Grad Schools:  

  Engineering and Applied Sciences >> Computer Science

Grad School / Program:

  • Contact:
  • 4130 Upson Hall
    Cornell Computer Science Ph.D. Program
    Cornell University
    Ithaca, NY 14853-7501
    United States
    Phone: 607-255-7316

  • Degrees Granted:
  • Doctorate

  • Programs offered:
  • On-campus

  • Description:
  • The Ph.D. program complies with the requirements of the Cornell Graduate School. These requirements (residency, minimum grades, examinations, and dissertation) are described in the Graduate School's Guide to Graduate Study.

    Each year, about 20 to 25 new PhD students join the department. In the first two or three semesters, students become familiar with the faculty members and their areas of research by taking graduate courses, attending research seminars, and participating in research projects. By the end of the first year, each student selects a specific area and forms a committee based on his/her research interests. This "Special Committee" of three or more faculty members will guide the student through to his/her Ph.D. dissertation.

    The Field believes that certain areas are so fundamental to Computer Science that all students should be competent in them. Ph.D. candidates are expected to demonstrate competency in four areas of computer science at the high undergraduate level: Theory, Programming Languages, Systems, and Artificial Intelligence.

    Each student then focuses on a specific topic of research and begins a preliminary investigation of that topic. The initial results are presented during a comprehensive oral evaluation, which is administered by the members of the student's Special Committee. The objective of this examination, taken in the second or third year, is to evaluate a student's ability to undertake original research at the Ph.D. level.

    The final public oral examination, a defense of the dissertation, is taken before the Special Committee.

    To encourage students to explore areas other than Computer Science, the department requires that students complete an outside minor. Cornell offers almost 90 fields from which a minor can be chosen.

    Some students elect to minor in related fields such as Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, or Operations Research. Others use this opportunity to pursue interests as diverse as Music, Theater, Women's Studies, Philosophy, and Finance.

  • Admission Information:
  • The Ph.D. Application Process

    Once you have decided to apply formally and completed the necessary materials, you should send all application materials, including transcripts, GRE scores and letters of recommendation, directly to the Department of Computer Science at the following address:

    CS Graduate Office, PhD
    322 Upson Hall
    Cornell University
    Ithaca, NY 14853

    Letters of recommendation may also be submitted online using the online application process.

    You should NOT send any application materials to the Cornell Graduate School (at Caldwell Hall): This may delay your application.

    - Deadlines

    The department accepts applications for the fall semester only. The deadline for the fall semester is December 15th. Applying early is strongly advised.

    - Transcripts
    - Statement of Purpose
    - Letters of Recommendation
    - GRE (Graduate Record Examination)
    - TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

  • Financial Aids:
  • Funding

    Admission into the doctoral program in the Field of Computer Science is based purely on academic merit. Financial need plays no role in the admission procedure.

    All Ph.D. students in Computer Science are fully supported as long as they remain in good academic standing. Support from Cornell includes tuition and stipend. Support is available in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships.

    Applicants are also encouraged to apply for external fellowships, such as NSF, Microsoft, IBM, Hertz, Intel, Yahoo, or DOD Fellowships. These fellowships are highly prestigious, and they free the student of the responsibilities of an assistantship. Whenever possible, the department helps students in the fellowship application process.

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