McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science   Northwestern University
Department of Computer Science Northwestern University

Graduate Curriculum

For information on graduate studies at Northwestern University, please consult the Graduate School's website.

Masters Degree Requirements

Our masters program is a small, focused degree program intended for students who have already developed a close working relationship with one of our faculty members. Applications will only be considered for students who have also submitted a written invitation to apply from a faculty member in the department.

Coursework: 12 units
    9 units - departmental courses (300 level or higher, with at least 3 at 400 or 500 level)
    3 units - 590 research
Thesis/Projects: Independent research leading to master's thesis or project under direction of faculty
    advisor(s), with written project summary
Examinations: Oral exam on thesis/project

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Our doctoral program is a larger degree program to which all interested students are encouraged to apply.

Coursework: Nine courses beyond Masters requirements (at least three at 400 or 500 level)
Examinations: Qualifying exam; oral dissertation proposal
Research/Projects: Independent research leading to dissertation
Ph.D. dissertation: Based on independent research
Final evaluations: Oral defense of the dissertation

Ph.D. Resources

Download a timeline for finishing your Ph.D. degree, based solely on Graduate School and CS Department requirements.
View notes on the Ph.D. timeline.
2133 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208
Tel: 847-491-3500 | Fax: 847-491-5258

© 2003,2004 Department of Computer Science, Northwestern University. All Rights Reserved.
Send questions and comments to