The School of Computer Science offers more than fifteen Ph.D. programs across seven departments, plus several interdisciplinary tracks. The doctoral programs differ from each other by their set of course requirements, though there is some overlap of courses between programs. Common to all its Ph.D. programs is a priority on research, and attention to improve teaching, speaking, and writing skills.
From their first day in their Ph.D. programs, students work closely with a research advisor. They begin projects of their own or as part of a team. In probing the unexplored, discovering the unknown, and creating new knowledge students experience the thrill of doing research.Students and advisors are matched based primarily on mutual research interests, subject to funding and faculty availability. The school offers all Ph.D. students full financial support while they are in good academic standing in their respective program. This loose coupling between advising and funding gives students flexibility in choosing their advisors and is a unique aspect to SCS's doctoral programs.
The SCS research environment is distinctive in other ways too. Advisors and students work as peers, underscoring the School's approach to students as individuals. Doctoral programs are flexible to harmonize with a student's personal background, strengths, and weaknesses. Students often work with more than one faculty member and with many other students during their career here. Hand-in-hand with a collaborative research environment is an interdisciplinary mindset that allows diverse research centers and institutes to thrive within the School. Another unique research attitude within SCS is that building systems is considered a "first-class" activity. The phrase "first-class" signifies our belief that design, implementation, debugging and evaluation are activities worthy of the finest minds and intellects, and that the effort involved in building realistic systems is rewarded by the insights gained and the impact achieved. Together, the research environment and doctoral programs provide an educational experience from which students emerge amply prepared to take on new challenges.