Grad students conducting research in the Sun lab.

Computer Science (Ph.D.)

Demonstrate mastery in several areas of computer science and make an original contribution to research in the field as a Ph.D. candidate in computer science.

Pursue an academic or industrial research career through this doctoral program.

Coursework revolves around seven core groups: theory of computation, systems, programming languages, networks and security, databases, software engineering, and computational intelligence. The amount of coursework is dependent on previous degrees earned.

Passing a written and oral qualifying exam, comprehensive exam, and defending a thesis is expected. A thesis research problem must be presented and defended to a committee of faculty at the comprehensive exam. Learn more about our research areas.

Located just minutes from downtown Chicago, Illinois Tech’s Mies Campus offers easy access to the city’s resources. A growing number of tech companies are calling Chicago home. The city government is extremely open with its data, allowing and encouraging unusual access for unique research opportunities.

Lean more about our current Ph.D. students, the labs where they conduct their work, and their research projects.

Program Overview

Coursework explores seven core groups: theory of computation, systems, programming languages, networks and security, databases, software engineering, and computational intelligence. Ph.D. candidates in computer science are expected to demonstrate mastery in these areas and to make an original contribution to research.

Career Opportunities

A research career in academia is attainable with a Ph.D. in computer science, although career opportunities in industry are also possible.

  • Computer scientist
  • Computer systems engineer
  • Computer science professor
  • Computer network architect
  • Research and development
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The minimum standards for admission to the computer science Ph.D. program are:

  • A four-year bachelor’s degree in computer science for the Direct program, or a master’s degree in computer science is required. Applicants must have a high GPA.
  • GRE scores: For admission in 2023, GRE General scores are recommended for all Ph.D. applicants and required for applicants wanting to be considered for a teaching assistantship and all applicants with degrees from outside the U.S. For the Direct program, the minimum required GRE scores are 310 and 4.0 (analytical writing). For the post-master’s Ph.D. program, 304 and 3.5 are required. In addition, the GRE quantitative score must be at least 70%. The score should be at most 5-years-old.
  • Proficiency in English. For applicants with degrees from schools where the primary language of instruction was not English, a minimum score of 70 on the internet-based TOEFL, 47 on the PTE, or 5.5 on the IELTS exam is required for admission consideration.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required by the Department of Computer Science.
  • A personal statement.
  • Good academic standing is required for applicants who are currently pursuing a graduate degree at another university or in another department at Illinois Tech. Good academic standing should be confirmed by submitting a transcript for the final semester from the current university.

Research Areas

The world-class research pursued by Department of Computer Science faculty drives innovation in many fields of state-of-the-art computation. Learn more about the research opportunities in these areas: