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Computer Sciences

Administrative Unit:Computer Sciences
College/School: College of Letters & Science
Admitting Plans:M.S., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.S., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Doctoral Minor
Named Options: Professional Program (M.S.)

Faculty: Professors Hill (chair), A. Arpaci-Dusseau, R. Arpaci-Dusseau, Bach, Banerjee, Barford, Cai, Doan, Dyer, Ferris, Gleicher, Hill, Jha, Livny, van Melkebeek, Miller, Naughton, Patel, Reps, Ron, Shavlik, Sohi, Wood, and Wright; Associate Professors Akella, Chawla, Joseph, Liblit, Sankaralingam, Swift, and Zhu; and Assistant Professors Mutlu, Ristenpart, Sifakis, and Snyder. See also Faculty on the department website.


The Department of Computer Sciences offers the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in computer sciences. Research specialty areas include artificial intelligence, computational biology, computer architecture, computer graphics, computer networks, computer security, database systems, human-computer interaction, numerical analysis, optimization, performance analysis, programming languages and compilers, systems research, and theoretical computer sciences. The department’s Graduate Advising Committee advises all computer sciences graduate students except those who have acquired an official major professor for Ph.D. work and are not candidates for a master’s degree. See the department website for faculty interests, research activities, courses, facilities, and degree requirements.

Doctoral Minor

Students planning to minor in computer sciences should consult with the department’s Graduate Advising Committee. To obtain a doctoral minor, students must earn at least 12 credit hours in computer sciences courses, meeting the following requirements. The courses must form a coherent plan of study, approved by the department’s minor advisor, who should be consulted for further details. With the exception of Comp Sci 367, all courses must be numbered 400 and above; at least one course must involve a significant amount of programming; at least one course must be numbered 700 or above and passed with a grade of at least a B; and the average grade in all computer sciences courses presented for the minor must be at least a B.


Students with a strong background in computer sciences or a related field are encouraged to apply for admission. At a minimum, the applicant should have had some programming experience, including courses in data structures and machine organization, and should have had a year of college-level mathematics at the calculus level or above. Applicants are evaluated based on their previous academic record, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. All applications must be submitted online. Admission is very competitive. Aid is offered to about half of the students to whom admission is offered. Aid is usually in the form of fellowships, teaching assistantships, or research assistantships. For more information on admissions, visit the department website.

For more information: Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Computer Sciences, Room 5355, 1210 West Dayton Street, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-7967; cs.wisc.edu/about/contacts; www.cs.wisc.edu.