Computational Science and Engineering Ph.D. Program

computational science and engineering

Georgia Tech’s interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree program, in Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) is devoted to the creation, study, and application of computer-based models of natural and engineered systems.

The CSE Ph.D. curriculum is designed to provide students with the practical skills and theoretical understandings they'll need to become leaders in the field of computational science and engineering. The program emphasizes the integration and application of principles from mathematics, science, engineering and computing to create computational models for solving important real-world problems.

In conjunction with foundational courses, students develop skills to become proficient software developers on conventional computing platforms as well as high-performance machines (e.g., cluster computers and supercomputers). Additional courses enable students to specialize in a domain and technical expertise focusing on their particular interests. The CSE Ph.D. is a joint program between the Colleges of Computing, Sciences and Engineering.

Admissions Requirements

Interested in applying for the CSE Ph.D. program? Submit an application through Georgia Tech admissions and be sure to designate a home unit.* 

To find out more about home units, TOEFL requirements and the other steps to admission in the CSE Ph.D. program, visit our Admissions Requirements page.

Program of Study

If you are interested in applying into the Ph.D. in CSE program, the program of study information will inform you of the hours and course-load required to complete the program.

CSE Qualifying Examination

This examination is designed to ensure the student has achieved sufficient knowledge in core areas of computational science and engineering as well as in their chosen specialization area as preparation for advanced research.

  • Written qualifying exam: This written exam encompasses core areas of Computational Science and Engineering. Students select two areas among numerical methods, discrete algorithms, modeling and simulation, computational data analysis, and high performance computing. Material covered by the examination will normally include topics covered in core courses in the core area augmented with a reading list provided to the student as preparation for the examination. The format is a day-long written examination.
  • Specialization exam and artifact defense: This portion of the exam has two purposes: to ensure that the student has acquired sufficient knowledge in his/her specialization area in a computing, engineering or science discipline for advanced research, and to ensure that the student can demonstrate an ability to integrate knowledge in mathematical foundations/computational methods and knowledge in a specific engineering or science discipline to synthesize a concrete computational artifact, e.g., a significant computer program. Specifics concerning the specialization exam and artifact defense depend on the home unit.

The qualifying exam must be attempted by the end of the second year of enrollment in the CSE doctoral program and in some home units the exam must be passed by the end of the second year. Please refer to the CSE graduate student handbook for detailed information.

CSE Doctoral Dissertation

The doctoral dissertation (thesis) forms a central component of the CSE Ph.D. program. Students must demonstrate the ability to perform independent research in collaboration with a faculty advisor that can be defended to a committee of faculty. To complete the doctoral thesis, students must complete three principal milestones: the Ph.D. proposal defense, the Ph.D. dissertation, and the Ph.D. dissertation defense.