UMass Boston

Computer Science PhD

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Prepare for an advanced research career in software or academia.

UMass Boston's Computer Science PhD Program prepares students for research careers in the software industry and in academia. It combines a commitment to theory with significant experience in software development. The areas in which students may carry out dissertation research are currently applied database research, bioinformatics, computer graphics, computer vision, cybersecurity, data mining, distributed software systems, higher performance computing, network information systems, programming languages, theoretical computer science, and visual attention.

Areas of focus include:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Programming Languages
  • Databases
  • Systems
  • Networks

Start Your Application

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:

  • A minimum, cumulative GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale (or international equivalent) in all undergraduate work
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of recognized standing or an international equivalent at the time of enrollment
  • Official GRE score
  • Official transcripts for all institutions where you have earned more than 6 credits. If your transcript is in a language other than English, please include an English translation, validated by an official public translator.
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Applicants who completed the majority of their undergraduate coursework outside of the United States are typically required to submit official TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or Duolingo English proficiency test scores.

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: June 1 for fall, December 1 for spring

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website


Object-Oriented Software Development (12 Credits)

  • CS 680 - Object-Oriented Design and Programming 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 681 - Object-Oriented Software Development 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 682 - Software Development Laboratory I 3 Credit(s)

Required Theoretical Courses (6 Credits)

  • CS 720 - Logical Foundations of Computer Science 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 724 - Topics in Algorithm Theory and Design 3 Credit(s)

Theoretical Electives (6 Credits)

Take two from below.

  • CS 620 - Theory of Computation 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 622 - Theory of Formal Languages 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 624 - Analysis of Algorithms 3 Credit(s)
  • Undergraduate Courses (see Undergraduate Catalog for descriptions):

    • CS 420 Introduction to the Theory of Computation
    • MATH 470 Mathematical Logic

Applied Electives (18 Credits)

Take six from below.

  • CS 615 - User Interface Design 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 630 - Database Management Systems 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 634 - Architecture of Database Systems 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 636 - Database Application Development 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 637 - Database-Backed Websites 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 646 - Computer Communications Networks 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 648 - Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 651 - Compiler 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 670 - Artificial Intelligence 3 Credit(s)
  • CS 675 - Computer Vision 3 Credit(s)
  • Undergraduate Courses (see Undergraduate Catalog for descriptions):

    • CS 410 Introduction to Software Engineering
    • CS 411 Competitive Programming
    • CS 444 Operating Systems
    • CS 446 Introduction to Internetworking
    • CS 450 Structure of Higher Level Languages
    • CS 445 Real-Time Systems
    • CS 460 Graphics

Additional Electives (6 Credits)

Take two additional computer science courses.

Dissertation Research (15 Credits)

  • CS 899 - PhD Dissertation Research 1-9 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Complete 48 credits from seventeen courses including four object-oriented software development courses, two theoretical electives, six applied electives, two additional theory courses, two additional electives and fifteen credits of dissertation research. The first 30 credits of course work are subject to the requirements of the Computer Science (MS) program.

Doctoral candidacy: Successful completion of a written exam after completion of 30 credits and an oral exam after completion of 48 credits. Both exams may be retaken once.
Dissertation: Compose and defend a dissertation based on original research.
En Route Master’s Degree: Students may, with the approval of the program director, apply to receive the MS degree en route to the PhD. To qualify, students must complete the requirements outlined in the Computer Science (MS) program.
GPA: A minimum GPA of 3.5 must be maintained throughout the program.
Residency: At least one year in the program must be completed as a full-time student.
Statute of limitations: Eight years.


Graduate Program Director Dan Simovici
dan.simovici [at]
(617) 287-6472

Administrative Assistant Gemma Galecia
gemma.galecia [at]
(617) 287-6441

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