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Many of the important problems facing society today can only be solved by teams of individuals from a variety of disciplines. An individual trained in an interdisciplinary environment is an essential member of such a team because he/she can successfully interact with team members and gain an overall understanding of the problem.

However, most doctoral programs in this country have a very narrow focus and consequently, students rarely have the opportunity to understand research themes in other disciplines or even to explore the relevance of their own research to other fields. Since the Department of Scientific Computing (DSC) lies at the intersection of applied mathematics, applied science, computer science and engineering, it has the unique opportunity to train students in areas which cut across disciplines.

Ph.D Program Tracks

The goal of the Ph.D. program in Computational Science is to train graduate students to have extensive knowledge in computational science and to allow the student to acquire expertise in one or more areas of the sciences, mathematics, or engineering. Students may choose to follow the major track in computational science which allows them to specialize in aspects of:

computational mathematics computer science

relevant to computational science or choose to complete one of the following specialized tracks:

  • Ph.D. in Computational Science
    • with a Specialization in Atmospheric Science
    • with a Specialization in Biochemistry
    • with a Specialization in Biological Science
    • with a Specialization in Geological Science
    • with a Specialization in Materials Science
    • with a Specialization in Physics

Coursework & credits

Since computational science is an interdisciplinary program, students' programs of study can be quite varied. Consequently, we have built in a lot of flexibility into the course requirements for the Ph.D. in Computational Science. The commonality in the coursework is that each student must take the same four computational science courses (Group A courses), which cut across disciplines, as well as a minimum of 9 credit hours in other computational science courses (Group B courses) plus 9 additional credit hours selected from existing departmental courses in computer science, engineering, mathematics or an applied science (Group C courses). Each student must also take six seminar hours (details are listed in the Graduate Handbook, section 5.2.2).

There are a total of 29 credit hours of coursework that are specified plus a minimum of 24 credits of dissertation hours. Additional credit hours may be obtained through dissertation hours, other computational science courses, or existing courses offered by departments. We do not impose any additional credit hours over the University's residence requirement of twenty-four graduate semester hours credit after completion of the master's degree or after thirty semester hours of graduate work. A specialization is obtained by completing a minimum of 9 credit hours from courses in the discipline approved by the student's supervisory committee. More information on the courses below can be found in our list of courses.

The required core courses (Group A) consist of:

  • Introduction to Scientific Programming (3 credits)
  • Applied Computational Science I (4 credits)
  • Applied Computational Science II (4 credits)
  • Parallel Programming, Algorithms and Architectures (3 credits)

The elective core courses (Group B) consist of courses such as:

  • Monte Carlo/Markov Chain Simulations
  • Survey of Numerical PDEs
  • Computational Space Physics
  • Programming Skills for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
  • Computational Evolutionary Biology
  • Introduction to Bioinformatics
  • Computational Finite Element Methods
  • Numerical Methods for Stochastic Differential Equations
  • Numerical Methods for Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Molecular Dynamics
  • Numerical Linear Algebra
  • Data mining
  • Visualization
  • Verification and Validation in Computational Science

Note: Student should select a minimum of three courses from Group B, which are approved by his/her supervisory committee.

Application and Information

Students applying to this program should have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in an applied science, mathematics, computer science or engineering and possess a keen interest in computational science. The DSC expect that graduates of this program will be prepared to seek employment in academic, industrial, or laboratory settings.

You can apply for the graduate programs online. Please start your application process early.

For further information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please check back periodically to the website for updates to the program.