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.

For international students: this is a STEM-designated program.

Degree Requirements

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.


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.


Full time PhD CIS students are eligible for funding in the form of tuition waivers and a living stipend. Additionally, the Graduate Assistantships in Areas of National Need, or GAANN program, provides competitive funding for up to five years to three fellows with excellent academic records who demonstrate financial need.

Project Spotlight


PhD candidate and adjunct Dimuthu Kodippili Arachchige and his colleagues created a robot that emulates the way pinnipeds – such as seals and sea lions – bounce and lunge on land, bobbing their heads and bodies to gain momentum while pushing along the ground with their flippers.

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Faculty Research

School of Computing faculty have been awarded grants from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, National Security Agency, and several other institutions. Our faculty bring a unique blend of academic excellence and industry perspective to their research in the classroom. They conduct cutting-edge research in a wide variety of areas, including artificial intelligence, high performance and scientific computing, theory, visual informatics and data analytics, and more.

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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.


Research Talks

The School of Computing hosts weekly talks on creative and breakthrough research by faculty, students, and industry professionals. Regularly scheduled events include the Research Colloquium, the Data Science Seminar, the iD LabSpeaker Series, the Math/CS Seminar, and the Jarvis Center Speaker Series.

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Research Labs & Centers

The active research community in CIS at DePaul includes several labs for specific research purposes including American Sign Language, Data Science, Interactive Human-Computer Analytics, Medical Informatics, Mobile Commerce, Software Engineering Research, Web Intelligence, Wellness and Health Enhancement Engineering, and more.


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.

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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