UNC Greensboro to Offer Computer Science Doctoral Program

Given the robust demand for people with doctoral degrees in computer science, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will start admitting students to a full-time, on-campus program in fall 2022.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Martin W. Kane/Martin Kane
(TNS) — UNCG will launch a new doctoral program in computer science next year.

The university plans to admit the first six computer science doctoral students in fall 2022 and expects total program enrollment to reach 25 eventually. Students in this full-time on-campus program will need four years to get their Ph.D.

UNCG's new program will offer several research specialties, including artificial intelligence, database systems, extended reality and security.

"The Ph.D. program in computer science supports UNCG's role as a high-research university with a strong arts and sciences background," interim Provost Terri Shelton said in a statement. "We can further leverage our nationally-recognized computer science department and existing depth of expertise to address the growing demand among students and employers for these skills."

Demand for advanced computer science degrees is robust, according to the UNC System.

Before the 2020-21 academic year, the five North Carolina universities that offer similar in-person doctoral programs — N.C. A&T, N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Charlotte and Duke University — got nearly 1,000 applications for 261 available slots.

UNCG said its existing computer science programs have seen big enrollment gains over the past five years. The number of undergraduates majoring in computer science has increased by 79 percent to 530 students as of last fall. UNCG's master's degree program has grown by 54 percent in five years to 39 students.

The UNC System said the job market for those with doctoral degrees in computer science is strong as well.

It cited one report that shows a 20-percent increase in demand for computer science doctorates in North Carolina through 2029. It said another analysis shows those who got computer science doctorates from UNC System schools in 2015-16 were making an average of nearly $123,000 three years after they graduated.

UNCG currently has 33 doctoral programs in 26 academic disciplines. UNCG's request for a new doctoral program was approved Thursday by the UNC Board of Governors.

©2021 the News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.