The normative time to completion is five years. The maximum time to completion is seven years. A total minimum of 66 units of course work, independent study, and research must be completed. These units must be distributed as follows:

  • Minimum of 18 units of graduate-level coursework as SDSU.
  • Minimum of 24 units of graduate-level coursework at UCI.
  • Minimum of 24 units of combined research, practicum, and dissertation research units at either institution.
Summer Research Survey

Students are required to attend the annual summer seminar series featuring participating faculty members describing their current research and possible projects.

SDSU Core Courses

  • MATH 636 – Mathematical Modeling OR MATH  638 – Continuous Dynamical Systems and Chaos
  • MATH 693B – Advanced Computational PDEs
  • COMP 605 – Scientific Computing

SDSU Elective Courses (9 units) – from a specific list of courses

UCI Core Courses (16 units)

  • COMPSCI 206 – Principles of Scientific Computing
  • COMPSCI 271 – Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
  • ENGRCEE 290 – Merging Models and Data
  • STATS 201 – Statistical Methods for Data Analysis I

UCI Elective Courses (8 units) – from a specific list of courses

Dissertation research is carried out at either UCI or SDSU, or at an industry or national laboratory under the supervision of the Doctoral Advisor. While conducting dissertation research, students must enroll in the appropriate research units at the campus of the Doctoral Advisor. If research is done outside of UCI or SDSU, students should register in-absentia if appropriate.

The student is expected to pass the research report within two years of admittance. This examination consists of a term research project supervised by a faculty mentor. The student is required to prepare a written account of research work performed and its results, and offer an oral presentation before the members of the Doctoral Committee. The student must submit a paper based on their research report before giving the oral presentation to the Doctoral Committee. Should a student fail the research report exam, one retake is allowed.

Students must submit a dissertation proposal to the doctoral committee by the end of their third year in the program. This proposal should take the form of a scientific grant proposal to a major funding agency. It should describe the research project that the student intends to carry out and upon which their doctoral dissertation will be based. The student must also offer an oral presentation of the proposal before the Computational Science faculty. Upon successful completion of this presentation, the student will be recommended for advancement to candidacy for the doctoral degree.

After successful completion of the dissertation proposal and certification that all other requirements are fulfilled, the student is advanced to candidacy at both campuses. Students not registered at UCI will need to formally advance to candidacy in the summer term. Advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. must occur at least one term prior to dissertation defense.

On completion of the research, the student prepares the dissertation in accordance with UCI regulations. A final draft of the dissertation is presented to each member of the doctoral committee at least three weeks prior to the final oral examination. The oral defense is held on the campus of the primary faculty advisor. Students must follow UCI filing deadlines. Students are required to be registered for Dissertation Research (3 units) at SDSU and Dissertation Research (4 units) simultaneously at UCI during the semester in which they present their doctoral defense. Alternatively, students can request filing fee status at UCI in the quarter in which they present their doctoral defense.