School of Computing

Graduate Programs

The School of Computing has 36 graduate faculty members and approximately 200 graduate students, about one fourth of whom are enrolled in the Ph.D. programs. For Fall 2012, almost half of our graduate students have assistantships. About two thirds of these are supported directly by the School through graduate teaching and research assistantships. Others found assistantships elsewhere on campus.

Please review the School of Computing Graduate Student Handbook.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Ph.D. Program in Computer Science

The requirements for the Ph.D. in Computer Science include:

  • 12 hours of coursework beyond the Masters
  • a portfolio (our combined version of the Ph.D. qualifying and comprehensive exams)
  • competency in four core areas of computing (typically demonstrated by coursework and letters of recommendation)
  • ability to pursue research (typically demonstrated by a research paper that may be co-authored with your advisor)
  • a dissertation proposal on a specific topic
  • a dissertation
  • a dissertation defense

Ph.D. Program in Human-Centered Computing

The requirements for the Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing include:

  • 3 credit hours of HCC 831: Fundamentals of Human-Centered Computing,
  • at least 12 credit hours of coursework beyond the Master’s degree,
  • 6 credit hours of pre-dissertation research, HCC or CPSC 888,
  • 18 credit hours of dissertation research, HCC or CPSC 991 

M.S. Program

The requirements for the M.S. are based on 30 credit hours, which may be obtained through either:

  • all coursework, or
  • 24 credit hours of coursework and 6 credit hours of M.S. thesis research

Master of Fine Arts in Digital Production Arts:

The Visual Computing division also jointly oversees an M.F.A. degree in Digital Production Arts with Clemson's Art department.  There is a separate application process for the M.F.A.  More information on the DPA program and applying for the M.F.A. can be found at www.clemson.edu/dpa

Certificate in Systems Engineering

The School of Computing participates in a certificate program in Systems Engineering; for more information, please see this page.

GRE/TOEFL score information

Average scores of the two objective sections (verbal and quantitative) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for students admitted in Fall 2012 for the computer science M.S. and Ph.D. programs at Clemson were 515 and 754, respectively, for the old scoring range, and 150 and 161, respectively, for the new scoring range.  The average TOEFL (iBT) score for admitted international students was 99.   Any applicant with a V+Q total below 1200 (old range) or 300 (new range) must be able to submit exceptional supporting materials to have a competitive application (transcript, reference letters, etc.).

For financial support, the GRE V+Q total should normally well exceed the 1269/311 Fall 2012 averages. 

Expected Background

The successful applicant will have a background including courses in data structures, computer organization, theory of computation, operating systems, and programming language implementation. If one or two courses are missing in an applicant's background, they may be taken in the first semester. 


The tuition and graduate student fees for 2012-2013 for full-time, resident (i.e., in-state) graduate students is $4,184 per semester and $8,375 per semester for full-time, non-resident graduate students.

(See www.clemson.edu/cfo/receivables/sar/feesched.html for current rates, which are approved by the Board of Trustees each July.)

Graduate assistants receive a tuition reduction and pay $1,030 per semester in fees.

More details can be found at www.grad.clemson.edu/Financial.html.


Graduate assistantships within the School of Computing are highly competitive. All applicants are evaluated for available positions as teaching assistants; there is no need for a separate assistantship application.

Individual faculty members with grant funding evaluate students for research assistants. Outstanding applicants are referred to relevant faculty advisors based on the areas of interest identified in the applicant's personal statement (statement of purpose) in the on-line application.

Teaching assistantships typically pay a stipend of $15,000 for nine months. Research assistantship stipends may be more or less, depending on the faculty adviser's grant budget.


Most of our graduate students live off campus. There is plenty of affordable off-campus housing, and bus service (Clemson Area Transit) is convenient for most of the housing areas.


To apply to the School of Computing at Clemson, please visit the graduate school application page at www.grad.clemson.edu/Admission.html.  All application materials should be sent to graduate admissions.

We accept new graduate students in both fall and spring semesters.  For consideration for admission and financial support, students should have all application materials sent in by the following dates:

Fall Semester Date
to be considered for a Ph.D. fellowship    January 1
to have full consideration for an assistantship    February 1
to be considered for admission (international)    April 15
to be considered for admission (domestic &
international already in the U.S.)    May 15
Spring Semester Date
to have full consideration for an assistantship        September 15
to be considered for admission (international)    September 15
to be considered for admission (domestic &
international already in the U.S.)    October 15

(Dates for international admissions are earlier to allow for time required to obtain necessary visas, etc.)

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