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THECB approves innovative Ph.D. in applied computer science

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
April 20, 2017

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has authorized Texas State University to offer an innovative new applied computer science Ph.D. program that will be the first in Texas to combine the application of computer science practice and theory with entrepreneurial and commercialization skills.

The degree program was approved by the Texas State University System Board of Regents in 2016. The program (approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in May), will begin enrolling students in fall 2017.

“This Ph.D. program has significant implications for both the university and the innovation corridor that runs from Austin to San Antonio,” Texas State President Denise Trauth said. “This degree program will enhance Texas State’s ability to attract and retain outstanding computer science faculty and students, and it will add amazing research opportunities for the university and STAR Park, which has been instrumental in supporting innovation along the Austin-to-San Antonio growth corridor.”

The Ph.D. in computer science degree is expected to significantly expand the areas of research conducted at Texas State's STAR Park. The program recognizes that the future global competitiveness of Texas and the United States is heavily influenced by technological and computing innovation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The program will extend the already substantial economic impact of Texas State on the innovation corridor and will address the critical shortage of graduates with the skills to sustain the technology-driven economy in Texas and beyond.

The unique focus of the curriculum will set the program apart from all other computer science Ph.D. programs in the state. The new program will integrate entrepreneurship and commercialization and is bolstered by faculty research areas that produce skills and knowledge needed in technology industries. The emphasis on collaboration with industry and on preparation of students for leadership positions in academia, industry, non-profit organizations and government laboratories is expected to spur original research and innovative products and services.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that STEM will be one of the fastest growing job markets for the foreseeable future in the country and that computing will be its fastest growing area. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the need for workers in Texas with a Ph.D. in computer science is growing rapidly and outpaces the predicted production of existing doctoral programs.

About Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,849 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 170,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world.  Designated an Emerging Research University by the State of Texas, Texas State is classified under “Doctoral Universities:  Higher Research Activity,” the second-highest designation for research institutions under the Carnegie classification system.

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