Doctoral Admission Requirements

Admission into the Ph.D. program is competitive. All academic and scholarly achievements are employed in the evaluation process. The typical B.S. applicant to the Ph.D. program will have done a major project as an undergrad, and the typical M.S. applicant to the Ph.D. program will have some research background.

An application package is considered in its entirety (there are no minimum cutoffs), but typical admission requirements include:

Application Deadlines

  • Spring Admission: September 1
  • Fall Admission: January 15
  • Graduate Record Examinations (GRE): 1200 on the quantitative plus verbal (Q+V) (310 or better in the new GRE).
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): for foreign students, 610 (paper exam), 253 (computer exam), or 100 (internet exam) on the TOEFL OR overall band score of 7 or better on International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The TOEFL/IELTS exam is waived for students whose native (first) language is English.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA): GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) overall (or for the last 60 hours; preferably higher in computer science courses).
  • A clear statement of study plan, including specific graduate study objectives, discussion of research experience, and 1-2 areas of research interest.
  • A strong academic background in computer science and mathematics, including certain prerequisites.

If one of the areas of your application is particularly strong, it might offset a weakness in one of the other areas. Admission is based upon consideration of all of your strengths and weaknesses. Pre-evaluation of students before formal application is not available, since the application is considered as a whole by the entire admissions committee. Please do not request the graduate program director or other faculty members for such an evaluation.

Minimum Course Requirements

If entering with a baccalaureate degree:

  • Completion of 48 credit hours of course work prior to candidacy.
  • Up to 10 credits can be as seminar or directed study credits.

If entering with a master's degree appropriate to the doctoral degree field:

  • Completion of 27 credit hours of course work prior to candidacy.
  • Up to 6 credits can be as seminar or directed study credits.

Doctoral students must also satisfy one of the following:

  • Complete at least two semesters in candidacy and accumulate at least 24 semester credit hours in 799 dissertation research OR
  • Complete at least two semesters as a student in candidacy and have accumulated at least 12 semester credit hours in other appropriate research-based coursework, which has been approved by the graduate student’s program.

Financial Support

We regularly have many positions open for full financial assistance, both due to graduating students and new research grants. All graduate applications are automatically considered for financial assistance.


Faculty (including the graduate program director) should not be contacted to inquire about available financial assistance or a student’s potential for admission. However, it is fine to contact them to discuss research interests. You can also e-mail the department at