The mission of The Ohio State University Department of Computer Science and Engineering Graduate Program is to develop researchers, educators and practicing professionals with advanced skills in computing. Students can pursue either a Master's degree or Doctorate or both. Students intending to pursue a Ph.D. without first obtaining a Master's degree may apply to the Direct Ph.D. Track. The graduate program generally has about 200 students, of whom about 2/3 are Ph.D. students.

The Doctoral Program

The goal of the doctoral program is to prepare students to become leading researchers and educators, both in academia and in industry. Doctoral candidates take a set of courses in one major and two minor areas of concentration as well as completing a set of core courses. The minor areas can be from areas outside the department, such as psychology or mathematics. Under the guidance of a faculty member, doctoral candidates must produce significant, innovative research in some area of computer science and write and defend a Ph.D. dissertation.

The Master's Program

The Master's program is divided into two tracks, one a research track, requiring a Master's thesis on some original research, and the other a coursework track, with a larger coursework requirement and a written Master's comprehensive examination. The objective of the research track is to provide students with advanced level knowledge in computing while developing their ability to do independent, creative research. The coursework track's objective is to provide advanced level knowledge and skills that will be valuable for practicing professionals. Both tracks give students a solid background in the theory and foundations of computing and expose them to the latest technology and ideas in computer science.


The Computer Science and Engineering Department has research expenditures of over $6 million per year. The distinguished faculty includes ACM, IEEE, AAAI, and ABET Fellows, and editors and committee members on the boards of numerous journals and conferences. Both M.S. and Ph.D. students are encouraged to involve themselves in research at the earliest opportunity. Many graduate students are funded as research assistants on various research projects. While research areas and projects are continually changing based on the composition and interests of the faculty and changes in the field, our general areas of strength include artificial intelligence, computer graphics, computer networking, high-end computing systems, and software engineering.

Graduate Admissions

Applicants to the CSE graduate program are expected to have completed an undergraduate degree in computer science or to have taken a prescribed set of undergraduate computer science courses. Exceptional students with strong backgrounds in other scientific or engineering fields are encouraged to apply.

For more information about CSE graduate admissions, visit the graduate admissions page.


The department offers students an excellent environment for graduate study, including a first-class computational environment that includes a distributed network of high-performance workstations, parallel and cluster machines, performance analysis equipment, and other experimental hardware.

Our building includes state-of-the-art facilities for faculty and graduate students, including classrooms, research laboroatories, conference rooms, and offices.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to students in the form of Teaching and Research Associateships and Fellowships. These provide tuition, fees, plus a generous monthly stipend. We also have special Fellowships for students from underrepresented groups.

Joint Programs

We have a joint B.S./M.S. degree program. We also have guidelines for students who wish to pursue a second graduate degree in CSE in addition to their degree in their home department.

Quality of Life

Columbus and the OSU campus provide a broad and exciting range of indoor and outdoor activities and opportunities. Columbus, the 15th largest city in the U.S., is a vibrant area with a metropolitan population of more than 1.5 million people. World-class musical and theatrical performances play regularly in Columbus and OSU performance spaces. Columbus and Ohio's other major cities (all within a 2-3 hour drive) host excellent art and science museums, zoos, and other major cultural facilities. Professional sports including NHL hockey (Columbus BlueJackets) and MLS soccer (Columbus Crew) are played within minutes of campus, and, of course, collegiate sports of every variety are played on campus. Intramural sports are popular; many are played in OSU's new Recreational and Physical Activities Center and Outdoor Adventure Center. Outdoor activities abound in Columbus Metroparks and elsewhere in and near the city. Biking Ohio's beautiful paved rail-trails is easy, with a route running through the OSU campus. Excellent hiking opportunities and (believe it or not) even skiing are available within an hour of campus. For thrill seekers, Ohio is the consensus roller coaster capital of the world.

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