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Computer Science (Ph.D.)

Our PhD program prepares graduates for research positions in academia or industry. Research is led by our graduate faculty, who have interests in bioinformatics, machine intelligence and data analytics, networks, cybersecurity, web science and digital libraries, data science, parallel algorithms and computing, scientific computing, and stochastic modeling.

Computer Science (Ph.D.)


What is Computer Science at ODU like?

Our PhD program prepares graduates for research positions in academia or industry. Research is led by our graduate faculty, who have interests in bioinformatics, machine intelligence and data analytics, networks, cybersecurity, web science and digital libraries, data science, parallel algorithms and computing, scientific computing, and stochastic modeling.

Program Highlights

What makes Computer Science at ODU unique?

  • Work with faculty who are internationally-known researchers

  • Potential for collaboration with scientists at NASA, Jefferson Lab, VMASC, EVMS

  • Part-time and full-time study is available

  • Full-time students usually complete their degrees in 3-5 years


What are some careers in this field?

Check out these ideas from ODU Career Development Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is the midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

Computer Science Teachers, Postsecondary



Teach courses in computer science. May specialize in a field of computer science, such as the design and function of computers or operations and research analysis. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Software Developers, Applications



Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency. May analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team. May supervise computer programmers.

Computer and Information Research Scientists



Conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.

Computer Systems Analysts



Analyze science, engineering, business, and other data processing problems to implement and improve computer systems. Analyze user requirements, procedures, and problems to automate or improve existing systems and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations. May analyze or recommend commercially available software.


Graduates from this major have gone to work at

Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Bell Labs, Los Alamos National Laboratory, The MITRE Corporation, Various universities (University of California at Berkeley, Drexel University, Temple University, James Madison University, University of Indiana-Kokomo, California State University – Long Beach, Edgewood College, among others)  


What are some courses offered in Computer Science at ODU?

CS 822:
Machine Learning

This course presents both the foundational and the practical aspects of modeling, analyzing, and mining of computerized data sets, including classification, regression, clustering, semi-supervised learning, structured sparsity learning, etc. The course assignments are designed to contain both theoretical and programming components in order to train students to gain hands-on-experience.

CS 824:
High Performance Computing and Big Data

INTERNET BASED COURSE. VISIT: http://www.cs.odu.edu/~fac/teched.html

CS 834:
Introduction to Information Retrieval

Laboratory work required. Theory and engineering of information retrieval in the context of developing web-based search engines. Topics include issues related to crawling, ranking, query processing, retrieval models, evaluation, clustering, machine learning, and other aspects related to building web search engines. Students will perform a mix of hands-on development and coding, as well as theoretical exploration of the research literature.


What are the requirements to apply for Computer Science at ODU?

Students entering the Doctor of Philosophy program in Computer Science should meet the minimum university admission requirements (Graduate Admission)

Full requirements are described on our PhD Graduate Programs website at


A candidate for the doctoral degree in computer science must meet all of the following requirements in addition to the University requirements outlined in the Graduate Catalog.

  1. Pass the PhD Qualifying Process.
  2. Complete a minimum of 78 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree and 48 credit hours beyond the master’s degree.
  3. Pass the candidacy examination.
  4. Attend at least 10 colloquiums – see Colloquium Activities for more information.
  5. Successfully defend the dissertation.

The above must be completed within 8 years after admission to the PhD program. Note that students with a degree in a discipline outside of computer science will be required to take prerequisite undergraduate courses that will not be counted towards the 78 credit hours requirement.


Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates for the 2022-23 academic year. Rates are subject to change. Anyone that is not a current Virginia resident will be charged non-resident rates. That includes international students.

Virginia Resident

Per Credit:

$ 571


Per Credit:

$ 1,394

Technology Delivered Courses Outside Virginia and/or the United States

Per Credit:

$ 595

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending ODU. For more information visit University Student Financial aid

Entering Student Funding

Newly admitted PhD students are guaranteed to be funded either by a Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA), Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA), or half-time GTA/half-time GRA combination. During the Summer, the CS department will provide $3,000 of support. By the end of the Spring semester, PhD students are expected to have identified a major advisor. If research funding is available, your major advisor may match the department’s stipend for a total summer stipend of $6,000. During the first year, most PhD students are guaranteed $18,000 with the possibility of receiving $21,000 with a 100% tuition waiver.

Summer Funding

All PhD students are expected to obtain GRA positions during the summer, working for their major advisor. Summer GRA stipends vary, but are typically between $3,000-$6,000. Full tuition exemption is included.

Dominion Graduate Scholar

A competitive award for newly admitted graduate students which carries a $20,000 stipend for 12 months. 

Modeling & Simulation Fellowship

The Department of Computer Science receives funding from the Modeling & Simulation steering committee to support PhD students who are pursuing research related to Modeling & Simulation. These fellowships carry a $9,000 stipend for 12 months, which is supplemented by either a GRA or GTA. 

Additional Ways to Save

Additional information on Financial Assistance and Fellowships is available on our PhD Graduate Programs webpage. 


Next Steps

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Meet Your Enrollment Team

Our enrollment coordinators are ready to help you through the admissions process.

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Yaohang Li





Graduate Admissions


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International Admissions


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