Ph.D. in Computer Science

We are a dynamic and growing department with a strong Ph.D. program in the theory and design of computing systems.

Program at a glance

Application Deadlines

  • Fall enrollment: January 15
  • Spring enrollment: August 15

Admissions Requirements

  • Minimum GPA: ≥ 3.25 (3.0 with M.S.)
  • Minimum GRE: ≥ 302
  • Minimum TOEFL: ≥ 80 (or IELTS ≥ 6.5)

Download the Graduate Handbook for complete degree requirements and policies.

Questions? Email

About the Ph.D. in computer science

Faculty research spans interdisciplinary science and engineering problems, including cutting-edge projects in expanding fields such as advanced manufacturing, autonomous systems, big data, data mining and cyber security. Learn more about our faculty.

Our graduates see strong demand for their skills, and our proximity to high-tech hubs such as San Francisco and Seattle mean our department has forged strong connections with major employers. Our graduates have gone on to work for companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Oracle. Our graduates have also gone on to academic careers in universities around the nation.

Research in computer science

Our department has research strengths in three main areas:

  • Cybersecurity and network systems Faculty in this area research wireline and wireless networking to improve the Internet and accommodate growing demand for high-speed communications. Faculty also investigate cyber security and forensics to protect the digital world and explore social and biological networks in order to identify patterns in those complex systems.
  • Intelligent and autonomous systems Research focuses on developing systems that are able to perceive, understand and respond to the world around them. This area of research has a wide range of applications, from vision-based surveillance to assistive robotics, autonomous systems and advanced manufacturing.
  • Data and software systems Researchers in this area are developing infrastructure and software solutions to scale and support the collection and use of big data for scientific research. Faculty research includes augmented and virtual reality, cloud computing, human-computer interaction, and software engineering.

View a list of currently funded research projects

Requirements for the Ph.D. in computer science

There are three main requirements for the doctoral degree: required and elective coursework, comprehensive exams, and a research-based dissertation. In addition, doctoral students are expected to attend department colloquia, participate in proposal writing and present their research.

You can view detailed degree requirements on the University course catalog. A link to the catalog is available at the top of this page.

How do I apply?

Applicants to the program should apply via The Graduate School website.

Preference will be given to applicants who meet the following deadlines:

  • January 15 for Fall semester
  • August 15 for Spring semester

Applicants to the doctoral degree program should have a bachelor's degree in engineering, mathematics, or science and have minimum experience that includes the equivalent of a computer science and engineering minor. Exceptions to these criteria may be made for applicants who show exceptional promise.

Applicants should further meet the following minimum requirements for admission:

  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.25 for applicants without an M.S. degree or a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 for applicants with an M.S. degree
  • A minimum TOEFL of 80 or IELTS of 6.5 for international applicants
  • Combined GRE verbal and quantitative score of at least 302. Students who score below 157 in the quantitative section will find it difficult to complete our graduate program
  • A one-page personal statement describing research interests and career goals. Candidates are expected to clearly indicate their research interests as well as the faculty members they are interested in working with.
  • Three letters of recommendation (either from academic or industry advisors)

What are my chances of being admitted?

Acceptance depends on various factors, including your scores (higher scores generally increase your changes of acceptance), the pool of applicants, your research interests, etc. Unfortunately, due to the large number of graduate applicants, we are unable to provide individual feedback on your chance of being accepted. We do encourage everyone to apply even if one of your scores doesn't meet the requirements, as exceptions are made for applicants who show exceptional promise.

Admission fee-waiver

Domestic students that have a quantitative GRE score ≥ 165 and international students that additionally have a TOEFL ibt score ≥ 102 (or IELTS score ≥ 7.5) are eligible to have their application fee paid by the College of Engineering. Complete information and instructions are available on the fee-waiver program for highly qualified Ph.D. applicants page.

You can start your application through The Graduate School website, which also provides detailed instructions on The Graduate School's application and admission requirements.


For questions about admissions (where to send transcripts, GRE scores, etc.) email For program-specific questions, email us at

Start your application.

Is funding available?

Information about graduate student tuition and fees is available on The Graduate School website.

Many of our full-time Ph.D. students are currently fully supported, and the department expects to have sufficient funding to support additional students in the upcoming years. You are encouraged to check out the funding sources below and apply for any funding for which you are eligible.

The University offers two kinds of graduate assistantships:

  • Teaching assistants work under the supervision of department faculty and are expected to teach recitation sections or laboratories, help with grading and develop course materials and exams.
  • Research assistants conduct innovative research in cooperation with and under the supervision of department faculty.  They are expected to conduct experiments, implement prototype systems, develop new theories, and attend conferences or publish work in scholarly journals.

Graduate assistantships are valued at an estimated $34,000 and include a monthly stipend of $1,900, a per credit grant-in-aid, health insurance, and in-state resident status for tuition purposes. If you are selected for an assistantship, you will receive additional details about your funding package at that time. Students should contact the faculty supervisor they are interested in working with. Assistantships do not have to be from the department you are studying in.

To be considered for graduate assistantships in the CSE Department, you must officially apply to the Ph.D. program. All official applicants will be automatically considered for both teaching and research assistantships. All currently enrolled students are eligible for TA positions and should send an e-mail to Heather Lara ( to be considered.

Information about scholarships and financial aid for international students is also available on the Office of International Students and Scholars website.

Related Degrees and Programs

Contact Computer Science & Engineering Graduate Program Director

Phone (775) 784-6974
Location Scrugham Engineering and Mines