Computer Science - Ph.D.

College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Computer Science
241 Mathematics and Computer Science Building
Kent Campus


The Ph.D. degree in Computer Science provides students with an educational and research environment that fosters personal and intellectual growth, flourishes academic goals and develops career paths through necessary training with emerging technologies. The program promotes research, discovery and integration, and is designed for students interested in becoming professional scholars, college and university teachers or independent research workers in private, industrial or government research institutions.


  • Kent Campus

Admission Requirements

  • Official transcript(s)
  • Master's degree in computer science (or closely related field)
  • GRE scores
  • Goal statement
  • Résumé
  • Three letters of recommendation

English Language Proficiency Requirements for International Students: All international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning a minimum 525 TOEFL score (71 on the Internet-based version), minimum 74 MELAB score, minimum 6.0 IELTS score or minimum 50 PTE Academic score. For more information on international admission, visit the Office of Global Education’s admission websiteEffective spring 2018.

Applicants should demonstrate the potential to conduct research and pass the preliminary examination in a timely manner. For more information about graduate admissions, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Have all round breadth-of-knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to advanced topics in computer science to be regarded as a scholar of computer science.

  2. Demonstrate depth of knowledge at least in one specialized topic.

  3. Conduct independent research by advancing the body of knowledge in the area through the doctoral dissertation research.

  4. Clearly articulate advanced research problems and their solutions.

  5. Present general computer science topics in a learning environment.

  6. Develop and write publishable papers that clearly articulate advanced research problems and their solutions.

  7. Demonstrate integrative and deep knowledge of essential literature, facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to a chosen area of research.

  8. Perform complete and through literature searches.

  9. Evaluate, comprehensively and critically, the extent to which a particular work relates to and/or contributes to a given field.

  10. Publish and participate in a chosen research community.

Program Requirements

Major Requirements


Major Requirements
Computer Science Electives (CS 70000 level) 127
Minimum Total Credit Hours:60

Maximum 9 credit hours of CS 89098 or CS 89991 may be applied towards the degree.


Students must make a public presentation of project and/or research work (excluding dissertation defense and candidacy examination) at least two times before graduation. The presentation must take place in the doctoral seminar at least one full term before graduation and not more than two years after entering the program. The doctoral seminar is offered for 1 or 2 credit hours; therefore, the student must enroll in this course at least two times. This course can be taken multiple times but only 3 credit hours count toward the degree.


Each doctoral candidate, upon admission to candidacy, must register for CS 89199 for a total of 30 credit hours. It is expected that a doctoral candidate will continuously register for Dissertation I, and thereafter CS 89299, each semester, including one term each summer, until all requirements for the degree have been met. A dissertation describes original research performed by the student. The dissertation topic must be approved by the advisor and graduate coordinator. A dissertation committee, made up of graduate faculty, must be formed to assess the quality and value of the work. A public dissertation defense is made by the student. The final dissertation and defense must be approved by the advisor and dissertation committee.


the candidacy examination is a comprehensive examination in the field of the major subject. The format of the candidacy examination will be determined by the student’s Candidacy Examination Committee, which is composed of the student’s advisor and two other graduate faculty members. The Candidacy Examination Committee must be approved by the graduate coordinator. The student must complete the candidacy examination at least one year before the dissertation defense.