Ph.D. Program


The Ph.D. in Computer Science at UNM is a research-intensive program, which trains students for research careers in computer science and fields of study that rely on computing, for teaching at the university level, for consulting, for industrial employment entailing advance design and analysis skills, and for the pursuit of innovative entrepreneurial opportunities.

The program features quick-start introductory classes for students arriving from other disciplines, a small set of required courses covering core areas of computer science, and an intensive structured research experience with our internationally recognized faculty.

The five outcomes for the Ph.D. program are:

  1. Knowledge of Computer Science fundamentals appropriate for discipline and specialization.
  2. Depth of knowledge in specialization.
  3. Ability to conduct original and independent research.
  4. Ability to perform critical review of literature in Computer Science and area of specialization.
  5. Ability to communicate effectively.

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  • Computer science fundamentals. Currently, two specially designed courses are required of students without a strong undergraduate training in computer science or returning students who have been out of school for a number of years; these classes facilitate quick integration into the program and improved performance levels in the core courses.
  • Three core areas: Theoretical Foundations, Computer Systems, and Empirical Methods. Students are required to take at least two courses from each of the three core areas and achieve a 3.5 GPA in the core classes.
  • At least two additional regular CS courses. At least one approved languages class, taken either as a core class or as an elective.
  • Research practicum and milestone.
  • Colloquium.
    • Student must register for 4 semesters of Colloquium.
    • Give at least one department colloquium before graduation.
  • One-semester teaching requirement, or equivalent.
  • Dissertation proposal.
  • Dissertation defense.
  • An annual evaluation by the department faculty.

It is intended that students will take the core courses and electives early in their career at UNM. Core courses, however, must be completed at least one semester before the dissertation proposal is defended; they do not need to be completed before the Research Milestone is passed.