Computer Science - Doctor of Philosophy

Doctoral students may specialize in any of the areas in which computer science faculty members have active research interests. Through interdisciplinary arrangements with other doctoral departments at New Mexico State University, doctoral students may also specialize in such areas as computational biology, computer networks and architectures and cognitive science.

Doctoral students are expected to join the program with a preparation equivalent to that required for the Master’s degree in computer science at New Mexico State University. The requirements for the degree are as specified in the NMSU graduate catalog, with the following additional considerations:

  • Take and pass the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam. It is expected that students will take the qualifying exam within one year of entering the Ph.D. program or one year after finishing their deficiencies.  In the qualifying exam, a student is expected to present a written and oral synthesis of a topical literature review.  For more details on the qualifying exam, see the departmental document. 
  • Students who are enrolled in the Computer Science MS program and complete a Master's thesis can use a successful thesis defense as the qualification exam if the Master's thesis advisor is willing to take the student as a PhD student.    
  • The comprehensive examination evaluates depth of knowledge in the specific research area selected by the candidate with the consent of their graduate committee. It includes: a written part, in the form of an extensive survey paper; an annotated bibliography; and an oral examination. 
  • The student is required to submit and defend a prospectus, at the same time or after completing the comprehensive examination. The prospectus describes and motivates the specific research problem to be addressed in the doctoral dissertation. 
  • A PhD student is required to take at least one course each in the following three areas (theories, systems, and applications)

Graduation Requirements

Prefix Title Credits
Select at least one from the following:3
Automata, Languages, Computability3
Analysis of Algorithms3
Algorithms in Systems Biology3
Select at least one from the following:3
Operating Systems II3
Computer Networks II3
Database Management Systems II3
Select at least one from the following:3
Computer Graphics I3
Introduction to Data Mining3
Bioinformatics Programming3
Computer Security3
Introduction to Smart Grids3
Human-Centered Computing3
Digital Game Design3
Visual Programming3
Applied Machine Learning I3
Parallel Programming3
Cloud and Edge Computing3
Introduction to Cryptography3
Modern Web Technologies3
Introduction to Deep Learning3
Graph Data Mining3
Artificial Intelligence II3
Advanced Software Engineering3
Other graduate credit to meet NMSU requirements21
Doctoral Dissertation1-15
Total Credits48

Only courses from the MS CS program from NMSU can be used to waive this requirement.

Students should contact the department for information on additional graduation requirements, or visit the on-line Graduate Handbook (