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Ph.D. Degree Learning Goals and Assessment

Computer Science comprises an increasingly broad set of topics, with deep connections to many areas of Science, Engineering, Social Science, etc. The PhD program gives students an overall perspective of the field, its structure, its problems, and its close relationship to other domains. In addition, students are expected to study at least one subfield in considerable depth, and to make substantial contributions to that subfield through scholarship and creative research.

 

 

Learning Goal 1 for Students:  Attain marked ability, scholarship, and skills in a broad field of learning 

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 1:

  • Grades in graduate courses
  • Qualifying examination assessing depth and breadth of knowledge
  • Annual self-reported student learning outcomes
  • Annual review of student progress by advisor
  • Semi-annual review of student progress by graduate director
    • feedback to student                                                               

Roles of the Graduate School and the graduate programs in helping students to achieve Goal 1:

  • Periodic review of curricular offerings and assessment tools
    • By Program Faculty
    • With leadership in the graduate school
    • In consultation with school-wide faculty
  • Benchmark practices from comparable programs at other institutions

 

 

Learning Goal 2 for Students:  Engage in and conduct original research 

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 2:

  • Annual self-reported student research progress
  • Annual review of student research progress by research advisor
  • Annual review of student research progress by research faculty
  • Annual review of student research progress by graduate director
    • feedback to student
  • Assessment of PhD dissertation
    • Critical reading of dissertation by committee of graduate faculty members and a committee member from outside of the specific Rutgers graduate program
    • Public defense of dissertation

Roles of the Graduate School and the graduate programs in helping graduate students to achieve Goal 2:

  • Provide early introduction to research methods and opportunities for research
    • Research seminars (four 1 credit light seminars required prior to qualifiying exam)
    • PhD requirement: an individual-study course of at least 3 credits with a faculty research advisor prior to taking the qualifiying exam
    • Through support as graduate research assistants in one of the departmental research labs, research guidance on individual and team research.
  • Encourage and facilitate participation in conferences and workshops
  • Facilitate submission of research papers to conferences
  • Guide the search for funding to attend conference
  • Facilitate internships at research companies (e.g. Google)  or leading research labs (e.g. Los Alamos) for experience in pure and practical research

 

Learning Goal 3 for Students:  Prepare for Careers as University  Professors

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 3:

  • Evaluation of teaching acitivties
    • Self-evaluation of teaching each semester
    • Evaluation of teaching by students taught
    • Evaluation of teaching by supervising Professor

Roles of the Graduate School and the graduate program in helping graduate students to achieve Goal 3:

  • Appointing students as TA’s who grade
    • Evaluation and feed-back from Professor
  • Appointing students as TA’s who grade, conduct recitation sections, and hold office hours
    • Evaluation and feed-back from Professor
  • Appointing students as TA’s who set homeworks, grade, conduct recitation sections, and hold office hours
    • Evaluation and feed-back from Professor
  • Appointing students as Instructors for Computer Science courses (rare, only used with students who have excelled in one of the above)
    • Evaluation and feed-back from Professor and from students taught