Programs by Campus


Computer Science

School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering

Computer Science

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(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Degree Offered

(For Master of Science degrees, see the School of Informatics and Computing Bulletin.)

Doctor of Philosophy

Special Program Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Admission Requirements

Admission to all graduate programs is by approval of the school’s graduate admission committees. Requirements for admission: baccalaureate degree (not necessarily with a concentration in computer science) and Graduate Record Ex­amination (subject test also desirable). Undergraduate course prerequisites may be satisfied by equivalent or more advanced courses, and in some cases by professional experience. Prereq­uisites common to all graduate requirements are course work in computer structures and organization, discrete structures and computing theory, and data structures.

Course Requirements

A total of 90 credit hours of graduate-level course work is required. These courses are defined as any course listed in this bulletin that carries graduate credit.

Computer Science Course Requirements

Ph.D. candidates must take at least 24 credit hours of courses in computer science at or above the 500 levelexcept for the A500-A599 courses. Six courses, from the list below, must be completed each with a minimum grade of B. At least one course must be taken from each of the areas of Foundations of Computing and of Computer systems, and one from either Programming Languages or Intelligent Systems:

  1. Foundations of computing: Theory of Computing (B501), Computational Complexity (B502), or Algorithms Design and Analysis (B503).
  2. Computer systems: Distributed Systems (B534), Advanced Operating Systems (P536), or Computer Networks (P538).
  3. Programming languages: Programming Language Principles (B521), Programming Language Foundations (B522), or Programming Language Implementional (P523).
  4. 4. Intelligent systems: Elements of Artificial Intelligence (B551), Machine Learning (B555), Advanced Database Concepts (B561), or Data Mining (B565).

A grade average of B (3.0) is required for the 24 credit hours of required computer science courses. This is in addition to the University Graduate School's requirement of a B (3.0) average for all courses taken.

Minor Area Requirement

Three options are available:

  1. An external minor awarded by another Indiana University department or graduate program that is approved by the Com­puter Science Program.
  2. An internal minor: at least 9 computer science credits, in courses other than reading and research, and in an area other than the student’s specialization. The area and the courses must be approved by the student’s advisory committee. 
  3. An individualized interdisciplinary minor:  at least 12 credits spanning at least two Indiana University departments/degree programs, to be recommended by the student’s advisory committee and approved by the Computer Science Program in advance of any course work.

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination is given by the first semester of the student’s third year in the program. This examination is admin¬istered by the advisory committee and is expected to have a written and an oral component. A student must have completed the 24 credit hours of courses in computer science as specified in the Computer Science Course Requirements before taking the qualifying exam.

Thesis Proposal

The thesis proposal is submitted and defended after the completion of the qualifying examination.  It consists of an oral presentation covering a submitted written research plan for the dissertation.  This examination is given by the research committee.


A written elaboration of significant original research, which must be successfully presented to the research committee in a defense of dissertation as described in this bulletin.

Ph.D. Minor in Computer Science

Doctoral students in other departments may complete a minor in computer science by satisfying one of the following options:

  1. Three computer science courses totaling not fewer than 9 credit hours at the 500 level or above. A500-level courses and 400-level courses are excluded with these exceptions: A595 (B401), B403, P423, P436, P438, B441, P442, and B443 are ap­proved for graduate credit toward the Ph.D. minor.
  2. A593, A594, and any two courses totaling 6 credit hours or more from the list: A595, A596, plus the computer science courses meeting the requirements of the first option.

Academic Bulletins

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