M.S. Admit Ph.D.

The program of study should be designed to provide appropriate depth and support for the student's area of interest (specialization) and to prepare the student for research in his/her chosen area. The program of study is proposed by the student after consultation with his/her major and minor professors and must be approved by his/her Graduate Committee and the Graduate Coordinator. For student's with a previous graduate degree in Computer Science or related field, our M.S. admit option provides an accelerated path to course completion. This option is also required of all Online Ph.D. students; potential Ph.D. students without a related graduate degree should complete a graduate degree first.

Program of Study

For the Ph.D. with previous M.S. option, the program of study requires 55 graduate credit hours:

  • 7 hours (3 courses) in the CS Core (1 hour Seminar & 6 hours Theory)
  • 12 hours (4 courses) in the Depth Requirement
  • 6 hours (2 courses) in the Breadth Requirement
  • 20 hours Dissertation Research (CSE 9000)
  • 10 additional hours of graded coursework or Dissertation Research

Of the 25 required coursework (Core, Depth, and Breadth), it is expected that up to 12 credit hours will be transferred in from previous graduate coursework; the only limitation is up to 6 hours may be transferred in the Depth area. All dissertation hours and the additional hours block must be completed at State. Overall, students must have at least 9 8xxx level hours on their final program of study (excluding extra additional hours, which must have no more 6xxx than 8xxx) and the majority of credits must have course code CSE. See the Graduate Handbook for additional course policies.


The CS Core ensures students are prepared for graduate study and have a background in computer theory suitable for a graduate in computer science.

  • One Seminar Course: CSE 8011: Seminar (if not previously completed)
  • Two Theory Courses: CSE 8833: Algorithms, CSE 8813: Theory of Computation, or CSE 8843: Complexity of Sequential and Parallel Algorithms.

The required theory course is in addition to any single theory course taken in previous study at the full graduate level; if the student had taken two theory courses at that level, one can be imported as applicable. Classes designated as theory by the faculty can in advance can be used to substitute for the theory requirement on a case-by-case basis.

Depth Requirement

The depth requirement allow students to chose where to focus their studies; depth courses (listed below) delve deeper into research areas of the department. All courses in the depth requirement must be from the same area or approved by their committee.

Breadth Requirement

The breadth requirement allows students to gain a broader understanding of the computing discipline. These are additional courses outside of their depth area.

Research Areas

The department has pre-identified courses and their research areas for choosing depth and breadth courses. If a course is listed in multiple areas, it can count only once on a program of study. The student’s Graduate Committee has final approval of all applicable courses. Currently approved research area courses are listed below; others may be used given a committee's approval including some non-CSE courses.

Artificial Intelligence Area
  • Split Level: CSE 6633: Intro to Artificial Intelligence, CSE 6643: AI Robotics, CSE 6683: Machine Learning and Soft Computing, CSE 6693: Intro to Machine Learning
  • Graduate Level: CSE 8613: Cognitive Skill Models, CSE 8673: Machine Learning, CSE 9633: Topics in Artificial Intelligence
Computational Science Area
  • Split Level: CSE 6163: Design of Parallel Algorithms, CSE 6623: Computational Biology
  • Graduate Level: CSE 8163: Parallel and Distributed Scientific Computing, CSE 8843: Sequential & Parallel Algorithms
Graphics Area
  • Split Level: CSE 6413: Principles of Computer Graphics, CSE 6453: Game Design
  • Graduate Level: CSE 8413: Visualization, CSE 8433: Advanced Computer Graphics
Human-Centered Computing Area
  • Split Level: CSE 6663: Human Computer Interaction
  • Graduate Level: CSE 8283: Empirical Software Engineering, CSE 8613: Cognitive Skill Models
Software Engineering Area
  • Split Level: CSE 6214: Introduction to Software Engineering, CSE 6223: Management of Software Projects, CSE 6233: SW Architecture & Design, CSE 6253: Secure Software Engineering, CSE 6283: Software Testing & QA
  • Graduate Level: CSE 8233: Software Engineering Project Management, CSE 8253: Software Design, CSE 8275: Software Requirements Engineering, CSE 8283: Empirical Software Engineering
Cyber Security & Systems Area
  • Split Level: CSE 6153: Data Communication & Computer Networks, CSE 6173: Cryptography, CSE 6243: Information & Computer Security, CSE 6273: Introduction to Computer Forensics, CSE 6363: Software Reverse Engineering, CSE 6383: Network Security
  • Graduate Level: CSE 8713: Advanced Cyber Operations, CSE 8743: Advanced Network Security, CSE 8753: Wireless Networks

Dissertation Hours

Graduate students must complete at minimum 20 credit hours of dissertation research, indicated by CSE 9000 sections under the direction the major professor or dissertation director. CSE 8000 Thesis Research hours cannot count towards this total. Dissertation hours are generally taken after the Preliminary exam has been passed.

Additional Hours

Beyond the required coursework and dissertation hours, 10 additional hours are required that can be a mix of graded coursework and dissertation hours. These hours must be completed at State.

Previous Catalogs

For students that were admitted before the current Graduate Catalog, please refer to the Catalog archives for relevant information on your program of study: