Computer Science & Engineering, Electrical Engineering

Our education mission is to train students in computer science and electrical engineering to be able to understand, design, and apply computer algorithms and signal processing techniques.  Unlike many other programs, ours is focused on solving complex problems in 

  • speech and language processing,
  • machine learning,
  • biomedical problems.

We offer degrees in both Computer Science and Electrical Engineering as our focus on speech and language processing, machine learning, and biomedicine spans these two disciplines.  Some of our work falls entirely within one of the discplines.  For example, our work on language processing, using symbolic reasoning, falls within the domain of CS, while our work on signal processing falls within EE.  However, much of our work, such as machine learning, speech signal processing, and using statistical techniques for language processing, falls within the intersection of CS and EE.  Similarly, some of the courses we offer are listed as CS, some as EE, and some are cross-listed for both.

Our education program is housed in the Center for Spoken Language Understanding (CSLU), which conducts cutting-edge research work on speech and language processing, machine learning, and biomedicine, and receives funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, as well as many private foundations.  CSLU was founded over 20 years ago and has recently hosted the three major conferences in speech, language, and dialogue processing: Interspeech 2012, ACL 2011 and SIGdial 2011.

Reflecting CSLU's interest in applying speech and language process and machine learning to help unravel neurological diseases, CSLU joined the Institute on Development and Disability in July 2012.

Taking Classes without being admitted

You are welcome to enroll as a non-degree student for a total of 12 credits prior to matriculating into a formal Graduate degree program. Contact the Registrar's office for details.


Located in the Pacific Northwest, Portland Oregon is the 23rd largest metropolitan area in the United States, with over 2 million people, and is one of 8 US cities in the top 50 of the Mercer quality of living global city rankings in 2008.  It lies at the intersection of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, and is close to skiing (50 miles from Mt. Hood) and the Pacific coast (75 miles).  Portland has 28 microbreweries (most of any US city), and well-developed mass transit system and a strong bicycling culture.  it is home to Forest Park, the largest urban forest reserve in the United States, and to Powell's City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the US, which occupies an entire city block with new and used books of the greatest variety. Portland has been spotlighted in the New York Times several times recently, drawing praise for local tea/coffee/beer obsessions, bicycle culture and the local cuisine.  Numerous annual art, music and film festivals complement a robust local arts scene, including many live theater and performing arts companies, museums, and live music venues.  It is a great place to live for those who enjoy outdoors activities, such as hiking, skiing, running or cycling; as well as for those who enjoy the benefits of an accessible urban center.  Cost of living is moderate, hence affordable for those attending graduate school.