Full-Time Ph.D. Program

Hank LevyWelcome. Thank you for your interest in pursuing your graduate education at the Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. We are proud of our highly ranked Ph.D. program and invite you to explore this site to learn whether or how to apply. The Allen School offers unique benefits to our Ph.D. students. Among them:

  • We produce research of the very highest quality, as indicated by an exceptional number of best paper awards at top conferences, and our entrepreneurial faculty are widely recognized as leading researchers in their fields.
  • We have a collegial and supportive environment for students, in which we work to help each student achieve his or her goals and potential. We see ourselves as the most student-centered of all top computer science departments.
  • We are located on Lake Washington in the city of Seattle. The city is unique in its combination of culture, natural beauty, and high-tech industry.

Our students benefit from many collaborations and relationships that we have developed across the campus and in the region. In addition to being the headquarters of established technology leaders such as Microsoft and Amazon.com, our city is also home to an extensive (and ever-growing) list of engineering centers established by major industry players from outside the Northwest, including Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google, Hulu, and Oracle. We have a top-rated medical school that is part of Seattle's vibrant bio-medical ecosystem, which also includes the Institute for Systems Biology, the Allen Brain Institute, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Seattle is also the leading center for global health, thanks to the presence of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UW Center for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the UW School of Public Health, the international non-profit PATH, and many others.

We are extremely strong in research in core computer science; however, our research efforts also seek to have impact outside of the core. As one example, an online multiplayer visual game called Foldit, developed in our department by Professor Zoran Popovic and his students in collaboration with UW biochemist David Baker, led to the discovery of the structure of an AIDS-related protein that has baffled the scientific community for over a decade. As another example, Professor Shwetak Patel won the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Award for his work on simple single-point sensors for the home that, when combined with machine learning software, provide homeowners with a detailed breakdown of power, water, and gas use to the device level. 

These are but a few examples of how we develop core technology and transform it to change the world. We cannot accomplish our goals without stellar faculty and well-trained students. Use this site to learn the particulars for applying to our Ph.D. program, where you can join us in contributing to this exciting and important work. Best wishes for your graduate school success.

Hank's Signature
Henry M. Levy
Director of the Allen School and Wissner-Slivka Chair