UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Computer Science - Engineering

Department of Computer Science, Harold Frank Hall, Room 2104;
Telephone (805) 893-4321
Web site: www.cs.ucsb.edu
Chair: Tevfik Bultan
Vice Chair: Chandra Krintz
Vice Chair: Ben Hardekopf

Graduate Program


All students must satisfy the University’s requirements as described in the UCSB online catalog in “Graduate Education.” Applicants to the Department of Computer Science must have a bachelor’s degree in some discipline of science, engineering, or mathematics.

Applicants must have a grade-point average of at least 3.0. Satisfactory performance in the verbal, quantitative, analytical sections of the Graduate Record Examination is required of all applicants. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Students who have completed an undergraduate or graduate education at an institution whose primary language of instruction is English may request an exception to this requirement. Applicants who have received a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a U.S. college or university are exempt from this requirement.

All application materials for graduate study must be received by December 15.

Please note: The Computer Science Department admits students to the graduate program only in fall quarter.

Students may apply directly to the Ph.D. program without a master’s degree. However, a solid background in computer science or one or more fields of science and engineering is expected. Applicants to the Ph.D. program must have a grade-point average of at least 3.5. Students entering this program should be committed to completing a Ph.D. The department discourages students petitioning to switch to the master’s program; such petitions are approved only under exceptional circumstances.

There are three plans for the Master of Science program: thesis, comprehensive examination, or project.

Master of Science – Computer Science, Plan 1 Thesis (Requirements - PDF)

Master of Science – Computer Science, Plan 2 Examination (Requirements - PDF)

Master of Science – Computer Science, Plan 2 Project (Requirements - PDF)

The purpose of the Master of Science program is to provide advanced training in computer science to prepare students for positions in industry and government, or for further graduate study.

Doctor of Philosophy – Computer Science (Requirements - PDF)

The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy program in computer science is to prepare students for research and teaching positions in universities and colleges, and for research and leadership positions in industry and government. The primary aim of the program is to train students in the methods of scientific inquiry and independent research. This is accomplished through advanced coursework and active participation with the faculty in their research programs. Doctor of Philosophy students are expected to have a broad knowledge of all fields of computer science and have a deep understanding of at least one of its areas. In addition to this requirement, a Doctor of Philosophy student must be up to date in all the developments in his/her major area of specialization. The most important component of the Doctor of Philosophy program is learning to perform independent and significant research in one’s area of specialization.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree typically are completed in four to five years, depending on whether or not a student enters the program with an M.S. in computer science.

Optional Interdisciplinary Emphases

Students pursuing a doctoral degree in Computer Science may petition to add the following Optional Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Emphases: Bioengineering, Cognitive Science, Computational Science and Engineering (CSE is available to both Master's and Doctoral Students), Information Technology and Society, Neuroengineering.

Requirement sheets for each emphasis may be found on this page.