Ph.D. in Computer Science

Program Overview

The Ph.D. in Computer Science aims to build the next generation of scholars in computer science research. At GW, doctoral students can expect to work closely with a faculty advisor in their chosen research area to create a curriculum plan and guidance for the doctoral dissertation. Students will also be expected to teach introductory-level courses to undergraduates, present conference papers, and work with faculty on research grant applications.

Top research areas of the department:

  • Algorithms and theory
  • Computer architecture, networks, parallel and distributed computing
  • Computer security and information assurance
  • Database and information retrieval systems
  • Machine intelligence and cognition
  • Multimedia, animation, graphics and user interface
  • Software engineering and systems

With its unique location of Washington, D.C., GW maintains access and connections to one of the highest concentrations of tech companies in the country, as well as research-granting federal institutes, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NASA, National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Naval Research Laboratory

Program Requirements

Faculty Advisor & Research Area

We strongly recommend that prospective doctoral students determine a faculty member in the department with whom they would like to work, as well as the research area of interest.

Download Faculty & Research Factsheet (PDF)

Program Requirements

Please visit the GW Bulletin to see a description of the program requirements.

PhD Course Guidelines:

PhD students must work with their advisors to develop a program of study that meets the following requirements.

  • For direct Ph.D. degree students: 54 credit hours (minimum of 18 credit hours of course work available for graduate credit and minimum of 12 credit hours of dissertation research credits (CSCI 8999)) are required.
  • For post-Master’s Ph.D. students: 18 credit hours of course work available for graduate credit and 12 credit hours of dissertation research credits (CSCI 8999) are required.
  • A maximum of 15 credits outside of the department for direct Ph.D. students; a maximum of 9 credits outside of the department for post-Master’s Ph.D. students.
  • PhD Dissertation Advisor and Co-advisor(s): Every PhD dissertation must be supervised by a faculty advisor who must be (1) a regular full-time faculty member of GW with a primary or secondary appointment in the CS Department, or (2) a research faculty member of the CS Department. Besides the dissertation advisor, a PhD student can have one or more co-advisor(s), who may be full-time or part-time faculty at GW, or professionals from outside the university. Co-advisors are expected to hold a terminal degree.

Admissions Requirements

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant area from an accredited institution.
    • If applicant has obtained a master’s degree, a minimum grade point average of 3.5 (on a scale of 4.0) is required.
    • If applicant has only obtained a bachelor’s degree, the minimum grade point average must be a 3.3 (on a scale of 4.0).
  • Completion of two math courses beyond pre-calculus.
  • Strong academic background that includes courses in structured programming language, discrete structures and data structures.
  • Successful submission of online application form, exam scores and other documents as outlined in the admissions requirements.