2006 - 2007 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Computer and Information Science, Ph.D.

Concentration: Artificial Intelligence and Applications


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: December 15                     

Spring: August 1

Applications are reviewed as they are received up through the deadline.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from Computer Science faculty and professionals.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

The applicant is required to have a solid background in Computer and Information Science and related disciplines.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A master's degree in Computer Science or a related discipline is required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree in Computer Science, Information Science, Mathematics, Science, or Engineering is required.  The applicant's undergraduate program must include a considerable amount of coursework in Computer and Information Science.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words and should include the following elements: your specific interest in Temple's program; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. Scores on the GRE should at least be in the 70th percentile combined for the quantitative and verbal sections. One of the two scores must be 75% or better.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.

A score of 45 or greater on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) or a score of 28 or greater on the TOEFL iBT Speaking Score is required for international applicants who wish to be considered for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship.


A resume is required.

Advanced Standing:

Advanced standing credit will be determined by the CIS Graduate Committee and recommended to the Dean of the Graduate School. Requests for, and decisions on, advanced standing are normally not made until after the student has satisfactorily completed the CIS Ph.D. Qualifying Examination and formed an advisory committee. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 24.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 21

Required Courses:

Core Courses:

CIS 510:  Automata and Formal Languages

CIS 511:  Programming Techniques

CIS 603:  Artificial Intelligence

Also, four approved CIS elective courses or approved cognate electives. Normally at least 11 courses must be in the CIS required or CIS electives areas.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Additional Requirements:

Ph.D. Qualifying Examination:

The Qualifying Examination tests the student on the fundamentals of Computer and Information Science and the basic body of knowledge in a track. It consists of a written exam on theory and algorithms, systems, and track-specific material. The Qualifying Exam is given every Spring, usually in late January.

Written Skills Examination:

The writing skills of each Ph.D. student will be formally assessed through a two-hour essay exam that is to be taken in the same semester as the Qualifying Exam.  The exam is given once a year, normally a week after the Qualifying Exam. The Written Skills Examination may be retaken once but must be passed before Preliminary Examination II is scheduled.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examinations:

The goal of the preliminary examinations is to test the research skills and knowledge of the student and the appropriateness and feasibility of the proposed research. They are completed in two stages.

Prelim I consists of written and oral components testing advanced track knowledge and in-depth knowledge of the research area. It includes a literature review of the area. This preliminary exam is used to determine whether the student needs to take additional courses in order to support research in the chosen area. Prelim I is open only to the advisory committee and members of the department. Prelim I is to be taken within one year of passing the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination.

Prelim II consists of written and oral components to assess the appropriateness of the research, including the approach and methodology. It is designed to ensure that the selected research problem is of reasonable scope and significance and that the proposed dissertation is feasible. The written portion of Prelim II should be of sufficient quality to be publishable as a department technical report. This exam is open to the public.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee evaluates the preliminary examinations. Each member votes to pass or fail the student. In order to pass, a majority of the committee members must agree that the exam has been satisfactorily completed. The successful completion of the preliminary examinations produces a written understanding among the student, faculty advisor, and Doctoral Advisory Committee, specifying the work to be done to obtain final approval of the dissertation.

Students who are preparing to do their preliminary examinations should confirm a time and date with the Chair of their Doctoral Advisory Committee and register with the Academic Programs Coordinator one month prior to the date. The student and Chair will receive confirmation for the time, date, and room of the examination.

Dissertation Proposal:

The dissertation proposal demonstrates the student's knowledge of and ability to conduct the proposed research. The proposal should consist of: (a) the context and background surrounding a particular research problem; (b) an exhaustive survey and review of literature related to the problem; and (c) a detailed methodological plan for investigating the problem. The proposal should be finished and approved no more than one year after completing coursework. Upon approval, a timeline for completing the investigation and writing process will be established.


The doctoral dissertation is an original empirical study that makes a significant contribution to the field of Computer and Information Science. It should expand the existing knowledge and demonstrate the student's knowledge of research methods and a mastery of her/his primary area of interest. Dissertations should be rigorously investigated; uphold the ethics and standards of the Computer and Information Science field; demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the primary area of interest and the broader field of Computer and Information Science; and be prepared for publication in a professional journal.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee is formed to oversee the student's doctoral research and is comprised of at least three Graduate Faculty members. Two members, including the Chair, must be from the Computer and Information Science Department. Committee compositions must be approved by the department's graduate committee. The Chair is responsible for overseeing and guiding the student's progress, coordinating the responses of the Committee members, and informing the student of her/his academic progress.

The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense. This committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advisory Committee and at least one additional Graduate Faculty member from outside the Computer and Information Science Department. The Outside Examiner should be identified no later than the beginning of the semester in which the student will defend the dissertation.

If a student needs to change a member of a Committee, the new member must be approved by the department's graduate committee and registered with the Academic Programs Coordinator and the Graduate School.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee evaluates the student's ability to express verbally her/his research question, methodological approach, primary findings, and implications. The Committee votes to pass or fail the dissertation and the defense at the conclusion of the public presentation.

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their Doctoral Advisory Committee and register with the Academic Programs Coordinator at least 30 days before the defense is to be scheduled. The student and Chair will receive confirmation of the time, date, and room for the examination.

The Academic Programs Coordinator sends the Graduate School a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form at least 10 days before the defense. The department posts flyers announcing the defense.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Computer and Information Science
Wachman Hall, 3rd Floor (038-24)
1805 N. Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


Karen Woods-Wilson



Program Coordinator:

Jacalyn Harriz


Graduate Chairperson:

John T. Nosek



Robert M. Aiken


About the Program

The Computer and Information Science Ph.D. program prepares a student to undertake independent research in either an academic or non-academic setting. The program is structured around the Ph.D. dissertation, with coursework and seminars designed to attain the requisite quality of the dissertation. An important criterion for the dissertation is that it be publishable in a recognized journal.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered after 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Computer and Information Science
Wachman Hall, 3rd Floor (038-24)
1805 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Interdisciplinary Study:

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

The Ph.D. program focuses on three research tracks: 1. Artificial Intelligence and Applications, which is concerned with systems that exhibit intelligent behavior; 2. Information Systems, which focuses on systems that provide information to improve the performance of organizations; and 3. Software Systems, which is dedicated to the creation of software and its associated methodologies.

Job Placement:

Graduates typically find employment at universities, in industry, or in government agencies.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are permitted to take a maximum of two graduate-level CIS courses.

Financing Opportunities

Teaching Assistants teach two undergraduate laboratory sections each semester under the direction of the faculty lecturer. Assistantships provide a stipend and full-time tuition.

Updated 2.12.07