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Computer Sciences PhD Program Information

A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Computer Science program builds on students' existing knowledge of hardware and software and explores advanced methods for researching, developing, implementing and optimizing computer systems.

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Essential Information

Doctoral computer science students usually specialize in a particular branch of the field, but all specializations emphasize both practical skills and theoretical research. Many Ph.D. programs are interdisciplinary, integrating coursework from engineering and the physical sciences. A dissertation project is required.


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Computer Science PhD Programs

Applicants need a master's degree in computer science to be admitted to most Ph.D. programs, although some will admit students who have demonstrated exceptional aptitude but only hold a bachelor's degree. Additionally, most programs require applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and letters of recommendation. Most programs require doctoral students to specialize in a particular area of computer science, such as computer networking, software engineering, computer science research and theory, image processing or artificial intelligence. Some common classes include:

  • Automated algorithmic process management
  • Advanced embedded systems
  • Advanced software design
  • Artificial intelligence implementation
  • Computer programming languages

Popular Career Options

People who earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science qualify for many advanced careers in education, computer technology design and computer implementation. Graduates might find work with governmental agencies, private companies or consulting firms. The careers listed below are popular options:

  • Software designer
  • Computer science professor
  • Computer network designer

Computer science Ph.D. programs are designed for advanced students interested in independent research. Students are expected to choose a specialization, and the program culminates in a dissertation. Graduates may be qualified for work as university professors, computer system designers and more.

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