Although students progress at different rates in the computer science doctoral program, the following describes a timeline for satisfactory progress, especially in the first two years.
Most of the classes needed to fulfill the breadth requirement for the computer science PhD should be completed in the first two years of the program. The depth requirement, consisting of passing the comprehensive exam, should be completed sometime during the second year of the program. The dissertation proposal should be completed no later than the end of the third year of the program. Finally, the dissertation should be completed at the end of the fourth year of the program. However, it is common for this last step to take longer.