Computer Science and Engineering (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science and Engineering
Unit: Speed School of Engineering (GS)
Department: Computer Science and Engineering
Academic Plan Code(s): CSE_PHD

Program Information

General Information

The PhD degree program is intended for persons having an accredited master's and/or baccalaureate degree in computer engineering, computer science, or electrical engineering, but is available to those with other backgrounds. Applicants with other backgrounds should plan on taking some undergraduate background coursework.

Students interested in the PhD degree program should consult the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science. 

Degree Requirements

The award of a Doctor of Philosophy degree indicates that a student has attained mastery of a field and has demonstrated the capacity to perform independent scholarly research. Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must have a minimum final cumulative grade point average of 3.00 for all academic coursework attempted in Graduate Studies.

The requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree are explained in more detail in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog.

Admission Standards

The admission standards for the PhD program in Computer Science and Engineering are as follows:

  1. All admission applications for the program shall include:
    1. A completed application for the Graduate School,
    2. An application fee,
    3. Results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE),
    4. At least two letters of recommendation,
    5. A brief personal statement describing the decision to continue to a PhD program, and
    6. Official transcript(s) for all previous post-secondary coursework.  All transcripts not in English must be certified as authentic and translated verbatim into English.
  2. The minimum requirement for admission is the baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution.
  3. The successful applicant will typically have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 or above (on a 4.00 scale).
  4. The successful applicant will typically have a GRE combined Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning score of 295 or above.
  5. International students whose primary language is not English must show English language proficiency by either TOEFL/IELTS score or demonstration of a degree award from an acceptable English language institution.  The successful applicant will typically have a total TOEFL score of 80 or higher or overall IELTS score of 6.5 or higher.

Program Requirements

Normally, it is expected that the student will complete a master's degree before being admitted to the PhD Program. However, qualified applicants may be admitted directly to the doctoral program after receiving a baccalaureate degree. These students will be required to complete an additional 30 credit hours of coursework at the 500 and 600 level under an individual plan developed in conjunction with the department's Director of Graduate Studies.

Also, remedial work may be specified for any applicant who, in the opinion of the faculty, do not have a sufficient background.

The minimum curricular requirements for the doctoral program are:

Post-Baccalaureate Courses
Approved Master’s Level Course Work30
CECS Electives 118
CECS 799Dissertation Research9
CECS 795CECS Seminar2
Minimum Total Hours59

Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must have a minimum final cumulative grade point average of 3.00 for all academic work attempted in Graduate Studies.


Computer Software Engineering Core Courses1

CECS 504Automata Theory3
CECS 516Fundamentals of Computer Communications and Networks3
CECS 530Design of Compilers3
CECS 545Artificial Intelligence3
CECS 550Software Engineering3
CECS 608Advanced Design of Operating Systems3
CECS 619Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms3
CECS 630Advanced Databases3

Computer Hardware Engineering Core Courses1

CECS/ECE 510Computer Design3
CECS 525/ECE 516Microcomputer Design4
CECS 611Computer Architecture3
ECE 515Introduction to VLSI Systems3

Computationally Intensive Applications Core Courses1

CECS 522Performance Evaluation of Computer Systems3
CECS 564Introduction to Cryptography3
CECS 609Multimedia Processing3
CECS 622Simulation and Modeling of Discrete Systems3
CECS 627Digital Image Processing3
CECS 628Computer Graphics3
CECS 660Introduction to Bioinformatics3
ECE 520Digital Signal Processing3
ECE 550Communication and Modulation3
ECE 560Control Systems Principles3
ECE 614Deep Learning3
ECE 619/CECS 633Computer Vision3
ECE 620Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence3
ECE 653Digital Communications3
ECE 661Sampled-Data Control Systems3

Advanced Mathematics Core Courses1

IE/CECS 563Experimental Design in Engineering3
CECS 620Combinatorial Optimization and Modern Heuristics3
CECS 632Data Mining3
MATH 501Introduction to Analysis I - CUE3
MATH 560Statistical Data Analysis - WR3
MATH 667Statistical Inference3
MATH 681Combinatorics and Graph Theory I3