Doctoral Student Handbook
Art. 1 Structure of the doctoral program
The duration of the doctoral program in Computer Science is three
During the first year the following activities will take place, in the
- The doctoral student starts his/her program by
satisfying the pre-doctoral coursework requirements, if
any, (see art. 2) and by taking some of the courses for
the doctoral coursework requirements (art. 3);
- The student selects the dissertation advisor (art. 4);
- The faculty of the doctoral program assigns a review committee to each
student, called review committee (art. 5);
- The student presents his/her dissertation proposal to the review
committee (art 6. sub. 1).
During the second year the student will:
- complete any remaining
pre-doctoral coursework requirements and
complete the basic part of the doctoral coursework requirements (art 3 sub. 1);
- present an overview of his/her current research work (art. 6, sub 2).
During the third year,
- the student will complete the advanced part of the
doctoral coursework requirements (art. 3, sub 2);
- the student will complete the dissertation (art. 6)
- the review committee will evaluate her/his dissertation (art 6 sub
Art. 2: Pre-Doctoral Coursework Requirements At the
beginning of the first year, the doctoral program faculty
examines the academic curricula of those students who do not
have a Master of Science (MS) or equivalent, in Computer
Science, received from a School of Sciences or Engineering, to
determine whether their background is lacking in one or more of
the following core areas:
For each area identified as lacking, the faculty assigns to the
student a course from one of the undergraduate programs (Laurea
in "Informatica" or "Informatica Multimediale") offered by the
School of Sciences of the Università degli Studi di
Verona. The student will satisfy the requirement by receiving at
least a passing grade in the assigned course(s). He/she can take
the assigned course(s) at most twice. If a student does not
complete the assigned courses before the end of the second year,
he/she will not be admitted to the third year.
- Algorithms and Foundations
- Architectures and Systems
Art. 3: Doctoral Coursework Requirements
Students are required to obtain a passing grade in at least six
courses, each with a minimum of twenty hours of lectures. Each
course gives the student one academic credit. Courses must
include two "basic" or lower-level graduate courses and four
research seminars or upper-level graduate courses:
- Basic Courses or lower-level graduate courses
these courses are divided into two areas:
- "Theory", including languages, algorithms, and
- "System", including multimedia, human computer
interaction, artificial intelligence, robotics, computer
systems and architectures.
A doctoral student can take any lower-level graduate course
(Laurea Magistralis) as basic course.
A member of the doctoral faculty can offer a course
addressing the basic credits, but the doctoral faculty shall
not develop courses each year and shall not indicate the
courses admissible as basic courses.
A student shall not take, as a basic course, a class having
a content to a large degree equivalent to a course taken
during his/her previous academic career. This assessment is
carried out by the Doctoral Faculty Coordinator, together
with the student, when the student declares the courses
selected. The satisfactory completion of the course can be
verified either by following the standard evaluation
procedure for that course, or by agreeing with the course
instructor on a specific exam form. Each doctoral student shall
achieve one credit for each of the two areas, by receiving a
passing grade in the selected courses.
If this requirement is not fulfilled by the end of the
second year, the student will not be admitted to the third
year of the doctoral program. The student can obtain the
required academic credits also by attending equivalent
courses offered by other universities, in Italy or
elsewhere, provided that he/she obtains the approval in
advance by the doctoral faculty.
- Research Seminars or upper-level graduate
The doctoral student with his/her research advisor shall
identify four such courses relevant to his/her research.
Research seminars for the doctoral program are given by
faculty members, possibly upon invitation by the doctoral
faculty or the doctoral students. When proposing a
research seminar or upper-level graduate course, the faculty member
should indicate the course organization, the duration in
terms of number of hours (at least 20h), and the course syllabus.
The research course can also follow, and be in
sequence with, a lower-level graduate course.
To achieve a passing grade, students may present a report,
give a seminar, or adhere to the specific requirements
suggested by the course instructor. A research course can be:
- offered locally,
- offered by another doctoral program
(in Italy or abroad),
- offered during a doctoral school (in
Italy or abroad).
When the course is taken during a doctoral school that
does not require a final examination, the passing grade will
be given after an examination by one of the doctoral program
The attendance of research seminars offered outside the
School of Science of the Università degli Studi di Verona
must be approved in advance by the doctoral faculty (or by the
doctoral program coordinator, if so appointed by the
All credits for research seminars shall be acquired before
the end of the third year, otherwise the student may be
expelled from the doctoral program.
Art. 4: Dissertation Advisor Within the month of June
of the first year of the program, each doctoral student shall
select his/her dissertation advisor. The advisor must be a member
of the doctoral faculty. The advisor shall guide the student's
research. The doctoral faculty will ensure that each student
will have a faculty member as advisor.
Art. 5 Review Committee At the end of the first year of
the program, the doctoral faculty assigns a review committee to
each student (whose members can change over time), consisting of
the dissertation advisor and two other faculty members. The goal
of the review committee is to evaluate the student research and
summarize the results of the evaluation to the
doctoral faculty. In particular, the review committee will:
- review and evaluate the presentation of the dissertation
- review and evaluate the second year dissertation report.
Art. 6 Doctoral Dissertation
The doctoral dissertation is a written document that the student must
prepare during his/her second and third year in the program. The
dissertation must be written in English, and must be an original
scientific contribution. The scientific findings presented in the
dissertation can be the result of collaborative work.
- Dissertation proposal
During the period 15
September - 15 November of the first year, the student must
present his/her dissertation proposal. The proposal shall be
written in English, and shall consist of a paper, written
using the IEEE conference format, of at most 12 pages of length. The
proposal must include:
- state of the art of the research area,
- formulation of the original research work proposed,
- satisfactory bibliographical references.
The student shall present the proposal in a 45-minute
talk. If the proposal does not receive a positive
evaluation by the review committee, the student shall revise
the proposal and present it again within two months after the
original presentation. If the new proposal is still
considered insufficient, the student will be expelled from
- Second year dissertation report
period 15 September - 15 November of the second year, each
student shall present the current status of his/her research
during a 45-minute talk.
- Dissertation discussion and evaluation
the period 15 September - 15 November of the third (or
fourth, in case a fourth year has been requested) year the
student shall give a 45-minute talk to present the
results of his/her research to the review committee. In
case of negative evaluation, the review committee asks the
student to request an additional year to complete her/his
work. In case of positive evaluation:
- the dissertation will be reviewed by two external
referees, one of whom based at an institution outside of
Italy, and appointed by the doctoral faculty.
- the referees shall not have written papers with the
student and at least one must not have written papers with
the dissertation advisor.
- the referees shall have two months time to review the
dissertation and to send in their review, which can include
- after receiving the referees reviews, the doctoral
faculty decides whether the student can proceed to the
formal defense, according to the regulations of the
Università degli Studi di Verona, or shall be given
an additional year to do more work.