The program of study for the Ph.D. degree will be individually tailored with the assistance of the student's advisor. However, every program of study must include at least six (6) graduate level computer science courses (courses numbered 500 or above).The following sections elaborate the course requirements.

Theoretical Foundations

All students must take these two courses:

  • CSCI 532, Algorithms, 3 credits
  • CSCI 538, Computability, 3 credits

Applications and Systems

All students must take at least four 3-credit 5xx courses from appropriate rubrics such as CSCI and ESOF.  The following list shows examples of courses that were offered between Fall 2022 and Spring 2024.  Older 3-credit CSCI/ESOF 5xx courses that are no longer offered might also count here, as could future ones.

  • CSCI 534, Computational Geometry, 3 credits
  • CSCI 535, Computational Topology, 3 credits
  • CSCI 540, Advanced Database Systems, 3 credits
  • CSCI 545, Advanced Human Computer Interaction, 3 credits
  • CSCI 546, Advanced Artificial Intelligence, 3 credits
  • CSCI 547, Machine Learning, 3 credits
  • CSCI 550, Data Mining, 3 credits
  • CSCI 551, Advanced Computational Biology, 3 credits
  • CSCI 591, Special Topics: Malicious Code Analysis, 3 credits
  • CSCI 591, Special Topics: Data Storytelling, 3 credits
  • CSCI 591, Special Topics: Advanced Data Visualization, 3 credits
  • ESOF 522, Empirical Software Engineering, 3 credits

Students may be required to take additional courses (possibly outside of the Gianforte School of Computing) as part of their program of study. This will be determined by the student's advisor, program committee, and the Director.

Note: CSCI 690 (Doctoral Thesis) is the only course on the Program of Study (including foundational courses) that can be taken pass/fail.


All students must complete a thesis, also known as the doctoral dissertation. This is a formal publication of the results of a student's research work completed under the direction of the student's dissertation advisor.

  • CSCI 690, Doctoral Thesis, 18-30 credits

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