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Why Pursue a Computer Science PhD

At UTSA, the Department of Computer Science offers comprehensive programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels, with approximately 400 undergraduates, 80 M.S. students and 70 PhD Students. The PhD in Computer Science offers opportunities for students to do advanced research in many fields. The research activities and experimental facilities have been well-supported by various federal research and infrastructure grants.

Research Opportunities

The research in the Department of Computer Science is supported by more than $10M in active research grants and contracts from various external funding agencies. PhD students conduct innovative research in cooperation with and under the supervision of department faculty. Activities of research assistants include implementing prototype systems, developing and proving new theories, conducting experiments, attending international conferences, and publishing their results in scientific journals.

The department’s 21 faculty members conduct research in a variety of areas including algorithms, bioinformatics, computer and information security, computer architecture, computer networks, databases, high performance computing, parallel and distributed systems, programming languages and compilers, and software engineering among others.

Computer Science

Admission & Application Requirements

Applications are submitted through the UTSA Graduate Application. Please upload all required documents (listed below) on your UTSA Graduate Application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure completion and submission of the application, a nonrefundable application fee, and all required supporting documents are on file with UTSA by the appropriate application deadline.

Computer Science (PhD)
  Required Degree Bachelor's Degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or have proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution
  Minimum GPA 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) departments may consider GPA of last 60 semester credit hours
  Coursework 18 credit hours in an area related to this graduate degree and at least 12 hours must be at the upper-division level
  Transcripts* Required from all institutions attended; international transcripts must be recorded/translated to English
  Credential Evaluation Required if you have earned university-level credit from foreign institutions. Submit an evaluation of your transcripts from Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) directly from the graduate admission application platform
  GRE Required scores not older than five years. Scores are currently waived for this program for the 2022-23 academic year.
  TOEFL/IELTS Score 550 TOEFL Paper / 79 TOEFL Internet / 6.5 IELTS scores for International applicants (exempt countries).
  Purpose Statement Required
  Resume Required
  Letters of Recommendation 3 letter(s) of recommendation demonstrating your academic and personal attributes for success in this program (you will request these through the Graduate Admissions Application; let your recommenders know of your deadline to ensure submissions are on time)
*Unofficial transcripts will be taken into consideration for admissions; however, if admitted into the program, you must submit official transcripts to the University.
Apply using 2021-22 Graduate Application Apply using 2022-23 Graduate Application

Admission Deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to have their admission file completed as early as possible. All applications, required documents and letters of recommendation, if applicable, must be submitted by 5:00 PM U.S. Central Time on the day of the deadline. Deadlines are subject to change.

Computer Science (PhD)
Completed applications will be reviewed for admission on a rolling basis. Decisions generally will be made and sent to applicants within 4 to 6 weeks of receiving the application.
  Fall Spring Summer
Priority November 1 September 1 Not Available
International February 1 September 1 Not Available
Domestic February 1 September 1 Not Available

Funding Opportunities

Program applicants will automatically be considered for scholarships, teaching assistantship and research assistantships.  Support for a typical PhD student offers financial compensation of $24,000 or more per year (12 months) in addition to covering tuition and fees. To learn more about graduate funding, click below.

Learn More

Career Options

UTSA prepares you for future careers that are in demand. The possible careers below is data pulled by a third-party tool called Emsi, which pulls information from sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, online job postings, other government databases and more to give you regional and national career outlook related to this academic program.


While in a doctoral program, a student may earn a master’s degree provided the following conditions are satisfied:

  • A student must be admitted to candidacy.
  • A student is eligible to receive a master’s degree upon completion of University-wide requirements and any additional degree requirements specific to the program.
  • The Doctoral Studies Committee, Department Chair, and the Graduate Associate Dean of the College must recommend students for the degree.
  • The student must apply for graduation by the published deadline the semester prior to awarding the doctoral degree.
  • All required coursework in the doctoral program at the time of admission to candidacy must have been taken within the previous six years.
  • If the master’s degree requires a thesis, the degree cannot be awarded on the basis of the doctoral qualifying examination.
  • Students will not be approved for an additional master’s degree in the same field in which an individual has previously received a master’s degree.

This program is housed on UTSA’s Main campus. Graduate courses are in late afternoons and evenings, accommodating part-time students very well.

Graduate Advisor of Record

Dakai Zhu, PhD

210-458-7453

dakai.zhu@utsa.edu