Dear PhD students,
Some updates regarding the PhD CS program.
1. Effective Academic Year 2019-20, CS 990 Dissertation Topic Presentation
(0 credit hours) is no longer mandatory for PhD CS students. As current
students, your catalog -technically- requires you to take it; however, if
you believe that you have a background strong enough to prepare your proposal and
present it (e.g., if you have published several peer-reviewed conference
papers), please discuss with your PhD advisor the pros and cons of
taking CS 990.
In case both you and your advisor agree that it is not necessary for
you to take CS 990: 1.) Have your advisor send
e-mail to me and Ryan ([log in to unmask]), 2.) Fill out a course waiver form
that you can obtain from the CS dept office (Rm. 4300).
Note that the waiver approval by your advisor in item (1)
above is necessary.
For those who will still take CS 990, note that it will be offered in
Spring 2020 (not in Fall 2019) and it will be crosslisted with IT 990.
2. It was brought to my attention that a few PhD CS students took CS 530
(Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science) and CS 531 (Computer
Systems and Fundamentals of Systems Programming) in recent past.
Those courses are meant for Provisional MS CS students, and if you are
admitted to PhD CS you are supposed to have that basic background.
So **you should not consider CS 530 & CS 531 when planning for your future
PhD course work**. In fact the catalog requires that those courses should
be taken during the first semester at GMU (not later). They are meant for MS
students with deficiencies in their academic preparation.
3. The students who started in Fall'18 are subject to the new PhD CS
The new system requires the students to declare the PhD advisor and
complete the breadth requirement within the first 24 credits. The students
who started earlier but switched to the new catalog (and those who
transferred from other PhD programs such as PhD IT) have typically earlier
deadlines. Also, the comprehensive exam procedure has changed in the
The CS department has now three new forms for PhD CS:
- Advisor declaration form
- Breadth requirement completion form
- Comprehensive exam application form
** As soon as you complete the specified number of credits, you must get
and fill out the advisor declaration form and breadth requirement
completion forms. You need the signature of your advisor as well. Then
submit both to the CS department **
Similarly the comprehensive exam application form must be submitted at
least 4 months before the target oral comprehensive exam date.
** For clarification, this applies only to the PhD CS students subject to
the Fall'18 catalog requirements**.
Have a good summer.
Dr. Hakan Aydin
Director, PhD Program in Computer Science
George Mason University
Computer Science Department
4400 University Drive - MSN 4A5
Fairfax, VA - 22030
Phone: (703) - 993 3786
E-mail: [log in to unmask]