Graduate Studies in Computer Science and Engineering

Graduate Programs

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers MS and PhD programs in Computer Engineering (CE) and MS and PhD programs in Computer Science (CS). The CE and CS graduate programs have substantial overlap, but also differences in terms of research areas and curricula. Computer Engineering focuses on the design, analysis, and application of computers and on their applications as components of systems. Computer Science is the study of the theoretical and practical aspects of computer technology and computer usage. 

Both programs have a number of curricular requirements. For example, an acceptable curriculum must contain a certain number of CE course units for CE students, and of CS course units for CS students.  More information on curricular requirements can be found here for the CE program, and here for the CS program.

Please make your selection carefully to ensure that the curriculum and the research areas associated with the program you choose fit your interests and skills. Switching programs once accepted is possible, but decisions will be made on a case by case basis. 

Research Areas

These are the research areas of interest to the CE and CS programs. To help you with your choice, we indicated for each area whether it is exclusive to the CE program (CE only), it is normally associated with one of the two programs ((CE),(CS)), or it is equally represented in both programs (CE and CS). If your research interest aligns with an area belonging to a particular program, we recommend you to apply to that program.  Note that inside the application you will be asked to select up to 3 of these areas.

(CS) = students in the area are primarily in the Computer Science program
(CE) = students in the area are primarily in the Computer Engineering program
(CE and CS) = both programs have students in this area
(CE only) = this area is only available in the Computer Engineering program application because its faculty are in Electrical & Computer Engineering

Algorithms & Complexity (CS)
Artificial Intelligence (CS)
Biologically-inspired Robotics (CE Only)
Computational Economics & Game Theory (CS)
Computer Architecture (CE & CS)
Computer Graphics (CS)
Computer Networks (CE)
Computer Security (CE & CS)
Computer Vision (CE & CS)
Computing for Social Good (CE & CS)
Crytography (CS)
Cyber-Physical Systems (CE Only)
Data Center Computing (CE & CS)
Databases (CS)
Design Automation (CE)
Distributed Systems (CE & CS)
Embedded & real-time systems (CE and CS)
High-Performance Computing (CE & CS)
Human-Computer Interaction (CS)
Logic & Verification (CE & CS)
Machine Learning & Data Mining (CS)
Mobile Computing (CE & CS)
Natural Language Processing (CS)
Operating Systems (CE & CS)
Programming Languages (CS)
Robotics & Control (CE Only)
Software Engineering (CS)
Storage Systems (CE & CS)
The Web & Information Retrieval (CS)
Visualization, Augmented & Virtual Reality (CE & CS)
VLSI/FPGA (CE)
Computer Science & Engineering Contact Information

Listed below is current contact information for both the Computer Engineering and Computer Science MS and PhD programs.  For more information regarding admissions and the application process, please see the Baskin School of Engineering Graduate Affairs webpage:  https://grad.soe.ucsc.edu/prospective-students  

Computer Engineering
Computer Science