PhD Handbook

PhD in Computer Science in USA: Top Universities, Eligibility Criteria, Fees & More for PhD in CS in USA

Yocket Editorial Team

If you want to get more and more knowledge in the field of computer science and want to achieve every pinnacle of the subject, you must go for the PhD in computer science in USA. the course is one of the best choices for professionals looking to advance their careers as computer science professionals. It also builds the next generation of scholars in computer science research work in various departments. The US is the hub of top PhD universities, which forms the priority list of every working professional.

Home to some of the world's best computer science universities, a PhD in CS in USA will offer you a promising career ahead with a better return on investment. A PhD degree in computer science keeps you striding with expanding edges of knowledge along with research training for the present and economic objectives of the field. And if you want to know more about the course, keep reading as this blog will help you to get information about the type of universities in USA for PhD in computer science with other essential information.

Table of Contents

Why Study PhD in Computer Science in USA?

Studying a PhD degree in computer science in USA will offer you a lot of opportunities with thriving career prospects which pays you very well. Before we get into the details let's first understand the benefits of studying this degree in USA:

  • Academics: The best part of catering a PhD degree in computer science in US universities is that you will get to study the core subjects of the course in the initial days. Also the program contains research in different areas of study with a thesis and dissertation course. This provides a better understanding on how to start the program.
  • Top Universities:  A PhD program at the top computer science universities in USA offers advanced and practical based learning along with research facilities to get a first-hand experience of the course. Moreover, these universities like Stanford, Harvard and MIT are also listed in the Top QS World University Rankings 2023.
  • Scholarship Opportunities: You also get the opportunity to pursue PhD in computer science in USA with scholarship, as there are range of financial aids to apply for. Most of these scholarships comes with a full funded or partial funded which includes most of your tuition fees and living expenses in the country.

Read: MS in Computer Science in USA

Course Curriculum of PhD in Computer Science in USA

A PhD in CSE in USA is designed to prepare the students to build a career in research and teaching of computer science. The course will engage deeply into the current research of computer science, and may help you to carry out the research and contribute it to the expanding body of knowledge within the research area. The duration of PhD in computer science in USA requires 72 credits of formal coursework, including the fundamentals of computer science with research and elective ones. Some of the research areas included in the course curriculum are:

  1. Algorithms and Applications
  2. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  3. Cyber Security
  4. Data Science
  5. Health Computing, Bioinformatics, Biomedical Informatics
  6. Mobile and Pervasive Computing
  7. Software Engineering and Programming Languages

Read: Bacherlors in Computer Science in USA

List of Top Universities in USA For PhD in Computer Science

The USA is a hub of some of the recognized universities offering PhD programs. A majority of them are also considered as the best universities in USA for PhD in computer science programs. These offer students an ever-advancing research environment along with huge career opportunities. To help you get started, here we have curated a list of universities in USA for PhD in computer science:

  • Stanford University
  • Harvard University
  • University of California Berkeley
  • Cornell University
  • University of Michigan
  • Northwestern University

Let's discuss each university one by one:

1.Stanford University

PhD in computer science at Stanford University is a thesis-based five-year program. The program includes basic work in computer science with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research and applications that stimulate basic research. The course contents with research in wider areas of study such as artificial intelligence, the foundation of computer science, robotics, scientific computing and systems.

QS World University Rankings 2023


QS Rankings For Computer Science and Information Systems 


Average Annual Fees 

56,487 USD 

Program Offered 

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science

2. Harvard University

Doctor of Philosophy in computer science is offered by Harvard School of Engineering and conferred through the Graduate School of Arts and Science. At Harvard University, you will get the opportunity to research in areas such as artificial intelligence, computer architecture, computation and society data science, computational neuroscience, graphics, vision and visualization, machine learning, programming languages, and many more.

QS World University Rankings 2023


QS Rankings For Computer Science and Information Systems 


Average Annual Fees 

52,456 USD 

Program Offered 

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science

3. University of California Berkeley

University of California Berkeley PhD in computer science combines coursework and original research with some of the finest faculty in the US, preparing for careers in academia or industry. The program focus on interdisciplinary study and more experience in aligned technical fields such as Physics, Materials Science, Statistics, and Biology, along with research in wide areas of study.

QS World University Rankings 2023


QS Rankings For Computer Science and Information Systems 


Average Annual Fees 

36,418 USD 

Program Offered 

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science

Phd Stipend In USA

4. Cornell University

The computer science field at Cornell University is primarily focused on general aspects of computational processes, both theoretical and practical. The PhD program at the university demonstrates knowledge, understanding, applications, analysis, and evaluation of material in four out of five important core areas of computer science which are programming languages and methodology, algorithms and theory of computation, artificial intelligence, systems, scientific computing and applications. 

QS World University Rankings 2023


QS Rankings For Computer Science and Information Systems 


Average Annual Fees 

29,500 USD 

Program Offered 

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science

5. University of Michigan

The University of Michigan PhD in computer science is a full-time, research-based degree that is designed to address the growing needs of society for scientific and engineering professionals with advanced knowledge, technical skills and abilities to conduct original and high-quality translational research in Computer and Information Science. The offers concentrations in data management, data science, systems and security, and software engineering align with the research strengths of our faculty.

QS World University Rankings 2023


QS Rankings For Computer Science and Information Systems 


Average Annual Fees 


Program Offered 

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer and Information Science

6. Northwestern University

The computer science doctorate program at Northwestern University primarily prepares students to become expert independent researchers. It conducts original transformational research on emerging computer science topics. Students get the opportunity to work alongside top researchers to advance the core CS fields from Theory to AI and Systems and Networking. 

QS World University Rankings 2023


QS Rankings For Computer Science and Information Systems 


Average Annual Fees 


Program Offered 

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computer Science and Learning Sciences

Read: Public Universities in USA

Eligibility Criteria for PhD in Computer Science in USA

PhD in computer science in USA eligibility criteria and qualifications may vary between the universities. Meeting these qualifications is necessary to be eligible for the course. Some of these basic requirements accepted by most universities are:

  • Educational Qualifications
  • English Language Proficiency
  • GRE or GMAT
  • Work Experience
  • Copy of Passport and Visa

Let's discuss them below:

  • Educational Qualifications

The first PhD in computer science in USA requirements is to have a valid bachelor's and master's degree from an accredited institution. You must have a superior background in mathematics, computer science theory, and practices and basic sciences. A general score of at least 80 is best for top universities.

  • English Language Proficiency

International students are required to appear and pass the language proficiency test for admission. Most applicants, especially those who are applying at US universities, should submit either IELTS or TOEFL tests as they are globally recognised. The minimum scores should be:

Some of the top PhD universities in USA also ask for either a GRE or GMAT score in order to complete the application form. The minimum average score should be 280 or above in GRE and 650 in GMAT. However, some of the universities offer admissions without these scores.

  • Work Experience

For a PhD CSE in USA, universities may ask for work experience. So, having 2 or more years experience will be effective. Although, this is not mandatory, but a few years of experience may help you to be ahead in the competition.

  • Copy of your passport and Visa

A copy of your passport and your USA student visa are also mandatory to study for a PhD degree in computer science in USA for international students. If you don't have make sure to apply for it at least three months before the date of your travel.

Read: DS-160 Form

Documents Required for PhD in Computer Science in USA

Before applying for a fully funded PhD programs in computer science in USA, make sure you have the following set of documents to submit in the application form. These documents includes:

  1. Higher secondary education certificate
  2. Academic transcripts
  3. English Language Proficiency Scorecards 
  4. Letter of recommendation
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6. Academic achievements certificate
  7. Scholarship certificate
  8. Proof of your finances
  9. US student visa

Read: Profile Building to Study in USA

Admission Process for PhD in Computer Science in USA

The application process for applying to the PhD admission in computer science programs in USA has been briefly discussed below:

  1. First make a list of some top universities in USA for PhD in computer science or go through the above mentioned ones.
  2. Shortlist those universities based on their entry requirements and costs.
  3. Gather all the essential documents you need to submit in the submission process.
  4. Fill up the application form along with paying the fees.
  5. Prepare for the interview, while some universities also conduct an entrance exam for PhD admission.
  6. Once you get the admission letter, acknowledge it by paying the depositary fees.

Read: PhD in Data Science in USA

Now that you get an idea in the application process along with the PhD in computer science in USA eligibility. Let's now look at the costs required to pursue a doctorate in the USA:

Cost of Studying PhD in Computer Science in USA

The cost of studying at PhD universities in USA for computer science is impacted by two factors, one is its tuition fees and the cost of studying. Both of these factors are discussed below:

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees of top universities in USA for PhD in computer science mainly depend on the type of university. The average tuition fees will range from 36,400 USD to 80,000 USD per year. However, the fees may be slightly lower for public universities.

Cost of Living

Your living costs are also a factor of the cost of studying in USA. On average, the living costs in the country should range between 10,000 USD to 18,000 USD per year. A major part of these expenses comes from your rent, location, food, materials, transportation etc.

Read: Cost Of Studying in USA

Scholarships For PhD in Computer Science in USA

Pursuing a PhD in computer science in USA with scholarship is the best option for international students to complete their degree. They don't have to worry much about their expenses while studying. Some scholarships offered in USA to pursue a PhD program are given below:

Schoolarship Name 



Fullbright Scholarship

International students with good academic excellence, competitive GRE scores and three letters of recommendation..

Tuition Fees waiver 

USF Presidential Doctoral Fellowship

Available for new doctoral students with an exceptional academic credentials

32,000 USD 

National Overseas Scholarship

Masters student with a minimum of 55% scores with their financial resources 

Tuition Fees 

AAUW International Fellowships

Women graduate students pursuing in US universities 

20,000 USD

Campbell Fellowships for Transformative Research

International female students pursuing PhD scholar with good academic achievement.

4,500 USD 

Read: Scholarships for Indian Students in USA

Career Opportunities After PhD in Computer Science in USA

Post completion of PhD in computer science in USA offers you a lot of exposure and career opportunities. It is a last degree one can opt for in their specializations. A majority of the recent graduates of computer science PhD degree in USA pursue careers in industry & research lab, startups, academia and multinational companies and organisations. 

Some of the job profiles of a Phd degree holder in computer science are:

Job Profile 

Average Salary 

Computer Scientist 

98,802 USD 

Computer Systems Engineer

93,773 USD 

Computer Science Professor

89,803 USD 

Computer Network Architect

90,520 USD 

Research and Development Engineer

81,155 USD 

Computer Research Engineer

83,966 USD 

Read: Jobs in USA for International Students

PhD in computer science in USA is an excellent course for anyone looking to get advanced and more knowledge in computer science. The US universities are popular for their quality education and will emphasize both theoretical and research-oriented practical understanding of the course. In case you need any further assistance or an expert opinion, do get in touch with our Yocket Professionals now.

Also Read

PhD Stipend, Salary and Jobs in USA

PhD in USA without GRE

Phd in USA

Part-Time Jobs in USA


How to Apply for PhD in USA?

Scholarships for PhD in USA

Education loan for USA

USA vs Germany




Frequently Asked Questions About PhD in Computer Science in USA 

How long is PhD in computer science in USA?

Is it worth doing PhD in computer science in USA?

What is a good GPA for CS PhD?

How much does it cost to get a PhD in computer science?

Do students get scholarships in PhD studies in USA?

Articles you might like