PhD Computer Science and Information Systems

Graduate Education Policies and Procedures to apply to this program

Program Director: Gita Alaghband

The Computer Science and Information Systems PhD is awarded from the College of Engineering, Design and Computing. The CSIS PhD supports interdisciplinary research between computer science and many fields of interest.

Our students work with research centers and researchers from a variety of disciplines, including the CU School of Medicine, chemistry, mathematics, biology, all engineering disciplines, economics, health, and education, in addition to industry and businesses. This distinctive infrastructure supports basic research in both computer science and information systems as well as the demand of computing and IT integration with all other scientific and business fields.

Admission Requirements

For more information regarding the admission requirements for the CSIS PhD, visit


Upon entering the program, each student must find and be accepted by a research advisor to provide mentoring and guidance throughout the program and work with the student to prepare a program of study. Requests to change advisors must be approved by the program director, and this happens in very rare circumstances. PhD advisors must be full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty within the department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Computer Science Doctoral Committee

The advisor and four other members form a doctoral committee. The advisor must be a full-time current graduate faculty member in the CSE department. One committee member may be from outside the CSE department.

Program Components

Plan of Study

A list of course work and other requirements for the degree should be prepared with the advisor and then submitted to the director for approval. The successful completion of all work indicated on the plan of study is an important prerequisite for the conferring of the degree. A plan of study should be prepared in consultation with the student's research advisor, periodically updated, and reviewed for approval.

CS Preliminary Exam

Students are required to select three out of four core knowledge areas and pass a written exam. The exam must be taken within the first year of the program. Students may take one, two, or all three exams within the first year of their admission. Students may repeat an exam area once. A guide for the exam is available on the department website.

CS Comprehensive Exam

Upon successful completion of the preliminary exam and coursework, students enroll for their dissertation. The Comprehensive Exam (Thesis Proposal) is intended to test student’s ability to perform, present and discuss his/her research. This exam has both a written and an oral component.

Dissertation Proposal

A dissertation proposal after the student completes the comprehensive exam is required for the CSIS PhD program. The dissertation proposal will consist of a written proposal detailing the proposed work, advances in the proposed field, partial results, and future work toward completing the student's dissertation.

Dissertation Completion

Once the dissertation proposal is approved, each student prepares and submits a dissertation. The dissertation is defended before the doctoral committee in a public meeting. Final approval for the dissertation is given by a vote of the dissertation committee after the public defense.


Upon completion of all degree requirements including the dissertation defense, the student receives the degree of doctor of philosophy in CSIS from the College of Engineering, Design and Computing.

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$19,391 Per Year

International student tuition fee

4 Years


Jun 2024

Start Month

May 2024

Application Deadline

Upcoming Intakes

  • June 2024
  • August 2024
  • January 2025
  • August 2025

Mode of Study

  • Full Time