Why pursue a Doctorate in Information Systems Engineering?
The academic aim of this Ph.D. program is to prepare students for leadership roles in the area of Information and Systems Engineering (ISE) with the knowledge and skills to advance the discipline from the academic, research and practical standpoints. The Ph.D. program will prepare the students to address the current and future challenges in information and systems engineering such as designing, modeling, analyzing and managing complex systems, exploiting systems of systems, managing systems complexity, studying systems' attributes and understanding human factors in the system.
The intent is also to prepare students to engage in independent and collaborative research in university, government and industrial contexts. During this educative process, doctoral students will participate in knowledge generation and improvement activities, research synthesis, and knowledge/technology transfer.
To be considered for admission on a full-time basis, applicants normally must hold a master’s degree or equivalent with high standing in engineering or computer science, or in a cognate discipline. Holders of a bachelor’s degree will, in general, be considered for admission to a master’s program only. After completion of a minimum of two terms of full-time study, they may, upon application, be considered by the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee for admission to a PhD program.
To be considered for admission on a part-time basis, applicants must hold a master’s degree with high standing in engineering, computer science or a cognate discipline. Applicants should understand that admission is contingent not only upon a superior academic record, but also on the availability of a research supervisor, of relevant programs of study and research, as well as adequate laboratory and library facilities. Where applicable, an ability to write programs in a standard computer language will be assumed. Students lacking this skill will be required to register for appropriate courses.
Credits. A fully-qualified candidate entering the doctoral program with a master’s degree is required to complete a minimum of 90 credits. A candidate admitted beyond the bachelor’s level is required to complete a minimum of 106 credits. Candidates admitted with a master’s degree in a cognate discipline, or if they need additional knowledge in an area pertinent to their research, will, in general, be required to complete more than the minimum number of credits. Students may not credit any undergraduate equivalent course towards the requirements of a 90-credit or 106-credit PhD program without the permission of their supervisor and of the Graduate Program Director.
Residence. For candidates admitted with a master’s degree, the minimum period of residence is two years of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study. Part-time students may be required by the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee, upon the recommendation of the supervisory committee, to carry out a portion of their research on a full-time basis. Where a candidate has been admitted with a bachelor’s degree, the minimum period of residence is 36 months of full-time study after completion of the bachelor’s degree.
Transfer Credits. Students may be granted transfer credit for courses taken in approved graduate studies prior to their entry into their program. A course submitted for transfer credit must be appropriate to the student’s program of study at Concordia University. An application for such credit will be considered only at the time of admission.
Courses. Students admitted on the basis of a master’s degree will normally be required to complete a minimum of 12 credits in course work. A student admitted on the basis of a bachelor’s degree will normally be required to complete a minimum of 28 credits in course work. Students must also successfully complete the PhD seminar ENCS 8011 (2 credits). Each student’s program must be approved by a supervisory committee consisting of three members of faculty, including the student’s research supervisor. This supervisory committee will also arrange for the student’s comprehensive examination, the presentation of the doctoral research proposal, and thesis evaluation.
Comprehensive Examination. Students must take a comprehensive examination, ENCS 8501, which may be both written and oral. Normally the comprehensive examination is taken when course work has been completed and within 12 (24) months after the first registration as a full-time (part-time) student in a PhD program. Students will be assessed on the basis of written and oral examinations of fundamentals related to their field of research. The comprehensive examination will normally be administered by a committee (the Comprehensive Examination Committee) consisting of the supervisory committee, at least one member external to the candidate’s program and other members appointed at the discretion of the supervisory committee. Students who fail this examination are permitted to take it a second time in the following term. Students failing a second time are withdrawn from the program. Students should consult the program regarding specific examination procedures and requirements.
Doctoral Research Proposal. Upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination, students must pass the doctoral research proposal ENCS 8511 (6 credits), within 18 (36) months after the first registration as a full-time (part-time) student in a PhD program, before they are admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree. Students will be assessed on the basis of written and oral presentations that must include: (i) a critical review of previous work relevant to the subject of the thesis, and (ii) a detailed research plan of action and expected milestones. Students are required to defend their doctoral research proposal before a committee that will normally be comprised of the same members as the Comprehensive Examination Committee. Students must demonstrate the viability of their project and their capacity to undertake doctoral thesis research. The proposal may be accepted, returned for modifications, or rejected. The rejection of a proposal will result in the student’s withdrawal from the program. A student whose proposal is accepted will be admitted to candidacy for the PhD.
Thesis. Students are required to plan and carry out a suitable research, development, or design project, which leads to an advance in knowledge. The student must submit a thesis based upon this work and defend it in an oral examination. For purposes of registration, this work will be designated ENGR 8911 or COMP 8901: Doctoral Research and Thesis (70 credits) or SOEN 8901: Doctoral Research and Thesis (70 credits). Theses will be examined by a committee consisting of the student’s supervisory committee, an external examiner, and other examiners as approved by the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee and the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Cross-Registration. A student in the program wishing to take courses under the cross-registration scheme must first obtain approval of the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee. (See Inter-University Agreement in Graduate Registration section).
Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.
4. An admission offer will not be issued until a supervisor match has been made. Students are encouraged to review the list of faculty members' field of interests and directly contact those with whom you would like to work.
For initial assessment purposes, scanned and uploaded copies of documents are accepted. To finalize a file, once admitted, Concordia University will require official documents.
Priority will be given to those who apply within the official deadlines listed above. Some programs may continue to accept applications after these deadlines. For more information, please contact the department.
The twelve-credit course component for the PhD in Information and Systems Engineering is specified as follows:
4 credits (1 core course): INSE 6421 Systems Integration and Testing;
8 credits (2 elective courses): chosen from 6000 or 7000 numbered courses offered by the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science and approved by the thesis supervisor and graduate program director.
CIISE produces a high level of multidisciplinary research activity. Faculty members are involved in a wide range of research projects sponsored by both industry and government agencies in various areas of research, classified as follows: systems engineering, software engineering, middleware, systems security, cryptography and data security, cyber forensics, incident handling, security evaluation, biometrics, communication networks, communication protocols, image processing, 3D graphics, computer vision, pattern recognition, design science, requirements engineering for product design, tele-geo-informatics, augmented reality, infrastructure and facilities management, project management, geographic information systems, statistics, supply chain management, quality management, e-business systems, decision support systems, RFID, operations research, optimization, and artificial intelligence.
The Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering is an international centre of teaching and learning excellence established as a department within the Faculty. It promotes interdisciplinary research and development of information technologies in software and systems engineering. CIISE has three affiliated research laboratories: