Computer Science Doctoral Program Statement

Mission Statement

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is awarded by Case Western Reserve University to a student in recognition of deep and detailed knowledge of computer science (CS) and comprehensive understanding of related subjects together with a demonstration of the ability to perform independent investigations, to suggest new areas for research, and to communicate scientific information in an effective manner. The Ph.D. program in CS trains highly qualified students to become successful researchers in computer science and leaders in the field.  

A curriculum of coursework is provided to advance and deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of fundamentals in the field of computer science as well as their chosen subfield. The curriculum incorporates a multidisciplinary flavor by encouraging students to take courses in related fields.

Independent research strengthens their ability to synthesize and apply knowledge learned both in the classroom as well as through independent study. An environment of scholarship and professional participation builds their confidence and ability to interact with scientists and engineers globally.

Manner in which the Program Addresses Needs of the State or Region

The PhD program in CS at Case Western Reserve is dedicated to educating students who will assume leadership positions in industry, academia and government at the regional and state (as well as national and international) levels. Computer science and information technology forms the underpinning of most modern industries.

The PhD program in computer science at CWRU develops a highly skilled workforce to address the needs of Ohio’s industrial base, including financial, biotech, health care, energy, and software industries. Virtually all other Ohio industries are impacted as well.  

Graduates remaining in the State directly contribute to innovations and solutions to current challenges and to increasing the intellectual capital of the State and the region. Graduates leaving the State serve as ambassadors of Ohio, and help Ohio companies connect with opportunities around the world. 

Research breakthroughs and technology innovations will lead to new products and the formation of new companies and the building of existing companies within the State. The students and faculty of computer science help attract industry to Ohio, and help keep Ohio companies here.

Admission Standards

Graduate students shall be admitted upon recommendation of the faculty of the Computer and Data Sciences department.  The normal requirements include a strong record of scholarship in a completed bachelor’s degree (BS) program in computer science or related fields. GRE exams are required of all applicants, and TOEFL test (with a minimum score of 550 for the written test, 213 for the electronic test, or 80 for the internet based test) are required of international students. 

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in other fields may also be considered for admission generally on a provisional basis.  Such provisional students may be advanced to full standing upon completion of prerequisite conditions stipulated in the letter of admission.  

Three letters of recommendations are required. The files are reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee, and acceptance decisions are made based on a collective evaluation of all the above including the reputation of the applicant’s undergraduate institution and knowledge and familiarity of the applicants’ references.

Placement Objective for Students

A primary objective of the Computer and Data Sciences department is to prepare all students graduating with a PhD for placement in professional careers in industry, government agencies, national labs, the academy, or start-up companies engaged in activities that will positively impact the field of computer science.