Computer Science and Engineering

Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering

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Why Choose Computer Science and Engineering?

Complete your graduate study with a Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science and Engineering.

The Ph.D. is the highest degree awarded by Wright State University. This pinnacle academic credential shows that you have mastered a body of skills and knowledge in your field of study. It prepares you for a career as an independent and productive scholar. You will be working closely with faculty on significant technological challenges of importance and mutual interest.

When you graduate with a Ph.D. in computer science and engineering you will be able to:

  • Contribute to high-quality, peer-reviewed publications in venues appropriate to your field of study
  • Establish independent research programs in your area of expertise
  • Effectively communicate technical concepts to your peers

We have a mixture of courses that can be taken during the day, evening, or online. This lets you start your Ph.D. program as either a part-time or a full-time student.

Program strengths include:

  • Faculty expertise
  • Well-equipped laboratory facilities
  • A curriculum that combines theory, software, and hardware
  • Opportunities to work with faculty members on research projects

A solid background in these core computer science skills will help you with your graduate degree:

  • Computer programming
  • Computer organization
  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Programming languages
  • Operating systems
  • Problem-solving and implementation using computer programming

Success Stories

Hussein S. Al-Olimat earned his Ph.D. in computer science in 2019 from Wright State, conducing research on "Knowledge-enabled Entity Extraction" with Kno.e.sis.

Monireh Ebrahimi is the recipient of the WWW2017 Outstanding Reviewer Award.

Academics and Curriculum

View the Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering program information, outcomes, and requirements in the Academic Catalog.


Admission to the Ph.D. program is competitive. The expected qualifications for admission to the Ph.D. program include:

  • A Bachelor of Science or a Master of Science degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related discipline from an accredited institution with a grade point average of 3.3 or higher.
  • Satisfaction of the admission requirements as set forth by the Graduate School
  • A record that indicates the potential for a career in computer science and engineering research

We recommend knowledge of the following areas.

  • High-level programming languages and data structures
  • Computer organization and architecture
  • Formal languages and computer science theory
  • Operating systems
  • Calculus
  • Probability and statistics
  • Linear algebra
  • Discrete mathematics

Making up minor deficiencies after admission to the program may be possible by taking appropriate courses. Meeting the expected qualifications does not guarantee admission to the program.


At least one year of formal coursework in computer programming. Formal coursework in data structures, computer organization, and operating systems is also required. The materials covered in these courses should be equal to Wright State University courses. If you are lacking other prerequisite coursework you may be assigned additional prerequisite courses upon admission.

All Programs

The following courses are prerequisites that can be assigned for any of our graduate programs. 

Computer Engineering M.S.

The following course is a prerequisite that can be assigned for the computer engineering degree.


All Programs

  • A One-year sequence in calculus
  • Knowledge of  probability, and statistics
  • Knowledge of linear or matrix algebra
  • Coursework discrete math is preferred

Computer Engineering

  • A One-year sequence in calculus-based physics

International Students

Visit the International Admissions website for information on international graduate student admissions requirements.

How to Apply

Graduate students should apply for admission through Wright State's Graduate School.

Satisfying Ph.D. Requirements Checklist


Satisfy any assigned admission prerequisite courses

If you are assigned admission prerequisites register for at least one every semester until all the prerequisite courses are successfully completed with a grade of C or better.


Satisfy the qualifier requirements

To qualify for the program you should receive either 3 A’s or 2 A’s and a B in your core courses. You will be able to take the final exam one more time for each course that you do not receive an A if you do not meet these qualifications. If you have not satisfied the qualifier requirement after two years you are subject to dismissal from the Ph.D. program.


Select Dissertation Advisor and Committee

Your dissertation committee should consist of

  • At least three graduate faculty members from the Computer Science and Engineering department
  • One graduate faculty member from outside the department or university

To include a dissertation committee member from outside the department or university contact the graduate program coordinator for further instructions. We recommend that you do this at least one semester before the candidacy exam.


Submit the committee approval form to the department

Ph.D. Dissertation Committee Approval Form (PDF)


Complete residency research CS/CEG 8940

You should engage in at least 18 hours of residency research. You can continue to complete research hours until your research proposal is ready.

Thesis/Dissertation Handbook


Proposal Defense CS/CEG 8960

The candidacy exam (or proposal defense) is a presentation to the dissertation committee and the public, covering the current state of the art research in your area of interest, your preliminary research and results, and your plan for completion of the dissertation research. The dissertation director, in consultation with the dissertation committee, will determine when you have identified a program of research suitable for a Ph.D. dissertation and are prepared to take the candidacy examination.

The examination will consist of a public presentation and a question-and-answer period. The dissertation committee may also have an interrogatory session with you that is closed to the public. The candidacy exam will normally be administered after you have completed 18 credits of residency research.

Proposal defense steps

  • Register for CEG/CS8960 Proposal Defense
  • Work with your committee to set a date and time
  • Coordinate with the department for a room
  • Provide the graduate program coordinator with the date, time, committee, title, and abstract at least two weeks before the defense date.

You have one month following your defense to submit the following to the department.


Complete dissertation research CS/CEG 8950

You must complete at least 12 hours of dissertation research (CS/CEG 8950). Continue to register for dissertation research (CS/CEG 8950) until you have the results needed to complete your dissertation.

Thesis/Dissertation Handbook


Submit publication requirement

You must submit evidence of at least one high-quality journal paper or two papers in high-quality, peer-reviewed conference proceedings accepted for publication. These papers should cover the research described in your dissertation. You must be the first listed author or the corresponding author on each publication submitted.


Apply for Graduation

Refer to the Graduate School for the application deadlines.

Graduation Instructions


Dissertation Defense CS/CEG 8990

After completing your dissertation, you will defend your research results in front of your committee in public. You should provide a copy of your dissertation to the committee at least two weeks before your defense.

Dissertation defense steps

  • Register for CEG/CS8990 Dissertation Defense
  • Work with your committee to set a date and time
  • Coordinate with the department for a room
  • Send a copy of your dissertation to the Assistant to the Chair at least two weeks before the defense date
  • Provide the graduate program coordinator with the date, time, committee, title, and abstract at least two weeks before the defense date.

Following your successful defense, submit the following to the department.

  • Electronic copy of the approved dissertation 
  • The completed and signed (by your committee) signature page

Upload final document to OhioLink 

Take the Next Step

Finding the right college means finding the right fit. See all that the College of Engineering and Computer Science has to offer by visiting campus.