M.S. to Ph.D.

The purpose of this policy is to set clear guidelines for students enrolled in the M.S. degree in Computer Science at Drexel University, who may want to transfer to the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science at some point during their graduate studies. NOTE: this policy applies only to Computer Science students currently enrolled in the M.S. program. It does not apply to B.S./M.S. students, who must go through the regular admissions process (administered by the Drexel Admissions office) to apply to the Ph.D. progam.


An MSCS student who wants to transfer to the Ph.D. program must first of all fulfill the following pre‐requisites:

  • The student must have already successfully taken the three core courses indicated for the MSCS degree, as well as 3 courses from the Flexible Core list for the MSCS degree (Core and Flexible core courses are listed on the MSCS degree requirements and plan of study document).

  • The student must have passed the qualifying requirements for the first 6 graduate Computer Science courses taken at Drexel.

  • The student’s overall graduate GPA – computed over all the courses she has taken towards the MSCS degree – must also be 3.5 or better.

No application can be considered if the student has not fulfilled the aforementioned prerequisites.


A student wishing to transfer from the M.S. to the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science, and who fulfills the prerequisites above, must make a petition to the Graduate Committee. The student may make this petition only after having earned a minimum of 24 graduate credits towards the M.S. degree.

The student’s petition must include the following material:

  • a full graduate transcript
  • a personal statement discussing the student’s motivation for transferring to the Ph.D. degree, including research interests and outlook
  • a statement from a tenured or tenure‐track Drexel Computer Science faculty who agrees to act as an initial mentor to the student, and potentially willing to become the student’s Ph.D. advisor

The student must submit this petition 4 weeks before the beginning of the quarter in which the transfer would take effect. The Graduate Committee as a whole will meet to evaluate any submitted petitions, and decide whether to admit the student to the Ph.D. program. If the petition is accepted, the student’s change of status becomes effective at the beginning of the next quarter.