Please note:

To view the current Academic Calendar, go to

School of Computing Science | Faculty of Applied Sciences Simon Fraser University Calendar | Spring 2023

Computing Science

Doctor of Philosophy

The doctor of philosophy (PhD) in computing science, is a research-intensive program that has a primary emphasis on the thesis. The program provides an environment for interdisciplinary education in theoretical and applied computer science. Through training in formal coursework and hands-on research in areas such as artificial intelligence, computer systems and networks, computer graphics, and data mining, graduates will be capable of working with integrity to design, improve, and apply cutting-edge computational techniques to support a career in academia, industry or the public sector.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU Calendar. Students must hold a master's degree or the equivalent in Computer Science or another related field.

At its discretion, the school's graduate admissions committee may recommend PhD admission to exceptional students holding only a bachelor's degree or equivalent in computer science or a related field with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.67.

Program Requirements

This program consists of course work and a thesis for a minimum of 33 units selected in consultation with the Graduate Chair or supervisor.

Students will demonstrate breadth of knowledge, and the capacity to conduct original research through completion and defence of an original thesis.

Students must complete

CMPT 700 - Technical Writing and Research Communication (3) *

Covers technical writing and communication skills for research in computing science. Introduces students to scholarly publication procedures, research collaboration norms, ethics and intellectual property issues, as well as broadly useful tools for writing about and presenting research. Includes research seminar attendance and practicing constructive critique and feedback for ongoing research. The objective is to train well-rounded graduate students, to advance their ability to communicate and review scientific research, to introduce broadly used research software tools, and to become knowledgeable about issues surrounding computing science research.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Manolis Savva
Mo 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
SWH 10061, Burnaby


four graduate courses in Computing Science for a minimum of 12 units

and a thesis

CMPT 899 - PhD Thesis (18)

Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD

Students without an MSc or equivalent

complete additional five graduate courses in Computing Science for a minimum of 15 units selected in consultation with the Graduate Chair or supervisor.

* Students may not be required to repeat this course if they received a credit for it during the master's program.

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements in 12 to 15 terms (4 to 5 years).

Other Information

Course Work

Students are required to complete breadth requirements selected from five different areas. This is to be done in consultation with the supervisor or graduate program chair if the supervisor has not been appointed yet. For more information on breadth requirements and restrictions, see program website.

Transfer from MSc to PhD Program

As per GGR 1.3.7b, students enrolled in the MSc program may apply to transfer to the doctor of philosophy (PhD) program after two terms and normally before the seventh term. Students must have a CGPA of 3.5 or above, completed 75% of the required master's course work and evidence must be provided that the student is capable of undertaking substantial original research.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.