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Doctoral Program

The Ph.D. in Computer Science prepares you for a life-long career in scientific inquiry, as well as the ability to work in industries where rapidly evolving computer science drives the 21st century world economy.

One of UAB's pedestrian bridges in the fall. Our graduate students play a critical role in the department's research program, and they become researchers, teachers, and scholars in the community, state, region, and nation. Students completing the Ph.D. go on to find new ways to mine “big data” from the Internet, solve cyber security problems of national importance, create innovative visualization and graphics solutions, advance the use of modern IT infrastructure (such as cloud computing), and pursue inquiries at the frontiers of computer science understanding.

The Ph.D. program is research-oriented doctorate and provides computer science research opportunities for individuals who have a career goal of:

  • research and teaching at a university,
  • employment in industry or a national research lab, and
  • multidisciplinary research, such as biomedical computing.

Program Basics and Timeline

The Ph.D. program usually requires a minimum of four years of study and research beyond the bachelor’s degree. Students interested in the program who have a sufficient computer science background may apply to the program directly after completing the B.S. degree.

The program consists of three phases (with some overlap between phases). The first is devoted primarily to formal coursework and preparation for the qualifying examination (Level 1). The second consists of coursework and research in preparation for the comprehensive examination, which requires presentation of a dissertation research proposal (Level 2). Successful completion of this phase leads to admission to candidacy. The final phase is the completion of the dissertation research and its defense (Level 3).

Questions About the Program?

We invite you to explore the resources here on this website. If you still have questions that are not addressed here, please e-mail the graduate program director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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