Completion of Breadth Requirement

Students will have naturally completed at least five of the seven required courses at the time they pass the Qualifying evaluation, including at least 3 courses from the Breadth list. Prior to scheduling the general exam, and no later than the end of their third year in the program, students are required to have completed all Breadth courses.  

Breadth Courses (formerly Quals classes)

5 of these courses are required and must include courses from at least 3 of the 4 Groups. At most one waiver will be granted for a Breadth Course.

  • Group 1: Theory, Mathematical, & Formal Reasoning

    • CSE 521: Algorithms for all

    • CSE 525: Randomized Algorithms

    • CSE 526: Cryptography

    • CSE 531: Complexity

    • CSE 535: Theory of Optimization and Continuous Algorithms 

    • CSE 515: Statistical Methods 

    • CSE 546: Machine Learning 

    • CSE 505: Programming Languages

    • CSE 507: Computer-aided Reasoning

    • CSE 552: Distributed Systems

  • Group 2: System Design & Implementation

    • CSE 550: Systems for All 

    • CSE 551: Operating Systems

    • CSE 552: Distributed Systems 

    • CSE 561: Networks

    • CSE 562: Mobile Systems & Applications

    • CSE 564: Security

    • CSE 501: Compilers 

    • CSE 503: Software Engineering 

    • CSE 544: Databases

    • CSE 548: Computer Architecture

    • CSE 549: High-performance Computer Architecture

    • CSE 567: Principles of Digital System Design

  • Group 3: ML/AI, Interacting with Data, & Statistical Applications

    • CSE 546: Machine Learning 

    • CSE 541: Interactive Learning

    • CSE 542: Reinforcement Learning

    • CSE 543: Deep Learning

    • CSE 547/STAT 548: Machine Learning for Big Data

    • CSE 573: Artificial Intelligence

    • CSE 515: Statistical Methods

    • CSE 517: Natural Language Processing

    • CSE 527: Computational Biology

    • CSE 528: Computational Neuroscience

    • Genome 540: Computational Molecular Biology

    • CSE 512: Data Visualization

    • CSE 571: Robotics

    • CSE 556: Fabrication

    • CSE 557: Graphics

    • CSE 562: Mobile Systems & Applications

    • CSE 576: Vision

    • CSE 582: Ethics in Artificial Intelligence, pending faculty approval

    • INSC 571: Quantitative Methods in Information Science

  • Group 4: Human-facing

    • CSE 510: Human-Computer Interaction 

    • CSE 512: Data Visualization

    • CSE 556: Fabrication

    • CSE 557: Graphics

    • CSE 564: Security

    • CSE 580: Computer Science for Social Good

    • CSE 581: Computing Ethics

    • CSE 582: Ethics in Artificial Intelligence, pending faculty approval

    • HCDE 544: Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Research Methods 

    • HCDE 545: Qualitative Research Methods

    • INSC 570: Research Design

    • INSC 571: Quantitative Methods in Information Science

    • INSC 572: Qualitative Methods in Information Science

Students are expected to achieve satisfactory performance in these courses, typically earning a grade of 3.4 or better. Failure to do so may result in remedial coursework being required. 

At most one waiver may be applied towards completion of the Breadth Course requirement. In other words, 4 of the 5 Breadth courses must be taken at UW.  See section on waivers for more details.

Selection of courses from the above lists may be further guided and/or constrained by the requirements of the specific Ph.D. "options" in which students may wish to specialize.  See the Ph.D. specialized options for information.

Completion of Remaining Required Coursework (CSE++ Coursework)

In addition to the 5 Breadth courses, in order to complete the required coursework for the Ph.D. students must take 2 courses from the CSE++ list if they haven’t already done so.  CSE++ courses include:

  • Graded Ph.D.-level courses numbered 500 and above in CSE (including additional Breadth courses).

  • Graded Ph.D.-level  courses numbered 500 and above in related disciplines such as: ECE, MATH, A MATH, HCDE, iSchool, STAT, LINGUISTICS, and GENOME.

  • Additional pre-approved CSE++ courses from disciplines not included in the options above are: EDC&I 510, ME 564, ME 565, MEBI 532, NEUBEH 545.

Courses not on the CSE++ list may be approved on a case-by-case basis. Students who wish to request approval for additional courses should send the Director of Graduate Student Services a document including the course name and description, a syllabus or course webiste, a paragraph explaning why the course should be approved, and proof of faculty advisor endorsement. 

These final courses can be completed at any time during the Ph.D. program.

HCDE 544 and INSC 571 cannot both be used toward the CSE Ph.D.

HCDE 545 and INSC 572 cannot both be used toward the CSE Ph.D.