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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2014-04-07

Computer Science PhD



Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:

Introduction

This section describes the process for degree completion.

Students must follow a prescribed, yet flexible path, achieving milestones along the way. If a student is hard working and diligent, and is a full-time graduate student, he or she should be able to complete the PhD program within 4–5 years (or typically 2 to 3 years beyond the MS).   

A summary follows. Please visit MS and PhD in Computer Science for a more detailed description. A current list of CS course can be found at Graduate CS Courses. Typically, students can begin registering for Summer, Fall, and Spring of the following year in mid-late March. See UCF Registration Practices to get an idea of how to do this.

In all programs, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better in all coursework taken since admission into the program. Furthermore, a 3.0 GPA must be maintained on just the courses on the POS. In addition, there are specific GPA requirements on certain individual courses or sets of courses as detailed below. No course can be on the POS with a grade below a C (2.0) and at most two below a B (3.0). These and the stipulations outlined below can not be waived.

PhD Degree

  • A minimum of 72 credit hours (including CDA 5106, COT 5405, and COT 6410 - all with a grade of "B" (3.0) or better). At most 30 credit hours can be waived from a completed MS program. Otherwise, at most 9 external credits can be transferred.
  • No courses below the 5000-level, with no 5000-level CGS prefix course work.
  • No more than 12 credit hours of independent study (6908).
  • Five 6000- or 7000-level courses (15 credits) with grades of "B" (3.0) or better taught by EECS faculty. None of these may be independent study or dissertation and two of these courses may be directed research courses for which letter grades (not S/U) are assigned.
  • Six additional computer science graduate credits to make the total of all non-independent study/non-dissertation/non-doctoral research courses (e.g., formal coursework exclusive of independent study) of at least 36 credits.
  • A minimum of 15 credit hours and a maximum of 24 credit hours of PhD dissertation (CAP, CDA, CEN, CIS, CNT, COP or COT 7980).

Curriculum

The Computer Science PhD program requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. A plan of study for each student must be filed within the first two weeks of the student’s second semester in the program. Details about this program can be found in the Computer Science PhD Handbook.

This plan must satisfy the following:

  • A minimum of 72 credit hours (including CDA 5106, COT 5405, and COT 6410 - all with a grade of "B" (3.0) or better). At most 30 credit hours can be waived from a completed MS program, exclusive of thesis, independent sudy, dissertation and research. Otherwise, at most 9 external credits can be transferred.
  • Grades must be a "C" (2.0) or better with at most 6 credit hours having grades below "B" (3.0) and an overall grade point average of 3.0 or better.
  • No courses below the 5000-level, with no 5000-level CGS prefix course work.
  • No more than 12 credit hours of independent study (6908).
  • Five 6000- or 7000-level courses (15 credits) with grades of "B" (3.0) or better taught by EECS faculty. None of these may be independent study or dissertation for which letter grades (not S/U) are assigned.
  • Six additional computer science graduate credits to make the total of all non-independent study (e.g., formal coursework exclusive of independent study) of at least 36 credits.
  • A minimum of 15 credit hours and a maximum of 24 credit hours of PhD dissertation (CAP, CDA, CEN, CIS, CNT, COP or COT 7980).

Prerequisites—12 Credit Hours

An undergraduate degree in Computer Science is desirable but not required. Applicants without a strong undergraduate background in Computer Science must demonstrate an understanding of the material covered in the following upper-division undergraduate courses:

  • EEL 4768C Computer Architecture (3 credit hours)
  • COP 4020 Programming Languages I (3 credit hours)
  • COP 4600 Operating System (3 credit hours)
  • COT 4210 Discrete Computational Structures (3 credit hours)

Required Courses—9 Credit Hours

  • CDA 5106 Advanced Computer Architecture (3 credit hours)
  • COT 5405 Design and Analysis of Algorithms (3 credit hours)
  • COT 6410 Computational Complexity (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—48 Credit Hours

  • Grades must be a "C" (2.0) or better with at most 6 credit hours having grades below "B" (3.0) and an overall grade point average of 3.0 or better.
  • No courses below the 5000-level, with no 5000-level CGS prefix course work.
  • No more than 12 credit hours of independent study (6908).
  • Five 6000- or 7000-level courses (15 credits) with grades of "B" (3.0) or better taught by EECS faculty. None of these may be independent study or dissertation for which letter grades (not S/U) are assigned. At least 36 hours must be formal course work, exclusive of independent study or doctoral research.

Dissertation—15 Credit Hours

  • XXX 7980 (15 credit hours minimum)

Qualifying Review

The Qualifying Review relies on annual appraisals of the student’s progress conducted by the student’s research/academic adviser. The student’s appraisal template that the adviser completes will assess the student’s academic performance (course performance) and research performance.

On an annual basis, and based on the completed student’s appraisal template, as well as  additional student documentation (up to the discretion of the Computer Science Graduate Committee), the CS Graduate Committee will rank the student’s performance as “Above Expectation,” “At Expectation,” or “Below Expectation” toward the completion of the PhD degree. The evaluation by the CS Graduate Committee will have detailed justification for the student’s ranking, and the ranking and its associated justification will be provided to the student and the student’s adviser. 

Students will be allowed to attempt the Qualifying Review twice. All students must pass the Qualifying Review in order to remain eligible to continue as a PhD student in the program. All students must request their first Qualifying Review prior to completion of their 18 credit hours since their admission to the program, and their second Qualifying Review prior to completion of their 36 credit hours. A student who passes the Qualifying Review will continue with the completion of the rest of the PhD program’s milestones (i.e., Candidacy Examination, Dissertation Proposal Examination, and Dissertation Defense). A student who fails the Qualifying Review will be dismissed from the program and will be given the opportunity to finish their Master’s degree (if applicable). 

A student who in the CS Graduate Committee’s opinion fails the Qualifying Review will be given the opportunity to request a reevaluation of his or her case by the committee. The decision of the CS Graduate Committee, as a result of this reevaluation, is final.

Annual appraisals will end after the student has passed the Qualifying Review; however, annual evaluations by faculty advisers and student's dissertation committee will continue throughout the remainder of the program.

Dissertation Committee

The Dean, through the Chairs and Directors, is responsible for committee formation, additions and deletions. The doctoral committee must consist of a minimum of four members; three must be graduate faculty members from within EECS and one must be at large from outside the EECS faculty. Joint faculty members may serve as school-faculty committee members. The Computer Science Graduate Committee may specify additional membership. The College of Graduate Studies reserves the right to review appointments to advisory committees, place a representative on any advisory committee, or appoint a co-adviser.

Joint faculty members may serve as committee chairs, but graduate faculty scholars may not, although they may serve as co-chairs.

All members vote on acceptance or rejection of the dissertation proposal and the final dissertation. The dissertation proposal and final dissertation must be approved by a majority of the advisory committee.

Candidacy Examination

After passing qualifiers, students are required to successfully complete the candidacy examination to demonstrate readiness for preliminary research in a chosen field of study. This exam requires the acceptance of a professional paper by a peer-reviewed conference or journal that is deemed acceptable to the student’s advisory committee as a major contribution to student's area of research. Candidacy is normally taken near the completion of required course work and must be passed before registering for doctoral dissertation hours (XXX 7980). Continuous enrollment in at least 3 hours of doctoral dissertation hours is required once a student starts taking 7980 credits. The candidacy status change form and any associated paperwork (advisory committee form, program of study, etc.) must be submitted for processing by the last day of classes of the semester prior to enrolling in dissertation credits. In order to start taking dissertation hours you must be within 57 credit hours.

Admission to Candidacy

The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours.  Evidence of successful completion of these requirements must be received in the College of Graduate Studies by the day before the first day of classes in which the student wishes to enroll in dissertation hours:

  • Completion of all course work, except for dissertation hours.
  • Successful completion of the candidacy examination. 
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
  • Submission of an approved program of study.

Time Limitation

Students have seven years from the beginning of regular graduate status in the PhD program to complete all requirements for the degree, although most students finish within 4 to 5 years. 

Dissertation Proposal

After passing the candidacy examination, the student will write a dissertation proposal and present it orally to the dissertation advisory committee for approval. The proposal must include a description of the research performed to date and research plans. 

Dissertation and Oral Defense

Students must write a dissertation on their research that describes a significant original contribution to the field of computer science. The oral defense of the dissertation is reviewed by the research committee. The College of Engineering and Computer Science requires that all dissertation defense announcements are approved by the student's adviser and posted on the college's website and the Events Calendar at the College of Graduate Studies website at least two weeks before the defense date. The dissertation must be approved by the dissertation adviser and committee, the school director or designee and the dean of the college or designee. Format approval from the Thesis and Dissertation Editor and final approval of satisfaction of degree requirements by the College of Graduate Studies is required.

Equipment Fee

Students in the Computer Science PhD program pay a $34 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $17 per semester.


Timeline for Completion

General Timeline

  • File an initial Plan of Study (By the 9th credit hour)
  • Obtain an advisor
  • Qualifying Review (Between 19th and 37th credit hour)
  • Form a Dissertation Advisory Committee
  • Candidacy (Paper acceptance)
  • Dissertation Proposal
  • Dissertation Defense

PhD Milestones

Many new students will already have an advisor who has recruited and agreed to at least partially support them in their research. Others must seek out and align themselves with a research advisor as quickly as possible. The choice of an advisor is not irrevocable, but it should not be taken lightly either. Often, an advisor has committed resources and made plans that were dependent upon your participation. Changes can only occur with the approval of the graduate coordinator. As noted below, a research advisor must be in place substantially prior to entering the Qualifying Review process. 

Sample Timeline

(6 hours of Independent Study/Dissertation in Summers are not shown) 

First Year

FallSpring
  • CDA 5106 Computer Architecture
  • COT 5405 Algorithms
  • COP 7919 Doctoral Research
  • COT 6410 Complexity Theory
  • COP 5611 Operating Systems
  • COP 7919 Doctoral Research
Semester Total: 9 credit hoursSemester Total: 9 credit hours

Second Year

FallSpring
  • COT 6415 Complexity/Parallel Computation
  • COP 5021 Program Analysis
  • COP 7919 Doctoral Research
  • CAP 6637 Intelligent Systems
  • COP 6615 Operating Systems Theory
  • COP 7919 Doctoral Research
Semester Total: 9 credit hoursSemester Total: 9 credit hours

Third Year 

FallSpring
  • COT 6600 Quantum Computing
  • COP 6621 Compiler Construction
  • COP 7919 Doctoral Research
  • COT 6602 Quantum Information Theory
  • COT 6300 Theory of Parsing/Translation
  • COP 7919 Doctoral Research
Semester Total: 9 credit hoursSemester Total: 9 credit hours

Fourth Year 

FallSpring
  • COP 7980 Dissertation
  • COP 7980 Dissertation
Semester Total: 3 credit hoursSemester Total: 3 credit hours

Fifth Year 

FallSpring
  • COP 7980 Dissertation
  • COP 7980 Dissertation
Semester Total: 3 credit hoursSemester Total: 3 credit hours

Course Schedule

See Timeline for Completion of Degree Program. For specific course selection, please consult with program advisor to develop the required Plan of Study (prior to completion of 9th credit hour).

Examination Requirements

After a student has been admitted into the PhD program and has a research advisor, there are several points in their academic career that require special attention. We cover these in more detail in the following.

Qualifying Review

The Qualifying Review relies on annual appraisals of the student's progress conducted by the student's research/academic adviser and the Computer Science Graduate Committee. The student's appraisal template that the adviser completes will assess the student's academic performance (course performance) and research performance.

On an annual basis, and based on the completed student's appraisal template, as well as  additional student documentation (up to the discretion of the Computer Science Graduate Committee), the CS Graduate Committee will rank the student's performance as “Above Expectation,” “At Expectation,” or “Below Expectation” toward the completion of the PhD degree. The evaluation by the CS Graduate Committee will have detailed justification for the student's ranking, and the ranking and its associated justification will be provided to the student and the student's adviser. 

Students will be allowed to attempt the Qualifying Review twice. All students must pass the Qualifying Review in order to remain eligible to continue as a PhD student in the program. All students must request their first Qualifying Review prior to completion of their 18 credit hours since their admission to the program, and their second Qualifying Review prior to completion of their 36 credit hours. A student who passes the Qualifying Review will continue with the completion of the rest of the PhD program’s milestones (i.e., Candidacy Examination, Dissertation Proposal Examination, and Dissertation Defense). A student who fails the Qualifying Review will be dismissed from the program and will be given the opportunity to finish their Master’s degree (if applicable). 

A student who in the CS Graduate Committee’s opinion fails the Qualifying Review will be given the opportunity to request a reevaluation of his or her case by the committee. The decision of the CS Graduate Committee, as a result of this reevaluation, is final.

Annual appraisals will end after the student has passed the Qualifying Review; however, annual evaluations by faculty advisors and student's dissertation committee will continue throughout the remainder of the program.

Candidacy

After passing qualifiers, students are required to successfully complete the candidacy examination to demonstrate readiness for preliminary research in a chosen field of study. This exam requires the acceptance of a professional paper by a peer-reviewed conference or journal that is deemed acceptable to the student’s advisory committee as a major contribution to student's area of research. A student must demonstrate his or her readiness for the PhD program in Computer Science by authoring accepted journal articles or high quality conference papers. This should occur by the time the student is nearing the end of their coursework. The appropriateness of the work and venue for passing candidacy will be judged by the students dissertation advisory committee and, if deemed satisfactory, will result in a recommendation that the student be given Candidacy status. Admission to candidacy requires the approval of the program director and the college coordinator and is forwarded to the UCF College of Graduate Studies for status change. Only after admission to candidacy may a student register for doctoral dissertation hours (CXX 7980). Please note that the Candidacy Status Change form and any associated paperwork must be submitted for processing by the last day of classes of the semester prior to enrolling in dissertations credits.

External members of dissertation advisory committee are not appointed until after the student has entered candidacy. By general University guidelines, a student and his or her dissertation advisory committee must formally convene for the committee to appraise the students progress at least once per calendar year.

All transfer of credits, grade changes, and incomplete grades must be resolved prior to entering candidacy status.

Upon entering candidacy status, students must be registered continuously (including Summer) as full-time students until graduation. Students in candidacy status are considered "full-time" when enrolled in 3 credits of CXX 7980, Dissertation. 

Dissertation Requirements

The following can be found in the UCF Graduate Catalog Dissertation Requirements section and is worthy of repeating here.

"The dissertation consists of an original and substantial research study designed, conducted, and reported by the student with the guidance of the Dissertation Committee. The written dissertation must include a common theme with an introduction and literature review, details of the study, and results and conclusions prepared in accordance with program and university requirements. The dissertation is expected to represent a significant contribution to the discipline. Since this work is original, it is very important that care is taken in properly citing ideas and quotations of others. Failure to do so is academic dishonesty and subject to termination from the program without receiving the degree. An oral defense of the dissertation is required." 

University Dissertation Requirements

The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for dissertation formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.

All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

The following requirements must be met by dissertation students in their final term:

  • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
  • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
  • Defend by the defense deadline
  • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
  • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
  • Submit final dissertation document by final submission deadline

Students must format their dissertation according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Dissertation Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.

The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the dissertation process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.

The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at editor@ucf.edu 

Dissertation Committee

Doctoral students must have a Dissertation Advisory Committee prior to the Candidacy Examination. The Committee will consist of a minimum of four members. At least three members must be qualified regular faculty members from the department, one of whom must serve as the chair of the committee. One member must be from either outside the School of EECS or outside the university.

The committee chair must be a member of the department graduate faculty approved to direct dissertations. Joint faculty members serve as department-faculty committee members. Adjunct faculty and off-campus experts may serve as the external person in the committee as long as they are approved graduate faculty scholars. Program areas may further specify additional committee membership. The College of Graduate Studies reserves the right to review appointments to advisory committees, place a representative on any advisory committee or appoint a co-adviser.

Joint faculty members may serve as committee chairs, but graduate faculty scholars may not serve as committee chairs. All members vote on acceptance or rejection of the dissertation proposal and the final dissertation. The dissertation proposal and final dissertation must be approved by a majority of the advisory committee.

Dissertation Proposal

All PhD students must write a dissertation. This must be preceded by an oral presentation of a written dissertation proposal, which, in turn, can not occur until a term after admission into candidacy status. The purpose of the written proposal, given to members of the research committee at least two weeks prior to the presentation, is to show the student has sufficiently explored the literature of a significant research problem in electrical engineering to be able to embark upon solving that problem. The written proposal should also detail a proposed methodology and plan for undertaking the research work, and its completion. Rules governing the proposal announcements, scheduling and committee attendance can be found in the UCF Graduate Catalog.

The oral presentation of the proposal is open to the public and must be announced at least two weeks prior to it's occurrence. The presentation should last approximately 45 minutes to an hour, and it should show the student is aware of the background, has a good idea of the problem being addressed, and has a reasonable plan for carrying out the research. The committee's role is to assess the significance of the proposed problem, the feasibility of the proposed solution, and to offer advice.
The proposal is not to be interpreted as "cast in stone." It is a proposal. The research may change direction as new information is uncovered. That is perfectly acceptable and expected. Of course, if the direction of the research becomes too "off target" a new proposal should be considered. This is at the discretion of your advisor, committee, and the graduate coordinator.

Dissertation Defense

The dissertation defense is an oral presentation and defense of the written dissertation describing the student's research. The advisory committee will evaluate and judge the dissertation defense. Successful students must demonstrate that they are able to conduct and report original independent research that contributes substantially to the discipline in which they study. The defense is a formal academic requirement and should be accorded respect and dignity, and thus, no refreshments or other distractions should be served during the defense.

Dissertations will be approved by a majority vote of the dissertation advisory committee. Further approval is required from the Dean or Dean designee and the UCF College of Graduate Studies before final acceptance of the dissertation in fulfilling degree requirements. 

Graduate Research

Graduate Research

UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. Students are responsible for being informed of rules, regulations and policies pertaining to research. Below are some general policies and resources.

Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see the website: www.research.ucf.edu > Compliance.

UCF's Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu  > Policies > General Graduate Policies. 

EECS Research Overview

For an overview of CS research including information on research labs, grants and projects, research seminars and a publication listing visit the EECS Research Overview webpage  on the Department of EECS website .

Financial Support

Financial support is a major concern for graduate students, especially since many rely on financial support from the university to pursue graduate study.

In combination, the college, the university, and the school provide financial assistance to graduate students in several ways:

  1. Fellowships and Scholarships are available to academically outstanding students
  2. Graduate Teaching Assistantships – GTAs (for grading, recitation instruction, or laboratory teaching) are available for most newly arriving PhD students
  3. Graduate Research Assistantships – GRAs (for participating in sponsored faculty directed research) are available depending on the current funding levels of the faculty.

The department generally commits to some form of funding for at least the first two years of a PhD student’s academic career. Rapid progress by the student, especially in completing the qualifying review and publishing research results, aids in further commitment from the student’s faculty mentor.

Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (earning good course grades, registering and completing a full course load and passing qualifiers), and do acceptable research or grading or teaching work to maintain their financial support.

  • All students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in their Plan of Study, as well as over all courses taken since entering the program. They must not recieve more than two grades below B (3.0), and those must be balanced to maintain the 3.0 overall.

    Students on assistantship agreements are expected to work 10 to 20 hours per week on their assigned tasks (whether it be grading, teaching, or research), while they are maintaining satisfactory progress in completing their academic courses. Note that satisfactory progress for a supported student is not the same as maintaining the minimum grades, or of just barely performing at research. Support is a privilege, not a right. 
  • All GTAs who have any contact with undergraduate students must take all training required by Graduate Studies. This training includes
    • UCF GTA Training for Graders, Assistants, and Associates
    • UCF SPEAK Exam (required for international students who will be Assistants or Associates) 
  • Students must meet their obligations to continue to receive their financial support. Students on assistantship agreements must maintain satisfactory work as defined by their supervisor. Also, being on agreement requires that the students register for the proper number of hours of classes in time to process tuition remission and so forth.
  • The duration of financial support may vary from one semester at a time to up to a 4-year renewable fellowship.
  • International students are expected to be here as full-time students, and may not work off campus except under very strict conditions. For information about the types of employment available to international students, and the requirements and restrictions based on visa type, see the International Services Center’s website: www.intl.ucf.edu > Students > Employment.
  • Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see UCF Financial Information, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The UCF Student Financial Assistance section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.

Key points about financial support:

  • If you’re interested in financial assistance, you’re strongly encouraged to apply for admission early. A complete application for admission, including all supporting documents, must be received by the priority date listed for your program under "Admissions." However, no explicit application is needed for consideration for Graduate Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Research Assistantships or Fellowships. That is, all applicants accepted to the CS Ph.D. program are automatically considered for such forms of financial assistance. MS students are rarely considered for these types of support.
  • You must be admitted to a graduate program before the university can consider awarding financial assistance to you.
  • If you want to be considered for loans and other need-based financial assistance, review the UCF Student Financial Assistance website at finaid.ucf.edu and complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, which is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Apply early and allow up to six weeks for the FAFSA form to be processed.
  • UCF Graduate Studies awards university graduate fellowships, with most decisions based on nominations from the colleges and programs. All admitted graduate students are automatically considered in this nomination process. To be eligible for a fellowship, a student must be accepted as a graduate student in a degree program and be enrolled full-time. University graduate fellowships are not affected by FAFSA determination of need.
  • Please note that select fellowships do require students to fill out a fellowship application (either a university fellowship application, an external fellowship application, or a college or school fellowship application). For university fellowship applications, see funding.graduate.ucf.edu/. 

Graduate Student Associations

EECS Student Organizations

Women in EECS at UCF

Women in EECS are undergraduate, graduate, and faculty women in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science affiliated with IEEE Women In Engineering (WIE).  For more information on how to get involved visit the Women in EECS webpage.

IEEE UCF Student Branch

The Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of technical achievement, scholarly pursuit, and civic involvement. Currently, IEEE has over 350,000 members in 150 different countries. For more information on how to get involved visit the IEEE UCF chapter website.

UCF Programming Team

The UCF Programming Team competes in the Association for Computing Machinery's International Collegiate Programming Contest.  As a student organization within UCF's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, we compete regionally each fall and usually internationally each spring.  For more information on how to get involved visit the UCF Programming Team website.

Association for Computing Machinery at UCF

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of information technology. With a world-wide membership, ACM is a leading resource for computing professionals and students working in various fields of Information Technology and for interpreting the impact of information technology on society.

The local student chapter is open to all interested students, please visit the ACM at UCF website. Weekly meetings include guest lecturers from the industry, UCF, and other universities.

Graduate Student Association

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit www.gsa.ucf.edu. For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.

Professional Development

In this section, we identify university resources available to students for professional development. A graduate student’s professional development goes beyond completing course work, passing exams, conducting research for a thesis or dissertation, and meeting degree requirements. Professional development also involves developing the academic and non-academic skills needed to become successful in the field of choice.

  • UCF has an active professional development program for graduate students, including the Professoriate Program, sponsored by Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, the GTA Certificate Program, sponsored by FCTL, the Pathways to Success program, the Graduate Research forum, sponsored by the Division of Graduate Studies, and special award recognitions such as the Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant, the Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching, the Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis, and the Award for the Outstanding Dissertation (see below for details).
  • The university has active student chapters of the ACM and the IEEE. The cost for student membership in the national organizations is subsidized by professional memberships. This is a “bargain” that no student should pass up.Computer Science sponsors regular colloquia talks by leading researchers in the discipline. All students are strongly encouraged to attend as many as feasible within the constraints of their courses and other academic obligations. In fact the Department of EECS sets a minimum number of attendances for PhD students supported by the Department or its faculty members – all PhD students will be apprised of how to sign up for colloquia (a zero-credit course) and how to report attendance.
  • Various research groups hold their own seminars in which students present their research in front of other members of their research group.
  • Doctoral students have the opportunity to develop grant-proposal writing skills by working closely with faculty mentors.
  • Students are expected to publish the results of their research. In fact, the CS PhD requires publication to enter candidacy.
  • Graduate students in CS are encouraged to present papers at conferences. Often their faculty mentor will be able to fund one or more such opportunities. The Department of EECS and the Student Government Association are other sources of such support.
  • Graduate students in CS are also encouraged to participate in summer research internships when this is compatible with their research agendas – see your research advisor for more information and guidelines.

Instructional Strategies and Resources

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning provides classes and programs designed to assist graduate students with the educational issues they face in the classroom as teaching assistant or as instructors. These resources include assistance in course design and syllabi development, learning theories, and the use of different technologies in the classroom or on the internet. Further information on these resources is available at www.fctl.ucf.edu/tresources

Pathways to Success Workshops

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/pathways/.  

Graduate Research Forum

The Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines.

The Graduate Research Forum  is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact researchweek@ucf.edu.  

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:  

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

Award for the Outstanding Dissertation – It recognizes doctoral students for excellence in the dissertation. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's dissertation. Excellence of the dissertation may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field.

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see www.graduate.ucf.edu/GradAwards .  

For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: www.csgs.org/  Awards.

For grant-proposal writing resources: uwc.ucf.edu/gradwriting.php. 

Job Search

UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at www.career.ucf.edu.

For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please visit the Career Services webpage on the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science website.

Forms

  • College of Graduate Studies Forms n Files
    A listing of general forms and files for graduate students including student services and records and graduation forms.
  • Graduate Petition Form
    When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student. Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.
  • Traveling Scholar Form
    If a student would like to take advantage of special resources available on another campus but not available on the home campus; for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories and library collections, this form must be completed and approved.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

  1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
  2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
  3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
  4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
  5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

Paraphrased Material

Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

Use and Adaptation of the Material:

You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).

Explanation:

The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

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