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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Computer Science and Engineering (CSE)

Program Home Page

CHITARANJAN DAS, Head of the Department
Information Sciences and Technology Building
814-865-9505

Degrees Conferred:

Ph.D., M.S., M.Eng.
Dual-Title Ph.D., M.S., and M.Eng. in Operations Research

The Graduate Faculty

 

The Program

The department offers courses and is prepared to direct research in a variety of subfields of computer science and engineering, including VLSI, computer architecture, parallel/distributed processors and processing, multiprocessors, interconnection networks, pattern recognition and image processing, performance evaluation, reliability, fault tolerance, theory of computation, computer systems, numerical analysis and optimization, programming methodology, and analysis of algorithms. Research and instruction are supported by extensive computing facilities within the University's Information Technology Services and by the computer laboratories operated by the department.

Admission Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin. Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission.

All applicants must provide a one-page statement of purpose and scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) Aptitude Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical). A subject test in the GRE is not required, but the subject test in Computer Science is recommended.

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants. Consult the English Proficiency section of the Graduate Bulletin Application and Admission Procedures page for more information.

Those students seeking an assistantship in Computer Science and Engineering ARE REQUIRED to submit a Test of Spoken English (TSE) or the TOEFL iBT. A score of 26 on the speaking section of the TOEFL iBT is equivalent to passing the TSE. A lower score would require remedial English as a Second Language courses. For score reporting for TOEFL, the institution code is 2660 and the department code is 78.

Master's Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

All students are expected to have completed appropriate courses in computer architecture and machine organization, data structures and analysis of algorithms, programming languages, operating systems, and logical design/switching theory or theory of automata. Students who do not meet background requirements will be required to take the appropriate 400-level courses to prepare them for the 500-level courses. At most, 3 credits of background course work can be used to satisfy the degree requirements except as specified for the M.Eng. degree. Students admitted to the M.S. program will not be permitted to switch to the M. Eng. program at a later time, except under extenuating circumstances and at the discretion of the program.

A minimum of 30 credits is required for the M.S. degree:

  • 15 credits of courses numbered CSE 500 through 589, including a minimum of 9 credits that satisfy a breadth requirement. The list of courses that will satisfy the breadth requirement is maintained by the program office;
  • 9 credits of 400-, 500-, or 800-level courses (excluding independent studies courses). This must include at least 1, and at most 2, credits of CSE 590 (Colloquium);
  • 6 credits of thesis research (CSE 600 or 610)

Students must complete and defend an M.S. thesis. The thesis must be accepted by the advisers and/or committee members, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

A minimum of 30 credits is required for the M. Eng. degree:

  • Fall Semester: CMPSC 465(3); either (CMPSC 443(3) and CMPSC 431(3)) or (CMPEN 431(3) and CMPEN 472(3)); and 3 credits in CSE 500-589 or 597.
  • Spring Semester: 12 credits in CSE 500-589 or 597.
  • Summer Semester: CSE 820(3) and CSE 594(3).

The culminating experience for the program is a paper completed while the student is enrolled in CSE 594.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Students applying for and gaining admittance to the Ph.D. program will not be permitted to switch to the master's program at a later date, except under extenuating circumstances, at the discretion of the program. To qualify for a Ph.D. degree, students who do not have an M.S. degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering must take a minimum of 33 credits, including:

  • 6 credits of CSE 565(3), CSE 511(3), or CSE 530(3);
  • 15 credits of CSE courses, excluding CSE 596 and 598;
  • 9 credits of 400-, 500-, or 800-level courses in CSE/EE/MATH/STAT, or 500- or 800-level IST courses (which may include up to 3 credits of CSE 596);
  • 2 credits of CSE 590 Colloquium; and
  • 1 credit of CSE 591.

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program with an M.S. degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering must take a minimum of 21 credits, including:

  • 6 credits of CSE 565(3), CSE 511(3), or CSE 530(3);
  • 9 credits of CSE courses, excluding CSE 596 and 598;
  • 3 credits of 400-, 500-, or 800-level courses in CSE/EE/MATH/STAT, or 500- or 800-level IST courses (which may include up to 3 credits of CSE 596);
  • 2 credits of CSE 590 Colloquium; and
  • 1 credit of CSE 591

A student must pass the Ph.D. candidacy examination by the third regular semester after entering the program. After completion of most of the course work and meeting the English competency requirement, students must pass the Ph.D. comprehensive examination. A dissertation must be completed under the direction of the doctoral committee and the results must be successfully defended in the final oral examination.

To earn the Ph.D. degree, doctoral candidates must write a dissertation that is accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Dual-Title Ph.D., M.S., and M.Eng. in Operations Research

Admissions Requirements

Students must apply and be admitted to the graduate program in Computer Science and Engineering and The Graduate School before they can apply for admission to the dual-title degree program. After admission to their primary program, students must apply for admission to and meet the admissions requirements of the Operations Research dual-title program. Refer to the Admission Requirements section of the Operations Research Bulletin page. Doctoral students must be admitted into the dual-title degree program in Operations Research prior to obtaining candidacy in their primary graduate program.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the dual-title degree, students must satisfy the degree requirements for the degree they are enrolled in Computer Science and Engineering, listed above. In addition, students must complete the degree requirements for the dual-title in Operations Research, listed on the Operations Research Bulletin page.

The candidacy examination committee for the dual-title Ph.D. degree will be composed of Graduate Faculty from Computer Science and Engineering and must include at least one Graduate Faculty member from the Operations Research program. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. There will be a single candidacy examination, containing elements of both Computer Science and Engineering and Operations Research. Dual-title graduate degree students may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements for both areas of study and, therefore, the candidacy examination may be delayed one semester beyond the normal period allowable.

In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for doctoral committees, the doctoral committee of a Computer Science and Engineering and Operations Research dual-title Ph.D. student must include at least one member of the Operations Research Graduate Faculty. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. If the chair of the doctoral committee is not also a member of the Graduate Faculty in Operations Research, the member of the committee representing Operations Research must be appointed as co-chair. The Operations Research representative on the student’s doctoral committee will develop questions for and participate in the evaluation of the comprehensive examination.

Students in the dual-title program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that is approved in advance by their doctoral committee and reflects their original research and education in Computer Science and Engineering and Operations Research. Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. The dissertation must be accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin. Students on assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set forth in the Graduate Bulletin.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING (CSE) course list

Last Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2017

Blue Sheet Item #: 45-06

Review Date: 4/4/2017

Faculty linked: 6/5/14

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