Doctor of Philosophy

Computer and Information Sciences

Computer Information Sciences 


The PhD in Computer and Information Sciences 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.

There are two tracks within the PhD Program: the Computing track (C-track) and the Information Systems and Human Computer Interaction track (I-track). Students pursuing PhD topics in typical computer science areas such as algorithms, artificial intelligence, databases, machine learning, programming languages, software engineering, etc. follow the Computing track. The Information Systems and HCI track is for students whose topics fall under those two areas. Students must choose whether to enter the Computing or Information Systems track at admission.

Faculty View All

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 the process, visit our Graduate Admission page for more information.

Learn more about Admission Requirements

Contact Graduate Admission

Get More Information


Two Tracks

Computing Track

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 Track

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

Research Colloquium

Every week, a researcher from DePaul, nearby universities, or the broader research world gives a one-hour talk on their research. This exposes students to a wide range of research topics and methods.