Graduate Student Opportunities Spring and Fall 2021

Are you a talented student eager to shape the future of research, education, practice, and creativity in Computer Science and allied fields?

If so, The University of Iowa invites you to apply to our Masters of Computer Science and Doctoral (PhD) programs. We prepare students to become high-impact researchers, practitioners, educators and entrepreneurs in their targeted areas of interest.

Our MCS program will enable you to deepen your knowledge and prepare you for challenging industry careers. Our research-intensive PhD program offers rigorous, yet flexible coursework with our world-class faculty. PhD students are involved in research from their first semester, through mentored projects, reading groups etc. PhD students receive Assistantships covering tuition and a stipend (support for a minimum of four years is guaranteed given good academic standing). In recent years most of our MCS students have also been funded through Assistantships.

The department conducts internationally recognized research in the following areas: algorithms; computer security and privacy, cybersecurity; computational epidemiology; computational logic; distributed computing; human-computer interaction; mobile systems; numeric, parallel, and optimization algorithms; retro-computing and historic computer reconstruction; text/web mining; machine learning; informatics; and virtual environments. Find more details on our research programs here.

More information on how to apply:

Applications are due October 1, 2020 for - exceptionally - Spring '21 admission and January 1, 2021 for Fall '21. We look forward to receiving your application and hope you will be able to join us next Spring or Fall! We encourage and are happy to arrange online meetings with faculty. Please contact us at to set up a meeting, or if you have any questions.

With just over 30,000 students, the University of Iowa is one of the nation’s top public research universities. Through its 11 Colleges and an annual externally funded research budget of over $500M the University offers more than 200 majors in engineering, sciences, health sciences, law, arts, and the humanities.

Some thoughts from recent graduates:

Austin Laugesen - 2012 MCS | Microsoft Windows Phone Services

My most useful experiences as an MCS student were the guided independent research projects I did with Prof. Stump on compiler construction and with Prof. Chipara on sensor networks.

I work for the Engineering team doing program management. It is my responsibility to determine what gets built and why. I manage projects and also connections between different teams. I don’t manage people. I don’t do a whole lot of coding currently. But, the stronger I am technically the easier it gets to do my job.

Yelena Mejova - 2012 PhD | Advisor: Prof. Padmini Srinivasan | Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI)

My PhD research was on opinion extraction and sentiment analysis of social media text.

Previously a Postdoc at Yahoo! Labs in Barcelona, I am now a Scientist at the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), living in Doha, Qatar. At QCRI I develop methods for linking the online social media world to the "real" world. We track dietary habits of social media users to estimate obesity and diabetes rates, and to discover the importance of social connections in health. We also attempt to expand the "filter bubble" of online users by personalizing recommendations of less-popular news items. As a researcher, I get to travel all over the world and meet amazing people -- I highly recommend it

Jason Fries - 2015 Phd | Advisor: Alberto Segre | Stanford University's Mobilize Center

"I'm working on 2 primary projects (1) developing tools and methods using a new formalism for distant supervision called "data programming" and (2) modeling outcomes associated with joint replacement surgeries."

"Don't shy away from building toy distributed systems on Amazon EC2 or other compute infrastructures. Being able to quickly analyze large datasets is immensely valuable and the norm in any 'data scientist' type of job."

Valerie (Galluzzi) Liptak - 2015 PhD | Advisor: Ted Herman | Applied Scientist at Amazon (Formerly at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology)

"The most important thing is to figure out whether you would like to focus on teaching or research. A professor at a teaching-intensive school is judged heavily on the quality of their teaching and pedagogy, while a professor at a research-intensive school will be judged heavily on the number of grants they receive and publications they write, as well as their work with graduate students."

Other "Thoughts of Recent Graduates" at this link.