Doctor of Philosophy in Computing

The University of Michigan-Flint’s Doctor of Philosophy in Computing degree program is uniquely created to foster qualified faculty and researchers who can lead and innovate in the many fields of computing. 

The Computing PhD program is designed for on-campus, full-time students to develop an understanding as world-class researchers, educators, and academic leaders. All admission offers are for the Fall and Winter terms only. 

Do you aspire to serve as a researcher or educator in computing? If so, learn more about our program highlights, curriculum, and admission requirements.

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Why Get a PhD in Computing at UM-Flint?

Rapid changes in technology and innovation in the ongoing computerization of society are fundamentally changing how computing industries in Michigan design, produce and deliver products and services to their customers. Such changes create a significant need for computer scientists with advanced data management, data science, systems, security, and software engineering knowledge.

This need is also being recognized by manufacturing and service industries in Michigan, encouraging their technical workforce to advance their knowledge, skills, and expertise in these areas through graduate-level education and training. For many such scientists and engineers, this means education beyond the master’s degree in focused, specialized areas of computer and information science that can be best offered through a doctoral program.

Dig Deeper and Inspire Others

The Computing PhD program empowers students to pursue a fruitful teaching and research trajectory in higher education or industry.

Graduates of the PhD in Computing program are well prepared to assume leadership roles in academia as faculty members as well as individuals at the forefront of cutting-edge research in innovation and technology industries.

Build Your Record of Academic Research

As a student in the PhD program, you work alongside UM-Flint’s distinguished College of Innovation and Technology faculty members on research projects that align with faculty research areas while reflecting your personal scholarly and professional interests. With research being the focal point of the program of study, you can build your record of publications and presentations valued in academia.

As part of the world-renowned University of Michigan community, you can access the academic and research resources at the Flint, Dearborn, and Ann Arbor campuses.

Scholarship Opportunities for Your PhD in Computing

Our PhD program adheres to the CIT full-funding model for PhD students. All PhD students receive full funding as an appointment as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), Research Assistant (GSRA), or a combination of both, which covers a monthly stipend, health insurance, and tuition waiver.

Students admitted to the program are fully funded for up to five years. Funding is guaranteed based on continued good academic standing and adequate progress toward the PhD degree. Because of this guaranteed funding, the PhD in Computing program is only open to full-time students with the capacity for regular on-campus presence.

Program Curriculum

The Doctor of Philosophy in Computing degree is research-oriented, meaning student performance is primarily evaluated based on peer-reviewed publication capability and output. The program curriculum requires at least 38 credits of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree and at least 24 dissertation credits., depending on your educational background. You need to pass a Qualifying examination and a Preliminary examination in order to be granted candidacy status. To graduate from the Computing PhD program, you also need to complete a dissertation research project, with the expectation of peer-reviewed publications stemming from your dissertation research.

Each student is guided by a research advisor and a dissertation committee and has to pass the following major milestones:

  • Identifying the faculty advisor and research topic
  • Completion of required coursework
  • Passing the qualifying examination consists of two parts:
  • Curriculum exam
  • Research proficiency exam
  • Advancement to candidacy
  • Forming the dissertation committee
  • Passing the dissertation proposal examination
  • Completion of required research credit hours
  • Preparation of a written dissertation and its oral defense

Review the Computing (PhD) program curriculum and course list.

Academic Advising

At UM-Flint, we are proud to provide expert academic advisors to guide your educational journey toward achieving a PhD degree in Computing. For academic advising, please reach out to the PhD in Computing program director, Dr. Doug Zytko ([email protected]).

Career Outlook for PhDs in Computing

The PhD program in Computing offers great opportunities for you after graduation to take academic faculty positions opportunities or join the industry as a research or applied scientist. There is a dramatically increasing demand for PhD graduates in academia and industry.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the PhD in Computing program will meet the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering, applied mathematics, computer science, or physical science from an accredited institution in the United States (or equivalent in another country). Students from other areas with insufficient background in computing who are accepted into the program can be assigned remedial courses to complete.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher on a 4-point scale for the B.S. degree and 3.5 or higher on a 4-point scale for the Master’s degree.
  • Completion of prerequisite courses or their equivalents:
    • Students are required to have completed
      • Calculus I
      • Calculus II
      • Linear Algebra.
    • One course in data structures
    • One course in computer organization
    • One course in operating systems
    • One course in programming
    • One course in calculus-based probability and statistics.

Note: You are encouraged to speak with the Director of the PhD in Computing program regarding your eligibility for admission. Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee entrance into the program.

Applying to the PhD in Computing Program

It is strongly suggested that, prior to submitting an application, prospective students meet with the Director of the PhD in Computing program, Dr. Doug Zytko ([email protected]) to discuss career and professional development goals and to help determine if the UM-Flint PhD in Computing program can provide a good fit. prospective students must also meet with individual faculty members who may serve as dissertation chairs prior to applying to determine if there is a match between the student’s and faculty’s research interests. The Director of the PhD in Computing program can assist in identifying applicable faculty members
To be considered for admission, submit the following to the Office of Graduate Programs:

  • Application for Graduate Admission
  • $55 application fee (non-refundable)
  • Official transcript from the colleges or universities where you earned your degree(s) as well as any transcript that shows completion of prerequisite coursework. Please read our full transcript policy for more information.
  • For any degree completed at a non-US institution, transcripts must be submitted for an internal credential review. Read the following for instructions on how to submit your transcripts for review.
  • If English is not your native language, and you are not from an exempt country, you must demonstrate English proficiency.
  • English Language Proficiency: Applicants who have earned or will earn a Bachelor or Master degree from an institution where the language of instruction is exclusively English, are exempt from submitting an Official English Proficiency Score. All others must submit such a score. Required minimum overall scores can be found here
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least one of which must come from former faculty.
  • A clearly defined Statement of Purpose that should explain professional goals and reasons for pursuing a doctorate degree in computer and information science, describe prior research experiences and personal research interests, and identify one or two CIT faculty with matching research interests.
    • Statements may be submitted online during the application process or emailed to [email protected].
  • Students from abroad must submit additional documentation.

This program is an on-campus program with in-person courses. As a new academic degree, this program is not currently accepting applications from international students seeking an F-1 visa. This program will accept international students and issue I-20 as soon as authorization from the Department of Homeland Security is received. Students living abroad are unable to complete this program online in their home country. Other nonimmigrant visa holders currently in the United States please contact the Center for Global Engagement at [email protected].

Application Deadlines

If you are interested in applying for an upcoming class, please follow the application deadlines as outlined below:

  • April 1 (Fall)
  • September 1 (Winter)

Learn More about UM-Flint’s Computing PhD Program

Combine your passion for teaching and research to pursue a career in computing. With ample research opportunities and a rigorous curriculum, the University of Michigan-Flint’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computing degree empowers you to lead, mentor, and inspire as a scientist and an educator. For further information, please reach out to the PhD in Computing program director, Dr. Doug Zytko ([email protected]).