Computer Science


Degrees Offered


The School of Computing has 36 graduate faculty members and approximately 150 graduate students, about one third of whom are enrolled in the Ph.D. program.  About a third of our graduate students typically carry assistantships. About two thirds of these are supported directly by the School through graduate teaching and research assistantships.  Others find assistantships elsewhere on campus, including the university computer center.

The M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs span the School’s three divisions: Computer Science, Visual Computing, and Human-Centered Computing. Applicants do not need to specify a particular division on the application unless they are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing.

This program will consider applicants for conditional letters of admission (CLA’s) pending successful completion of an approved English as a Second Language (ESL) program. More information can be found on the Conditional Language Admission page.


More information can be found in this graduate handbook.


Program of Study

The School of Computing offers programs leading to the Master of Science degree and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in computer science.

MS: As a candidate for the MS degree, you will be required to satisfactorily complete an approved program of study. If you have minor deficiencies in certain academic areas, you may be admitted provisionally. If you have several academic deficiencies, you may be required to satisfactorily complete prerequisite work as a post-baccalaureate student prior to admission. There are three options available to satisfy the degree requirements: the research experience, the research paper and the thesis. These options will allow you to count zero, three or six hours respectively of research credit toward the required credit hours. You may take up to six hours of approved courses in areas outside the department.

As a student, you will have significant exposure to application areas that emphasize the integration of the core areas and have the opportunity to participate in a research project under the direction of a faculty member. In addition, you will also acquire advanced programming skills as a part of the program.

PhD: Requirements for a PhD degree include a comprehensive examination, required course work beyond the MS and the writing and successful defense of the doctoral dissertation. The comprehensive examination is a portfolio review in which the candidate must establish both core competencies in computer science and the potential for success in research.

Clemson offers a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Production Arts, which is a professional degree program aimed at electronic arts, particularly special effects for commercial video and film. See for more details.


The School of Computing maintains a network of more than 150 UNIX-based systems. These include Sun and Intel-based workstations and servers running the Solaris and Linux operating systems. Systems are distributed among three general use labs, two instructional labs, several research labs and graduate student offices. Areas supported by the research labs include graphics and virtual reality, operating systems, ATM and Gigabit networking and software engineering.


For information on these and other research initiatives, visit

Our Students

Of the MS program’s 115 students, roughly 80 percent are men; 90 percent attend full time; and 70 percent are international students. Of the 55 PhD students in the School of Computing, 65 percent are men; 80 percent attend full time; and 35 percent are international students.

Most MS graduates find employment in the high-technology industry. Recent graduates have taken positions with DreamWorks, AT&T, Cisco, EMC, IBM, Intel, Lucent, Microsoft, Nortel, Qualcomm and Sun Microsystems. Starting salaries range from the mid-$60,000s to as high as $80,000 per year or more.


Application Information

You may apply on the web at Applications should be received by April 15 for fall semester entry and September 15 (international applicants) or October 15 (domestic applicants) for spring semester entry. Every required item in support of the application must be on file by that date. Applications for financial assistance should be received before January 1 for full consideration for a fall semester entry. Thus, it is advantageous to apply as early as possible.

Required Documents


Financial support is available through research assistantships associated with grants and contracts, teaching assistantships and graduate fellowships. Students with assistantships generally are expected to work an average of 20 hours each week while taking nine credit hours per semester. In addition to a stipend, students with an assistantship receive a tuition remission. Alternative employment opportunities for well-qualified applicants are sometimes available.


Program Contact(s)

Program Coordinator(s)

  • Mark Smotherman (MS)
  • Office: 209 McAdams Hall
  • Phone: (864) 656-5878
  • Email: