensive Exams ("Comps")

Currently, graduate requirements for PhD students include the successful completion of two comps: a programming exam and a one-year research project that is roughly equivalent to a Master's project. The programming comp is completed in the student's first or third semester and is made up of a series projects assigned in CSCI 0190.  We strongly encourage all students to attempt the comp in their first semester so they can fill in any gaps in their programming skills should they find they can't complete the comp on their first try.  Students must complete the programming comp by the end of their second year.

Detailed information about graduate requirements can be found here:

  • Students who enrolled in September 2015 or later: Use the document labeled "(as of September 2015)"
  • Students who enrolled in September 2013 or later: Use the document labeled "(as of September 2013)"
  • Students who enrolled in September 2012: Choose either the "(as of January 2012)" or "(as of January 2012)" requirement, but you must limit yourself to one or the other. You must follow one set of requirements to meet candidacy and to earn the degree: you cannot follow one set of requirements to reach candidacy and then another for post-candidacy.
  • Students who enrolled prior to September 2012: Choose any of the requirements and then adhere to that set of regulations. You cannot follow one set of requirements to reach candidacy and then follow another set for post-candidacy. Your options are "(as of September 2013)", "(as of January 2012)" or "(pre-January 2012)".

Documents:

In the past, there were five written exams in addition to the programming comp and research project. These written comps have been replaced by course requirements. 

Transferring Courses

We encourage you to transfer graduate CS courses (up to a maximum of eight) taken at other institutions. Courses outside of CS can be transferred with the approval of your advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies. You must fill out the Application For Graduate Transfer Credit to transfer courses, then submit it to Lauren Clarke, who will obtain the needed signatures on your behalf. You must also fill out the Brown CS PhD Transfer Credit Form, obtain signatures from your advisor and the appropriate faculty, and submit it to Lauren Clarke.