Course Requirements (75 hours total)
Program Core (3 hours total, required for all tracks)
IFSC 7321, Information Science Theory and Practice (3 hours)
Track Core (15 hours)
Four (5) Graduate-Level courses (3 hours each) required by the track. See track requirements.
Elective Courses (12 hours)
Four (4) Graduate-Level courses (3 hours each) related to the student’s research and approved the student’s advisor and track coordinator
Seminar Courses (3 hours)
Three semester of IFSC/CPSC/SYEN 7192, Graduate Seminar one-hour each
Research/Dissertation Courses (42 hours)
Sections of IFSC/CPSC/SYEN 9×00, Research Dissertation. Students may take from 1 to 12 hours of dissertation per semester as directed and approved by the student’s advisor and track coordinator. Research Dissertation courses are non-scheduled, directed studies.
All students admitted to the program must be enrolled for consecutive fall and spring semesters until they have met the 75-hour course requirement of the program. Summer enrollment is optional. Those students who have met the 75-hour course requirement of the program (including dissertation hours), but who have not met other program requirements for graduation must be enrolled consecutively every semester including summer semesters until all requirements are completed. Enrollment consists of registration for courses including at least one hour of dissertation credit. A student who is not consecutively enrolled after one semester is considered inactive and must apply for readmission to the program. Exceptions can be granted by the program coordinator for military duty, medical disability, or other extenuating circumstances, provided the student makes a written request documenting the reason for taking a leave of absence from the program.
Upon completion of the program core courses (6 hours) and track core courses (12 hours track core), each student must pass an oral candidacy examination to continue in the program. The purpose of the candidacy examination is to determine if the student is ready to begin dissertation research and form a dissertation committee. After a student becomes eligible for the candidacy examination, the student must nominate 3 Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology (EIT) faculty members, not including the student’s advisor, willing to serve as the student’s candidacy examiners. During the semester the student must schedule a 1-hour meeting with each examiner and discuss the student’s research ideas provided to the examiner in advance of the meeting. Based on the discussion with the student, the examiner determine if the student is ready to pursue research. In order to pass the candidacy examination, all three examiners must determine the student to be ready to pursue research. Students not passing the candidacy examination in two attempts may be dismissed from the program.
Responsible Conduct of Research
Before beginning dissertation research, each student must successfully complete the Responsible Conduct of Research course. The course is offered online at Citiprogram.org
Human Research Protocol Approval
In the case the research will involve human subjects including surveys, interviews, or the collection of personally identifiable data, the student must first obtain approval of his or her research protocol from the UA Little Rock Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to collecting such information.
Appointment of Dissertation Committee
After a student has passed the candidacy examination the student must form a dissertation committee. The dissertation committee must have at least four (4) members. Three of the members of the committee including the student’s Advisor must hold Full membership in the UA Little Rock Graduate Faculty, and at least two of these three committee member must be members of the Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CSTEM) faculty. The student’s Advisor serves as the chair of the student’s dissertation committee. The fourth member and any other additional members of the committee may be either UA Little Rock faculty members or external to UA Little Rock as long as the committee member holds either a Full or Affiliate membership in the UA Little Rock Graduate Faculty. A dissertation committee is not officially formed until each member has formally agreed to be on committee by signing the Advisory Committee Appointment From, and the signed form has been filed with the Graduate School by the CIS program coordinator. Should there be any changes of committee membership after its formation, a revised Advisory Committee Appointment form must be completed and filed with Graduate School by the CIS Program Coordinator.
After a student has passed the candidacy examination and formed a dissertation committee, the student will formulate and write an original dissertation research proposal including the background and clear statement of the problem the research will address, a literature search and analysis of prior related research, the research hypotheses to be tested, a description of the research methodology to be employed, a research plan including how data will be collected, and milestones for completing each key phase of the research. After the written research proposal has been submitted to the committee, the student must schedule a meeting with all committee members to make an oral presentation to defend the proposal. The dissertation proposal requirement is not complete until
- All committee members have approved the written proposal and approved the oral defense as satisfactory by their signatures on the Examining Committee Report form,
- The report form has been filed with the Graduate School by the CIS Program Coordinator.
Minimum Time between Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation Defense
Candidates should allow for ample time between the dissertation proposal and the dissertation defense (typically one to two years depending on the student’s background). In any case, the final dissertation defense cannot be scheduled less than 7 months (210 days) after the date of the student’s successful dissertation proposal. The dissertation subject must be a scholarly contribution to a major field of computer and information sciences in the student’s track area, consisting of new important knowledge or a major modification, amplification, or interpretation of existing significant knowledge.
In order to complete the requirements of the CIS Ph.D. degree, a student must be listed as a first or second author of at least one published, peer-reviewed research paper related to the student’s dissertation and approved by the student’s dissertation committee. The publication may be in the proceedings of a national or international conference or a national or international journal approved by the student’s dissertation committee. Official notice of acceptance for publication of papers not yet appearing in print is sufficient to satisfy the requirement.
Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions to:
a. Conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data; and
b. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
c. Final approval of the version to be published.
At the conclusion of the research, the student must write a final research dissertation and submit it to the members of his or her committee. After the written dissertation has been submitted to the committee, the student must schedule a meeting with all committee members to make an oral presentation to defend the dissertation. The dissertation defense requirement is not complete until
- All committee members have approved the written dissertation and approved the oral defense as satisfactory by their signatures on the Examining Committee Report form,
- The report form has been filed with the Graduate School by the CIS Program Coordinator,
- The electronic version of the dissertation has been approved and accepted by the Graduate School
- The student’s Advisor has confirmed all changes to the dissertation requested by the committee at the dissertation defense (if any), have been included in the final version submitted to the Graduate School
Note: This page is provided for informational purposes only, the most current UA Little Rock Graduate Catalog is the final authority.