Program Overview

The Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science program is a research-oriented degree designed to address the growing needs of industries and organizations for engineering professionals with advanced knowledge, technical skills and the ability to conduct high quality applied research in computer and information science. The program offers concentrations in data management, data science, systems and security, and software engineering.

The Ph.D. in CIS program requires core, concentration, and cognate coursework, curriculum and preliminary examinations, a thesis topic examination, a written dissertation, and an oral defense of the dissertation. The Ph.D. degree will be offered to quality students who have completed, with distinction, either a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree in computer science or a closely related field.

The Ph.D. in CIS degree requirements include a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework and 24 credit hours of dissertation for Ph.D. students entering the program without a prior M.S. degree. These students will work toward an M.S. in Computer and Information Science or M.S. in Software Engineering degree as part of the candidacy requirements. Both the MS in CIS and MS in SWE programs are Rackham degree programs and require 30 credit hours of letter-graded work.

Students with a prior M.S. degree will follow a different route. They must satisfy the same course requirements or equivalent courses from other institutions as approved by the CIS Ph.D. Graduate Committee. Additionally, they must satisfy the requirement of coursework in residence -- 18 credit hours of coursework in the form of letter-grade coursework or directed study other than doctoral dissertation -- all taken at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Waiver of this requirement may be considered for students who obtained their Master's degree from a Rackham program in a similar area, and whose coursework meets the requirements of the Ph.D. in CIS program.

Student financial support:

The department offers a competitive financial aid package in the form of an appointment as a graduate student instructor (GSI) or research assistant (GSRA) to all admitted students without external funding or employment. 

All admitted students are required to register every fall and winter term until graduation or have an approved leave of absence.  Students are also required to follow the timeline for completing the program milestones, requirements, and expectations to remain in good standing in the program.

Currently employed student are encouraged to apply with evidence of employer support. 

All admissions are for the Fall term only.

If you have additional questions, please contact the program chair: Dr. Brahim Medjahed.

The specific learning goals of the Ph.D. in CIS degree program are:

  • An ability to use the necessary analytical skills to develop creative solutions for complex computer and information science problems
  • An ability to conduct high-quality original basic and translational research in areas of computer and information science
  • An ability to assume the varied responsibilities and opportunities of research careers in areas of computer and information science