PhD Computational and Data Enabled Science and Engineering

Seeding high quality interdisciplinary research.

student at Center for Computational Research.

Center for Computational Research, University at Buffalo, North Campus

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Program Director

Margarete Jadamec
455 Cooke Hall
(716) 645-4262


About the CDSE Program

The integration of large computing and big data is essential to tackle the urgent research problems in fields ranging from multi-scale modeling and design of materials to natural disasters, smart electric grids, and medical technologies.

We train scientists to analyze big data and multisource datasets to solve these grand challenges, by bringing together the talents of faculty across several departments including the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Math, Physics, and Chemistry.

Program Requirements

  • A Master's degree in a related field is required for admission to the PhD program. Some related fields of study include engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, marketing, business, and pharmacy.
  • Complete a minimum of 72 credit hours
  • 30 credits of core classes
  • Pass qualifying exam
  • Prepare dissertation

Core Course Requirements

Our curriculum is designed around three core subjects:

  1. Data Science
  2. Applied Mathematics and Numerical Methods
  3. High Performance and Data Intensive Computing

A minimum of 9 credit hours from the approved list of core courses must be taken. The core course requirements total 30 credits with a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. Courses taken during your master's program may be transferred and used toward this requirement with the approval of your primary advisor, dissertation committee, and the Director of Graduate Studies. Your advisor and committee can also recommend courses not on the pre-approved list, but must mutally approve of those. We strongly suggest you finish this course work within the first two years of the program.

Informal Courses

CDSE Students can register for CDA 601 Individual Problems with their major advisor. Individual problems can be used for independent study courses or opportunities for applied work in industry (internships). Students will need to submit a 1-page description of the project they are working on and have it signed by both the major advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies. For students completing a project in industry via internship, the  student must submit an offer letter and description of how the work is related to their CDSE studies. Students will send written updates to their major advisor. 

Qualification Process

When you first start our program, you will select an advisor and your dissertation committee. Then you will decide on a research topic and submit a short proposal that articulates your topic and its relationship to the computational and data sciences field. This technical report must be completed no later than the end of the second semester.

Dissertation Committee Guidelines

We want each dissertation committee to reflect the intellectual diversity of our program. Because of this, the committee:

  • should not have more than 1 core member and 1 additional member with primary academic affiliation in the same department
  • must have a core member that is CDSE affiliated faculty

Oral Examination

Students must pass an oral examination on the needed background material to succeed in the field. Your dissertation committee will provide a written list of topics and courses. The exam may be retaken once within a 12-month period. This requirement should be met by the end of the third semester of study. Once the technical report and the oral examination have successfully been completed, you may file an application for PhD candidacy.


Students must take courses to support their dissertation research. These courses, totaling 12 credits, must be completed by the end of your fifth semester. Depending on your dissertation topic, you may be advised to take elective courses that inform your research topic, or you may be advised to take other courses to broaden your CDSE-related knowledge.

The dissertation must be original and contribute to the furthering of the field.

The Institute for Computational and Data Sciences is temporarily suspending the GRE requirement for admission to our masters and PHD program for the Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 entry terms.