This page contains information about

in the Ph.D. program.

Click here for the following links:

Admission to the Ph.D. program

The application fee for applying to our Ph.D. program is $55. Details about payment are available in our online application.

While most of our graduate students have majored in mathematics or computer science as undergraduates, applicants with other backgrounds have also been successful in our department. Students will succeed in the program if they are motivated to do research and have a strong general intellectual preparation to study in a particular field of computer science.

Students also need a reasonable foundation in mathematics, including calculus and linear algebra.

The required background for students depends on their intended area of specialization.

  • Applicants who expect to specialize in theoretical computer science or computational mathematics will need a more substantial mathematics background that includes advanced proof-based courses such as analysis, abstract algebra, probability and measure theory, logic, topology.
  • Applicants who expect to work in artificial intelligence (AI) will also want to have had some background in cognition, such as linguistics, cognitive psychology, or AI.
  • Applicants interested in systems should have a solid undergraduate grounding in algorithms, data structures, programming languages, architecture, operating systems, and networking.
  • Applicants interested in more application-oriented areas such as computational biology and visualization should have a more diverse background, including familiarity with topics such as signal processing, applied mathematics, computer graphics, or statistics.

The department encourages all potential students to take an advanced test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). That advanced test does not need to be in computer science or mathematics, although these are generally the most helpful. In certain areas, such as Theory or AI, a mathematics GRE tends to be more helpful than a computer science GRE.

Fellowship opportunity

The Department of Computer Science is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant from Graduate Assistantships in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program. This grant will support four one-year fellowships over three years (2009-2012).

The GAANN fellowships will be awarded to outstanding students who are US citizens and are interested in pursuing a career in research or teaching. Preference will be given to incoming students. These fellowships pay up to $30,000 (based on need as determined by the Free Application for Financial Student Aid program).

GAANN Fellows will be supported by the GAANN grant for the first year and by teaching assistantships or research assistantships in subsequent years.

Prospective students: Please indicate your interest in being considered for one of these fellowships in your statement of purpose.

Financial Aid for students in the Ph.D. program

We expect to support all students who make satisfactory progress toward a doctorate. This support includes full tuition and a monthly stipend during the academic year that is competitive with offers made by other top-ranked schools. To earn their stipends, students will have to perform part-time work for the department as teaching assistants, research assistants, members of the technical staff, etc. The department also encourages prospective students to apply for externally funded grants and fellowships.