Jun 20, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science and Engineering

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Chair: Gita Alaghband
Program Assistant: Sarah Mandos
Office: Lawrence Street Center, 8th Floor
Telephone: 303-315-1408
Fax: 303-315-1410
Website:  engineering.ucdenver.edu/cse



Gita Alaghband, PhD, University of Colorado
Tom Altman, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
Boris Stilman, PhD, National Research Institute for Electrical Engineering, Moscow, Russia

Associate Professors

Bogdan Chlebus, PhD, Warsaw University, Poland
Min-Hyung Choi, PhD, University of Iowa
Ellen Gethner, PhD, University of British Columbia
Ilkyeun Ra, PhD, Syracuse University

Assistant Professor

Tam Vu, PhD, Rutgers University

Senior Instructors

Jason Lewis, PhD, Clemson University
Will Trobaugh, MS, University of Colorado

Mission and Vision Statement


With the advances in technology and the rapid and prevalent growth of the information-based economy, computer science has become an enabling science for nearly all disciplines that impact engineering, science, business, health and government. The future of the discipline promises even more innovative advances. he Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Colorado Denver are committed to providing outstanding education and research training to our diverse undergraduate and graduate students for productive careers in industry, academia and government in the Denver metropolitan area, state and beyond. Our faculty strive for excellence in teaching, research and service by covering a broad spectrum of the core fundamentals of the discipline as well as applied aspects including those of interdisciplinary nature. We will actively engage our students in classroom and out-of-classroom research and help them develop the skills needed to solve complex real-world technological problems of our modern society.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers MS and PhD degrees:

  • The MS degree  is awarded in computer science (CS) to those students who wish to pursue graduate studies to further develop their education. The MS in CS graduate program covers the core knowledge of key concepts of the computer science as well as offers flexibility to pursue specializing in various fields of interests.
  • The Computer Science and Information Systems PhD  program is an interdisciplinary, joint program between the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering and the Applied Science and Information Systems program in the Business School.  The program offers a CS track with PhD degree awarded in CSIS from College of Engineering and an IS track where the degree is awarded in CSIS from the Business School.
  • The multidisciplinary engineering and applied science PhD  degree is available through the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

Most up-to-date information on all programs offered through the Computer Science and Engineering Department can be obtained from the department’s website at: http://engineering.ucdenver.edu/cse.

Graduate Program


The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) offers a master of science in computer science . The CSE department, together with the Business School, also offers a joint program leading to a doctoral degree in computer science and information systems  (CSIS). In addition, the engineering and applied science doctor of philosophy degree  is available through the CSE department.

Expertise expand several areas of research in algorithms, artificial intelligence, computer architectures, computer graphics, computational geometry, communication networks, computer security, database systems, distributed computing, high-performance computing, Internet, operating systems, parallel and distributed systems,  simulation, software engineering and virtual reality.

Requests for applications for graduate study in computer science and engineering should be addressed to:

CU Denver Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Campus Box 109
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States should make application through the Office of International Admissions, Campus Box 185, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364. All applicants for admission must submit complete credentials as outlined in the instructions that accompany the application materials.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree from an institution comparable to the University of Colorado. They need to have sufficient programming experience and mathematical maturity to understand advanced courses. Qualified applicants holding a degree outside computer science, computer engineering or equivalent fields may need to take additional undergraduate courses before starting the graduate program.

Admission decisions are based on prior academic performance, letters of recommendation, English proficiency, if applicable, as well as the applicant’s written statement of purpose.

Additional requirements include:
(1) 10 credit hours, on the semester basis, of university-level calculus
(2) at least one math course beyond calculus, such as advanced calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability, statistics or combinatorial analysis.

Students lacking some of these requirements, whose background is otherwise satisfactory, may be admitted with the understanding that the certain undergraduate courses have to be completed after admission.

Required GPA

Regular admission: Applicants should have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.

Provisional admission: Applicants may be accepted as “provisional degree students.” This status is indicated in the acceptance letter along with the conditions that need to be satisfied by a specific deadline for the student to obtain regular status.

Transfer Credit
A maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate course work may be transferred into the program based on department approval. In principle, core courses must be taken from the CSE department at CU Denver.
Note: Candidates applying for the MS study will be individually evaluated by the department’s graduate committee. A letter with a decision will be sent to the applicant by the CSE chair. 

Computer Science and Information Systems PhD


Prospective students apply to either the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) or to the Business School–students with a computer science background should apply through the CSE department and students with an information systems background should apply through the Business School.

Admission criteria include GPA (undergraduate and graduate), standardized test scores (GRE), letters of recommendation, prior achievements in academia and industry and an application portfolio essay describing an applicant’s motivation and an initial plan for doctoral study. The application portfolio is important to gauge an applicant’s motivation for research training.

Students without a master’s degree in either computer science or information systems will need to take additional course work sufficient to complete the requirements of a master’s degree in one of the two areas. Exceptionally motivated students with BS degrees in computer science, information systems, or closely related fields may apply to the CSIS PhD program directly. Students without a master’s degree must complete at least 30 hours of CSIS PhD required course work in addition to the 30 hours of dissertation.

Supervision of the PhD Program

The PhD program is supervised by the two program co-directors. The duties of the co-directors include scheduling of doctoral courses, setting program policies subject to approval of business and CSE faculty, working with advisors to ensure compliance with the program guidelines, resolving disputes, measuring performance of the program over time and providing the final decision on admittance of students.


Upon entering the program, each chooses an advisor to provide mentoring and guidance throughout the program and work with the student to prepare a program of study. Requests to change advisors must be approved by the program co-directors, and this happens in very rare circumstances.

Doctoral Committee

The advisor and four other members form a doctoral committee. To foster interdisciplinary work, you may have your doctoral research co-supervised by two faculty members. At least one co-supervisor must be a full-time current graduate faculty member in the CSE department or Business School. The committee must contain at least one faculty member from the CSE department and at least one from the Business School. At least one committee member is from outside of the CSE department and the information systems faculty.

Engineering and Applied Science PhD

Graduate School Rules  apply to this program

The multidisciplinary Engineering and Applied Science Doctor of Philosophy degree program is offered by the College of Engineering and Applied Science and consists of a primary and secondary concentration. Applicants apply and enter the program through one of four departments, called the host department, which is chosen based on the applicant’s intended primary concentration of study. The four departments that serve as host departments are:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Each host department offers several concentrations. A list of concentrations can be found on each department’s website. Go to engineering.ucdenver.edu to learn more.

The required secondary concentration can be chosen from any remaining department within the college, including the Department of Bioengineering. The secondary concentration may also be chosen from another CU Denver school or college. A student chooses his/her secondary concentration with the help of a faculty advisor after entering the program.

Requirements for Admission

Requirements for admission to the Engineering and Applied Science PhD program can be found under the Degree Programs link on each host department’s website.

  • Civil Engineering (engineering.ucdenver.edu/civil)
  • Computer Science and Engineering (engineering.ucdenver.edu/cse)
  • Electrical Engineering (engineering.ucdenver.edu/electrical)
  • Mechanical Engineering (engineering.ucdenver.edu/mechanical)

Degree Requirements

The minimum degree requirements consist of 30 semester hours of course work in the primary and secondary areas of concentration, as well as 30 semester hours of research/dissertation credit. Each candidate for the degree is expected to take a preliminary examination by the end of the second year. After successful completion of this exam, the student is required to take the comprehensive examination and the doctoral dissertation defense examination. Additional requirements are outlined in the Rules and Regulations document that each student signs after being admitted to the program. Each student must also satisfy the degree requirements of the CU Denver Graduate School.


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