The 20 Best Computer Science / Information Science / Computer Engineering Graduate Schools in 2022

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With a median annual wage of $131,490 (May 2021) for computer and information research scientists and $128,170 for computer engineers, it’s no wonder that doctorates in these areas are popular! Take note, too, that these wages are for bachelor’s degree holders, meaning doctorate holders can expect significantly higher wages.

The job employment outlook for these technology professionals is as high as 22%, too, between 2020 and 2030. And who can better produce the best experts than the leading Computer Science / Information Science / Computer Engineering Graduate Schools?

The financial benefits and employment opportunities that come with a doctorate in computer science, information science or computer engineering aren’t the only reasons for their popularity! You have the opportunity to make the world a better place through your profession’s impact on a wide range of industry types, from corporate businesses to disaster preparedness. You will also find a broad variety of specializations and, thus, find personal and professional fulfillment. 

Best Doctor of Computer Science Info Science Grad Schools - fact

METHODOLOGY

Many, if not most, of the programs featured have valid accreditation from the ABET or Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. All of the colleges and universities, furthermore, have valid accreditation from a regional accreditation agency recognized by the US Department of Education. 

We also considered other equally important factors, including: 

  • The admission process must be selective that, when combined with a rigorous curriculum, ensures the quality of education. Learners also increase the depth and breadth of their knowledge through the curriculum. 
  • The college or university itself must have an excellent reputation in its academic programs, student support services and graduate outcomes. Such a reputation also rests on the quality of the faculty members, including their professional credentials and research experience. 
  • The doctorate program should be known for its emphasis on advanced research and its learners’ ability to ask questions and seek answers to improve the field. 

20 BEST Ph.D. in COMPUTER SCIENCE/INFORMATION SCIENCE/COMPUTER ENGINEERING GRADUATE SCHOOLS

Carnegie Mellon University

: 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
: (412) 268-2565

PhD in Computer Science

CMU adopts quality measures that ensure graduates of its PhD in Computer Science program possess the breadth and depth of understanding of advanced computer science. Graduates have also promoted their body of knowledge through scholarly research work, as well as possess relevant research skills. 

  • This is a 96-credit program or eight courses. Learners are advised to enroll full-time to earn the degree within the estimated time. 
  • New learners must attend the two-week Introductory Course for Doctoral Students. They are introduced to the department and its policies, faculty members, education, and research topics. 
  • The program of study includes coursework and research on the primary areas of computer science, including the defense and presentation of a dissertation. 
  • Students are expected to obtain a strong foundation of knowledge vital in advanced research into computer science in their first two years. 
  • Learners become teaching assistants while developing their verbal and written communication skills, programming expertise and professional network. 
  • Periodic progress evaluations are conducted to ensure your satisfactory progress and continuance in the program. 
  • GRE scores are currently optional, but official transcripts, resume, statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation are mandatory for application. 

Standout Features: Learners work with their faculty advisors as early as their second month! 

Did you know?

CMU has a strong Scottish tradition, evidenced by its Band Without Pants, the kilt-clad student marching band. 

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

: 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts
: (617) 253-4603

PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

MIT has made significant contributions to the world of computing, and learners in its PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science program are expected to do their share, too! Students report that, indeed, it’s fairly easy to do so because of the above-par support provided by MIT through fellowships and assistantships. 

  • Applicants must complete an application and submit transcripts, three letters of recommendation and a statement of objectives. 
  • Applicants with a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree must apply through a single admissions process. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree must first earn their master’s in the program. Applicants with a master’s degree proceed to the doctorate qualifiers. 
  • Students must complete a major and minor program, an oral defense of a dissertation, and residency requirements for full-time graduate work over four terms. Meeting all these academic requirements means earning a PhD degree. 
  • MIT offers several computer science research communities, including computational biology, human-computer interaction, and robotics, from which students can choose. Several electrical engineering research communities like energy, integrated circuits and systems, and biological systems. 

Standout Features: Students get exceptional support services from the EECS Graduate Office, including academic, personal and professional support. 

Did you know?

The Brass Rat is MIT’s class ring, but it doesn’t depict an actual rat but a beaver, the school mascot. 

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Stanford University

: 353 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, California
: (650) 723-2300

PhD in Computer Science 

Stanford is also known for its numerous significant contributions to computer science and, thus, its PhD in Computer Science program is among the best! Students gain more depth and breadth of knowledge than in many other PhD programs partly because of the emphasis on original research. 

  • Students must complete the Breadth Requirement that ensures their sufficient knowledge in three areas – Computer Systems, Mathematical and Theoretical Foundations, and Artificial Intelligence and Applications. They choose two sub-areas from each of these three major areas and pass them with an A- grade, minimum. 
  • First-year students may spend one quarter in each of these three areas to find their respective faculty advisor. First-year students must also take the CS300 seminar, where faculty members speak about their research projects. Past presentation topics included logic group research, reverse engineering, and CourseRank research. 
  • Second-year students must complete all breadth requirements by the spring quarter. 
  • Third-year students must pass the qualifying exam, form their reading committee, submit their dissertation proposal, and complete other requirements. 
  • Students must complete their teaching requirements but can do so at any time. 

Standout Features: Stanford has two monitoring tools for tracking student progress – first, annual meetings and, second, annual reviews. 

Did you know?

The year-round tradition of fountain hopping shows the fun side of Stanford! (And it’s a requirement for graduation – just kidding!) 

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University of California Berkeley

: 253 Cory Hall, Berkeley, California
: (510) 642-3214

PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

Many alumni of UC Berkeley’s PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences have made their mark in the academe and industry. Current students are also expected to distinguish themselves in the EECS field, starting with their original research, as demonstrated in their dissertation. 

  • Admission to the PhD program requires a statement of purpose, GRE scores, a personal history statement, and a resume. 
  • Students can earn this degree between 5.5 and 6 years but must make satisfactory progress to continue their studies as determined by the program. 
  • The minimum number of courses that must be taken is equivalent to 24 units. These consist of 12 units in a major field and six units each in a major field in and out of EECS. 
  • Students must pass the preliminary exam’s two components – an oral exam and breadth courses with at least an A- grade. A qualifying exam follows this in one of two formats. 
  • Students also become teaching assistants as part of professional development. 

Standout Features: UC Berkeley has one of the most comprehensive research areas, from artificial intelligence to signal to process. There are also several labs like BAIR, BASiCS, and BeBop where graduate students can research. 

Did you know?

Students guard the Big C the night before a coast championship or a Stanford game!

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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

: 201 North Goodwin Avenue MC 258, Urbana, Illinois
: (217) 333-3426

PhD in Computer Science 

Designed for aspiring educators and researchers in computer science, Illinois’ Ph.D. in Computer Science program allows students the flexibility to customize their degree. But students must still meet the graduation requirements and the program’s expectation of performance. 

  • Students complete 64 credits hours in the program to earn the PhD degree if they are admitted with an approved master’s degree. The total number of hours required is 96 credit hours. 
  • The coursework consists of computer courses, seminars, independent study and thesis research. 
  • The program time limit varies depending on whether you have a master’s degree from Illinois or not – five years for an Illinois master’s degree and six years for a non-Illinois master’s degree. 
  • The PhD qualifying exam measures each student’s suitability as a PhD candidate, including their knowledge, determination and experience. 
  • The preliminary exam, or the thesis proposal, is an important milestone determining a student’s knowledge and skills in writing a scholarly dissertation. Feedback from the PhD committee is crucial in developing an acceptable thesis. 
  • The final exam is the culminating requirement for the PhD degree, with each student required to present and defend their dissertation. 

Standout Features: Students with only a bachelor’s degree can be considered for admission into the Ph.D. program. In their case, they must earn 96 credit hours in the program to earn the doctorate. 

Did you know?

Students take their photos in front of the Alma Mater statue through their years at Illinois, a tradition that allows them to compare their progress – at least, in appearance. 

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Cornell University

: 402 Gates Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
: (607) 255-0983

PhD in Computer Science 

With an emphasis on world-class research on computer science combined with an excellent faculty, Cornell’s Ph.D. in Computer Science program attracts the best and brightest. Students also benefit from the interdisciplinary approach in computer science, with faculty members from Applied Math, Architecture, and Computational Biology pitching in during research. 

  • The annual cohort consists of 30-40 students and, thus, small class sizes are the norm and contribute to more personalized mentoring. 
  • Students spend the first academic year getting acquainted with the faculty and their research, tackling graduate courses and participating in research projects and seminars. By its end, students must have selected an area of research and chosen their special committee members. 
  • Students must demonstrate sufficient competency in the theory, systems, programming languages, and artificial intelligence vital to proficiency in computer science. 
  • The exams include a comprehensive oral evaluation, a final oral exam and a public defense. 
  • The application packet must include official transcripts, academic statement of purpose, diversity statement, and letters of recommendation. GRE scores and a writing sample are optional. 

Standout Features: Students must complete a minor outside of computer science. Choices include music, theater and finance, and related fields like electrical engineering. 

Did you know?

Cornell celebrates Dragon Day with first-year architecture students building a spectacular dragon, parading it around the campus, and conducting a ceremonial dragon slaying. 

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University of Washington 

: 185 E Stevens Way NE, Seattle, Washington
: (206) 543-1695

PhD in Computer Science and Engineering

Offered at the world-renowned Paul G. Allen School, the Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering program provides students with competitive academics and research opportunities. But its 300+ full-time students also receive full support from their faculty advisors, state-of-the-art facilities, and a collegial learning environment. 

  • The 90-credit PhD program allows its students to earn at least 60 credits at the UW. 
  • Students must complete the requirements for its three components – academic courses, independent research, and dissertation.
  • The graduate-level courses cover theory, systems and applications, and programming, while the research component covers methodologies and skills. 
  • Student performance is measured during several milestones, from qualifying and general exams to candidacy. The latter includes preparing (i.e., proposal, research and writing) and dissertation defense. 
  • Every student receives full financial support through fellowships and assistantships, too. 
  • The PhD program has an integrated master’s degree, so students earn two advanced degrees upon graduation. 
  • Only 50-55 students are accepted each academic year.
  • Official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, resume and statement of purpose are mandatory. 

Standout Features: Interdisciplinary research, inclusive learning environment, and robust academic and extracurricular schedule make the Ph.D. program among the best. 

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Did you know?

The Quad is alive with cherry blossoms during the spring, and it’s like being in Japan! 

Georgia Institute of Technology

: North Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia
: (404) 894-2000

PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Georgia Tech’s Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering program trains the next generation of leaders in the vital field. Students become advocates for advancing knowledge in digital signal processing, microsystems, and telecommunications, among others. 

  • Students complete a minimum of four years beyond a baccalaureate degree to earn the PhD degree.
  • The program comprises 18-hour core courses, 14-hour electives, nine-hour minor subjects, and a one-hour professional communications seminar and training on responsible conduct of research. The latter has two components – online training and a face-to-face class. 
  • The comprehensive exam combines the coursework qualifier and the thesis proposal. 
  • The residency requirement is a minimum of two semesters of on-campus, full-time enrollment. 
  • The time-to-completion limit is seven years. Students should maintain satisfactory progress with the guidance of their faculty advisors for continuous enrolment.  

Standout Features: Students report that it’s a highly individualized Ph.D. program that places great emphasis on the quality and impact of independent research. MSECE students may also shift to the Ph.D. program by following a rigorous process, including a minimum 3.5 GPA and passing the coursework qualifier. 

Did you know?

The Whistle was originally intended to signal the start of shop classes in the late 1890s. Today, it’s used to signify the end of classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and after Georgia Tech touchdowns. 

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Princeton University

: Clio Hall, Princeton, New Jersey
: (609) 258-6728

PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering 

The Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, among the largest programs at Princeton, offers students outstanding faculty guidance, personal attention, and extensive support services. 

  • The program has a five-year nominal length, meaning students are expected to finish the academic requirements, including the dissertation, within this period. 
  • Successful candidates earn two degrees in the program: a master’s degree and a PhD degree in electrical and computer engineering. 
  • Requirements for application include transcripts, resume, recommendation letters and statement of academic purpose. 
  • Most students are accepted with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, physics or electrical engineering, or related disciplines. While a master’s degree can be an advantage, it isn’t necessary for academic success. 
  • In subsequent years, all students receive a first-year fellowship and research or teaching assistantships. WU and Upton Fellowships are open to all students. 
  • Flexibility is a distinguishing characteristic in the curriculum since there are no specific mandatory courses. Instead, students choose courses based on their specialty and for depth and breadth of knowledge. Students, however, must meet a minimum course count and GPA. 

Standout Features: Full financial support for the entirety of your stay is possible but maintaining satisfactory progress is a must. 

Did you know?

Dink-wearing first-year students are tasked to build the bonfire on Cannon Green. 

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California Institute of Technology

: 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, California
: (626) 395-4555

PhD in Computer Science 

CalTech’s Ph.D. in Computer Science program provides its students with exceptional knowledge of the breadth and depth of computer science topics. Students also gain specialized knowledge in their chosen concentration through independent research projects. Furthermore, it’s an integrated MS-to-PhD program where students who complete the first two-year phase receive a master’s degree and then proceed to the Ph.D. phase. 

  • Students acquire a comprehensive understanding of advanced computer science concepts, including their algorithmic and mathematical foundations. Gaining advanced research skills in their specialization, from formulation to solution issues, is also part of the program. 
  • At least three academic years as a resident student is required of PhD students. Maintaining high academic standards and originality in research are among the expectations, too.  
  • Students must complete at least 135 units of 100-numbered or higher courses, usually with their faculty advisor. There’s also a non-computer science course requirement of at least 27 units. 
  • Equal weight is given to the resume, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose during the admission evaluation. 

Standout Features: Students and faculty work together to develop new theories, find novel applications and nurture interdisciplinary collaborations.  

Did you know?

Every house has its parties and customs, such as the pumpkin drop by the Dabney House and the firing of cannons by the Flems. 

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Columbia University

: 500 West 120 Street, New York, New York
: (212) 853-8400

PhD in Computer Science

Impactful research is at the heart of Columbia’s Ph.D. in Computer Science program and, thus, students start their Ph.D. candidacy as apprentices. They become junior colleagues working alongside faculty members in their scholarly research projects as they progress through the program. The comprehensive range of research projects means that every candidate has a specialty to choose from, too. 

  • Students should be enrolled full-time as they are expected to participate in research projects for the entirety of their stay. Full participation in laboratory activities and pertinent departmental events is also part of the graduation requirements. 
  • Faculty advisors provide academic advising services so that students can design their personalized program of study while still complying with general requirements. Students must pick a field of study in computer science, such as computer vision, natural language processing, and combinatorial optimization. 
  • Students admitted into the program without a Columbia-recognized master’s degree can earn it in route to the PhD degree. 
  • Columbia offers a data science specialization in its PhD program, too. 
  • Full-time, on-campus enrollment is compulsory for the fall and spring semesters from matriculation until the distribution of the dissertation to the defense committee. 

Standout Features: Students must complete the fieldwork requirements, including submitting a final written report. 

Did you know?

Students engage in a free-for-all snowball fight in front of the Alma Mater during the first snowfall! 

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University of Michigan Ann Arbor

: 2260 Hayward Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan
: (734) 647-8047

PhD in Computer Science and Engineering

Professionals with plans of pursuing a career in post-secondary education and in the research industry will find UMich’s Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering perfect! Advanced topics are in the curriculum, but there’s a stronger focus on research, particularly on contributing new ideas and innovations to the field. 

  • Pre-candidates with only a bachelor’s degree earn the master’s degree upon completing academic requirements, usually at the end of their third year. The recommended time-to-completion is five years for both the master’s and PhD degrees. Students may or may not submit a master’s thesis. 
  • Pre-candidates with a master’s degree become PhD candidates during their second year with their recommended time-to-completion at four years. A CSE master’s degree isn’t usually awarded to them. 
  • Fall and winter term registrations until completion of the degree are required, with rare exceptions. Continuous enrollment is a must to remain in good standing. 
  • Every student must submit an approved dissertation and defend it before a committee to be conferred the PhD degree (i.e., not optional). 

Standout Features: Applicants will be considered based on their exceptional research aptitude and prior research experience. Thus, students entering the Ph.D. program with a master’s degree are well-advised to submit a master’s thesis. 

Did you know?

The rock at UMich’s campus has been painted and repainted so many times since the mid-1950s its original color has become quite the mystery!  

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University of California Los Angeles

: 404 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, California
: (310) 825-0060

PhD in Computer Science 

UCLA computer scientists created the Internet’s foundation, and it’s a legacy of innovation that students in its Ph.D. in Computer Science program strive to continue. Students choose from several sub-disciplines that expand the depth and breadth of their knowledge, a requisite for careers in the academe and research. Their choices include artificial intelligence, software systems, and computer system architecture. 

  • Students must pass milestones based on the recommended program. The written qualifying exam, for example, must be passed within two years or the first six quarters, followed by completion of the breadth course requirement in three years. 
  • The expected time-to-completion is within six years or the equivalent of 18 quarters. 
  • Students must complete the academic requirements for a major field of study and two minor fields in computer science. 
  • GPA for all courses must be 3.33, including the minor fields. 
  • Students must comply with the teaching assistant requirement for at least one quarter. 

Standout Features: The Ph.D. program encourages its candidates to learn more about the field of computer science beyond what’s known today. Candidates are instrumental in shaping the questions, blazing new paths, and contributing to the body of knowledge that defines computer science. 

Did you know?

The Bruin Bear statue at the Westwood Plaza is covered in a heavy tarp before the big game against the Trojans, and it’s to protect it from vandalism. 

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University of Texas Austin

: 301 E. Dean Keeton St., Austin, Texas
: (512) 471-1166

PhD in Software Engineering and Systems

UT Austin’s Ph.D. in Software Engineering and Systems is one of eight academic tracks offered as specializations in computer science. Students focus on the advanced theories and applications of engineering software systems, as well as in their study and research. The skills gained cover the design, architecture, building and testing, and evaluation and evolution of software systems.  

  • Students design their Program of Work that must consist of a minimum of 30 semester hours, or ten three-hour courses, of graduate-level coursework. The coursework consists of major courses and supporting courses, and their classification will be determined by each student’s interests and academic track. 
  • Applicants without a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering may be admitted to the program. A master’s degree isn’t necessarily an advantage for acceptance and academic success. 
  • Students with only a bachelor’s degree can receive their master’s degree along their PhD journey.
  • Transfer of credits from a master’s degree within the same area is possible. 

Standout Features: Students will find the specialization exciting considering its fast evolution and, thus, obsolescence. The emphasis is on keeping up with the fast changes in the industry or risk being an obsolete professional, too. 

Did you know?

New students gather for the Gone To Texas celebration that welcomes them to UT Austin and marks the unofficial start of their status as Longhorns. 

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Harvard University

: 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts
: (617) 495-5315

PhD in Computer Science 

At the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Ph.D. in Computer Science program combines applied sciences, technology, and engineering. Students learn the advanced fundamentals of computational interactions, develop algorithm-related skills, and even create new theories and systems. 

  • The capstone project, an original dissertation, must have a far-reaching impact beyond graduate school. Students can rely on the Fellowships & Writing Center to enhance their dissertation and its impact. 
  • Students must maintain continuous registration from their entry to their graduation. But students may also apply for traveling scholar status or file for a leave of absence under specific circumstances. 
  • Teaching fellowships are available, and their fellows become part-time teachers supervised by their course heads. The teaching assistantship is a mandatory requirement. 
  • Graduate students pay a declining tuition structure with each stay in the program. PhD students receive fellowships and grants that will cover most, if not all, the tuition and fees. 

Standout Features: Students are provided with abundant opportunities to participate in faculty-led research on a wide range of topics. These include artificial intelligence, computational and data science, and machine learning. 

Did you know?

Getting down and dirty but emerging clean as a whistle is what the Mather Lather is all about!  

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George Washington University 

: 800 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC
: (202) 994-6083

PhD in Computer Engineering

The specialized coursework in GWU’s Ph.D. in Computer Engineering program prepares practicing professionals for successful careers as researchers and educators. Integrated circuit design, network computing, and photonic computing are among the areas discussed in depth in the courses. 

  • Students work with their faculty advisors to create their customized curriculum plan, choose a dissertation focus, and complete their dissertation. While there’s intensive guidance, students are expected to adopt independent study to earn the degree, 
  • Graduate students also expect to teach undergraduate-level courses, assist faculty members in their research grant applications, and present conference papers. 
  • A bachelor’s or a master’s degree in a pertinent field is acceptable. Minimum GPA applies – 3.4 for a master’s and 3.3 for a bachelor’s degree. All applicants, however, must demonstrate a graduate-level capacity for research through conference papers and published research articles. 
  • Other application documents include transcripts, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and resume. 
  • Students start their classes in the fall, spring and summer terms. 

Standout Features: Students complete seminar and colloquium requirements to earn the degree aside from the minimum number of credits and dissertation requirements. At least one seminar and five colloquia must be completed. 

Did you know?

The annual Vern Harvest is held every year during the Colonials Weekend, and it’s a fun event with arts and crafts, music, and pumpkin carving. 

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Rochester Institute of Technology

: 1 Lomb Memorial Dr, Rochester, New York
: (585) 475‑5139

PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering

RIT’s worldwide reputation for academic excellence in computing, engineering, and technology is evident in its Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering program. Students can use the school’s tools and utilize the techniques to explore the current issues in ECE and, thus, become leaders and trailblazers in the industry. 

  • This program consists of 66 semester credit hours of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary courses, seminars and research courses. Students are strongly encouraged to become independent researchers with outstanding critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical thinking skills. 
  • Research assistantships are offered to eligible graduate students, which represents a form of financial support. 
  • First-year courses include Interdisciplinary Research Methods, Doctoral Seminar and Translating Discovery into Practice. Second-year coursework includes a 6-credit Graduate Research course and a Doctoral Seminar. Third-year students spend most, if not all, of their time on research and dissertation.  
  • Electives customize the PhD degree, and choices include Advanced Engineering Mathematics, Engineering Analysis, and Analytical Topics in Computer Engineering. 

Standout Features: Students work closely with faculty in discovering new solutions and introducing innovations in a wide range of computer engineering areas. Among these areas are machine learning and artificial intelligence, architectures, and devices for computing, and cyber-physical and embedded systems. 

Did you know?

Behind the Grace Watson Hall lies grass fields that become the site of the annual Mud Tug, a tug-of-war competition in mud pits. 

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Northeastern University 

: 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, Massachusetts
: (617) 373-2000

PhD in Computer Engineering 

Northeastern’s Ph.D. in Computer Engineering program provides its students with the resources to pursue innovative research in several areas. Parallel computing, computer architecture, VLSI, machine vision, and embedded systems are a few examples. Note that Northeastern graduate students are instrumental, too, in its reputation as a research powerhouse in Massachusetts. 

  • Students complete 48 semester hours with an overall 3.0 GPA, minimum, to earn the PhD degree. While part-time enrollment is allowed, students are expected to comply with the academic requirements outlined in their study program. 
  • There are minimal course requirements, meaning students have sufficient room to customize their degrees. Required courses are in applied algorithms, software engineering, and computer architecture, among others. 
  • Students gain a robust hardware and software engineering foundation, from design to evaluation. Cellular networks, object-oriented Java, and RISC microprocessors are a few of the technologies used by students during their coursework and research. 
  • Candidates must spend two years of part-time residency or one year of full-time residency. 
  • Academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, resume and GRE scores must be in the application packet. 

Standout Features: Many courses are available in in-class and streaming formats. Students can also pursue the Gordon Engineering Leadership certificate. 

Did you know?

The Husky Hunt is a Northeastern tradition that involves a 24-hour scavenger hunt all over the greater Boston area. 

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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

: 216 Lenoir Drive Chapel Hill, North Carolina
: (919) 962-8366

PhD in Information and Library Science

Innovation in information and library science is the core of UNC-Chapel Hills’ Ph.D. program, with students provided with the best facilities, technologies, and environment. Students develop their graduate-level skill sets through a combination of research, leadership, and teaching experiences. Graduates have the desire and skills to promote the field in the education, research, and business sectors. 

  • The program seeks applicants with leadership potential, views information and library science interdisciplinary, and demonstrates the capacity for intensive research and scholarly inquiry. Students should also contribute to the intellectual discourse in and out of the classroom, aside from their original research. 
  • Applicants must be prepared for a competitive admission process with their merits based on their academic background, work experience, and standardized test scores. The statement of research and the personal interview results are also considered. 
  • Time-to-completion ranges from three to five years and follows a specific process. The components include didactic coursework, annual reviews, comprehensive exam, and dissertation work. 

Standout Features: Full-time and part-time enrollment are allowed, but students are advised to be in residence either during the entirety of their stay or during the dissertation phase. 

Did you know?

Rameses XXII, or Otis, is a horned Dorset ram that serves as UNC’s live animal mascot. 

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University at Buffalo 

: 408 Capen Hall, Buffalo, New York
: (716) 645-2939

PhD in Information Science 

UB’s online Ph.D. in Information Science program is one of only two of its kind in North America! But don’t dismiss its online format as graduates are known for their exceptional research skills. 

  • Students must complete 72 credits to be awarded the terminal degree. But students have room for flexibility since the time-to-completion is between four and five years, perhaps more depending on progress.
  • Suitable applicants are those with a keen interest in information science research, scholarship and leadership in a wide range of settings. Many are working in libraries and other knowledge management organizations. 
  • Credits from a master’s degree can be transferred into the PhD program. 
  • Core courses cover qualitative and quantitative methods and theoretical foundations of information science. Elective courses contribute to the specialization. 
  • Full-time students should finish their final dissertation by the end of their sixth semester. The public oral defense will include an oral exam. 
  • Applicants must submit a writing sample and statement of research interest. 

Standout Features: There’s a one-week residency requirement to be completed every academic year. 

Did you know?

The Oozefest is a series of mud volleyball tournaments celebrated every spring. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What can you expect from a doctorate in a computer science program? 

Most doctorates in computer science programs are Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs and, thus, its learners aspire for career advancement in the academe and research industry. The minimum requirements are a master’s degree, GRE scores and letters of recommendation, and doctorate-level skills in STEM topics. 

Due to the diverse topics in computer science, there’s typically no specific field of study required among applicants. But be sure to check the specific admission requirements as your program of choice may prefer specific areas of study. 

Learners spend between four and five years meeting the academic and dissertation requirements and earning 72-90 credits, depending on the program. Many programs offer specializations that expand the depth and breadth of knowledge among learners, too. Examples include human-computer interaction, computational biology, robotics, and machine learning. An approved dissertation is the culmination of Ph.D. in computer science programs, and their topics can range from software development to self-driving vehicles. 

Graduates have numerous career opportunities with their terminal degree, either within their current field or as part of a career change. These opportunities are in computer networking systems, database systems and architecture, and advanced business intelligence. 

What are the possible student experiences in a computer engineering doctorate program? 

Computer engineering is a technical field that integrates diverse electrical engineering and electronics to computer hardware and software development. Learners must then be prepared for academic rigor in these fields and advanced research methodologies during their dissertation phase. Many programs also provide intensive instruction in pedagogy in preparation for teaching in post-secondary institutions. 

Credit requirements vary, but most programs require completion of at least 48 credits for both didactic and dissertation components. Many programs require their learners to submit publication-worthy dissertations that contribute to the existing body of knowledge in the profession. The dissertation topic typically covers a specific aspect of computer engineering, such as forensics, networking, or computer security. 

What is a typical doctorate in an information science program like? 

Learners gain the knowledge and skills vital in tech-driven careers in information science through a combination of didactic coursework and dissertation. Many programs are designed for expanding the breadth of understanding of the broad range of interdisciplinary research and the depth of expertise in finding solutions for cutting-edge issues. Graduates can then engage in advanced and applied research in information science. 

The curriculum covers data and information science, human-centered computing, and research methods, including statistics. The dissertation demonstrates the learner’s competence in a chosen specialization and the applicable research methods while also adding to the body of knowledge. 

Most programs are designed for completion between four and five years, but it can be longer depending on the dissertation’s progress. Note that there’s a cap or a limit in the number of years a learner can complete the dissertation requirements, usually seven years. 

What’s the best choice for a doctorate for you? 

Like all professional decisions, this one’s on you! But there are several questions that you can ask when choosing between a doctorate in computer science, information science, or computer engineering. 

  • What are your specific interests and career goals? 
  • What contributions do you want to make to your profession? 
  • What are your plans when you earn the doctorate? 

You may, for example, want to pursue a doctorate in computer engineering because of your keen interest in hardware development and its evolution. Your interest in the impact of information science on human activity may also be a deciding factor in your final decision. 

There are also doctorate programs that combine electrical engineering and computer science, so, in a way, you’re hitting two birds with one stone. Note that computer engineering is still seen as a combination of electrical engineering and computer science, but there has been significant differentiation in recent years. 

What are the notable differences between DCS and Ph.D. degrees? 

The Doctor of Computer Science (DCS or DCSc) degree is an applied research degree earned in three years, with a year devoted to the dissertation equivalent. The Ph.D. in Computer Science – or the information and computer engineering – degree has a typical duration of 4-5 years; about three years are spent on completing the dissertation. The latter is considered an advanced research doctorate, too. Note that the featured programs are all Ph.D. programs because these are the most common in the US. 

Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor