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Advice for Being a Successful HCC PhD Student

While coursework is required, it is important to understand that satisfactorily completing course work is not the goal of a doctoral program. A doctoral candidate is required to produce a publishable doctoral dissertation based upon the candidate’s original research. The dissertation must necessarily advance the body of scientific knowledge that underlies the discipline of Human-Centered Computing. Consequently, it is essential for doctoral candidates to identify a faculty mentor with mutual research interests and develop a regular working relationship with that mentor. It is expected that doctoral students develop their own research agenda or become intensely involved with a faculty member’s research. The latter may include assisting a professor in planning and conducting research as well as analyzing the results.

A critical component of a doctoral candidate’s development is the dissemination of scientific information. Doctoral candidates are routinely expected to author scholarly papers for submission to scientific journals and conference proceedings. Doctoral candidates are expected to present their research results at various national and international conferences through poster sessions, workshops, doctoral consortiums, and full-length contributions.

In addition to Graduate School time limits for entering candidacy and completing the degree, the Information Systems Department requires that all PhD students complete the course requirements and comprehensive review by the end of their sixth semester in the PhD program. Normal progress, as illustrated below, would result in both the course requirements and comprehensive review being completed during the fifth semester of study. In the case of medical or other unexpected situations, students may petition the Graduate Committee of the Information Systems Department for an extension that would allow the completion of these requirements to be delayed beyond the sixth semester.