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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:Ph.D. Minor
Named Options: Professional Program (M.S.)

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

Ph.D. Minor

Students planning to minor in computer sciences should consult with the department’s minor advisor. To obtain a graduate 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. We offer aid to about half of the students to whom we offer admission. Aid is usually in the form of fellowships, teaching assistantships, or research assistantships. See also Graduate Admissions on 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; fax 608-262-9777; admissions@cs.wisc.edu; www.cs.wisc.edu.