Washington University, St. Louis Engineering
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PhD in Computer Science or Computer Engineering

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What makes WashU's PhD program unique?

Our faculty’s diverse research interests allow students to customize their PhD experience and find solutions to real-world problems. Students and faculty members work together in symbiotic relationships, and faculty members pay special attention to students to ensure student success in the program. The CSE department has a multidisciplinary paradigm that allows students and faculty to collaborate with other departments, guaranteeing interests are met.

Why should I consider a PhD at WashU?

  • Our PhD students are fully funded, including full tuition support and health insurance. As a doctoral candidate, you also receive a generous stipend to cover living expenses, as well as a new, high-end Apple laptop computer system to get started on research.
  • Students are not immediately assigned a thesis advisor (though they do have an academic advisor from day one). This affords freedom in selecting a research topic and a thesis advisor who matches your interests. Matching takes place after “rotations” in your first semester, during which you will work on small research projects with different faculty.
  • As a doctoral candidate, you will gain exposure to and contribute to groundbreaking research, giving you invaluable experience that will translate into an exciting, challenging, and well compensated job. Working closely with peers and faculty in a research environment also reinforces problem solving, critical thinking, and presentation and communication skills, which organizations highly favor.
  • A PhD from WashU opens doors to a variety of careers with high-growth potential. Graduates can start their own company, pursue careers in research and engineering at top companies such as Amazon, Boeing, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, or join universities such as Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, UT Austin, etc., in an academic (tenure-track or teaching) position.
  • The average starting industry salaries for students graduating from our PhD program range from $120,000 base to $230,000 with stock options and bonuses while tenure-track positions in academia average $95,000 for Assistant Professor 9-month positions.

How do I earn a PhD?

Students can choose to pursue a PhD in Computer Science or Computer Engineering. The requirements vary depending on which you choose. Here are the basics:

  • Complete 72 units, including at least 33 units of regular courses (each course is typically 3 units), at least 3 units of seminar courses, and at least 24 units of research credits
  • Satisfy fundamental and pedagogical teaching requirements
  • Pass milestones demonstrating abilities to understand research literature, communicate orally and in writing, and formulate a detailed research plan

For more information, check out our Doctoral Program Guide, which details exactly how you will earn your PhD. This PhD may be completed as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), and here is an example of the CSE MSTP (MD-PhD) timeline to help you understand how these programs would mesh.

Washington University in St. Louis School of Engineering & Applied Science, Department of Computer Science & Engineering

Jolley Hall, Suite 304, CB 1045, 1 Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, MO, USA 63130
Phone: (314) 935-6160, Fax: (314) 935-7302

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