McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science   Northwestern University
Department of Computer Science Northwestern University

Ph.D. Timeline Notes

Full time study is equal to 3-4 units of study per quarter.

Residency is fulfilled upon completion of 9 quarters of full time study, or 6 quarters if the student has transfer (residency) credit.

Departmental Courses include 300, 400, and 500 level courses such as:

310, 311, 322, 325, 330, 332, 336, 337, 338, 339, 343, 344, 348, 351, 394, 370
430, 437, 464, 495 (Special Topics), 499 (Projects)
510 (Seminar)

You are required to take 18 units for the Ph.D.:
16 departmental courses, and 2 COMP SCI 590 Research units.
Of the 16 departmental courses six must be taken at the 400 or 500 level.
Nine of the courses must be taken for a letter grade.

590 Research
CS 590 Research does apply towards residency and may be taken for one, two, three, or four course units per quarter. It is recommended that you take the 590 courses after a core of basic, or Departmental Courses, have been taken. It is only graded on a pass/no pass basis.

TGS Registrations
Once you have been admitted to candidacy and have fulfilled residency requirements, you can register for The Graduate School registrations TGS 599 and TGS 503 (if necessary). Since The Graduate School Advisors enter a permission # in CAESAR for eligible students, you are able to register yourself. You are welcome to contact TGS advisors by email or in person, if you would like assistance with registering. You may also email Marleen King with the TGS registration you need each quarter, and she will submit a registration request to The Graduate School.

TGS 598
The summer TGS 598 is a registration offered at a reduced tuition that essentially acts as a place-holder over the summer. PhD students do not earn credit for this registration, nor does it count towards residency, but it does confer full-time status. After residency is fulfilled, it is no longer necessary to register for TGS 598 over the summer.

Admission to Candidacy
You are admitted to candidacy after the qualifying exam is passed. The exam usually takes place at the end of the 2nd year, but can be taken at a later date. It is also possible to fulfill residency and be admitted to candidacy simultaneously.
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