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Graduate Students

The Department of Computer Science offers programs of study leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Admission to these programs is highly competitive.


Thesis and non-thesis options are available in the program leading to the M.S. computer science degree. A project is required of non-thesis candidates. No language requirement (other than proficiency in English) is mandated. UK also offers a Master’s in Data Science degree, which is a two-year interdisciplinary program taught by faculty from three complementary programs: computer science, biostatics and the Institute of Biomedical Informatics.

The doctoral program in computer science is a research degree granted primarily on the presentation of substantial research achievement. To be admitted to candidacy for this degree, candidates must satisfy the requirements of The Graduate School and pass the qualifying examination. This examination consists of written and oral sections covering breadth in computer science as well as depth in a specific area. Proficiency in a foreign language is no longer required.

The College of Engineering also offers MS and PhD programs in Computer Engineering (CPE), which are offered jointly by the departments of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Admission and Financial Aid

Graduate students are expected to demonstrate knowledge of computing, competency in scientific applications and mathematical maturity.

Financial assistance is available in the form of teaching and research assistantships and fellowships. Stipends vary depending on the student’s program level and type of support. 

Incoming students: If you seek financial support, fill out this Assistance Application form, scan it and upload it to the ApplyYourself website.

Reasons to pursue your graduate degree in computer science at UK

  1. International experts recognized for their contributions in cutting-edge research fields. Our department’s areas of research include networking, distributed systems, visualization, imagery, artificial intelligence, decision-making, data science, data mining, bioinformatics, cryptography, computational science, scientific computing, numerical analysis, and software engineering. Learn more about specific research projects here.
  2. World-class, environmentally-friendly facilities. The Department of Computer Science and many of its faculty members reside in the LEED Gold-certified Davis Marksbury Building. Together with the James F. Hardymon Building, it forms the hub for computer science-related activities on campus.
  3. The UK Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments and the Laboratory for Advanced Networking. Both feature top faculty members working on important research projects. In addition, the department maintains close connections to the University of Kentucky Biomedical Informatics Institute (BMI). Several BMI faculty have joint appointments in the department and advise our students. 
  4. A “Just right” department size that affords close relationships with faculty, advisors, and fellow students. Meet each member of our department here.
  5. Excellent funding opportunities. Nearly 100% of our Ph.D. students are fully funded. The stipends are $18,000 per nine months, with additional funding for summer available. Find degree and financial aid information here.
  6. Successful alumni: Work on cool projects at excellent companies and earn a great salary doing it! 

Write to csgradpro@cs.uky.edu to request more information.