Graduate Degree

Computer Science - Doctor of Philosophy

Computer Science - Doctor of Philosophy
Plan Code:
Program Level:
Award Type:
Doctor of Philosophy
College of Engineering
Relevant Excerpt(s) from Academic Programs:
Computer Science and Engineering
Relevant Excerpt(s) from Academic Programs:

Excerpt from the official Academic Programs Catalog:

Listed below are the approved requirements for the program from the official Academic Programs Catalog.
Students must consult their advisors to learn which specific requirements apply to their degree programs.

College of Engineering

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Graduate Study
Computer Science - Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Engineering, students must meet the requirements specified below.


Applicants should be in the top 25 percent of their master's degree classes and should have a grade–point average of at least 3.50 on a scale of 4.0. 

Applicants are encouraged to submit their scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test.

Applicants who have a Bachelor of Science degree and who demonstrate exceptional potential for graduate study may be accepted for admission to the doctoral program.

Additional information is available on the Department's Web site at

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Computer Science

1. Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits beyond the research requirements in CSE 999. Students must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.00 in all courses counted towards the 30 credits. The student’s guidance committee reserves the right to require additional course work beyond the minimum. Students should contact the graduate director for approval of any courses outside the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. 
2. Students may receive credit for 24 credits of course work taken during a prior completed Master of Science degree or equivalent. In the case where the master’s degree was obtained from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University, the Ph.D. students is only required to complete 24 to 36 credits of CSE 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research.
3. As part of the total credit requirements, students must complete a minimum of 18 credits in courses listed below with at least one course from each breadth area. If a student has completed a Master of Science degree and receives a waiver, then the corresponding breadth area requirement will also be waived.
System Design and Analysis
CSE 812 Distributed Systems 3
CSE 820 Advanced Computer Architecture 3
CSE 822 Parallel Computing 3
CSE 824 Advanced Computer Networks and Communications 3
CSE 825 Computer and Network Security 3
CSE 870 Advanced Software Engineering 3
Theory and Algorithms
CSE 814 Formal Methods in Software Development 3
CSE 830 Design and Theory of Algorithms 3
CSE 835 Algorithmic Graph Theory 3
CSE 836 Probabilistic Models and Algorithms in Computational Biology 3
CSE 860 Foundations of Computing 3
Data Analysis and Applications
CSE 802 Pattern Recognition and Analysis 3
CSE 803 Computer Vision 3
CSE 840 Computational Foundations in Artificial Intelligence 3
CSE 841 Artificial Intelligence 3
CSE 842 Natural Language Processing 3
CSE 843 Language and Interaction 3
CSE 845 Multidisciplinary Research Methods for the Study of Evolution 3
CSE 847 Machine Learning 3
CSE 848 Evolutionary Computing 3
CSE 849 Deep Learning 3
CSE 872 Advanced Computer Graphics 3
CSE 881 Data Mining 3
4. Complete a minimum of 24 credits in 800-900 level courses chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor, excluding Computer Science 801, 890, 898, and 899.
5. Pass a qualifying examination consisting of a written and an oral part, generally within two years of beginning the Ph.D. program.
6. Pass the comprehensive examination that includes a program statement presenting the student’s learning and professional background and goals, and provides a rationale for the students declared focus areas.
7. Complete 24 credits of CSE 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research and successfully defend the dissertation. Present the results of the research in a public seminar during the final oral examination.