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Department of Computer Science College of Arts and Sciences The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Public
  • Suburban
  • 18%82%
    student ratio
  • 146
    total students
  • Not Reported
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • January 1
    fall application deadline
  • 12%
    acceptance rate
  • 2 Degrees
    degrees/awards offered


The Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina Offers M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees

UNC's Department of Computer Science was one of the first to be established in the United States, and strives to provide graduate programs of study that lead to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, while also emphasizing quality research in the field. Curricula of the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy programs are focused on the design and application of computer systems, preparing students for exciting and rewarding careers in the field of computer science.

In addition, students have plenty of opportunities to take part in cutting-edge coursework, research, and teaching opportunities to provide a well-rounded education. Graduate students may also choose to pursue activities within research groups and committees that involve them in virtually every aspect and activity planned within the department. The Computer Science Students Association (CSSA) is one such committee, which sponsors and plans social and professional events related to the department's vision and goals.

Course Requirements of the M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees in the Graduate Program Include Thesis and Dissertation Research

The Master of Science degree in Computer Science requires completion of 30 hours of coursework, 18 of which must be in computer science. Other COMP courses at the 400 or higher level must be taken. In order to properly prepare for the program, students are expected to show mastery in the following courses: Algorithms and Analysis, Data Structure, Computer Organization, Operating Systems, Software Engineering, Programming Language Concepts, Digital Logic and Computer Design, and Models of Languages and Computation.

Additional math, statistics, and physics courses should be taken to fulfill this requirement. These include: Calculus of Functions of Several Variables, Discrete Mathematics, Linear Algebra from Applications, Introduction to Numerical Analysis (Scientific Computing I), and Introduction to Probability.

In addition to the required coursework, M.S. students must complete a technical writing requirement. This may be fulfilled through a comprehensive paper option, a written thesis option, or an outside review option. Students must also complete a program product requirement in order to demonstrate their ability to design, develop, and implement a software product of commercial complexity and quality.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science degree requires a dissertation and supporting primary concentration courses, as well as additional courses in the categories of theory and formal thinking, systems and hardware, applications, and courses outside of computer science. As prerequisite work to prepare for the Ph.D. program, students must complete and master coursework in Computer Organization, Data Structures, Files and Databases, Algorithms and Analysis, Operating Systems, Programming Language Concepts, Software Engineering, Digital Logic and Computer Design, and Models of Languages and Computation.

Additional math courses including Calculus, Discrete Mathematics, Linear Applications, Numerical Analysis (Scientific Computing), and Probability should also be part of the student's undergraduate curriculum. Occasionally, a student may also choose a formal minor that may be completed with 15 hours of non-COMP courses.

Other requirements for degree completion include programming and documenting a program product, conducting a preliminary research presentation and exam, and completing oral and written exams, as well as a dissertation.

The Ph.D. candidate's dissertation is meant to provide proof of a worthy contribution to the store of knowledge in the field of computer science. Students must complete independent research within prescribed standards and under the advisement of their own graduate committee. This committee consists of at least five individuals, one of which is a member of the graduate faculty. The remaining four may be from other colleges or universities, industry professionals, or other experts in the field of computer science. Throughout the course of students' studies at UNC, this committee helps guide them toward successful completion of all dissertation requirements, including its defense, in order to receive the Ph.D. degree.

In addition, the faculty of the Department of Computer Science is involved in a wide array of research in the field. Students have the opportunity to assist in these projects through assistantships that may provide financial aid, as well as a complete and well-rounded education. Some of these ongoing research projects include studying algorithms and complexity theory, bioinformatics and computational biology, hardware design, computer graphics, hypertext, enabling technology, geometric modeling and computation, databases and data mining, networking, multimedia systems, programming language, and software development.

UNC Provides a Cutting-Edge Computer Science Graduate Program in the Midst of the Small Town of Chapel Hill

Consistently rated as one of the top public universities in the country, the University of North Carolina was originally founded in 1795 in the small town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. A rich living experience on campus awaits students pursuing a graduate degree in computer science, with beautiful surrounding scenery and unique living experiences.

Known as a scenic college town, Chapel Hill is filled with and surrounded by unique shopping and the Research Triangle area, which is full of cultural, recreational, and employment opportunities for adventurous students. Within a short drive of campus, students also find easy access to the East Coast beaches, museums, parks, gardens, the Great Smoky Mountains, and other major universities such as Duke and North Carolina State.

Location & Contact

Department of Computer Science

College of Arts and Sciences
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

Dr. Stephen Weiss

Ms. Janet Jones

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Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Computer Science Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 30
    • Doctoral Degrees 10
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? Yes
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


12% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 744
    • Accepted 90
    • Acceptance Rate 12
    • Enrolled 45
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $60
    • Application Fee - International $60
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 1st January 1st Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline October 15th October 15th Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test, minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, minimum GPA of 3.0
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 575 paper based

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *Not Reported
    • Out-of-state tuition *Not Reported
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year feesNot Reported
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsMarch 1
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Research Assitantships, Teaching Assistantships, Career or Field-Related Internships, Federal Work-Study, Scholarship and/or loans, Traineeships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students146
    • Female Percentage18%
    • Male Percentage82%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students146
    • Part-time Percentage4%
    • Full-time Percentage96%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino1%
    • Black / African American4%
    • White / Caucasian87%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian8%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown0%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty52
    • Full-time Percentage62%
    • Part-time Percentage38%
    • Female Percentage13%
    • Male Percentage87%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchBioinformatics, graphics, hardware, systems, theory
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$7,400,000




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