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Proposal Of Fields

The Proposal of Fields (POF) consists of one major field and two minor fields. The major field and at least one minor field must be in computer science. All major and minor field courses must be taken for a letter grade. To satisfy the major field requirement, students are expected to attain a body of knowledge contained in five courses, as well as the current literature in the area of specialization. In particular, students are required to take a minimum of three graduate courses in the major field of Ph.D. research, selecting these courses in accordance with guidelines specific to the major field. 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. Students are required to satisfy the major field requirement by the end of their 3rd year (9th quarter) of enrollment and before taking the Oral Qualifying Examination (OQE). Each minor field normally embraces a body of knowledge equivalent to two courses, at least one of which is a graduate course. 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. At least one minor field must be in computer science. Both minors must be completed prior to the OQE.

STANDARD PROPOSALS: Refer to the Proposal of Fields Guidelines for composing major and minor proposals in established fields. If the courses in a major or a minor field proposal adhere to these guidelines, the field will not require the signature of the corresponding field chair. The established fields are as follows: Artificial Intelligence, Computational Systems Biology, Computer System Architecture, Computer Science Theory, Information and Data Management, Graphics and Vision, Network Systems, and Software Systems.

PROPOSALS WITH ONE OR MORE COURSE SUBSTITUTIONS: A major or a minor field proposal in an established field that deviates from the standard guidelines by one or more course substitutions must be approved by the corresponding field chair (who may consult with faculty in the field). The list of current field chairs is available here.

COURSE WORK TAKEN AT OTHER INSTITUTIONS: No more than three equivalent or related graduate courses taken at other institutions may be applied to the major or minor field requirements, subject to the following:

  • If a course taken at another institution is included in a major or minor field proposal, and falls within an established field, the proposal will be considered a deviation from the standard guidelines and must be approved by the corresponding field chair.
  • The graduate course must be taken while a graduate student.
  • The graduate course cannot have been applied toward an undergraduate degree.

AD-HOC PROPOSAL: A major or minor field proposal that does not fall in one of the established fields is considered an ad-hoc field proposal. Guidelines for consideration follow:

  • The department must approve all proposals for an ad-hoc field. Students are strongly encouraged to submit their ad-hoc proposal for approval BEFORE taking any of the proposed courses.
  • The ad-hoc field should be a coherent set of courses in an identifiable area (body of knowledge) that is not a subfield of the area of the major or the minors. The ad-hoc field should provide a perspective that is different from the other fields. It cannot merely be a collection of three useful classes.
  • If the ad-hoc field presents some overlap with topics that are generally associated with the other fields. The student must provide a justification that carefully explains why this overlap does not impinge on the value of the minor to broadening the academic experience. (If the Academic Policy Committee [APC] finds such an overlap, the students may be required to provide more information.)

AD-HOC PROPOSAL SUBMISSION &APPROVAL PROCEDURES: The proposal for an ad-hoc field must be included in a completed Proposal of Fields and must be submitted together with a detailed, written justification explaining how the proposed ad-hoc field meets the requirements above and supports a research area. Include details on the proposed classes for the field (course description and/or course syllabus for each class). Email a scanned copy of the completed Proposal of Fields to the Chair of the Academic Policy Committee (APC). Refer to list of current field chairs. The subject line should read “Proposal for Ad-Hoc Field”. Copy the CS Graduate Student Affairs Office. Approval of an ad-hoc field proposal requires a majority vote of the Academic Policy Committee (APC). The APC Chair, on behalf of the committee, will inform students and the CS Graduate Student Affairs Office by email when a decision is reached. The POF form, guidelines, and procedures are available here.