Doctoral Program

The Doctoral Program (Ph.D.) in Computer and Information Science (CIS) welcomes candidates in disciplines related to computer science, information processing, and computing. Our curriculum is designed to develop the intellectual skills essential for the rapidly changing character of research and to meet the demands of academe and industry. Students develop their own advanced study focus, working with faculty mentors on topics ranging from the core computer science discipline to diverse scholarly interactions within the School of Engineering and the University.

Doctoral studies in the CIS department offer the opportunity for rewarding exploration and research. Research opportunities span a wide range of theoretical and application topics including algorithms, bioinformatics, databases, graphics, machine learning, programming languages, robotics, security, software engineering, systems, vision, as well as interdisciplinary collaborations with fields such as biology, electrical engineering, genetics, linguistics, and mathematics.

Our research laboratories offer myriad possibilities for exploration. Seminars hosting outstanding leaders in their fields at our departmental and laboratories’ colloquia provide rigor, breadth, and relevance to the research and education experience. The University of Pennsylvania’s schools and research centers create an academic environment whose synergy informs research and education in the CIS department.

Our faculty prepare our doctoral students to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders, and visionaries. The CIS department is an exciting place to be, and we invite you to join us.  Read more about our research areas and highlights of projects and activities.

New Concentration in “Machine Learning + X”

Recognizing the integration of machine learning into all specializations of computer science: starting in Fall 2020, the department is offering applicants the opportunity to specify a new concentration called “Machine Learning + X” as the primary concentration, where X is any of several existing specializations in computer science that intersect with machine learning. Such applicants must identify one or two of these specializations as their 2nd and 3rd concentrations.  The department has exciting research projects at the intersection of machine learning and these specializations.

“Machine Learning + X” cannot be used as your 2nd or 3rd concentration. This concentration is used to facilitate review of your application by the faculty listed in the specializations above, based on your choice(s) of the 2nd and 3rd concentrations.


How to Apply:


Program Requirements
Graduate Program:

Your CIS Contacts:

Redian Furxhiu
Graduate Coordinator for on-campus MCIT, CIS/MSE and CGGT programs
Office: 308 Levine
Phone: 215-898-1668

Staci Kaplan
Program Manager for DATS (Data Science MSE)
Office: 308 Levine
Phone: 215-573-2431

Britton Carnevali
Doctoral Program Manager
Office: 310 Levine
Phone: 215-898-5515

Mariel Celentano
Graduate Coordinator for ROBO
Office: 459 Levine
Phone: 215-573-4907

Liz Wai-Ping Ng
Associate Director for Embedded Systems MSE program
Office: 313 Levine
Phone: 215-898-8543

Julia Esposito
PICS Program Coordinator, SCMP Academic Coordinator
Office: 3401 Walnut, 5th Fl.
Phone: 215-573-6037