PhD in Computational Sciences and Engineering

The PhD in CSE is a highly interdisciplinary program designed to provide students with practical skills and theoretical understandings needed to become leaders in the field of computational science and engineering. The program emphasizes the integration and application of principles from mathematics, science, engineering and computing to create computational models for solving real-world problems. Applicants to the CSE PhD program might want to consider applying to the FLAMEL program.

Curricular Requirements. Students are required to complete at least 31 hours of coursework, as follows.

  • CSE 6001 (Introduction to CSE, 1 hour),
  • CSE core courses (12 hours),
  • Computation specialization (9 hours),
  • Application specialization (9 hours).

To complete the core course requirement students must complete four of the five courses making up the core curriculum: CSE/Math 6643 (Numerical Linear Algebra), CSE 6140 (CSE Algorithms), CSE 6730 (Modeling and Simulation: Fundamentals & Implementation), CSE/ISYE 6740 (Computational Data Analysis), CSE 6220 (High Performance Computing).

The computational specialization includes at least 9 hours of courses that increase the student's depth of understanding of computational methods in a specific area, as approved by the student's academic advisor. These courses must go beyond "using computers" to deepen understanding of computational methods, preferably in the context of some application domain.

The application specialization includes at least 9 hours of courses that increase depth of understanding in an application field; these need not be computation-focused courses. At least nine hours of PhD courses must be courses that do not carry the CS/CSE course designation. Hours taken as part of the computation and/or application specialization can be used to fulfill this requirement.

Math Students. Students who choose Mathematics as their home unit are required to take at least 9 hours having the MATH course designation (and not cross listed with other departments), and are expected to have a strong background in Mathematics.  

Qualifying Exam. A written qualifying examination must be attempted by the end of the second year of enrollment in the CSE doctoral program (normally taken after the student completes CSE core coursework). The oral qualifying exam part may be combined with the Oral Comprehensive exam, with the approval of the CSE Math home unit coordinator. If there are concerns with the written qualifying exam (determined by the Math home unit coordinator), the student is required to have a separate oral qualifying exam following the format as CSE. 

Oral Qualifying Exam. This covers both a computational artifact and the student's specialization area of Applied and Computational Mathematics. The specialization part of the exam follows the Oral Comprehensive Exam format of the Math PhD program. A part of the oral presentation should have a section on computational artifacts. The computational artifact part will follow the same format as for all CSE PhD students.

Doctoral Thesis. Students are required to complete a doctoral thesis reporting the results of independent research that advance the state-of-the-art in the CSE discipline. The dissertation must be successfully defended to the students dissertation research committee.

For further details, please see the CSE Graduate Student Handbook.