Skip to main content

College of Engineering / Program / Ph.D. - Computer Science and Software Engineering

Why this degree?

The Doctor of Philosophy program in Computer Science and Software Engineering offers a unique opportunity for doctoral students to develop research and development skills in cutting-edge computer science and software engineering disciplines. We cater to doctoral students with an outstanding aptitude and strong research skills in computer science and software engineering. A dissertation embodying the results of this research represents the major portion of the requirements for this degree. Four calendar years beyond the bachelor’s degree or three past the master’s degree are usually needed to complete the Ph.D. program.

You are eligible to apply if...

  • You hold a Bachelor's degree or a master's degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Cybersecurity Engineering or equivalent from an institution of recognized standing
  • Your GPA is 3.0 or above
  • Your GRE general exam combined score is at least 300, with a verbal score of at least 150, a quantitative score of at least 150; and a written score of at least 3.
  • If you are an international student, your TOEFL iBT score should be at least 79, with a minimum of 16 on each of four component parts (reading, listening, speaking, and writing) or, IELTS score of at least 6.5.

To complete the program you must...

  • Take a minimum of 66 credit hours of graduate work past the bachelor’s degree.
  • All the courses except COMP8990 must be graded courses, among which three (i.e., COMP7270, COMP7300, and COMP7500) are required core graduate courses for a total of nine (9) credit hours.
  • Take 30 credit hours of:
    • (i) formal COMP courses (minimum 21 credit hours) and/or
    • (ii) other elective courses (up to 9 credit hours) at 6000 level or higher is required.
  • May take up to six (6) credit hours of directed study (i.e., COMP7930/8930).
  • Take at least one additional COMP course at 7000 level or higher (excluding COMP7930/8930).
  • Take at least 18 credit hours of COMP 8990 Research and Dissertation.
  • Pass the General Doctoral Examination, which consists of two parts:
    • (i) the “PhD Qualifying Examination” and
    • (ii) the “PhD General Oral Examination”. The PhD Qualifying Examination will be successfully fulfilled by passing the three qualifying exams (i.e., computer organization/architecture, operating systems, and algorithms) or earning a B or higher in required remedy courses.
  • Prepare an acceptable dissertation reflecting high achievement in scholarship and independent investigation.
  • Pass a Final Oral Examination defending the dissertation.

Doctoral students must meet the following repeating-courses requirements:

  • Students who have taken a 5000-level course at Auburn University may not take the 6000-level equivalent for credit.
  • Doctoral students may not take more than six hours of Directed Study (i.e., COMP7930/8930).
  • Special Topics (i.e., COMP7970/8970) may be repeated provided each entails a change in topic.
  • Dissertation and Research, COMP8990, may be repeated, but only a maximum of 18 hours count toward the Ph.D degree.

What can you expect?

Applying for the Ph.D. - Computer Science and Software Engineering