Doctor of Philosophy
School of Computing
Wichita State University

The PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degree program is designed for students interested in pursuing an academic and/or industrial research and development career, in a specialization offered by the department. The School of Computing offers research opportunities in several areas of specialization, such as Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Data Privacy, Data Science, Machine Learning, Robotics, and Software Engineering.

Students with a completed MS or BS degree can be admitted into the PhD program.  The WSU major codes are: G10G for the MS-to-PhD program, and G10H for the BS-to-PhD program.  Both programs are offered jointly by the School of Computing and the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering.  All students in the School of Computing must choose the Computer Science (CS) track, and those in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering choose the Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) track.

Admission Requirements

Admission into the School of Computing PhD program requires a completed master's or bachelor's degree, with a grade point average of at least 3.250 in computer science, data science, or a related field.  GRE is not required. 

Graduate Assistantships

The School of Computing tries to offer Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) to all its eligible PhD students.  All domestic students automatically qualify for these assistantships.  In order to be eligible for these assistantships, all international students must already have one of the following: A score of 23 or higher on the Speaking component of TOEFL, OR a score of 7.0 or higher on the Speaking portion of IELTS, OR a score of 50 or higher on the Test of Spoken English (TSE).  The TSE/SPEAK test can be conducted on the WSU campus.  Please note that PTE or Duolingo scores are not acceptable for GTA positions.

In addition, a few Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) are sometimes available.  They are always awarded by individual faculty, and a student needs to contact their PhD advisor to check for availability.  These assistantships do not have any TOEFL/IELTS/TSE score requirement.

Program Requirements

In addition to the College of Engineering's PhD requirements, the School of Computing requires the following:

Each student is encouraged to secure an advisor to supervise their PhD dissertation research as early as possible, preferably before completion of their first academic year in the program.


A PhD Plan-of-Study should contain a minimum of 72 total credit hours, beyond undergraduate study, with the following requirements:

  • 24 credit hours of CS 976 PhD Dissertation.
  • 36 credit hours of coursework, including a maximum of 24 credit hours that can transfer from a master's degree. All these credits should be relevant to the School of Computing (i.e., offered by graduate programs in computer science, data science, or a related field).
  • Twelve (12) credit hours of additional coursework, CS 976, or a combination of both.

PhD Qualifying Exam

The student's PhD advisory committee, at the request of the advisor, conducts a PhD Qualifying Exam to evaluate the student's research readiness to eventually complete the dissertation requirements. The committee determines whether the student has demonstrated a preliminary understanding of the research literature relevant to the intended research direction.

The Qualifying Exam is scheduled only after an approved plan-of-study is on file.  The student is encouraged to complete the Qualifying Exam within the initial two academic years in the program. A link to the Qualifying Exam Form to be filled is below.

The advisor, in consultation with the committee, may require the student to retake the Qualifying Exam, if there are significant changes in the student's studies since the last successful attempt (e.g., original advisor, or committee, or dissertation-direction changes).

PhD Dissertation Proposal Exam

The Dissertation Proposal Exam is required to ensure that the student's proposed research outcomes and publication plan qualify as a PhD dissertation.  The Dissertation Proposal Exam is scheduled only after the Qualifying Exam has been successfully cleared.


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