Doctor of Philosophy Computer & Information Sciences

The PhD in Computer and Information Sciences (CIS) offers an opportunity for exceptional students to pursue substantial research in the computer sciences and related areas. To earn a PhD degree, a student must demonstrate breadth of knowledge in at least two research areas and significant depth in a chosen dissertation area. In addition, the student must conceive, write, and defend a PhD dissertation representing a significant and original contribution to current academic research as demonstrated by a public dissertation defense and publication in established peer-reviewed academic conferences and/or journals. 



Students pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer and Information Sciences generally want to teach or to do research in private industry. Previous graduates have gotten academic positions at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Jordan, Pace University, and many more. Other graduates have gotten industry positions in Google, Pandora, Amazon, Microsoft, and SAP to name a few.


CIS faculty have grants from institutions such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, the MacArthur Foundation, and others. These grants support graduate students. There are also a limited number of stipends available from the School of Computing.


Our faculty—who possess PhDs from the best research universities in the U.S. including MIT, Carnegie Mellon, University of Chicago, Cornell, and the University of Michigan—bring a unique blend of academic excellence and industry perspective to their research and to the classroom. Faculty members conduct leading-edge research in a wide range of areas and receive support from many funding agencies.

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Faculty Research

CIS faculty perform research in a wide variety of areas, with a variety of funders. Faculty research areas include artificial intelligence, computational finance, data mining, database systems, educational games, high performance and scientific computing, human-computer interaction, programming languages and systems, security, software engineering, technology education, theory, and visual computing.

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Full-Time or Part-Time

The Ph.D. program in CIS is flexible enough to accommodate not only full-time students, but part-time students as well. All of the graduate classes are in the evening (and most are also offered online), so preparation for breadth exams can be done after work. Advisors offer flexible hours for research meetings and independent studies.

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Data Systems and Optimization Laboratory

CDM is host to a number of specialized labs designated to specific research areas, like the Data Systems and Optimization Laboratory, which aims to enable the users with insights, analysis and interactive operations by embracing new frontiers at the interface of data management, information science, forensics, and computer engineering. It provides tools and systems capable of providing insights into complex problems with the efficient use and collection of data and computing resources. DSL Lab co-directors Alexander Rasin and Tanu Malik are always looking for students to join the lab.

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Research Colloquium

The School of Computing hosts weekly talks on creative and breakthrough research by faculty, students, and industry professionals. The Colloquium exposes students to creative and scholarly research at DePaul and elsewhere, and engages them in the thought process of identifying and solving challenging research problems.

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Research Labs & Centers

The active research community in CIS at DePaul includes several labs for specific research purposes including: Mobile E-Commerce, Solid Objects, Database Optimization and Forensic Analysis, Software Engineering Research, Multimedia Networking, Artificial Intelligence, American Sign Language, E-Commerce and Information Systems, Visual Computing, and Wellness and Health Enhancement Engineering.


Breadth Exams

In consultation with their advisors, students choose breadth exams from a wide variety of topics including: artificial intelligence, automata complexity and computability, data analysis and data mining, databases, e-commerce, human computer interaction, IT project management, IS analysis and design, networking, programming languages and compilers, software engineering and systems. Each exam has a reading list so students know which resources and courses (if any) they need to prepare for the exam.

Two Tracks


The Computing track is for students who are interested in areas such as Programming Languages, Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Automata Complexity and Computability, Data Analysis and Data Mining, Systems, Networking, Databases, and Visual Computing.

Information Systems

The Information Systems track appeals to students who are interested more in areas such as E-commerce, Human Computer Interaction, IT Project Management, and IS Analysis and Design.

Application Deadlines

Enrollment QuarterDomestic Student DeadlineInternational Student Deadline
FallJanuary 15January 15
WinterOctober 1October 1

Admission Process

The graduate application process involves completing an online application, sending in your transcripts and submitting any supplemental material (e.g., letters of recommendation, certifications, etc.). To learn more about your program specific requirements, visit our Graduate Admission page

Admission Requirements

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