Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science and Engineering

Major: CSE
Degree Awarded: Ph.D.
Unit: GS
Program Webpage:

Program Information

General Information

The Ph.D. degree program is intended for persons having an accredited masters and/or baccalaureate degree in computer engineering, computer science, or electrical engineering, but is available to those with other backgrounds. Applicants with other backgrounds should plan on taking some undergraduate background course work. Students interested in the Ph.D. degree program should consult the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science. The University of Louisville is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral degrees.

Admission Standards

The admission standards for the Ph.D. program in Computer Science and Engineering are as follows:

  1. All admission applications for the program shall include:
    1. a completed application for the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies,
    2. an application fee,
    3. results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE),
    4. at least two letters of recommendation, and
    5. official transcript(s) for all previous post-secondary coursework. All transcripts not in English must be certified as authentic and translated verbatim into English.
  2. The minimum requirement for admission is the baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution or current enrollment in an undergraduate Speed School program.
  3. The minimum undergraduate and graduate grade point average that will be considered for unconditional acceptance and admission to the program is 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale).
  4. The minimum GRE score that will be considered for unconditional acceptance and admission is a combined Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning score of 295.
  5. Admission in good standing shall be made only if all admission credentials have been received, evaluated and approved and all academic requirements met. A student may be admitted provisionally if academic requirements are met but application materials are incomplete (usually missing letters of recommendation or official transcripts and/or official score reports). Students have one semester to furnish any credentials missing at the time of admission and may not enroll for a second consecutive term in provisional status.
  6. Any conditional acceptance shall be made on an individual basis and shall require a statement of the rationale for the exception, plans for monitoring progress and performance and stated success criteria. Such justification must be provided in writing and must be accepted by the program chair and the Speed School Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. This will allow consideration of special circumstances in which the potential for acceptable graduate performance has been clearly demonstrated by other means.
  7. International students whose primary language is not English must show English language proficiency by either:
    1. total score of 80 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet-based test or overall IELTS score of 6.5 or higher, or
    2. successfully completing the exit examination for the advanced level of the Intensive English as a Second Language Program at the University of Louisville, or
    3. demonstration of a degree award from an acceptable English language institution.

Academic Performance

The J.B. Speed School of Engineering has established the following performance policies:

  1. The minimum grade point average requirement for good standing and satisfaction of degree requirements is 3.00 for all academic work completed while in graduate studies.
  2. Any student who does not satisfy the published performance criteria shall be placed in probationary status. Please review the “Academic Standing” section within this catalog in regard to “Academic Probation” (
  3. Students receiving graduate assistantships (teaching, research or service) shall be provided adequate training and shall be required to understand and adhere to University policies related to these areas. The performance of teaching, research and service duties by such students shall be periodically evaluated. Students with teaching assistantships shall be evaluated annually.
  4. Students who fail to meet performance goals or who do not meet other requirements as outlined in the admission letter, program requirements or the university catalog may be subject to academic dismissal from their programs.

All graduate students are expected to make steady and satisfactory progress toward the completion of degrees. Students who are not enrolled for a period of more than 12 months will be considered to have withdrawn from the program. Students who seek to return after such a period of time must contact the graduate program director.

Degree Requirements

The award of a Doctor of Philosophy degree indicates that a student has attained mastery of a field and has demonstrated the capacity to perform independent scholarly research. The following degree requirements are mandatory of all doctoral candidates:

  1. The Program of Study must be completed with a 3.00 GPA or better for all academic work attempted in Graduate Studies.
  2. At least two years of study must be spent at the University of Louisville.
  3. One year must be spent in full-time residency (a minimum of 18 credit hours within a 12-month period or four terms of continuous part-time enrollment).
  4. The applicant for a Doctor of Philosophy degree must pass an oral and/or written qualifying examination.
  5. Admission to candidacy must not be later than the end of the ninth month prior to the awarding of the degree. Students enter Doctoral Candidacy upon completion of all course work, qualifying exams, required research credit hours and other co-curricular requirements. Students who are enrolled in Doctoral Candidacy are considered full-time students. Enrollment in Doctoral Candidacy status must be continuously maintained year round (i.e. Fall, Spring, and Summer) until the degree is awarded.
  6. A dissertation is required of all candidates.
  7. All candidates must pass a final oral examination. This is to be a defense of the dissertation and a demonstration of the candidate's mastery of his/her field.
  8. Ordinarily the equivalent of three years of full-time graduate study is a minimum. However, the candidate must complete all requirements for the degree within four calendar years after passing the qualifying examination.

The requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree are explained in more detail at:


Graduate Studies - Ph.D.

Normally, it is expected that the student will complete a Master’s degree before being admitted to the Ph.D. Program. However, qualified applicants may be admitted directly to the doctoral program after receiving a baccalaureate degree. These students will be required to complete an additional 30 credit hours of coursework at the 500 and 600 level under an individual plan developed in conjunction with the department’s Director of Graduate Studies. Also, remedial work may be specified for those applicants who, in the opinion of the faculty, do not have a sufficient background.

The minimum curricular requirements for the doctoral program are:

Courses – Post Bac
Credit Hours
Approved Master’s Level Course Work
CECS Electives1
CSE 693: Dissertation Research
CSE 695: Seminar in CSE
Total Credit Hours
1 Master’s Level Course Work and/or CECS Electives must be chosen so that 18 credit hours of courses are taken in the core areas. Two courses are required in each of two core areas and one course in each of the remaining two core areas. The approved courses for the four core areas are listed below.
Approved Computer Software Engineering Core Courses:
CECS 504: Automata Theory
CECS 516: Computer Networks
CECS 530: Design of Compilers
CECS 545: Artificial Intelligence
CECS 550: Software Engineering
CECS 608: Operating Systems
CECS 619: Algorithms
CECS 630: Advanced Databases & Data Warehousing
Approved Computer Hardware Engineering Core Courses:
CECS/ECE 510: Computer Design
CECS 525/ECE 516: Microcomputer Design
CECS 611: Computer Architecture
ECE 515: VLSI Systems
ECE 630: Pulse & Digital Waveforms
Approved Computationally Intensive Applications Core Courses:
CECS 522: Performance Evaluation
CECS 564: Cryptology
CECS 609:Hypertext & Multimedia Processing
CECS 622: Simulation & Modeling
CECS 628: Computer Graphics
CECS 660: Introduction to Bioinformatics
ECE 520: Digital Signal Processing
ECE 550: Communication & Modulation
ECE 560:Control Systems
ECE 614: Artificial Neural Systems
ECE 618/CECS 627: Digital Image Processing
ECE 619/CECS 633: Computer Vision
ECE 620: Pattern Recognition
ECE 653: Digital Communications
ECE 661:Sampled-Data Control Systems
Approved Advanced Mathematics Core Courses:
IE/CECS 563: Experimental Design in Engineering
CECS 620: Combinatorial Optimization and Modern Heuristics
CECS 632: Data Mining
MATH 501: Analysis I
MATH 560: Probability
MATH 660: Probability Theory
MATH 662: Advanced Mathematical Statistics
MATH 667:Methods of Classification
MATH 681: Combinatorics & Graph Theory
2 Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must have a minimum final cumulative grade point average of 3.00 for all academic work attempted in Graduate Studies.


The Graduate Faculty of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering will be responsible for the teaching, training, and mentoring of graduate students and postdoctoral students within the Speed School. Membership in the Graduate Faculty shall be required to teach a course for which graduate credit is available and will be required to serve on a graduate student’s thesis or dissertation committee in either an advisory or chairmanship capacity. The Graduate Faculty of other units may serve as external members of the committees. Additionally, membership in the Graduate Faculty will be required to act as mentors for the supervision of research by students working toward degrees authorized through the Graduate Program within the J.B. Speed School of Engineering.

Members of the Graduate Faculty with an Ad hoc appointment can be approved by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs to teach a graduate course or serve as an advisor or chair (mentor) on a graduate thesis or dissertation committee for a limited and specified period of time upon request from the Departmental Chair.

The following departmental faculty have permanent appointments as Graduate Faculty of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering:

Nihat Altiparmak

Assistant Professor

Antonio E. Badia

Associate Professor

Dar-Jen Chang

Associate Professor

Ahmed H. Desoky

Associate Professor

Adel S. Elmaghraby

Department Chair

Hichem Frigui


Ibrahim N. Imam

Associate Professor

Mehmed Kantardzic


Anup Kumar


Adrian Lauf

Assistant Professor

Olfa Nasraoui

Associate Professor

Juw Won Park

Assistant Professor

Eric Christian Rouchka

Associate Professor

Roman V. Yampolskiy

Assistant Professor

Hui Zhang

Assistant Professor