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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 3 years. Part time students typically take more than 5 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 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.

Can I send you unofficial transcripts?

No. Please do not email unofficial transcripts prior to applying to the program. Our program cannot complete preliminary reviews for all interested applicants.

Our program also does not admit students provisionally with unofficial transcripts.

All applicants must submit official transcripts for their application to be reviewed. 

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.

How do I know if I qualify for a graduate assistantship?

All admitted applicants are considered for graduate assistantships. 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. 

How do I apply for funding?

All admitted students are automatically considered for available program-funded GA positions. Our program begins making graduate assistantship offers in early March, and continue to make offers throughout the spring until all GA positions have been filled.

How do I choose an advisor?

The Computing PhD program is interdisciplinary and has participating faculty in numerous departments on campus. We recommend browsing our faculty directory and reviewing individual profiles linked on this web page:

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 PhD student or expect to in the near future.

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 applicants should identify 2-3 faculty members they may want to work with and include their names in their application. All students must identify an advisor by the end of their first semester.

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

What deadlines are important to know?

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

Can the Computing PhD program be completed online?

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

How do I transfer credits?

Applicants who have completed a significant amount of graduate course work may want to meet with a program co-director prior to applying to determine how much prior course work can be used to meet degree requirements. Request a meeting by e-mailing During their first semester students should meet with one of the co-directors prior to submitting the Request for Approval of Transfer Credits. Students who have earned graduate credit during an undergraduate or masters degree at Boise State do not need to submit transfer credit requests. Full details on transfer credits can be found here:

How can I stay informed?

Check your Boise State email for updates from our address or from program staff. Also, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin for announcements. Also refer to the Computing Ph.D. website for news here:

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is not tolerated in any form, even on applications to the program. All work submitted must represent a student’s own ideas and effort. Visit this page for a helpful guide on how plagiarism is defined:

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. Please refer to the current Code of Conduct for full details: