About the Program

This program is no longer accepting applications. Interested applicants should visit the Ph.D. Computer and Information Science program page.

Rapid changes in technology and increasing technological sophistication needed to maintain global competitiveness are causing information technology industries to encourage their workforce to advance its knowledge, skills, and expertise through graduate-level education and training. For many engineers, this means education beyond the master's degree. More specifically, the kind of advanced knowledge needed in niche or specialized areas of emerging technologies can only be offered through doctoral programs that not only allow engineers to acquire and strengthen their own knowledge but also educate them to become technical leaders and technology developers in their own companies.

The Ph.D. in Information Systems Engineering is designed to meet the need of engineers who want to be the technology leaders of the future. It is a 50 credit hour postgraduate program and can be pursued either on a full-time or a part-time basis. The classes are held in the evenings for the convenience of working engineers. The areas of specialization available in the program include information management and knowledge engineering, computer networks and computer architecture, intelligent systems and human/computer interaction, graphics and visualization, supply chain informatics, web services and security.

Program Goals:

1. To prepare and enable students to conduct state-of-the-art original basic research, as well as high-quality translational research, which transforms this basic research into a form that can positively impact society’s well-being.

2. To prepare students for a research career in which these skills are rewarded, be it in academia, industry, or government.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to identify, explain, and apply knowledge of mathematical foundations, algorithmic principles, and computer science theory in the modeling and design of computer-based systems in a way that demonstrates comprehension of the tradeoffs involved in design choices.
  2. Students will be able to analyze a CIS problem and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution.
  3. Students will be able to design, implement and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs.
  4. Students will be able to apply design and development principles in the construction of computer-based systems of varying complexity.
  5. Students will be able to compare various research contributions and communicate effectively as researchers and practitioners.

Program Requirements

Course Curriculum

The course curriculum will consist of one required core course, four specialization courses, three elective courses, and a seminar course. Each student must submit a course plan with specified specialization area within one semester after starting the program.

Core Course (3 credit hours)

The student must complete the core course titled "Information Engineering."

Specialization Courses (12 credit hours)

Four courses must be selected in an area of concentration with prior approval from the director of the doctoral program. At least two of these concentration courses must be 600-level courses.

Elective Courses (9 credit hours)

The student must take three elective courses, at least two of which must be from outside the student's concentration area.

Seminar Course (0 credit hours)

The student must register for and participate in the seminar course each semester after attaining candidacy and until the completion of the dissertation. The seminar course will be of pass/fail type and will not carry any credits.

Dissertation (26 credit hours)

The dissertation will be of pass/fail type and will not carry any letter grades.

Ph.D.-Level Courses

All Ph.D. courses must be 500 level and above. However, not all 500-level courses may be accepted in the Ph.D. program.

Transfer Credit

Up to 9 credit hours for courses from another university will be accepted as transfer credits; however, the Doctoral Program Council must approve the acceptance of transfer credits.

Course Requirements

The following is a partial list of courses, clustered into three concentration areas. The concentration area is typically the student's research area. With the adviser's approval, students may take courses from different concentration areas (including 600-level courses) to fulfill the course requirement. 

Required Courses

  • ECE 576: Information Engineering
  • ISE 798: Seminar
  • ISE 990: Doctoral Dissertation

Concentration 1: Information Management and Processing

  • CIS 534: The Semantic Web
  • CIS 536: Information Retrieval
  • CIS 553: Software Engineering
  • CIS 556: Database Systems
  • CIS 5570-Introduction to Big Data
  • CIS 559: Principles of Social Network Science 
  • CIS 562: Web Information Management
  • CIS 564/IMSE 570: Principles of Organizational Information Systems
  • CIS 586: Advanced Data Management
  • CIS 658: Recent Advances in Data Management
  • CIS 678: Advances in Software Engineering Research
  • ECE 525: Multimedia Data Storage and Retrieval
  • ECE 5802: Multi-rate Signal Processing with Applications
  • ECE 681: Advanced Digital Signal Processing
  • IMSE 5655: Supply Chain Management
  • IMSE 5715: Modeling of Integrated Information Systems
  • IMSE 577/CIS 577: User Interface Design and Analysis
  • IMSE 610: Special Topics in Enterprise Information Systems

Concentration 2: Computer Architectures, Networks and Security

  • CIS 527: Computer Networks
  • CIS 535/ECE 535: Programmable Mobile-Wireless Technologies and Pervasive
  •       Computing/Mobile Devices and Ubiquitous Computing Systems
  • CIS 537: Advanced Computer Networking and Distributed Systems
  • CIS 546: Wireless Network Security and Privacy
  • CIS 548: Security and Privacy in Cloud Computing
  • CIS 571: Web Services
  • CIS 578/ECE 578: Advanced Operating Systems
  • CIS 584: Advanced Computer and Network Security
  • CIS 624: Research Advances in Computer and Network Security
  • CIS 647/ECE670: Research Advances in Networking and Distributed Systems 
  • ECE 527: Multimedia Security and Forensics
  • ECE 528: Cloud Computing
  • ECE 550: Communication Systems
  • ECE 570: Computer Networks and Distributed Systems
  • ECE 5701: Wireless Communication
  • ECE 5752: Reconfigurable Computing and SOC
  • ECE 610: Control Networks for Embedded Systems
  • ECE 612/CIS 569: Wireless Sensor Networks
  • ECE 675: Advanced Computer Architecture

Concentration 3: Intelligent Systems

  • CIS 568/ECE 537: Data Mining
  • CIS 5700-Advanced Data Mining
  • ECE 531: Intelligent Vehicle Systems
  • ECE 552: Fuzzy Systems
  • ECE 579: Intelligent Systems
  • ECE 583: Neural Networks
  • ECE 584: Speech Processing
  • ECE 679: Advanced Intelligent Systems 
  • ECE 681: Advanced Digital Signal Processing
  • IMSE 505: Optimization
  • IMSE 506: Stochastic Models
  • IMSE 514: Multivariate Statistics
  • IMSE 538: Intelligent Manufacturing Systems
  • IMSE 605: Advanced Optimization

Other Graduate Courses

  • IMSE 606: Advanced Stochastic Processes
  • MATH 504: Dynamical Systems
  • MATH 514: Numerical Solutions of Partial Differential Equations
  • MATH 516: Partial Differential Equations
  • MATH 523: Linear Algebra with Applications
  • MATH 5055: Integral Equations
Graduation Requirements

A student must complete a minimum of 50 credit hours (beyond master's) for graduation. Out of the 50 credit hours, 24 credit hours will be based on coursework (beyond master's) and 26 credit hours will be based on Ph.D. dissertation. 

The student must maintain a GPA of 3.2 out of 4.0 for good academic standing and graduation. Only one B- and no C grade will be allowed in the program.

Qualifying Examination

  • The qualifying examination must be taken within 24 months after admission in the program. This will typically occur after finishing the core course, at least two specialization courses, and two courses outside the specialization area.
  • The student must be in good academic standing at the time of the qualifying examination.
  • The student must select three areas for the qualifying examination and declare one of the areas as the specialization area typically the area of the student's research.
  • There will be two examiners in the specialization area (in the area of student's research). The other two areas will be minor areas (of the student's choice, but approved by the Doctoral Program Council) and will have one examiner each.
  • The examination in the specialization area will include both written and oral tests. Examination in the minor areas will be written only.
  • The student will select the examination areas, which must then be approved by the Doctoral Program Council. The Doctoral Program Council will assign the examiners for each of the areas selected.
  • The Doctoral Program Council will review and approve the examination results.
  • A student failing the qualifying examination the first time will be allowed to take it again; however, if the student fails it the second time, he/she will be terminated from the program.

Preliminary Examination

  • The Doctoral Program Council must approve the dissertation topic, the proposal outline, and the dissertation committee prior to the preliminary examination.
  • The student will make an open oral presentation, which has been prepared in consultation with the dissertation advisor, in defense of the proposal.


A student will become a candidate for the Ph.D. degree after completing the required coursework with a minimum GPA 3.2 out of 4.0 and after passing both the qualifying and the preliminary examinations. At this point, the student will be allowed to register for the dissertation work.

Dissertation Committee

The dissertation committee will include a minimum of four faculty members. One of these members must be from outside the College of Engineering and Computer Science. One of the faculty members will be the dissertation advisor and will serve as the chair of the dissertation committee. Depending on the dissertation topic, other members, including a qualified industry member, may be included in the dissertation committee. The industry member's curriculum vitae must be submitted to the Doctoral Program Council for approval.

Dissertation and Dissertation Defense

The dissertation must include original research work of archival quality. The student must submit a written copy of the dissertation to the dissertation committee for approval. The work must be defended at a final oral examination open to other faculty, students, and the interested public.

Other Requirements

While there are no formal residency requirements for the part time students, it is expected that each Ph.D. student will spend sufficient time on campus for conducting research, interacting with other graduate students, and fostering intellectual activities. All students in the Ph.D. program are required to attend graduate seminars in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. After attaining candidacy, each Ph.D. student is required to present at least one seminar per year on his/her research until the dissertation is completed. All Ph.D. students are required to attend these research seminars. After attaining candidacy, each Ph.D. student is expected to spend at least 12 hours per week on campus working on his/her research and discussing research issues with faculty and fellow students.

Computer and Information Science

Computer and Information Science (CIS)
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