Program Requirements for Computer Science

Applicable only to students admitted during the 2011-2012 academic year.

Computer Science

Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science

Graduate Degrees

The Department of Computer Science offers the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Computer Science.

Admission

Program Name

Computer Science

Computer Science is a major offered by the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Address

4403 Boelter Hall
Box 951596
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1596 

Phone

(310)825-6830 

Email

gradadm@cs.ucla.edu  

Leading to the degree of

M.S., Ph.D. 

Admission Limited to

Fall 

Deadline to apply

December 1st 

GRE (General and/or Subject)

GRE: General 

Letters of Recommendation 

Other Requirements

In addition to the University’s minimum requirements and those listed above, all applicants are expected to submit a statement of purpose and the departmental supplement.

Management, M.B.A./Computer Science, M.S.

The John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management and the Department of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science offer a concurrent degree program which enables the student to complete the requirements for the M.S. in Computer Science and the M.B.A. in three academic years. Interested applicants should contact the M.B.A. program office for details.

Ph.D.: Applicants to the Ph.D. program who hold the MS degree should have completed the requirements for the M.S. degree with at least a 3.25 grade-point average and should also have demonstrated creative ability. The M.S. degree is normally required for admission to the Ph.D. program. However, in some cases exceptional students who do not hold the M.S. degree may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program. 

Master’s Degree

Advising

Each department in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has a graduate adviser. A current list of graduate advisers can be obtained from the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, 6426 Boelter Hall, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Students are assigned a faculty adviser upon admission to the School. Advisers may be changed upon written request from the student. All HSSEAS faculty serve as advisers.

New students should arrange an appointment as early as possible with the faculty adviser to plan the proposed program of study toward the M.S. or Ph.D. degree. Continuing students are encouraged to confer with the adviser during the time of enrollment each quarter so that progress can be assessed and the study list approved.

Based on the quarterly transcripts, student records are reviewed at the end of each quarter by the departmental graduate adviser and Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs. Special attention is given if students were admitted provisionally or are on probation. If their progress is unsatisfactory, students are informed of this in writing by the associate dean for Academic and Student Affairs.

Students are strongly urged to consult with the departmental student office staff and/or the Office of Academic and Student Affairs regarding procedures, requirements and the implementation of policies. In particular, advice should be sought on advancement to candidacy for the M.S. degree and on the use of the Filing Fee.

Areas of Study

Artificial intelligence; computational systems biology; computer networks; computer science theory; computer system architecture; graphics and vision; information and data management; and software systems.

Foreign Language Requirement

None.

Course Requirements

Course Requirement. A total of nine courses is required for the M.S. degree, including a minimum of five graduate courses. No specific courses are required, but a majority of both the total number of formal courses and the total number of graduate courses must consist of courses offered by the Computer Science Department.

Undergraduate Courses. No lower division courses may be applied toward graduate degrees. In addition, the following upper division courses are not applicable toward graduate degrees: Chemical Engineering 199; Computer Science M152A, 152B, M171L, 199; Electrical Engineering 100, 101, 102, 103,110L,  M116L, 199; Materials Science and Engineering 110, 120, 130, 131, 131L, 132, 150, 160, 161L, 199; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 102, 103, 105D, 199.

Breadth Requirement. Master’s degree students must satisfy the computer science breadth requirement by the end of the fourth quarter in graduate residence at UCLA. This requirement is satisfied by mastering the contents of five undergraduate courses or the equivalent: Computer Science 180, two of 111, 118, or M151B, one of 143, 161, or 174A, and one of 130, 131 or 132. A UCLA undergraduate course taken by a graduate student cannot be used to satisfy graduate degree requirements if the student has already received a grade of B- or better for a course taken elsewhere that covers substantially the same material.

In addition, for the M.S. degree the student must complete at least three quarters of Computer Science 201 with grades of Satisfactory.

Competence in any or all courses in the breadth requirement may be demonstrated in one of three ways:

(1) Satisfactory completion of the course at UCLA with a grade of B- or better.

(2) Satisfactory completion of an equivalent course at another university with a grade of B- or better.

(3) Satisfactory completion of a final examination in the courses at UCLA.

Comprehensive Examination Plan. In the comprehensive examination plan, at least five of the nine courses must be 200-series courses. The remaining four courses may be either 200-series or upper division courses. No units of 500-series courses may be applied toward the comprehensive examination plan requirements.

Thesis Plan. In the thesis plan, seven of the nine courses must be formal courses, including at least four from the 200 series. The remaining two courses may be 598 courses involving work on the thesis.

Teaching Experience

Not required.

Field Experience

Not required.

Comprehensive Examination Plan

Consult the department.

Thesis Plan

Every master’s degree thesis plan requires the completion of an approved thesis that demonstrates the student’s ability to perform original, independent research.

The thesis is a report on the results of the student’s investigation of a problem in the student’s major field of study under the supervision of the thesis committee, which approves the subject and plan of the thesis and reads and approves the completed manuscript. While the problem may be one of only limited scope, the thesis must exhibit a satisfactory style, organization, and depth of understanding of the subject. A student should normally start to plan the thesis at least one year before the award of the M.S. degree is expected. There is no examination under the thesis plan.

Time-to-Degree

The average length of time for students in the M.S. program is five quarters. The maximum time allowed for completing the M.S. degree is three years from the time of admission to the M.S. program in the School.

Doctoral Degree

Advising

Each department in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has a graduate adviser. A current list of graduate advisers can be obtained from the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, 6426 Boelter Hall, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Students are assigned a faculty adviser upon admission to the School. Advisers may be changed upon written request from the student. All HSSEAS faculty serve as advisers.

New students should arrange an appointment as early as possible with the faculty adviser to plan the proposed program of study toward the M.S. or Ph.D. degree. Continuing students are encouraged to confer with the adviser during the time of enrollment each quarter so that progress can be assessed and the study list approved.

Based on the quarterly transcripts, student records are reviewed at the end of each quarter by the departmental graduate adviser and Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs. Special attention is given if students were admitted provisionally or are on probation. If their progress is unsatisfactory, students are informed of this in writing by the associate dean for Academic and Student Affairs.

Students are strongly urged to consult with the departmental student office staff and/or the Office of Academic and Student Affairs regarding procedures, requirements and the implementation of policies. In particular, advice should be sought on the procedures for taking Ph.D. written and oral examinations, and on the use of the Filing Fee.

Major Fields or Subdisciplines

Artificial intelligence; computational systems biology; computer networks; computer science theory; computer system architecture; graphics and vision; information and data management; and software systems.

Foreign Language Requirement

None.

Course Requirements

Normally, the student takes courses to acquire the knowledge needed to prepare for the written and oral preliminary examinations, and for conducting Ph.D. research. The basic program of study for the Ph.D. degree is built around the fundamental examination, the major field requirement, and two minor fields. The major field and at least one minor field must be in computer science.

The fundamental examination is common for all Ph.D. candidates in the department, and is also known as the written qualifying examination.

To satisfy the major field requirement, the student is expected to attain a body of knowledge contained in six courses, as well as the current literature in the area of specialization. In particular, the student is required to take a minimum of four graduate courses in the major field of Ph.D. research, selecting these courses in accordance with guidelines specific to the major field. The guidelines for course selection in each major field are available from the Student Affairs Office in the department.  Grades of B- or better, with a grade-point average of at least 3.33 in all courses used to satisfy the major field requirement, are required. The student is required to satisfy the major field requirement within the first nine quarters after enrolling in the graduate program.

Each minor field normally embraces a body of knowledge equivalent to three courses, at least two of which are graduate courses.  Grades of B- or better, with a grade-point average of at least 3.33 in all courses included in the minor field, are required. By petition and administrative approval, a minor field may be satisfied by examination.

Breadth Requirement. Doctoral degree students must satisfy the computer science breadth requirement by the end of the fourth quarter in graduate residence. This requirement is satisfied by mastering the contents of five undergraduate courses or the equivalent: Computer Science 180, two of 111, 118, or M151B, one of 143, 161, or 174A, and one of 130, 131 or 132. A UCLA undergraduate course taken by a graduate student cannot be used to satisfy graduate degree requirements if the student has already received a grade of B- or better for a course taken elsewhere that covers substantially the same material.

For the Ph.D. degree, the student must complete at least three quarters of Computer Science 201 with grades of Satisfactory (in addition to the three quarters of CS 201 that may have been completed for the M.S. degree).

Competence in any or all courses may be demonstrated in one of three ways:

(1) Satisfactory completion of the course at UCLA with a grade of B- or better.

(2) Satisfactory completion of an equivalent course at another university with a grade of B- or better.

(3) Satisfactory completion of a final examination in the courses at UCLA.

Teaching Experience

At least one quarter of satisfactory performance as a teaching assistant, or an equivalent teaching experience, is required.

Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations

Academic Senate regulations require all doctoral students to complete and pass University written and oral qualifying examinations prior to doctoral advancement to candidacy. Also, under Senate regulations the University oral qualifying examination is open only to the student and appointed members of the doctoral committee. In addition to University requirements, some graduate programs have other pre-candidacy examination requirements. What follows in this section is how students are required to fulfill all of these requirements for this doctoral program.

The written qualifying examination consists of a high-quality paper, solely authored by the student. This paper can be a research paper containing an original contribution, or a focused critical survey paper. The paper should demonstrate that the student understands and can integrate and communicate ideas clearly and concisely. The paper should be approximately 10 pages, single-spaced, and the style should be suitable for submission to a first-rate technical conference or journal. The paper must represent work that the student did as a UCLA graduate student. Any contributions that are not the student’s, including those of the student’s adviser, must be explicitly acknowledged in detail. The paper must be approved by the student’s adviser prior to submission on a cover page with the advisor’s signature indicating approval. After submission the paper must be reviewed and approved by at least two other members of the faculty. There are two deadlines a year for submission of papers.

After passing the preliminary examination, and coursework for the major and minor fields, the student should form a doctoral committee and prepare to take the University Oral Qualifying Examination. A doctoral committee consists of a minimum of four members. Three members, including the chair, are inside members and must hold appointments in the student’s major department in the School. The outside member must be a UCLA faculty member outside the student’s major department. The nature and content of the University Oral Qualifying Examination are at the discretion of the doctoral committee, but ordinarily include a broad inquiry into the student’s preparation for research. The doctoral committee also reviews the prospectus of the dissertation at the oral qualifying examination.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students are advanced to candidacy upon successful completion of the written and oral qualifying examinations.

Doctoral Dissertation

Every doctoral degree program requires the completion of an approved dissertation that demonstrates the student’s ability to perform original, independent research and constitutes a distinct contribution to knowledge in the principal field of study.

Final Oral Examination (Defense of Dissertation)

Not required for all students in the program. The decision as to whether a defense is required is made by the doctoral committee.

Time-to-Degree

From admission to graduate status (includes the M.S. degree) to award of the Ph.D. degree: 18 quarters (normative time to degree).

Termination of Graduate Study and Appeal of Termination

University Policy

A student who fails to meet the above requirements may be recommended for termination of graduate study. A graduate student may be disqualified from continuing in the graduate program for a variety of reasons. The most common is failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (3.00) required by the Academic Senate to remain in good standing (some programs require a higher grade point average). Other examples include failure of examinations, lack of timely progress toward the degree and poor performance in core courses. Probationary students (those with cumulative grade point averages below 3.00) are subject to immediate dismissal upon the recommendation of their department. University guidelines governing termination of graduate students, including the appeal procedure, are outlined in Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.

Special Departmental or Program Policy

A recommendation for termination is reviewed by the school’s Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs.

Master’s

In addition to the standard reasons noted above, a student may be recommended for termination for

(1) Failure to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 in all courses and in those in the 200 series.

(2) Failure to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 in any two consecutive terms.

(3) Failure of the comprehensive examination.

(4) Failure to complete the thesis to the satisfaction of the committee members.

(5) Failure to satisfy the Computer Science breadth requirement.

(6) Failure to maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree within the three-year time limit for completing all degree requirements.

Doctoral

In addition to the standard reasons noted above, a student may be recommended for termination for

(1) Failure to maintain a grade point average of 3.25 in all courses and in any two consecutive quarters.

(2) Failure of the University Written Qualifying Examination.

(3) Failure of the University Oral Qualifying Examination.

(4) Failure of the final oral examination (defense of the dissertation).

(5) Failure to obtain permission to repeat an examination from an examining committee.

(6) Failure to satisfy the Computer Science breadth requirement.

(7) Failure to maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree within the specified time limits.