Computer Science Programs
Academic programs for graduate students in the field of computer science lead to the Master of Engineering, Master of Science, Engineer's, and either Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Science degree. These programs are meant to prepare students for industrial, educational, governmental, and research positions. Either the Master of Science degree or the Master of Engineering degree (or an equivalent) is required for the Doctoral degree programs.
A thesis based on original work is required for each of the degrees in computer science. For detailed information on degree requirements consult Departmental Memoranda 3903 (Master's program) and 3800 (Doctoral program), available in hardcopy form from the EECS Graduate Office. 38-444. The requirements can be briefly summarized as follows:
- Complete The Technical Qualifying Examination (TQE) and a Research Qualifying Examination (RQE); see below for details.
- Complete the requirements for a Master's degree.
- Complete a minor program consisting of two subjects approved by the student's Doctoral Committee and Area Chair.
- Complete any additional graduate subjects (up to two) required by the Doctoral Committee.
- Carry out a teaching assignment as approved by the Doctoral Committee.
- Write and present a thesis proposal to the Thesis Committee.
- Complete a doctoral thesis and defense.
Several of the requirements require approval of the student's Doctoral Committee. Ideally, this is the student's Thesis Committee, composed of a Ph.D. thesis supervisor and at least two Ph.D. thesis readers. Students are encouraged to form thesis committees as early as they can, preferably by the time of the RQE. If a thesis committee does not exist by the time of the RQE, then the RQE committee (with input from the graduate faculty counselor) will evaluate the student's courses, plans for a minor, and plans for a teaching assignment at the time of the RQE. Also, if a thesis committee does not exist by the term following the RQE, then the department will appoint a temporary doctoral committee.
Computer science is a rapidly evolving field, and much of its knowledge and discipline is best acquired by direct involvement in research. Active research apprenticeship at an early stage is regarded as a vital part of the graduate program of every student, and early affiliation with an appropriate research group is important. For a list of faculty and research staff that supervise graduate research see http://www.eecs.mit.edu/supervisors.html and Area II faculty/staff.