CS Graduate Handbook

CS Graduate Handbook

Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering & Applied Sciences
Western Michigan University


This document provides a collection of information on various departmental and university policies and practices that relate to the academic and administrative activities of our students. We have created and maintained this handbook as a resource to all; and we strive to make it correct and up-to-date. However, readers must be aware that these pages present informal information only, and do not replace official versions of similar material (e.g., undergraduate and graduate catalogs). Also, this handbook is not intended to be comprehensive (meaning, there are many policies and practices relating to students that are not explicitly in the handbook. The scope and content of this handbook is expected to change through time, reflecting both changes in policies and practices, and our experience with the using this document. This, the first edition of the book, focuses heavily on issues related to the graduate programs in computer science. We hope you will let us know of any corrections, additions, and improvements that come to mind.

Ajay Gupta                                                      Leszek Lilien                                                  Steve Carr
Graduate Program Director                    Graduate Committee Chair                     Department Chair
June 2019

Overview of Graduate Programs in Computer Science

The doctoral program is designed to develop computer scientists with research expertise in computer science. Specific areas of emphasis include algorithmic complexity theory; bioinformatics, artificial intelligence; cloud computing; compiler optimization; computational (biology, chemistry, finance, mathematics/statistics, medicine, physics); computer architecture; computer graphics; computer networking; computer security; data analytics, data warehousing and mining; distributed and mobile data bases; embedded systems; formal specification and verification; human-computer interaction and visualization; high-performance computing; knowledge-based systems; language and automata theory; mathematical and computer modeling; multimedia databases and systems; neural networks; parallel and distributed algorithms; pattern recognition and image processing; scientific computing and numerical analysis; simulation; software engineering and web applications. The program also permits a student to acquire expertise in closely related fields such as computer engineering and mathematics. Students completing the doctoral program are typically well qualified for teaching and research positions with colleges and universities as well as with national and international industries and laboratories. The doctoral program is designed to allow a full-time student entering with a Master of Science in Computer Science to complete all degree requirements within three years. However, it is not uncommon for doctoral programs to take longer. The master's program in computer science emphasizes both computer software development and the theoretical foundations of computer science. It is designed to prepare students for professional positions in business, industry, and government and to provide preparation for graduate work at the doctoral level.

Computer Science Graduate Programs Objective

The primary mission of the Department of Computer Science is the advancement of the field of computer science through teaching, research, and service. Click here for:  Computer Science Graduate Program Objectives

Ph.D and M.S. Programs

June 2019
Revised: June 2019

Follow the links below and navigate to appropriate sections for specific information.

  1. Doctor of Philosophy
    1. WMU Graduate Catalog - For latest Updates
    2. Admission Requirements and Process
    3. Program Requirements
    4. Qualifiers
    5. Preliminary Examination
    6. Ph.D Dissertation Committee

      The doctoral dissertation committee is appointed by the Graduate College based on the petition of the candidate and the approval and recommendation of the department chair. The doctoral dissertation committee is comprised of the dissertation director and at least two other members of the graduate faculty, at least one of whom shall be from outside the department. The committee members facilitate and guide the candidate’s academic and research development.

    7. Dissertation
      1. Dissertation (Graduate College)
      2. Dissertation FAQ
    8. Graduation Requirements
      1. Graduation Requirements (Registrar Office)
      2. Graduation Requirements (Graduate College)
    9. Colloquiums
  2. Master of Science
    1. WMU Graduate Catalog - For latest Updates
    2. Admission Requirements and Process
    3. Admission Requirements for non-CS Majors
    4. Program Requirements
    5. MS project / thesis option
    6. Graduation Requirements
      1. Graduation Requirements (Registrar Office)
      2. Graduation Requirements (Graduate College)
  3. Accelerated Degree Program -BS/MS
    1. WMU Graduate Catalog - For latest Updates
    2. Admission Requirements and Process
    3. Program Requirements
    4. MS project / thesis option
    5. Graduation Requirements
  4. Master of Science in Data Science (jointly with Statistics)
  5. Master of Science Programs and Graduate Certificate in Information Security
  6. Department and University Policies
    1. Research Ethics, Responsible Conduct for Research (RCR)
      NOTE: RCR online course can be accessed through Elearning.
    2. University Dismissal Policy 
    3. Dismissal Policy (Department of Computer Science)
    4. Academic Honesty, Academic Integrity, Probation, Discontinuance of Study
  7. Forms and Procedures
    1. Assistantship(TA) and Fellowships (Graduate College)
      1. Assistantships and Fellowships (Graduate College)
      2. Assistantships and Fellowships (Computer Science Dept.) (Look for Teaching Assistant Application.)
    2. Doctoral Candidacy
      1. Doctoral Candidacy Webpage
    3. Program of Study - PhD
      1. Program of Study PhD (.pdf)
      2. Program of Study PhD (.doc)
    4. Program of Study - MS
      1. MS Program of Study Form (.doc)
      2. MS Program of Study Form (.docx)
      3. MS Program of Study Form (.pdf)
    5. Annual Review - PhD
      1. Annual Ph.D. Student Progress Review (.docx)
      2. Annual Ph.D. Student Progress Review (.pdf)
    6. Annual Review - MS
      1. Annual M.S. Student Progress Review (.docx)
      2. Annual M.S. Student Progress Review (.pdf)
    7. Graduate Student Repeat Course
      1. Graduate Student Repeat Course Form (.pdf)