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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the length of the program?

Full-time students entering the program with a baccalaureate degree will take approximately 4-5 years to complete their PhD. Full-time students entering the program with a master’s degree may complete their degree in as few as three years. Part time students typically take more than five years to finish their degree but it depends on their academic background and the amount of time they are able to commit to finishing.

What is the cost of the program?

Visit this page for up to date resident and non resident cost analysis: Graduate Tuition Fees. Here is a link to a breakdown of an estimated budget as well: Cost of Attendance. Many students obtain assistantships with a salary and tuition expenses.

How do I apply for funding?

All admitted applicants are automatically considered for program-funded Graduate Assistantship positions. However, there are a limited number available and they are competitive.

Applicants who wish to be considered for graduate assistantships must have all application materials submitted prior to the priority admission deadline of January 5.

When will I know if I'll get a graduate assistantship?

Our program has a separate committee that reviews admitted applicants and awards graduate assistantships. We typically send out the first wave of graduate assistantship offers in late February to early March and continue to make offers until all positions are filled.

Can the Computing PhD program be completed online?

No. This program and all required courses are designed to be in person.

What requirements must I complete in order to be eligible for the program?

To be eligible for admission, applicants must hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from an accredited institution.

Applicants to all emphasis areas should have completed coursework in computer programming or be able to provide documented experience in programming.

Each emphasis area has specific coursework requirements as well – please see the “Emphasis Area Requirements” section on the Application Requirements page.

Yes, applicants are not required to have a specific degree but should have completed coursework in computer programming or be able to provide documented experience in programming. Additionally, applicants must have completed the prerequisite courses (or equivalent) for their emphasis area.

What GPA do I need to be admitted?

Applicants without a Master’s degree are recommended to have a GPA of 3.0 or better in the last 40 hours of undergraduate coursework.

Applicants with a Master’s degree are recommended to have a GPA of 3.3 or better in their Master’s degree program.

Please note that these are recommendations and applicants are evaluated on all aspects of the application.

What deadlines are important to know?

January 5 is the Priority Deadline for Fall Admission and first wave of funding consideration. April 15 is the final deadline to apply for fall admission. Visit this page for a list of all deadlines: Future Student Deadlines.

What do I need to include in my application?

You must submit a statement of purpose, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a CV (resume), admission questionnaire, and English test scores (international applicants only). For additional details visit the Ph.D. Application Requirements page

Can I have a fee waiver code?

The Computing Ph.D. program does not issue application fee waiver codes to prospective students applying to the program.

Can I send you unofficial transcripts?

No, applicants should not email unofficial transcripts prior to applying to the program. Our program cannot complete preliminary reviews for all interested applicants. Carefully review the instructions on how to submit transcripts as detailed on the Boise State Graduate College website. All international applicants must submit official transcripts to International Admissions.

Our program also will not admit students provisionally with unofficial transcripts. All applicants must submit official transcripts to be eligible for application review.

Graduate coursework can be transferred to Boise State University and applied to Ph.D. in Computing requirements after a student is admitted to the program. Current students, please refer to the transfer credit page for instructions.

We do not assess or make decisions on what classes will transfer until after a student has been admitted and enrolled in the program.

Students may transfer up to 21 credits of previous graduate course work.  Regardless of how many credits transfer, all students must take four classes at Boise State within the program to graduate.

Potentially any graduate-level course can be transferred and used as an elective as long as it fits with your selected emphasis, this decision is ultimately made by a student’s advisor and committee.

The GRE isn't required, but can I send my scores anyway?

No. To ensure a fair review of all applicants we do not accept or consider GRE scores.

Test results should be sent as official copies directly from the testing agency and cannot be emailed to the program. Boise State University’s school code for sending TOEFL scores is 4018. Learn more about English Proficiency requirements here: International Admissions.

When will I get notified of my admission decision?

Our program reviews applications in two batches, one after our priority deadline, January 5, and one after the final deadline, April 15. You can expect to be notified approximately two to three weeks after the deadline. This means if you apply before January 5, you will hear back in mid to late January, and if you apply after January 5, you will hear back in late April or early May.

Do I have to chose an advisor before starting at the program?

Students do not need to select an advisor before they are admitted. However, we ask all applicants to identify 2-3 faculty members they may want to work with on the admission questionnaire. You can view a list of all participating faculty and potential advisors in our directory.

All students must identify an advisor by the end of their first semester.

How do I choose an advisor?

The Computing Ph.D. program is interdisciplinary and has participating faculty in numerous departments on campus. We recommend browsing our faculty directory and reviewing individual profiles. View the faculty directory.

Reach out to faculty whose research you find interesting. When e-mailing faculty tell them briefly about your background and why you are interested in pursuing your Ph.D. then inquire about their current research projects and ask if they are currently looking to hire a Ph.D. student or expect to in the near future.

What happens if I get caught committing academic dishonesty?

If an applicant is found to have committed plagiarism or academic dishonesty on their application for admission their application will be denied.

Once enrolled, is up to course instructors determine when academic dishonesty is committed, disciplinary action will be decided in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct for Boise State. Refer to the current Code of Conduct for full details.

How can I stay informed?

Check your Boise State University email for updates from our address or from program staff. Follow us on Linkedin for announcements and refer to the Computing Ph.D. website for news and events.