Program Overview

The Ph.D. degree is a certification of critical aptitude in scholarship, imagination, knowledge in the discipline, enterprise in research, and proficiency and style in communication. A candidate obtaining a Ph.D. degree must display a thorough understanding in the major areas of computer science and engineering and must master the necessary tools and techniques so as to be able to make original contributions to the field of computer science and engineering. An equally important aspect is that of proficiency in oral and written communication skills.

The requirements of the Ph.D. program are: successful completion of preliminary examinations and courses, satisfactory performance in written comprehensive and oral examinations, admission to Ph.D. candidacy, successful completion and defense of original work documented as a dissertation, and the satisfaction of additional requirements such as teaching and seminars.

The formal degree to be offered is the Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science and Engineering. This will be awarded to candidates who complete all the requirements of the Ph.D. degree described later in this section.

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program should have a master degree in computer science or engineering or related discipline with at least a 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Interested students in the Ph.D. program without an M.S. degree must apply and be admitted into the M.S. program first, and then upon finishing the M.S. degree, they would be eligible to apply for the Ph.D. program.

International students with a master’s degree in computer science and engineering are also required to have a TOEFL IBT score of at least 80, or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5. A score of at least 150 is required in the verbal section and 155 is required in the quantitative section of the GRE scores. Conditional admission to the Ph.D. program is not available.
Please refer to the General Admissions Information for detail requirements.


Each candidate, in her/his first semester, will be assigned an advisor by the Ph.D. program coordinator. The advisor will develop a program of study for the student and monitor her/his progress until a dissertation committee is formed for the student. The dissertation advisor will perform all subsequent advising. A student is required to form a dissertation committee in conjunction with the Ph.D. program coordinator after finishing the core Ph.D. courses, so that a better understanding of the various topics and research interests in the department will, by then, have been achieved.

Dissertation Advisor and Dissertation Committee

After completing the course requirements, a Ph.D. student requests a faculty member to supervise her/his dissertation. After a dissertation topic is selected and a problem is defined, the dissertation advisor recommends the formation of a Dissertation committee for the student. It is the Ph.D. Program Coordinator who authorizes and recommends the formation of the dissertation committee. A Dissertation committee consists of at least four graduate engineering faculty members. Other industry prominent figures can serve as committee members. The committee monitors the progress of the student in her/his dissertation work, as well as conducts the final dissertation defense.

Depth and Breadth

As Dr. Sobh notes, a Ph.D. program that combines computer science and computer engineering is unusual. “Our program will offer depth and breadth in both disciplines, he says. Other unique characteristics include the program’s teaching and publishing requirements.

Recognizing that many of its graduates will pursue academic careers, the program requires all students to teach two courses. “The teaching practicum is an important component, Dr. Sobh says. “Most Ph.D.’s in this field is not prepared to teach, and this experience will give our students an edge as they compete for faculty positions.?

Similarly, the requirement that all students have research articles accepted for publication prior to graduation will demonstrate to prospective employers that they know how to write for scholarly publications, Dr. Sobh says. The requirement is for two articles in high-level refereed journals or one journal and two conference articles.

Another highly relevant requirement for all Ph.D. students calls for two courses in global technology management.

Long and Distinguished History

The largest graduate engineering program in Connecticut across all disciplines, the University of Bridgeport has amassed a long and distinguished history in computer science and engineering since it began offering master’s degrees in 1970.

Among other distinctions, two years ago the university was ranked second in the nation in the production of M.S. degrees in computer science for women and fourth for men and women combined. Both student and faculty research papers have won prestigious awards at professional engineering conferences throughout the years. Strong affiliations with many area companies have led to varied internship and co-op opportunities. And graduates have gone on to research and development careers at many of the most distinguished companies locally and nationally.

The new Ph.D. program will build on this tradition of excellence.

Research Areas Available for Ph.D. Students

  • Computer architecture and VLSI and FPGA
  • Design, modeling and simulation of embedded and integrated systems
  • Electromechanical systems prototyping and optimization
  • Robotics, automation, machine perception and sensing
  • Software engineering, Web development and computational sciences
  • Systems and computer security and biometrics
  • Wireless and mobile computing and networking

Ph.D. Coordinator: Prof. Khaled Elleithy

Tech Building, Room 229
Fax. (203) 576-4765
Tel. (203) 576-4703



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