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Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

College of Computing and Informatics
Computer Science
Study System
Thesis and Courses
Total Credit Hours
54 Cr.Hrs.
3-5 Years
Fall & Spring
Sharjah Main Campus
Study Mode
Full Time

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Computer Science (PhD-CS) program's main goal is to provide advanced knowledge in the field of computer science with an in-depth research experience. The program will offer a comprehensive list of courses based on the core of computer science, research, and optimization methodologies concentrated on advanced development in computer science.

Candidates admitted to the program are expected to have completed a Master's degree in computer science or a closely related field. For the award of PhD-CS degree, candidates are required to successfully finish the course work, pass a comprehensive exam, and complete a research-based dissertation.

The PhD-CS program emphasizes proficiency in understanding fundamental and advanced topics in computer science, communicating learned knowledge with excellent oral and written skills, and taking the lead in research and development in chosen field of expertise. The candidates should demonstrate their ability to engage independently in state-of-the-art research and provide original and significant contribution in their area of specialization.

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes
The program goals are:

  • Assume leadership roles in the area of Computer Science with emphasis on scholarship, teamwork and professional ethics.
  • Address challenges in Computer Science to fulfill the needs of the local and international community.
  • Investigate and provide original solutions of Computer Science research problems.
  • Adapt to ever-changing research and innovation landscape, and contribute to the expansion of knowledge.

Program Learning Outcomes:
Upon the successful completion of the program, students should be able to:

  1. Interpret emerging knowledge in specific areas of computer science through original research of publishable quality.
  2. Develop new knowledge that advances the state of the art in computer science. 
  3. Apply advanced problem-solving skills to analyze, design and implement innovative solutions for the existing and/or new research problems. 
  4. Utilize expert communication and information technology skills to present, explain and/or critique highly complex and diverse matters to different types of audiences 
  5. Work independently with considerable authority or in team collaboration with professional integrity to complete challenging computer science projects in a timely manner. 
  6. Evaluate legal, ethical, environmental, and socio-cultural implications of computer science technologies, and take a lead in making decent informed decisions on complex issues.
Completion Requirements
Before graduation, student should complete all graduation requirements that include:

  • Completing successfully all courses of the program.
  • Pass the PhD Comprehensive Exam.
  • Completing successfully the thesis and/or essays as specified in the curriculum.
  • Obtaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Special Admission Requirements

a. The student must hold a master's degree with a minimum grade of "Very Good" (3.0 out of 4.0) and a bachelor's degree with a minimum grade of 2.5 out of 4.0 or equivalent from a university, college, or an institute recognized by the University of Sharjah and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the UAE. Students with a grade of "Good" may be accepted conditionally.

b. The Bachelor's and Master's degrees must be in a major that allows the student to pursue a doctorate graduate program. A student may be admitted, if his/her major is different from the program he/she is applying for, upon the recommendation of the Department and approval of the Council. A student who lacks necessary prerequisite courses may take remedial courses concomitantly or before the Doctorate program.

c. Meeting the TOEFL condition

1. Students in programs offered in English: The student must obtain 550 points on the TOEFL test or 6 on the IELTS.

2. Exemption:

    • Students whose native language is English shall be exempted from the TOEFL test score if the language of instruction in the bachelor's or master's degree is English, and the degree has been obtained from a country where English is the official language.
    • Students who graduate from academic institutions where English is the language of instruction are also exempted provided that they have a minimum score of 500 on the TOEFL or equivalent tests upon joining the undergraduate program and 550 points or equivalent upon joining the master's program.
d. Passing an admission examination or "Test-Interview" prepared by the Department.

e. The Departmental council may, with the approval of the Council, stipulate additional conditions for admissions and re-admissions.

Program Structure

Requirements Compulsory Elective Total
Courses Credit Hours Courses Credit Hours Courses Credit Hours
Courses 3 9 5 15 8 24
PhD Dissertation​
1 27 0 0 1 27
PhD Seminar 1 3 0
0 1 3
Total Credit Hours 39 15 54

Program Requirements

  • Compulsory courses (12 credit hours)
  • Elective Courses (15 credit hours)
  • Pass PhD Comprehensive Exam
  • Dissertation (27 credit hours)
Compulsory Courses
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours Pre-requisite
1501771 Advanced Data Structures and Algorithms 3 1501371 or equiv.
1501701 ​Mathematical and Statistical Essentials 3 Grad Standing
1501790 PhD Research Seminar 3 Grad Standing
1501791 Directed Studies 3 Grad Standing
1501893 PhD Comprehensive Exam 0 QE Panel Approval
1501894 PhD Dissertation 27  

Elective Courses
Course Code
Course Title Credit Hours Pre-requisite
​​Artificial​ Intelligence and Applications ​ ​​

1501731 Topics in Machine Learning 3 1501371 or equiv.
1501735 Topics in Computer Vision 3 1501371 or equiv.
1501830 Topics in Artificial Intelligence 3 1501440 or equiv.
1501730 Natural Language Processing 3 1501371 or equiv.
​Networking and Security ​ ​ 1501752 Wireless Sensor Networks 3 Grad Standing
1501757 Topics in Information Security 3 Grad Standing
1501753 Topics in Networking 3 1501352 or equiv.
​​​Information and Software ​ ​ ​ ​ 1501761 Topics in Data Mining 3 1501263 or equiv.
1501768 Big Data and Data Analytics 3 1501263 or equiv.
1501760 Topics in Software Engineering 3 Grad Standing
1501762 Topics in Database Systems 3 1501263 or equiv.
Topics in Data Analytics and Cloud Computing 3 Grad Standing

Study Plan

The PhD-CS Program is organized into 8 semesters spanning over 4 academic years, as shown in the tables below.

First Year 
​Fall Semester
​Spring Semester
Course #
Course Title Cr Pre-req. Course # Course Title Cr Pre-req.
1501771 Advanc​ed Data Structures and Algorithms
3   1501790 PhD Research Seminar 3  
1501701 Mathematical and Statistical Essentials 3   1501xxx Elective 2 3  
1501xxx Elective 1 3          
        1501791 Directed Studies 3  
  Total 9     Total 9  

Second Year 
​Fall Semester 
​ ​ ​
​ Spring Semester​
​ ​ ​
Course #
Course Title Cr Pre-req. Course # Course Title Cr Pre-req.
1501893 PhD Comprehensive ​Exam 0   1501894 PhD Dissertation 9  
1501xxx Ele​ctive 3
1501xxx Elective 4 3          
1501xxx Elective 5 3          
  Total 9     Total 9  

Third Year
​Fall Semester
​Spring Semester
Course #
Course Title Cr Pre-req. Course # Course Title Cr Pre-req.
1501894 PhD Di​ssertation 9   1501894 PhD Dissertation 9  
  Total 9     Total 9  

Fourth Year 
​Fall Semester
Spring Semester​
Course #

Course Title Cr Pre-req. Course # Course Title Cr Pre-req.
1501894 PhD Disser​tation
0   1501894 PhD Dissertation 0  
  Total 0     Total 0