PhD in Computer Science

The Ph.D. in Computer Science is a research degree which culminates in a unique dissertation that demonstrates original and creative research.  Information about its structure and degree requirements can be found here. 

Admission Requirements

The following is a list are prerequisites for admission to the Ph.D. program:

  • A candidate must have demonstrated research potential.
  • A candidate must have a four year or equivalent undergraduate degree from an accredited university.
  • A candidate must have a prior undergraduate or graduate degree in a major with a substantial background in computer science & engineering.*
  • A previous Master's degree is not required to apply to the Ph.D. program.
  • A candidate must have a demonstrated ability to maintain a 3.45 GPA or greater.
  • A candidate’s GRE scores should reflect a firm grasp of qualitative and quantitative reasoning there is no minimum GRE score but this score is used in conjunction with other information to make applicant decisions.
  • TOEFL scores should reflect a strong command of the English language and meet the university operational standard 
  • If a student wishes to apply for a Teaching Assistantship position in the department they must have a score of 23 in speaking and 23 in the writing portions of the TOEFL or equivalent test. 
  • Applications submitted before the application cycle opens are not complete.
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed for admission.
  • For applicants submitting transcripts from non-U.S. universities, it is required to submit a course-by-course credential evaluation in addition to the transcripts that are uploaded to applications from a credential evaluation service. We prefer World Education Services (WES), however, we will also accept Education Credential Evaluators (ECE ). We do not want the credential evaluation sent physically to us. You can upload the WES or ECE document in the "Graduate Program Additional Material" section which can be found under "Materials" on the left-hand menu in the application. Your school transcripts AND your WES or ECE evaluation must be uploaded to your application to have your application considered complete.

* Well-qualified applicants without an undergraduate/graduate computer science major will be considered, applicants with a computer science major are preferred.

Important Dates 

November 15th

Admission cycle opens for fall. 

December 5th

Ph.D. application deadline to be considered for Fellowships for fall. 

January 5th

Application deadline for fall.

The Computer Science and Engineering department does not offer spring admissions.

Application Instructions

The Graduate School online application along with detailed instructions regarding the application can be found here at the Graduate School application site. The following material should be included in the Graduate School Application: 


The Graduate School requests two statements to be uploaded:
1. Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose -Concisely discuss your computer science educational, research, or industrial background as they relate to your objectives. Include any unique experiences relevant to the research you have done. Discuss why you are applying to the University of Minnesota. Please include names of faculty members and research groups at the University of Minnesota whose research is of interest to you. Use this area to list any extenuating circumstances such as poor grades or test scores. (4000 character limit)
2. Diversity Statement - for domestic diversity students only, international students do not need to complete this and it is not mandatory for an application. (4000 character limit)


You must indicate all the colleges and graduate schools you have attended. Unofficial transcripts must be uploaded directly to the admissions application per these instructions. Official transcripts are required for those students admitted to the program. Do not fax or mail hard copies of your transcripts.

GRE Test Scores
  • The Graduate Record Exam (general test) is required for all applicants. Applicants submit scores must be submitted to the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota. Do not send your scores to the Department of Computer Science & Engineering.
  • International students must send official TOEFL, MELAB or IELTS scores. For more information visit: Graduate School’s TOEFL information page.
  • The department requires a speaking and writing score of 23 or higher to qualify for teaching assistantships.
  • GRE and TOEFL Institution Codes: 









Curriculum Vitae or resume. This should include:

  • Educational background and degrees
  • Teaching or research experience
  • A list of papers/publications (URLs included)
  • Computer languages in which you are proficient
  • Other information that will advance your application can be uploaded in PDF format
Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Provide the names and e-mail address of three recommenders along with all other requested information. 
  • The CS&E department does not accept hard copies of recommendation letters, they must be submitted through the online system. 

Please e-mail with any questions you may have about the admissions process. 

* Unfortunately, the CS&E department is unable to review your application material prior to submission or make document corrections once your application has been submitted.  *