Computer Science, Ph.D. | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Computer Science, Ph.D.

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We have a thriving Ph.D. program with approximately 80 full-time Ph.D. students hailing from all corners of the world. Most full-time Ph.D. students have scholarships that cover tuition and provide a monthly stipend. Admission is highly competitive. We seek creative, articulate students with undergraduate and master's degrees from top universities worldwide. Our current research strengths include data management and analysis, cybersecurity, computer games, visualization, web search, graphics, vision and image processing, and theoretical computer science.

This degree program offers interested students opportunities to do their research abroad, under the supervision of faculty at NYU Shanghai or NYU Abu Dhabi.


To receive a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, a student must:

  • satisfy a breadth course requirement, intended to ensure broad knowledge of computer science,
  • satisfy a depth requirement, consisting of an oral qualifying exam presentation with a written report, to ensure the student's ability to do research,
  • submit a written thesis proposal and make an oral presentation about the proposal,
  • write a Ph.D. thesis that must be approved by a dissertation guidance committee and present an oral thesis defense, and
  • satisfy all School of Engineering requirements for the Ph.D. degree, as described in the NYU Tandon School of Engineering bulletin, including graduate study duration, credit points, GPA, and time-to-degree requirements.

Upon entering the program, each student will be assigned an advisor who will guide them in formulating an individual study plan directing their course choice for the first two years. The department will hold an annual Ph.D. Student Assessment Meeting, in which all Ph.D. students will be formally reviewed.

Note: for pre-fall 2015 Ph.D. students, please see the pre-fall 2015 Ph.D. Curriculum.

Program Requirements

Details about Breadth and Depth Requirements, Thesis Proposal and Presentation, and Thesis Defense can be found in the NYU Bulletin.

Program Details

Each incoming Ph.D. student will be assigned to a research advisor, or to an interim advisor, who will provide academic advising until the student has a research advisor. The advisor will meet with the student when the student enters the program to guide the student in formulating an Individual Study Plan. The purpose of the plan is to guide the student’s course choice for the first two years in the program and to ensure that the student meets the breadth requirements. The plan may also specify additional courses to be taken by the student in order to acquire necessary background and expertise. Subsequent changes to the plan must be approved by the advisor.

Sample Plan of Study

In order to obtain a Ph.D. degree, a student must complete a minimum of 75 credits of graduate work beyond the BS degree, including at least 21 credits of dissertation. A Master of Science in Computer Science may be transferred as 30 credits without taking individual courses into consideration. Other graduate coursework in Computer Science may be transferred on a course-by-course basis. Graduate coursework in areas other than Computer Science can be transferred on a course-by-course basis with approval of the Ph.D. Committee (PHDC). The School of Engineering places some limits on the number and types of transfer credits that are available. Applications for transfer credits must be submitted for consideration before the end of the first semester of matriculation. 

All Ph.D. students will be formally reviewed each year in a Ph.D. Student Assessment Meeting. The review is conducted by the entire CSE faculty and includes at least the following items (in no particular order):

  • All courses taken, grades received, and GPAs.
  • Research productivity: publications, talks, software, systems, etc.
  • Faculty input, especially from advisors and committee members.
  • Student’s own input.
  • Cumulative history of the student's progress.

As a result of the review, each student will be placed in one of the following two categories, by vote of the faculty:

  • In Good Standing: The student has performed well in the previous semester and may continue in the Ph.D. program for one more year, assuming satisfactory academic progress is maintained.
  • Not in Good Standing: The student has not performed sufficiently well in the previous year. The consequences of not being in good standing will vary, and may include being placed on probation, losing RA/GA/TA funding, or not being allowed to continue in the Ph.D. program.

Following the review, students will receive formal letters which will inform them of their standing. The letters may also make specific recommendations to the student as to what will be expected of them in the following year. A copy of each student’s letter will be placed in the student’s file.