University of Minnesota
Computer Science & Engineering

Graduate Admissions - PhD

PhD in Computer Science

The PhD in Computer Science is considered a research degree. Candidates for this degree should have demonstrated research potential and interest. The minimum GPA for courses that will apply to your PhD is 3.45 so it is expected that your past coursework should indicate your ability to attain this minimum GPA in your graduate courses. Applicants can apply directly after receiving their bachelor’s degree as we do not require PhD applicants have a master’s first.

The PhD requires 31 credits of course work plus 24 PhD thesis credits. Credits from prior graduate work may be used towards the requirements. All PhD students must satisfy the breadth requirement which includes 5 courses, at least one from each of the 3 areas and no two courses from the same sub area. One credit of Colloquium must also be included as well as 6 credits from a supporting program or a minor. The total credits should form a cohesive program of courses that are relevant to the subject area of your thesis and provide the background and depth normally expected of a student receiving the PhD degree. There are also certain mileposts along the way. These include the WPE (Written Preliminary Exam) and the Preliminary Oral Exam which test the student’s ability to do research and must be taken in the second year. Once a student has decided on a thesis topic, the thesis proposal exam must be taken. Students then continue their research which culminates in publication of a unique thesis.

The PhD Program in Computer Science only admits students for the Fall term each year. We do not admit for spring term.

graduate students in computer lab
Photo by Patrick O’Leary

Which degree should I apply for?

We encourage students to think about the highest degree they wish to receive from the Computer Science program at the University of Minnesota and then to apply for that degree. We also offer the following degrees:

The admissions committee will consider each applicant for the degree requested, but may decide to admit an applicant to a different degree program, or suggest a higher degree. Once a student enrolls, options to change or add degrees can be discussed.

Application Deadlines for Fall 2015

November 15: Admission Cycle Opens for Fall 2015
December 5: PhD in Computer Science (to be considered for Fellowships)
January 5: PhD in Computer Science (to be considered for additional Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships)

Application Instructions & Forms

Application Information

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