Graduate Programs

PhD in Computer Science or Computer Engineering

We offer unique, cutting edge degrees in either Computer Science or Computer Engineering. Our faculty's diverse research interests and multidisciplinary approach allow you to customize your PhD experience and find solutions to real-world problems in a collaborative environment.

If you are interested in learning more about our program, including access to webinars discussing various aspects of PhD studies at WashU and virtual lab tours, please register here:
 McKelvey PhD Virtual Showcase

Application Deadline: December 15

Start your PhD application

FAQs for prospective PhD students

Full Support & Funding

Our PhD students are fully funded, including full tuition support and health insurance.

As a doctoral candidate, you will also receive a generous stipend to cover living expenses and a new, high-end Apple laptop computer. This support is guaranteed as you continue to make satisfactory progress towards your degree.

Additionally, doctoral students may also qualify for one of the fellowships:

Faculty & Research Spotlight

Talented Faculty Mentors

Our department covers the full breadth of computer science and engineering, with no two faculty members researching the same topic. Each focuses on unique problems and collaborates across disciplines to develop practical solutions and advance understanding. Many of our faculty members are also ACM and IEEE Fellows as well as members of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Many of our faculty are recipients of the NSF CAREER Award, as well as other prestigious awards such as the Sloan Fellowship and have been named to Popular Science Magazine’s 100 Best Innovations. Our faculty publish papers at top notch conferences and prestigious journals such as the ACM, IEEE, SIAM Journals, and the Journal of Computational Biology.

Freedom in Research

Students are not immediately paired with a research adviser (though they do have an academic adviser from day one). Matching students to research advisers takes place after participating in "rotations". During your first semester, you will learn on small research projects with different faculty members, allowing you the freedom to select a research topic and adviser that truly meet your unique interests.

Professional Experience & Exposure

Many of our students present papers at international conferences and attend doctoral consortiums with top researchers. As a doctoral candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, you will contribute groundbreaking research, gain exposure, and invaluable experience that will translate to an exciting, challenging, and well compensated career.

Options After Graduation

A PhD from WashU opens doors to a variety of careers in either academia or industry with high-growth potential. Graduates can start their own company or 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. 

Average Starting Salaries

with stock options and bonuses
Tenure-track positions
for assistant professor 9-month positions

Resources for current students

Doctoral Program Guide

Engineering PhD forms