University Of California PhD Computer Science

University Of California PhD Computer Science University of California PhD Computer Science (UC Berkeley Computer Science Masters Admission Requirements) If you are looking for the UC Berkeley computer science masters admission requirements, you are precisely in the correct spot. All the vital information that you need is furnished in this article below by means of descriptive details. The complete name of this degree is Bachelor of Science. This program was initiated by William Barton Rogers, who has been termed as the father of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). It takes four years to complete this advanced computer science degree consisting of 120 units with emphasis on mathematics and engineering. It also includes courses in biology, physics and plant science. A candidate must have completed 60 semester units before he or she can be allowed to enroll for the program. The candidate will receive expert instruction from scholars and professors of science, technology and other academic fields. Teaming up with other students also helps them in their endeavor to achieve a comprehensive education thus broadening their horizons. It is designed for students with an interest in computer science, software engineering and information systems. A student gets to learn about the advancement made over time in technologies like computer systems, software development and even robotics.

Doctoral students enroll in an eminently challenging academic program which is directed at developing the skills to be competent researchers through doctoral dissertation. However, achieving a doctorate degree is not an easy task. Therefore, to help you achieve your goal of getting a PhD degree admission program is designed to help you prepare yourself for doctoral studies and get admission into the university of california phd computer science masters.   

University Of California PhD Computer Science

The Department of computer Science and Engineering offers the Ph.D. degree in computer Science, after completion of the following degree requirements. It provides a research-oriented education in preparation for a career in research, industry, or academia and exploring both the fundamental aspects of computer science and engineering as well as their applications.


The PhD degree at the USC Computer Science department prepares students for a career in research. The goal of the program is to nurture talented minds via research and formal coursework, to produce future thought leaders in Computer Science. The program accepts students who have completed a four-year Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field; a Master’s degree is not a requirement for entry. Once admitted to the program, a student must complete a set of requirements to graduate with the PhD degree. These requirements are described next.

Unit Requirements

A student is required to complete a total of at least 60 units, at least 40 of which must be at the 500 level or above (beyond the bachelor’s degree and including the required courses as listed in the requirements below). A student must maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain in good academic standing.

Course Requirement

Mandatory courses: Each student is required to complete two semesters of CSCI 697 (1 unit each, 2 maximum) and CSCI 670 (4 units). In addition, students are required to pass two semesters of CSCI 698 (1-2 units each, no maximum) as part of a teaching requirement. CSCI 698 is coursework related to a teaching requirement and is described in Section 7. Elective courses: In addition to the mandatory courses, each student must complete five (5) CSCI courses at the 500 level and above, each of 4 units. No more than two (2) of these courses (8 units total) may be at the 500 level; the remaining must be CSCI courses at the 600 level. Directed Research units or thesis credits do not satisfy this requirement.

Students are strongly advised to take at least one of their elective courses in an area of Computer Science that is different from their proposed area of research. The PhD advisor is expected to provide guidance on this matter to the student. The CSCI 670 course requirement may be waived by examination only. Each course in the department has a faculty member who is designated as the course “owner.” The owner of CSCI 670 is in charge of creating and grading the waiver examination. CSCI 697 and CSCI 698 may not be waived.


The screening procedure is used to evaluate a student’s progress in the required coursework, in selecting a research advisor, and in establishing a preliminary dissertation research program. Prior to applying for screening, it is expected that a student should have found an advisor and have worked long enough with him/her for the faculty member to be able to evaluate the student’s aptitude for research. Irrespective of the courses taken, units accrued, and the duration for which a student has worked with her/his advisor, a student must apply for screening in his/her 3rd semester in the program.

The decision as to whether a student is “screened in” will be made at the meeting of a faculty committee. This decision will be based on the quality of the student’s coursework and on the recommendation of the advisor regarding the student’s aptitude for research. If a student is not screened in on his/her first attempt, the student will be eligible for another attempt at screening, which must take place within 12 months of the original attempt. If a student is not screened in on his/her second attempt he/she will be dismissed from the PhD program effective immediately.

uci cs phd requirements

Core Requirements (12 units)

Choose 3 courses from at least 2 of the 3 Core Areas described above, with no grade lower than a B- and an overall core course GPA of at least 3.2.

Transfer Requirements

Students with a relevant MS degree from another university may transfer up to 30 units towards their PhD degree. At most two courses may be substituted for the allowed two 500-level courses in the course requirement. No substitutions are allowed for the 600-level courses.

Petitioning for MS Degree

After satisfying the PhD course requirements and completing a minimum of 28 units with a GPA of 3.0, a student is eligible to petition for a Master’s degree in Computer Science.

Existing Students and the new PhD Requirements

These requirements shall apply to all students admitted to the Computer Science PhD program for Fall 2015 or thereafter. Students admitted prior to Fall 2015 may choose to have these requirements applied to them. To do this, the student must submit to the Department an approval letter signed by the student’s PhD advisor.

uc berkeley computer science masters admission requirements

The minimum graduate admissions requirements are:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A satisfactory scholastic average, usually a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale; and
  3. Enough undergraduate training to do graduate work in your chosen field.

Satisfying minimal standards, however, does not guarantee your admission, since the number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of places available. As a result, many well-qualified applicants cannot be accommodated.

Many departments and groups have additional requirements, including the GRE, TOEFL score minimums, and GPA minimums. Please check the information provided by the department for additional requirements.

Domestic Applicants

You must hold or expect to hold prior to the beginning of classes a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. school accredited by one of the AACRAO regional accrediting agencies*.

Regionally accredited college or university means an institution of higher education accredited by one of the following regional accreditation associations in the United States:

  1. Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  2. New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  3. The Higher Learning Commission (formerly known as North Central Association of Colleges and Schools)
  4. Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  5. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  6. Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Required Records: Upload unofficial transcripts with the application for the departmental initial review. Request a current transcript from every post-secondary school that you have attended, including community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs.

Official transcripts showing your bachelors degree conferral will be required if admitted and decide to attend. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) you have attended or sent from a secure electronic system to our email.

If you have attended UC Berkeley, upload unofficial transcripts with the application for the departmental initial review. Official transcripts with evidence of degree conferral will not be required if admitted.

university of california san diego phd computer science

CSE offers Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Computer Science and in Computer Engineering, providing a research-oriented education in preparation for a research, industrial, or entrepreneurial career. These programs explore both the fundamental aspects and application of computation, spanning theory, software, hardware, and applications.

Course Requirements

The 37-unit coursework requirement is intended to ensure that students are exposed to (1) fundamental concepts and tools, (2) advanced, up-to-date views in topics outside their area (the breadth requirement), and (3) a deep, up-to-date view of their research area (the elective requirement). Doctoral students are expected to complete the breadth and elective requirements within the first three years of the program. All required coursework must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of CSE 292 (Faculty Research Seminar), which is only offered S/U.

Units obtained from a single course cannot count towards both the breadth and the elective requirements; they may only be applied towards one or the other. Doctoral students who have taken similar courses elsewhere may petition for a waiver of the required courses or for substitution by alternative courses.

Elective Requirement

The elective requirement ensures that doctoral students acquire some depth of knowledge in a general research area early in their career, but it also does not preclude them from pursuing a breadth of topics, if it serves their research interests. The elective requirement is designed to be flexible and nimble enough to respond to the rapidly and constantly evolving dynamic disciplines of computer science and computer engineering. 

The elective requirement is also designed with heavy faculty mentorship in mind.  Students will consult with their faculty advisors to develop an academic plan that will include four courses from the aforementioned four separate breadth areas and five elective courses that may be selected from an approved set of courses featured in the CSE Graduate Course Structure for PhD Students.

Units obtained in the CSE 209 series, 229 series, 239 series, 249 series, 259 series, 269 series, 279 series, 289 series, 219, 290, 292, 293, 294, 298, 299, 500, and 599 do not count toward the elective requirement.

Breadth Requirement

The breadth requirement ensures that doctoral students share knowledge of fundamental concepts and tools from across broad areas of computer science and computer engineering. Each doctoral student must take each of these courses for a letter grade and maintain an overall breadth course GPA of 3.3 (except for CSE 292, for which a letter grade is not assigned). A student will typically complete all breadth courses within the first two years of graduate study. 
Breadth courses are categorized into ten areas and are listed here alphabetically:

  • Artificial Intelligence 
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Systems & Security
  • Database Systems
  • Graphics & Vision
  • Human-computer Interaction 
  • Programming Languages, Compilers, and Software Engineering
  • Robotics
  • Theoretical Computer Science

To fulfill the breadth requirement, students will select four out of the ten areas and take a single course from each of these four areas.

For courses approved to fulfill the breadth requirement, please see the CSE Graduate Course Structure for PhD Students.

Additionally, students are required to take CSE 292, a 1-unit Faculty Researcher Seminar, where CSE faculty present one-hour seminars of their current research work in their areas of interest.  This course is only taught in Fall quarters and offered for S/U grade only.

Research Exam Requirement

The emphasis of doctoral studies is research, and having a research adviser is essential to a student’s ability to make adequate progress toward the degree. Students usually begin research in their first year. The research exam is intended to verify three components of the student’s preparation for doctoral research: (1) breadth of comprehension sufficient to enable computer science research in areas beyond the topic(s) of the research exam and thesis; (2) ability to perform critical study, analysis, and writing in a focused area; and (3) research experience. 

The research exam has both an oral part and a written part. The oral part of the research exam is distinct from, and cannot be combined with the University Qualifying Exam. Grading criteria for each part, and standards for passing, are available from the CSE department graduate office. 

The research exam is conducted by a committee of three faculty members approved by the graduate committee and the chair of the department. At least two committee members must be CSE senate faculty. The student’s adviser is not a member of the committee but is free to attend the research examination. The normative time for passing the research exam is by the end of the second year of study. A petition to the CSE Graduate Committee is required to take the research examination after the student’s seventh quarter of study. The research exam must be passed by the end of the third year if the student is to continue in the doctoral program. Passing the research exam may enable doctoral students to receive the master’s degree if they have otherwise met their master’s degree requirements concurrently. Doctoral students who do not pass the exam after two attempts will be given the opportunity to write a thesis in order to receive a terminal master’s degree. The master’s degree is only granted to those students who do not already hold a master’s degree prior to entering the CSE department at UC San Diego.

Teaching Assistant Requirement

Teaching is an important part of a doctoral student’s training. All students enrolled in the doctoral program must have one quarter of training as a teaching assistant. This is a formal degree requirement and must be completed before the student is permitted to graduate. The requirement is met by serving as a 50 percent teaching assistant and taking CSE 500 (Teaching Assistantship). CSE 599 (Teaching Methods in Computer Science) examines theoretical and practical communication and teaching techniques particularly appropriate to computer science, and students usually take it prior to or concurrent with the teaching assistantship.

Qualifying Examination And Advancement To Candidacy

The qualifying examination is a requirement for advancement to candidacy. Prior to taking the qualifying examination, a student must have satisfied the departmental course and research exam requirements and must have been accepted by a CSE faculty member as a doctoral thesis candidate. All doctoral students are expected to advance to candidacy by the end of their third year, and advancement is mandatory by the end of the fourth year. The examination is administered by a doctoral committee appointed by the dean of the Graduate Division and consists of faculty from CSE and other departments. More information on the composition of the committee can be obtained from the CSE graduate office. The examination is taken after the student and his or her adviser have identified a topic for the dissertation and an initial demonstration of feasible progress has been made. The candidate is expected to describe his or her accomplishments to date as well as future work.


The dissertation defense is the final doctoral examination. A candidate for the doctoral degree is expected to write a dissertation and defend it in an oral examination conducted by the doctoral committee. 

Departmental PhD Time Limit Policies

Students must be advanced to candidacy by the end of four years. Total university support cannot exceed seven years. Total registered time at UC San Diego cannot exceed eight years.

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