Students using computers in a circle

Computer Science, Ph.D.

NYIT College of Engineering and Computing Sciences has created a Ph.D. program to address the regional, as well as national, demand for experts, researchers, and scientists in the area of Computer Science.

The educational objective of the program is to educate highly talented students in multiple emerging areas of computer science, including cybersecurity, data science, and cloud computing. The program is designed to be rigorous and innovation-focused, including core fundamental theoretical courses, transformative research, and special topics that are intended to bridge the gap between high-technology research and its commercialization.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2016 to 2026 there will be a 13 percent increase in computer and information technology occupations. Innovative and competitive research funding in new research thrust areas will require a highly educated workforce. The Ph.D. program is structured to address, sustain, and increase this innovative capacity. Its education and research aspects will prepare students to join the innovative and competitive workforce, and graduates will become the technical leaders in the region, the State of New York, and the nation.

The curriculum is designed to prepare students for research careers in industry as well as academia. It provides students with both the fundamental concepts of the field as well as the ability to perform independent research in a specialized area. The program’s goal is to contribute to the development of well-trained engineers and scientists who will advance the state of the art in computer science through training in cutting-edge research.

The academic requirements for the Ph.D. consist of coursework, exams, a written dissertation, and an oral dissertation defense. The minimum 66 credits beyond a B.S. degree in Computer Science or relevant field will be required to obtain the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Thirty six (36) credits are for the coursework (12 courses). Students will earn the minimum thirty (30) Ph.D. credits based on an individual plan of study established with the student’s advisor and approved by the graduate program director for dissertation research performed in Years 2–4 of the program.

Candidacy for the Ph.D. degree will be awarded after the student successfully passes both the qualifying examination and the preliminary dissertation proposal—typically in the summer after the third year. Completion of at least 66 graduate core, elective, and research credits will be required to qualify for the degree. The Ph.D. degree will be awarded after the submission and approval of a written dissertation, supporting the results of an original scholarly investigation, and the passing of an oral defense of the submitted dissertation.

International F-1 students who successfully complete this degree are eligible for an additional 24-month STEM OPT extension to work in the U.S. in an area directly related to their area of study immediately upon completing the customary 12-month post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).

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Admission Requirements

Applicants must submit an application, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, three letters of recommendation, transcripts leading to the applicant’s previous degree(s), a statement of purpose, and for applicants whose native language is not English and who have been educated outside the U.S., an acceptable score of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required.

The Graduate Admission Committee of the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences will review all applications and decide whether to grant admission. The general requirement for admission into this Ph.D. program is as follows:

  • For students with B.S., a minimum GPA of 3.2/4.0 from a regionally accredited university
  • For students with M.S., a minimum GPA of 3.5/4.0 from a regionally accredited university
  • A minimum GRE score of 300 is required
  • For international students, the requirement on acceptable TOEFL IBT score is 79, or 6.5 on IELTS.

These requisites are for advisory purposes only. We will review the applications for positive indications of potential success in the program.

Transfer Credits

  • Students who have an M.S. degree in a relevant field can transfer a maximum of 18 credits (with at least B+) with the approval of their advisor and the program director.
  • Pass grades earned during the spring 2020 semester meet this GPA threshold and are transferable to New York Institute of Technology.

Application Materials

  • Completed application
  • $50 nonrefundable application fee
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • A statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Copies of transcripts for all schools attended. All final, official transcripts must be received prior to the start of your first semester.
  • Copy of college diploma or proof of degree
  • Official GRE scores, if required (GRE Code: 2561)
  • International student requirements: English proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE), I-20, and transcript evaluation

Progression in the Program

Students will be required to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 in Ph.D. courses and a Ph.D. course grade below a B- will result in the student repeating the course.

Qualifying Exam

Each student must pass a qualifying exam no later than at the end of year two, in order to remain in the Ph.D. program. The exam will cover fundamental knowledge of the subject areas written by faculty committees. The passing grade is 70 percent. Each student may take the qualifying exam no more than two times. Students must choose two courses from the following list for their qualifying exam:

  • CSCI 610 Theoretical Concepts in Computers and Computation
  • CSCI 621 Programming Languages
  • CSCI 651 Algorithm Concepts

Preliminary Dissertation Proposal

Within 8–12 months of a satisfactory completion of the qualifying examination, each student, working with their dissertation advisor, will develop a preliminary dissertation proposal in a chosen area, together with the selection of an acceptable topic for the dissertation. This document will describe in detail the proposed research project with timeline and possible research strategies, and alternatives should problems be encountered.

A dissertation committee will be formed by the student in concert with their advisor and be submitted to the program director for approval. The dissertation committee will be comprised of a minimum of four (4) members, with at least three core faculty members. The fourth member will be from outside the department, preferably outside the university, but in an area associated with the proposed dissertation field of study.

Preferably by the end of year two, but not later than the end of year three, the student will present a written proposal and oral presentation to the dissertation committee for approval. Once approved by the dissertation committee, the dissertation proposal will be forwarded to the program director for final approval.

Advancement to Candidacy

After a student has passed the dissertation proposal defense, they must submit the Ph.D. candidate approval form to the program director to advance to candidacy.

Dissertation Defense

In order to reach the dissertation defense, students must have satisfied the following requirements:

  1. Completed all required coursework, with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0
  2. Passed the qualifying examination
  3. Selected a dissertation committee and convened a committee meeting; written reports from each meeting were submitted to the program director
  4. Submitted the dissertation proposal and received approval for the proposal from the dissertation committee
  5. Advanced to candidacy
  6. Completed a written dissertation

Before final approval of the written document, the dissertation committee will schedule an oral examination at which the student must successfully defend the dissertation. The oral examination by the dissertation committee members will follow immediately after a public seminar by the student describing the complete body of work contained in the submitted thesis. Based on the outcome of the oral examination, the dissertation committee may require changes to the written dissertation document and schedule another meeting with the student. The student must submit the written document to the committee members at least two weeks before the oral defense. Following successful oral defense and approval of the written document, all committee members must sign the dissertation defense approval form, which is forwarded to the program director for final approval.