Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and The Tandy School of Computer Science jointly offer the program leading to the Ph.D. degree in computer engineering.

The Computer Engineering doctoral program has a set of six core courses (total of 18 hours) that will cover the basic concepts each graduate of this program is expected to know. Upon completion of these core courses, students can pursue research and course work that will emphasize either the Computer Science or Electrical Engineering aspect of this joint degree.

Applicants for the doctoral program in Computer Engineering must hold a baccalaureate degree or a master’s degree from accredited institutions in the United States or from a recognized institution in another country. A doctoral applicant who has earned a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering (EE), Computer Science (CS), Computer Engineering (CE) or a closely related discipline must have a minimum of 3.0/4.0 GPA. An applicant who does not have a master’s degree must have a minimum of 3.5/4.0 GPA with a baccalaureate degree in CS, EE, CE or a closely related discipline.

Each application must include a letter of intent describing the applicant’s interests and career objectives, plus a list of three references that can be contacted or three letters of reference. All applicants must also submit Graduate Record General Examination (GRE) scores.

International applicants whose native language is not English must submit, in addition to the above, a minimum TOEFL score of 80 on the internet-based exam or 550 on the paper exam, with a program preference for TOEFL scores of 90 and 575 or higher. Non-native English speakers may substitute a minimum score of 6.0 on the IELTS examination for the TOEFL, with a program preference for an IELTS score of 6.5. Applicants with more than 12 hours (four courses) of deficiency will not be eligible for admission. Applicants who lack only a few (less than 12 hours, 4 courses) of the computer science or electrical engineering undergraduate proficiency courses may be admitted conditionally to the doctoral program, but they will be required to remove those deficiencies by taking prescribed undergraduate courses and obtaining a grade of B or better in each deficiency course as soon as possible and within the first year.

A complete list of the computer science or electrical engineering undergraduate deficiency courses is available from the respective departments.

A minimum of 72 credit hours (including a minimum of 48 course hours plus a minimum of 18 dissertation hours) beyond the baccalaureate degree is required for the Ph.D. These may include a maximum of 30 credit hours applied from the master’s degree.

Minimum total credit hours of graduate credit above the baccalaureate level  72 
Minimum credit hours of research and dissertation (not including master’s degree thesis)  18
Minimum credit hours in computer engineering  18
Minimum credit hours in mathematics    6
Maximum of 30 hours from MS degree (approval of the committee)  30
Minimum credit hours in computer science or electrical engineering


Maximum credit hours of 6000-level courses  18
Maximum credit hours of independent study  12

An important feature of the joint Ph.D. Program in Computer Engineering is the articulation of four core areas: Theory, Architecture, Hardware, and Systems. Students will have to complete 18 hours of courses in these four areas, with at least one course in Theory (T), one course in Architecture (A), two courses in Hardware (H), and two courses in Systems (S).  

A minimum of 48 credit hours can be earned in course work and independent study, which may include a maximum of 30 graduate course hours with grade of B or better applied from the master’s degree.  

All courses outside of computer science and electrical engineering must have the approval of the student’s doctoral committee and must be taken for a letter grade.