The University of Chicago | Graduate Admissions

Computer Science - PhD

Division: Physical Sciences
Degree Type: PhD

Program Description

The Department of Computer Science, founded in 1983, focuses on the following areas of research: the Theory of Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Programming Languages, Systems, Distributed Systems, and Computational and Applied Mathematics Program.

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Application Method

Applications should be initiated through the online application.


Deadline for admissions and financial aid: January 7, 2015

Interviews are not required; however, you are welcome to visit campus, sit in on classes, and meet with current students. You may contact faculty with questions, but there is no expectation that you do so.

Campus Visits

Campus visits and interviews are not required. Contact the department for more information.

Degree Objective

All PhD candidates are required to complete an MS as part of their education.

More information about MS portion of program.

Application Requirements

  1. Completed application
  2. Statement of purpose
  3. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  4. 3 letters of recommendation
  5. Official GRE scores
  6. Official TOEFL or IELTS scores (if required)
  7. Official copies of all transcripts
  8. Application fee

Program Requirements

After obtaining his or her MS, each student must be admitted to candidacy by the end of the first quarter of the student's fifth year. Students in all areas must pass a candidacy exam. A candidacy exam is administered by the student's Examination Committee. Prior to the exam, the student must have an exam proposal approved by each member of the Examination Committee. The Examination Committee will decide the format of the exam, but two formats are common. Each student must write a doctoral dissertation that includes significant original research in Computer Science. The student must successfully defend his or her thesis in a public forum before the Examination Committee and any other interested parties. The Examination Committee will decide the format for the defense. Typically, the student gives a 45 to 50 minute talk about his or her work followed by a public question period and then a private question period.

Costs & Financial Aid

The Department expects to support all students who make satisfactory progress toward a doctorate for six years. This support includes full tuition and a monthly stipend during the academic year that is competitive with offers made by other top-ranked schools. To earn their stipends, students will have to perform part-time work for the Department (e.g., teaching assistants, research assistants, members of the technical staff). The Department also encourages prospective students to apply for externally funded grants and fellowships.